The Cook's Compendium: 265 Essential Tips, Techniques, Trade Secrets and Tasty Recipes

The Cook's Compendium: 265 Essential Tips, Techniques, Trade Secrets and Tasty Recipes

by Jenni Davis


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Essential and varied cooking experience presented in 265 expert tips.

This compendium contains 265 tremendously useful cooking tips, techniques, shortcuts and indispensable recipes that cooks of all experience will find to be valuable additions to their skill set. Step-by-step photographs, labeled diagrams, tables, charts, "fix it" and "try it" features, and much more make this compendium an indispensable resource.

The book covers a wide range of topics in seven thematic chapters with 20 delicious recipes scattered throughout to practice techniques. There is comprehensive information on essential pantry ingredients and practical tools.

The book's sections include:

  • Fish — using fresh fish, cooking fish, shellfish, sustainable fish alternatives, sushi
  • Meat — tenderizing meat, cooking steak, the versatility of pork, lamb, popular poultry
  • Grains and legumes — how to make rice, perfect risotto, pasta sauces, homemade pasta
  • Vegetables and fruits — chopping, slicing, peeling, greens, mushrooms, herbs, garlic and the essential spices, nuts and seeds, oils
  • Dairy — understanding dairy ingredients, 30 ways to prepare eggs, cheese, and other dairy
  • Baking — utensils and ingredients, art of pastry, basic baking knowledge, breads and cakes
  • Dinner's at 8 — presentation techniques and menus.
  • Concise text, step-by-step color photographs and instructions fill the user-friendly spreads. Essential preparations and techniques that may befuddle beginning cooks — and which experienced cooks should have in their skill set — are shown in detail, such as how to make risotto; calculating roasting times; checking doneness; making brown butter; beating egg whites; peeling tomatoes, and caramelizing root vegetables.

    With this compendium cooks of all experience will acquire skills, discover tricks, expand their repertoire and gain more confidence to try new things and fix problems.

    Product Details

    ISBN-13: 9781770853010
    Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
    Publication date: 09/30/2014
    Pages: 160
    Product dimensions: 7.60(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.70(d)

    About the Author

    Jenni davis is an author and editor. Her previous books include Cocktails: A Complete Guide.

    Table of Contents


    About this book
    Key ingredients
    Utensils, gadgets and gizmos

    Chapter 1 Fish & Shellfish

      Fresh with fish
      The art of cooking fish
      Mastering shellfish

    Chapter 2 Meat

      Tenderizing meat
      Surely it's all just cooking?
      Beef: The ultimate red meat
      Versatile pork
      Create your own sizzle
      Lively lamb
      Popular poultry

    Chapter 3 Grains & Legumes

      Rice is nice
      Perfect risotto
      Sensational sushi
      Pasta, bella!
      Serious about sauce
      Artisan pasta
      Know your noodle
      A handful of grains
      Luscious legumes

    Chapter 4 From the Ground

      Chopping, slicing, peeling
      Root veggies
      Tasty greens
      Mushrooms: A classic addition
      Vegetable fruits
      Juicy fruit
      Herbal magic
      Essential garlic
      Variety of spice
      Nuts and seeds
      Know your oils

    Chapter 5 Dairy

      Understanding dairy ingredients
      The joy of eggs
      Cheese connoisseur
      Mastering roux
      Cream and butter

    Chapter 6 Baking

      Utensils and ingredients
      The art of pastry
      Baking bread
      Cakes worth celebrating

    Chapter 7 Dinner's at Eight

      Set the scene
      Eat with your eyes
      Menu inspirations




    Cooking is a joy. Not assembling packages and jars of processed foods and uniting them, but real cooking, from scratch, using the best ingredients. It's only when you serve your first batch of homemade pasta with a sauce of your own making, when a cube of tender meat falls apart almost before your fork reaches it, when the aroma of baking fills the kitchen, that you really start to understand why chefs love their work so much.

    Cooking engages all your senses, often without you noticing. Taste is only part of it — you use your eyes to judge color, your ears to listen for a sizzle, your nose to gauge progress. You touch steak, fish, a cake to assess whether it's cooked. Your intuition tells you what will work, and what won't. And these are just examples. Be aware of all your senses as you cook and you'll find it's as soothing as a meditation.

    This isn't a recipe book, although there are recipes scattered throughout to demonstrate techniques. Rather, it's a book about "how" and "why" — cooking is a far less daunting prospect if you're armed with knowledge about how ingredients behave and why you don't always get the result you'd hoped for. From now on, you always will!

    Jenni Davis

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