Monday 17 March 2014

Book ~ "My Cooking Coach: Cooking Knowledge at Your Fingertips" (2013) Charles Delmar

From Goodreads ~ It has been said that, "If you can read a recipe, you can cook." The sad truth is that many cooks today do not know enough of the basics of foods and cooking to translate recipes to cook with confidence, let alone creatively. 

"My Cooking Coach" is a 500 page cornucopia of cooking knowledge that provides, as its slogan states, "Cooking Knowledge at Your Fingertips!" All of this cooking knowledge comes from a revised version of The Essential Cook, by Charles Delmar, winner of the prestigious "Writings" award from the International Assn. of Culinary Professionals (IACP). 

This new edition has been re-named and re-formatted in bite-sized pieces so it can be read as a quick reference from its Glossary/Index of more than 1,000 cooking terms, an important consideration for today's cooks who don't seem to have the time or the patience to read a textbook.

From Part One, First You Steal a Chicken: How to Plan, Select, Store, Prepare, Cook, Flavor and Serve most foods, through Part Three: How to Set a Dining Table and Other Facts of Life, with How Good Cooks Do It: Basic Cooking Methods and Techniques in between, My Cooking Coach uses clear, direct language and more than 400 informative illustrations, along with "Master Recipes," to explain the basic how-tos and whys of foods and cooking.

There are no conventional recipes in "My Cooking Coach". Rather, the author uses what he calls "Master Recipes" that provide step-by-step instructions for cooking almost any food you can think of by any of the basic cooking methods usually used to cook that food: Dry Heat, Liquids, and Fats, i.e. Frying. "Master recipes are the themes, of which recipes are but individual variations," says author Delmar.

This is an extremely detailed comprehensive book if you want to learn how to cook or would like to know how to cook better.

It covers a multitude of things ... here are the chapters:

Part One:  First, You Steal a Chicken - How to Plan, Select, Store, Prepare, Cook, Flavor and Serve Most Foods
  • Chapter 1 - Prepackaged Foods - Frozen, Canned and Dried ~ Descriptions and guides
  • Chapter 2 - Essential Ingredients  ~ Acidic liquids, butter, cheeses, flour, spices, etc.; how to make bread crumbs, clarify butter, etc.
  • Chapter 3 - Eggs ~ How to separate eggs, beat egg whites, scramble eggs, etc.
  • Chapter 4 - Poultry ~ How to cut up a bird, roast poultry, carve  roasted bird, etc.
  • Chapter 5 - Fish and Shellfish ~ How to clean and dress fish, fry fish and shellfish, make fish stew, etc.
  • Chapter 6 - Meats ~ Cooking beef, veal, pork, etc., how to carve meat roasts, etc.
  • Chapter 7 - Vegetables and Other Foods Called Vegetables ~ how to shuck corn, simmer, poach, steam, bake, roast vegetables, etc.

Part Two:  How Good Cooks Do it - Basic Cooking methods and Techniques
  • Chapter 8 - About Recipes ~ Cooking from a recipe, converting a recipe, etc.
  • Chapter 9 - Three (and Maybe Four) Ways to Cook:  Basic Cooking Methods and Techniques ~ Cooking in liquids, dry heat, in fats, microwave cooking, etc.
  • Chapter 10 - Combination Cookery:  What to do with Leftovers ~ Casseroles, marinades, stews, hash, salads, etc.
  • Chapter 11 - Hot Sauces ~ Gravy, white sauce, tomato sauce, butter sauce, etc.
  • Chapter 12 - Cold Sauces or Dressings ~ Mayonnaise, vinaigrette dressing, etc.

Part Three:  How to Set a Dining Table and Other Facts of Life
    • Bacterial food borne illnesses, metric conversion, kitchen accidents, kitchen tools, setting a dining table , glossary of cooking terms, etc.

    This is not a book that you would pick up and read cover to cover ... instead, you would use it as your bible when you want to know how to do something or would like to learn how to do something new.

    BTW, you can download the "Egg" section for free to check it out.

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