Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes

Front Cover
Penguin, Oct 28, 2010 - Cooking - 576 pages
14 Reviews
The answers to many kitchen conundrums in one easy-to-use volume, from the author of the acclaimed culinary bible On Food and Cooking.

From our foremost expert on the science of cooking, Harold McGee, Keys to Good Cooking is a concise and authoritative guide designed to help home cooks navigate the ever-expanding universe of ingredients, recipes, food safety, and appliances, and arrive at the promised land of a satisfying dish.

A work of astounding scholarship and originality, Keys to Good Cooking directly addresses the cook at work in the kitchen and in need of quick and reliable guidance. Cookbooks past and present frequently contradict one another about the best ways to prepare foods, and many contain erroneous information and advice.

Keys to Good Cooking distills the modern scientific understanding of cooking and translates it into immediately useful information. Looking at ingredients from the mundane to the exotic, McGee takes you from market to table, teaching, for example, how to spot the most delectable asparagus (choose thick spears); how to best prepare the vegetable (peel, don't snap, the fibrous ends; broiling is one effective cooking method for asparagus and other flat-lying vegetables); and how to present it (coat with butter or oil after cooking to avoid a wrinkled surface). This book will be a requisite countertop resource for all home chefs, as McGee's insights on kitchen safety in particular-reboil refrigerated meat or fish stocks every few days. (They're so perishable that they can spoil even in the refrigerator.); Don't put ice cubes or frozen gel packs on a burn. (Extreme cold can cause additional skin damage)-will save even the most knowledgeable home chefs from culinary disaster.

A companion volume to recipe books, a touchstone that helps cooks spot flawed recipes and make the best of them, Keys to Good Cooking will be of use to cooks of all kinds: to beginners who want to learn the basics, to weekend cooks who want a quick refresher in the basics, and to accomplished cooks who want to rethink a dish from the bottom up. With Keys to Good Cooking McGee has created an essential guide for food lovers everywhere.
 

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Review: Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes

User Review  - Goodreads

This a great resource. McGee's organization is sensible, and his prose is clear, and occasionally poetic. I'm definitely going to get a copy of my own for reference. Read full review

Review: Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes

User Review  - Goodreads

Good reference. Read full review

Contents

GRAVIES AND STARCHTHICKENED SAUCES
MEAT STOCKS REDUCTIONS AND SAUCES
FISH STOCKS AND SAUCES
VEGETABLE STOCKS AND COURT BOUILLON
WINE AND VINEGAR SAUCES
SOUPS
CONSOMMÉS AND ASPICS
GRAIN SAFETY

STORING FOODS
FATS AND OILS
THE FLAVOR PANTRY
MEASURING TOOLS
WORK SURFACES
KNIVES AND OTHER CUTTING TOOLS
HAND TOOLS FOR GRINDING MIXING AND SEPARATING
ELECTRIC GRINDERS MIXERS AND PROCESSORS
HANDLING TOOLS
FOILS WRAPS AND PAPERS
MIXING CONTAINERS STORAGE CONTAINERS AND RACKS
HEAT AND TEMPERATURE
HOW HEAT MOVES IN COOKING
HEAT FROM KITCHEN APPLIANCES
STOVETOP BURNERS
HOTAIR OVENS
COUNTERTOP APPLIANCES
OUTDOOR GRILLS AND SMOKERS
MEASURING
SERVING FOODS RAW
MOIST AND DRY HEATING METHODS
STEAMING AND DOUBLE BOILERS
PRESSURECOOKING
PANFRYING AND PAN ROASTING SAUTÉING AND STIRFRYING
DEEP AND SHALLOWFRYING AND OIL POACHING
OVEN BAKING AND ROASTING
BROILING
SMOKING
MICROWAVE COOKING
COOKING AT HIGH ALTITUDES
COOKING SAFELY
DEALING WITH CUTS BURNS AND FIRE
FOODBORNE ILLNESS OR FOOD POISONING
MAXIMIZING SAFETY FOR VULNERABLE PEOPLE
BALANCING FOOD SAFETY WITH FOOD QUALITY
SERVING FOOD SAFELY
GUIDELINES FOR HANDLING LEFTOVERS
FRUIT SAFETY
FRUIT RIPENING
SHOPPING FOR FRUITS
STORING FRUITS
THE ESSENTIALS OF COOKING WITH FRUITS
RAW FRUITS AND FRUIT JUICES
DEHYDRATING FRUITS AND FRUIT PUREES
BAKING AND FRYING FRUITS
CANNING FRUITS
PRESERVING FRUITS IN ALCOHOL
PICKLING FRUITS AND PRESERVING LEMONS
VEGETABLE AND HERB SAFETY
SHOPPING FOR VEGETABLES AND HERBS
STORING FRESH VEGETABLES AND HERBS
SPROUTS AND MICROGREENS
THE ESSENTIALS OF COOKING VEGETABLES AND HERBS
BOILING VEGETABLES
STEAMING VEGETABLES
PRESSURECOOKING VEGETABLES
BRAISING AND STEWING VEGETABLES
FRYING SAUTÉING SWEATING GLAZING AND WILTING VEGETABLES
DEEP AND SHALLOWFRYING VEGETABLES AND HERBS
BAKING OR OVEN ROASTING VEGETABLES
GRILLING AND BROILING VEGETABLES
QUICKPICKLING VEGETABLES
FERMENTING VEGETABLES
DAIRY PRODUCT SAFETY
SHOPPING FOR MILK AND FRESH DAIRY PRODUCTS
THE ESSENTIALS OF COOKING WITH DAIRY PRODUCTS
STABILIZED AND CONCENTRATED MILKS
COOKING WITH MILKS
CREAMS
COOKING WITH CREAM
BUTTERS AND OTHER DAIRY SPREADS
MAKING AND COOKING WITH BUTTER AND SPREADS
CULTURED YOGURT BUTTERMILK SOUR CREAM AND CRÈME FRAÎCHE
MAKING YOGURT AND CRÈME FRAÎCHE
CHEESES
COOKING WITH CHEESES
EGG SAFETY
SHOPPING FOR EGGS
STORING EGGS
SOFT AND HARDCOOKING EGGS IN THE SHELL
POACHING AND FRYING EGGS
MAKING SCRAMBLED EGGS OMELETS AND FRITTATAS
CUSTARDS AND CREAMS
CUSTARDS AND FLANS CHEESECAKES AND QUICHES
CREAMS
FOAMING EGGS
ZABAGLIONE AND SABAYONS
SOUFFLÉS
MEAT SAFETY
SHOPPING FOR MEAT
STORING MEATS
PREPARING MEATS FOR COOKING
TENDER MEAT AND TOUGH MEAT
MEAT DONENESS
THE ESSENTIALS OF COOKING MEATS
GRILLING AND BROILING
BARBECUING
ROTISSERIE COOKING
FRYING PAN ROASTING AND SAUTÉING
POACHING CONFITS AND LOWTEMPERATURE COOKING
BRAISING AND STEWING
SERVING MEATS
LEFTOVERS
FISH AND SHELLFISH SAFETY
SHOPPING FOR FISH
SHOPPING FOR SHELLFISH
STORING FISH AND SHELLFISH
PREPARING FISH FOR COOKING
PREPARING SHELLFISH FOR SERVING OR COOKING
THE ESSENTIALS OF COOKING FISH AND SHELLFISH
COOKING IN A WRAPPER
OVEN ROASTING
POACHING STEWING AND LOWTEMPERATURE COOKING
SERVING FISH
SAUCE AND SOUP SAFETY
SHOPPING FOR PREPARED SAUCES AND SOUPS
FLAVOR
CONSISTENCY
DIPS
MAYONNAISE
FRESH SALSAS PESTOS AND PUREES
COOKED PUREES APPLESAUCE AND TOMATO SAUCE AND CURRIES AND MOLES
CREAM AND MILK SAUCES
CHEESE SAUCES AND FONDUE
BUTTER SAUCES
ZABAGLIONE AND SABAYONS
SHOPPING FOR GRAINS AND GRAIN PRODUCTS
STORING GRAINS
THE ESSENTIALS OF COOKING GRAINS
BREAKFAST CEREALS
KINDS OF GRAINS
RICE
CORN
PASTAS NOODLES AND COUSCOUS
ASIAN NOODLES AND WRAPPERS
SEED LEGUME SAFETY AND COMFORT
BUYING AND STORING LEGUMES
SPROUTS
THE ESSENTIALS OF COOKING SEED LEGUMES
ADZUKIS TO TEPARIES
SOY MILK TOFU TEMPEH AND MISO
NUT AND SEED SAFETY
BUYING AND STORING NUTS AND SEEDS NUT BUTTERS AND OILS
THE ESSENTIALS OF COOKING NUTS AND SEEDS
ALMONDS TO WALNUTS
BREAD SAFETY
SHOPPING FOR BREADS AND BAKING INGREDIENTS
FLOURS
WATER AND SALT
YEASTS
OTHER COMMON BREAD INGREDIENTS
THE ESSENTIALS OF MAKING YEAST BREADS
MIXING AND KNEADING DOUGH
FERMENTING DOUGH
FORMING AND RAISING LOAVES
BAGELS AND SWEET BREADS
PIZZAS
QUICK BREADS
DOUGHNUTS AND FRITTERS
PASTRY SAFETY
SHOPPING FOR PASTRY INGREDIENTS AND STORING PASTRIES
FLOURS AND STARCHES
FATS AND OILS
THE ESSENTIALS OF PASTRY MAKING
MIXING AND FORMING PASTRY DOUGHS
BAKING AND COOLING
CRUSTS
PIES AND TARTS
PUFF PASTRY FOR TARTS AND NAPOLEONS CROISSANTS AND DANISH PASTRIES
PHYLLO AND STRUDEL
CREAM PUFFS AND GOUGÈRES
CAKE AND COOKIE SAFETY
SHOPPING FOR CAKE AND COOKIE INGREDIENTS AND STORING CAKES
FLOURS
FATS AND OILS
SUGARS
CHOCOLATE AND COCOA
THE ESSENTIALS OF CAKE MAKING
MIXING BUTTERCAKE BATTERS
MIXING EGGFOAM BATTERS
BAKING AND COOLING
TROUBLESHOOTING CAKES
CUPCAKES SHEET CAKES AND FRUITCAKES
GLAZES ICINGS FROSTINGS AND FILLINGS
COOKIES AND BROWNIES
GRIDDLE CAKE AND BATTER SAFETY
GRIDDLE CAKE INGREDIENTS AND STORAGE
PANCAKES AND BLINI
CREPES AND BLINTZES
CLAFOUTIS
POPOVERS
FRYING AND FRITTER BATTERS
COLD AND FROZEN FOOD SAFETY
THE ESSENTIALS OF FREEZING ICES AND ICE CREAMS
ICE CREAMS
ICES GRANITAS SORBETS AND SHERBETS
COLD AND FROZEN MOUSSES AND SOUFFLÉS
COLD JELLIES
SHOPPING FOR CHOCOLATES AND COCOA
TOOLS FOR WORKING WITH CHOCOLATE
WORKING WITH COCOA POWDER
WORKING WITH CHOCOLATE
TEMPERING CHOCOLATE
USING TEMPERED CHOCOLATE
CHOCOLATE SPREADING COATING AND CLUSTERING
GANACHE
CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
MOLDED CHOCOLATES
CHOCOLATE DECORATIONS AND MODELING CHOCOLATE
SUGAR AND CANDY SAFETY
CHOOSING AND STORING SUGARS SYRUPS AND CANDIES
SUGARS
OTHER CANDY INGREDIENTS
THE ESSENTIALS OF MAKING CANDIES
WORKING WITH SUGAR SYRUPS
SYRUPS AND SAUCES
BRITTLES LOLLIPOPS TOFFEES TAFFIES AND SUGAR WORK
FONDANT FUDGE PRALINES AND CARAMELS
DIVINITY NOUGAT AND MARSHMALLOWS
JELLIES AND GUMS
COFFEE AND TEA SAFETY
BUYING AND STORING COFFEE
BUYING AND STORING TEA
THE ESSENTIALS OF BREWING COFFEE AND TEA
BREWING AND SERVING TEA
GENERAL COOKING
DAIRY PRODUCTS
CHOCOLATE AND CANDIES
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Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Harold McGee is a world-renowned authority on the chemistry of foods and cooking. He studied science and literature at Caltech and Yale, and has written two prize-winning books, On Food and Cooking and The Curious Cook, as well as many articles and reviews. He lives near San Francisco.

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