CookWise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed
Can you tell whether a recipe will work before you cook it? You can if you really know what's cooking.
In the long-awaited CookWise, food sleuth Shirley Corriher tells you how and why things happen in cooking. When you know how to estimate the right amount of baking powder, you can tell by looking at the recipe that the cake is overleavened and may fall. When you know that too little liquid for the amount of chocolate in a recipe can cause the chocolate to seize and become a solid grainy mass, you can spot chocolate truffle recipes that will be a disaster. And, in both cases, you know exactly how to "fix" the recipe. Knowing how ingredients work, individually and in combination, will not only make you more aware of the cooking process, but transform you into a confident and exceptional cook -- a cook who is in control.
CookWise is a different kind of cookbook. There are over 230 outstanding recipes -- from Snapper Fingers with Smoked Pepper Tartar Sauce to Chocolate Stonehenge Slabs with Cappuccino Mousse -- but here each recipe serves not only to please the palate but to demonstrate the roles of ingredients and techniques. A What This Recipe Shows section summarizes the special cooking points being demonstrated in each recipe. This little bit of science in everyday language indicates which steps or ingredients are vital and cannot be omitted without consequences.
Among the recipes you'll also find some surprises. Don't be afraid of a vinaigrette prepared without vinegar or a high-egg-white, crisp pāte ā choux. Many of the concepts used here are Shirley's own. Try her method of sprinkling croissant or puff pastry dough with ice water before folding to keep it soft and easy to roll.
CookWise covers everything from the rise and fall of cakes, through unscrambling the powers of eggs and why red cabbage turns blue during cooking but red peppers don't, to the essential role of crystals in making fudge. Want to learn about what makes a crust flaky? Try the Big-Chunk Fresh Apple Pie in Flaky cheese Crust. Discover for yourself what brining does to poultry in Juicy Roast Chicken.
No matter what your cooking level, you'll find CookWise a revelation. Different people will use CookWise in different ways:
CookWise is not only informative, it's engrossing, and many sections react like a mystery story. The knowledge you gain from its pages will transform you, too, into a food sleuth, an informed and assured cook who can track down why sauces curdle or why the muffins were dry -- a cook who will never prepare a failed recipe again!
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - benjamin.duffy - LibraryThing
Not the kind of book you just sit down and read cover to cover - it is a cookbook, after all - and lacking the adorable, elementary school science teacher vibe she brings to her spots on Alton Brown's ... Read full review
content specific!User Review - mizzpegg - Overstock.com
I had seen Shirley Corriher the author on Good Eats and she writes as well if not better in this book. If you want to know the inner workings of food and why some methods go awry this book will teach you the whys and wherefores. Read full review