Thursday, 28 October 2010

Me and Harold McGee

A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes
Harold McGee
Hardcover, 576 pages

Actually Harold McGee doesn't know who I am, really, but I know who he is! And although we have never been busted flat in Baton Rouge together, we are quite a team in the kitchen. My kitchen that is. You see Harold McGee is a renowned food scientist and best selling author, as well as being the Curious Cook, a fascinating food science columnist, online and in The New York Times.
McGee has devoted his life to understanding the reasons why foods behave a certain way. The science behind cooking, baking, and even fresh foods. He presents the information in a very easily usable and understandable manner - with quick cross-links and access to further information.

Keys to Good Cooking is not a cookbook, but rather an indispensable resource to understanding the scientific properties and processes of food and cooking, and how to use this information to prepare foods safely and to the best of their potential. 

With all the cookbooks out there and on your shelves, you know who you are!, many with contradictory methods for the same dish - you will be able to discern what will work and how to make the best of each dish.

The chapters in Keys to Good Cooking include:

1. Getting to Know Foods
2. Basic Kitchen Resources: Water, the Pantry, and the Refrigerator
3. Kitchen Tools
4. Heat and Heating Appliances
5. Cooking Methods
6. Cooking Safely
7. Fruits
8. Vegetables and Fresh Herbs
9. Milk and Dairy Products
10. Eggs
11. Meats
12. Fish and Shellfish
13. Sauces, Stocks, and Soups
14. Dry Grains, Pastas, Noodles, and Puddings
15. Seed Legumes: Beans, Peas, Lentils, and Soy Products
16. Nuts and Oil Seeds
17. Breads
18. Pastries and Pies
19. Cakes, Muffins, and Cookies
20. Griddle Cakes, Crepes, Popovers, and Frying Batters
21. Ice Creams, Ices, Mousses, and Jellies
22. Chocolate and Cocoa
23. Sugars, Syrups, and Candies
24. Coffee and Tea

Check out Harold in action, playing with moist veggies. 

I like a man who plays with his food!

Keys to Good Cooking is an invaluable resource for all cooks, beginners to professionals, and deserves to get good and worn and food-splattered in your kitchen.