This is a cookbook that teaches you about cooking in an easy and unique way. With the current long waitlist and me not wanting to return it, I may have to purchase it!
This book is aimed at a cook with some, but not extensive experience who wants to take his/her dishes to another level and explore beyond executing recipes. The first half is a must-read about how to use fat, salt, acid, and heat to enhance the flavours of a meal. It refers to recipes in the second half, many of which provide multiple options to showcase the techniques learned in the first half. The book complements Netflix’s series of the same name, which has author Samin lead the viewer through four episodes each of which is based in a single country: fat (Italy), salt (Japan), acid (Mexico), and heat (the U.S. and Samin’s kitchen). There’s much to learn in the first half and the recipes look good, so I will be buying this book to have a permanent reference.
A beautiful book for anyone that wants to LEARN to cook and not copy a recipe - although there are many WONDERFUL recipes included.
Here we go again: Yet another book I felt compelled to purchase after borrowing. This cookbook is unique in that it fully explains the rationale (chemistry, if you will) for recipe instructions. I didn't read it all the way through but decided that I surely need to. I think this book holds the key to transforming my cooking (into something edible each time), whether I use a recipe or not!
This is not really a cookbook, but it's much better. Take your time and read the beginning carefully as it outlines how Salt, Acid, Fat and Heat all work individually and together. The second half of the book shows these concepts in practice, in a more traditional format. But, the true value of the book comes from the theory.
Some people on the internet highly recommended this book and I'm glad I found it at the library!
Way too much to read for explaining these concepts. We're not looking to be scientists but just need easy steps to cook, dear author. Perusing helped me only to get thru it.
I wish I had a book like this years ago! A definite gift for budding or wannabe cooks - much more than the usual list of recipes: it teaches you _how_ to approach creating food with four cornerstones of making food influenced by practices around the world. There are charts about doing things in different ways depending on the ethnic origin, which make things like spicing more than lists of recipe ingredients.
It's light on essential techniques like knife-work and tools usage, but that's not what it's about. If you master the concepts in this book you'll be one of those people who can "make anything with anything."
when I first took out the book, I thought the "heat" was going to help in the area of heat as applied to spice heat. Since I often make things too spicy for others, I was intrigued. I liked the concept of the book, and was impressed while flipping through. at a closer and more thorough read, I wasn't as happy. I should say that i prefer books which combine great cooking with health in mind, we're in the year 2017... All this saturated fat. There are other fats out there , and she barely mentions them. It almost seemed that she tailored her advice to fit a catchy title. salt fat heat and acid are not the only or even the most important things to consider, and she even goes into umami very briefly, but saying that you can have" toomami". well, if you're going to mention that you can have too much of that, maybe that should be in the title, too. Ever have something that's too sweet? wrong texture? Just a few examples. She talks a lot , and that's cool, but at the expense of good information, after all, this is meant to instruct people on cooking very well. I would have preferred it if her personal stuff was in a separate section at the beginning or end, so that you didn't have to go through it to get to the cooking instruction. I took away some good ideas from the book, though not much was new
Even seasoned kitchen wizards will learn a thing or two from this "cookbook." I've cooked the conveyor belt chicken (Excellent and easy!), the fettucini alfredo, the pomodoro sauce, and the persian-ish rice. With the exception of slightly burning my rice, so far all of the recipes have been spot on- delicious AND intuitive.
I've got a new understanding about the nature of salt and why it matters so much. The illustrations are superb. The narrative is sweet and humble, with stories that really help to drive her points across.
The author also is from San Diego-- it is great to support a chef with SD roots.
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