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The New Making of a Cook is a handbook for good, hands-on cooking, offering a variety of styles. Madeleine explains each and every preparation and cooking technique worth knowing in today's kitchen, from julienning vegetables to roasting meats, from microwaving whole fish to baking bread, from deglazing a pan to boning a chicken, complete with step-by-step line drawings. For Madeleine, hand techniques still reign supreme over the machine; nothing can beat a cook's touch for determining when a cake is ready or when a steak is done, or a sharp eye to perceive when a sauce has achieved the perfect consistency. Madeleine takes the time to provide all the descriptive cues necessary for the cook to use his or her own determination as to whether it's time to move on to the next step or whether the dish is done. Understanding ingredients and how they react in combination or when subjected to heat is a big part of becoming an experienced cook. The New Making of a Cook tells the important whats and whys of cooking: What's the difference between mono- and polyunsaturated fats? What happens when fruits ripen? Why do egg whites stiffen when they are beaten? Knowing the answers to these and other questions will help the cook develop culinary judgment and the ability to troubleshoot a recipe.
"In her new version, a whopper at more than a thousand pages, Kamman incorporates new cooking techniques and brings her recipes into line with modern thinking on diet and nutrition....Kamman has written her book for the budding professional or the serious amateur who wants to achieve pre-professional expertise....Kamman's tome stands as a monolith, issuing a challenge to every cook with ambition, determination and the biceps to lift it off the shelf."
William Grimes, New York Times Book Review, 12/07/1997Review:
"First, let it be said that this is an impressive work, if only for the sheer volume of material it contains and the well-researched and often useful commentary....[But] the curiously eclectic choice of recipes makes it difficult to find any unifying force....If the book included more straightforward master recipes, the more personal, somewhat offbeat dishes...might be viewed as charming variations on a theme instead of offerings that pull the core of the book off center....When she is good, she is very, very good, but when she abandons rigor for idiosyncrasy, the book falls short of its considerable potential."
Christopher Kimball, Cook's Illustrated, May/June 1998
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