Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook

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9780307396440: Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook

Imagine having Martha Stewart at your side in the kitchen, teaching you how to hold a chef’s knife, select the very best ingredients, truss a chicken, make a perfect pot roast, prepare every vegetable, bake a flawless pie crust, and much more.

In Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, you get just that: a culinary master class from Martha herself, with lessons for home cooks of all levels.

Never before has Martha written a book quite like this one. Arranged by cooking technique, it’s aimed at teaching you how to cook, not simply what to cook. Delve in and soon you’ll be roasting, broiling, braising, stewing, sautéing, steaming, and poaching with confidence and competence. In addition to the techniques, you’ll find more than 200 sumptuous, all-new recipes that put the lessons to work, along with invaluable step-by-step photographs to take the guesswork out of cooking. You’ll also gain valuable insight into equipment, ingredients, and every other aspect of the kitchen to round out your culinary education.

Featuring more than 500 gorgeous color photographs, Martha Stewart’s Cooking School is the new gold standard for everyone who truly wants to know his or her way around the kitchen. 

This best-selling cookbook originally inspired Martha Stewart's beloved PBS series of the same name and includes some of the recipes the show featured in its first seasons.

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Prime Rib Roast
Serves 8

Prime rib, or standing rib roast, has long been a mainstay at the holiday table (where it is often paired with Yorkshire pudding, a British specialty made from the pan juices and a simple batter of flour, eggs, and milk). As it is expensive, prime rib should be handled with extra care. It is imperative that you have an instant-read thermometer for determining the internal temperature; if allowed to cook too long, the meat will no longer be a rosy pink inside, the optimal color for any high-quality roast. Remove the roast when still rare, as it will continue to cook as it rests, rising as much as 10 degrees in 20 minutes.

Rubbing meat (as well as chicken and fish) with herbs, spices, and a bit of oil will add tremendous flavor. Here, the beef is coated with a mixture of bay leaves, sage, and orange zest, all familiar holiday flavors. Allowing the meat to “marinate” in the rub overnight deepens the flavor even more. A similar result is achieved by simply salting the meat a day or two before roasting, whereby the salt will have penetrated the meat much like a brining solution.

Larger roasts such as prime rib, crown roast, and a whole turkey are started at a high temperature (450°F) to sear the meat, then the temperature is lowered after 30 minutes to prevent the outside from burning before the meat is cooked through. The exterior won’t develop a crust right away, but the initial high heat gives the outside a head start so that it will be perfectly browned in the end.

For Rub
· 15dried bay leaves, crumbled
· 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves, plus several whole leaves for garnish
· 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
· Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
· 1/3 cup finely grated orange zest (from 2 to 3 oranges)
For Roast
· 1 three-rib prime rib of beef (about 7 pounds), trimmed and frenched
Prepare meat: Stir together crumbled bay leaves, sage, the oil, 1½ teaspoons salt, and the orange zest in a small bowl. Season with pepper. Rub herb mixture all over the beef, coating evenly. Refrigerate overnight, covered. About 2 hours before you plan to cook the beef, remove it from the refrigerator. Place beef, fat side up, in a roasting pan and allow it to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450°F.

Roast: Cook beef for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350°F and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into meat (away from bone) registers 115°F to 120°F (for rare), about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes longer. Let rest 20 minutes.

Carve and serve Slice meat away from ribs, cutting along the bones. Then, slice meat crosswise to desired thickness. Serve, garnished with whole sage leaves.

From Booklist:

This comprehensive introduction to cooking overflows with helpful instruction in all matters culinary. As with any professional, Stewart understands that kitchen success is founded on the best battery of utensils. Making no assumptions, the book displays an array of cooking tools (but no electrical appliances) to outfit a basic kitchen. An inventory of ingredient staples includes just herbs, spices, onion family members, and citrus fruits. Ever a firm believer in the French fundamentals, Stewart commences with recipes for stocks that form bases for flavorful soups and sauces. But to attract contemporary cooks, she immediately turns chicken stock into a decidedly un-French tortilla soup. She also explains the making of dashi, a basic soup from Japanese cuisine. She goes so far as to analyze the complicated task of clarifying a consommé, rarely addressed in contemporary home cooking. The sequence of recipes follows a thoughtful lesson plan so that basic techniques build on one another. Photographs show what to expect at different steps along the way. Ambitious students may pursue more advanced techniques appearing in sections labeled “extra credit.” Meat, poultry, and fish cookery forms the book’s largest section. An entire chapter addresses pasta exclusively, befitting its key role in today’s cooking. The Martha Stewart label will attract a host of readers. --Mark Knoblauch

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