All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking

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9780393052305: All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
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From the perfect pot roast to the fragrant complexity of braised endive, there's no food more satisfying than a well-braised dish.

The art of braising comes down to us from the earliest days of cooking, when ingredients were enclosed in a heavy pot and buried in the hot embers of a dying fire until tender and bathed in a deliciously concentrated sauce. Today, braising remains as popular and as uncomplicated as ever. Molly Stevens's All About Braising is a comprehensive guide to this versatile way of cooking, written to instruct a cook at any level. Everything you need to know is here, including:
  • a thorough explanation of the principles of good braising with helpful advice on the best cuts of meat, the right choice of fish and vegetables, and the right pots,
  • 125 reliable, easy-to-follow recipes for meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables, ranging from quick-braised weeknight dishes to slow-cooked weekend braises,
  • planning tips to highlight the fact that braised foods taste just as good, if not even better, as leftovers,
  • a variety of enlightened wine suggestions for any size pocketbook with each recipe.
16 color photographs, 50 line drawings

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Review:

Braising--cooking food slowly and at low temperatures in a closed pot with a little liquid--produces deeply flavorful food. Molly Stevens's All About Braising is a definitive exploration of this soul-satisfying approach to food. With 125 simple recipes for braises of all kinds--from meat and poultry through seafood and vegetables, plus a thorough anatomy of technique (Stevens explores oven versus stovetop braising, for example)--the book will please cooks at every skill level. Most importantly, perhaps, it will send them to the kitchen to prepare enticing dishes such as Braised Endive with Prosciutto, Whole Chicken Braised with Pears and Rosemary, Duck Ragu with Pasta, and Veal Shoulder Braised with Figs & Sherry. Braises can also taste as good or better the next day, and Stevens supplies advice for second-day service. Included, too, is an "Opinionated Pantry" which, besides exploring relevant ingredients, expresses Stevens's ongoing commitment to using only the best and freshest available.

Throughout, Stevens's offers sensible, rewarding counsel. "If it comes down to a matter of cooking or not cooking dinner for your family," she says, "I recommend buying commercially raised chicken [as opposed to locally produced or other naturally raised poultry]. Make a satisfying home cooked meal, and sit down and enjoy it with your family." In other words, Stevens is wise. "The act of cooking on a regular basis will make you a better cook," she concludes, "and will improve the quality of your life and of those around you." --Arthur Boehm

About the Author:

Molly Stevens is the author of All About Roasting and All About Braising, the latter of which won both the James Beard and the IACP cookbook awards. A contributing editor at Fine Cooking magazine, she lives near Burlington, Vermont.

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