I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking

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9781584790839: I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking
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Blending humor, wisdom, history, pop culture, science, and basic cooking knowledge, the host of Food Network's Good Eats presents an indispensable, innovative, and instructional cooking guide that features various cooking techniques accompanied by a "master" recipe for each technique, and provides a vast array of food-related tips and advice. 75,000 first printing.

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Review:

Alton Brown, host of Food Network's Good Eats, is not your typical TV cook. Equal parts Jacques Pépin and Mr. Science, with a dash of MacGyver, Brown goes to great lengths to get the most out of his ingredients and tools to discover the right cooking method for the dish at hand. With his debut cookbook, I'm Just Here for the Food, Brown explores the foundation of cooking: heat. From searing and roasting to braising, frying, and boiling, he covers the spectrum of cooking techniques, stopping along the way to explain the science behind it all, often adding a pun and recipe or two (usually combined, as with Miller Thyme Trout).

I'm Just Here for the Food is chock-full of information, but Brown teaches the science of cooking with a soft touch, adding humor even to the book's illustrations--his channeling of the conveyer belt episode of I Love Lucy to explain heat convection is a hoot. The techniques are thoroughly explained, and Brown also frequently adds how to augment the cooking to get optimal results, including a tip on modifying a grill with a hair dryer for more heat combustion. But what about the food? Brown sticks largely to the traditional, from roast turkey to braised chicken piccata, though he does throw a curveball or two, such as Bar-B-Fu (marinated, barbecued tofu). And you'll quickly be a convert of his French method of scrambling eggs via a specially rigged double boiler--the resulting dish is soft, succulent, and lovely. But more than just a recipe book, I'm Just Here for the Food is a fascinating, delightful tour de force about the love of food and the joy of discovery. --Agen Schmitz

About the Author:

Alton Brown began his television career as a cameraman and eventually became a director of commercials and corporate films. When he wasn't shooting, he was cooking and watching cooking programs, which he constantly criticized as dull and uninformative. Tired of the griping, Brown's wife (and now producer) DeAnna suggested that they do something about it. They moved to Vermont so that Brown could attend the New England Culinary Institute. During the years of study that followed, Brown concocted a new kind of food show, one which he would write, direct, and star in. It came to life as Good Eats, now one of the top-rated shows on Scripps-Howard's Food Network. This is Brown's first book.

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