Cooking School Secrets for Real World Cooks by Linda Carucci

Carucci, a cooking teacher from COPIA in Napa, really knows her stuff. This is a reader’s cookbook. The first 50 pages contain endless information on equipment, cooking skills, methods and menus. Then on to the recipes.

These are the best things I learned from her:

Cook only with Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt

Bake with fine sea salt

Bring food to room temperature before cooking

Always salt a steak at least one hour before grilling

Brine meats before roasting at a 1 part salt to 8 parts water ratio for at least one hour

You can season the brine with sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, chilies, garlic, whatever

Mirepoix, a sauté of onions, carrots, and celery, is the basis of most stocks and many soups

To get the best flavor from your spices: grind them yourself just before adding to the pan, if you can, and add them to the hot oil at the beginning of the cooking

A good chef prepares a meis en place before beginning to cook. Everything is pre-chopped, pre-measured, and pre-heated. All ingredients are lined-up and ready to go

Essential equipment:
Good quality knives
Dutch oven: heavy cast iron, preferably Le Creuset
Stir fry pan: lightweight, nonstick
Instant-read thermometers
A heatproof rubber spatula
Hardwood spoons

These are just a few examples of the ideas presented in this treasure trove.

1 comment:

Tina Vega said...

Hi Cathy - I'm not sure if you're interested in playing BUT someone wrangled me into a game of blog tag and now I'm tagging YOU. The rules are on my blog if you want in!