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Desc:Developed by an ex-Microsoft inventor/polymath, this book is the state of the art of cooking today.
Category:Science & Technology, Arts
Tags:food, nerds, cooking, modernist cuisine, molecular gastronomy
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Comment count is 7
Oscar Wildcat - 2011-09-03
Pure Evil. I just had a look at the index. Basil is listed on three pages, simply as an ingredient. Oregano does not even appear in the index.

My kitchen garden has seven distinct varieties of oregano, each useful in different dishs ( some are hot enough to strip paint, others so mild that they make a great pesto with lemon,parsley, and breadcrumbs ). I have five varieties of basil this year. Cinnamon and lemon for making tea, thai for asian cook, sweet for italian, and sweet dani for butter.

For a book that purports to teach the alpha and omega of cooking, and to neglect even these two most rudimentary herbs, is 5 star Evil.
wtf japan - 2011-09-03
What would you recommend instead, Oscar? Especially for a beginner.

Oscar Wildcat - 2011-09-04
Wow, that's a tough question. I assume Mom is either unavailable or just doesn't have the chops? A common problem these days...

I learned how to cook the same way I learned how to use the tools we are using here now; trial and error with a generous helping of reverse engineering. I lived in NYC for about 20 years and ate out a lot, thus getting some idea about what was possible and what different things tasted like. If I liked something, I would take a crack at it at home. A little research (google makes this real easy today) would turn up a few recipe variations, then comes the reverse engineering to get to what was on my plate at the restaurant. Good tools are always helpful; frequent your local Goodwills and when some poor grandmother passes you'll pick up good solid cooking tools that will last another lifetime. Don't buy gimmicks ( slapchop, I'm lookin' right at you ). Buy real stuff. Buy plain carbon steel knives that you can sharpen, and keep them sharp. Avoid things with plastic bits, they break and just feel crappy to use ( wood and steel are your friends here ).

What I always found lacking in cookbooks is that they don't tell you what something is supposed to taste like or just, well, _be_ like. Rather like sex manuals, they purport to tell you everything yet leave you completely at sea when the time comes to get busy. Again, there is no substitute for eating out a lot and paying close attention to what you are eating ( in both cases ).

If you're really a noob, my SO just now suggested a book called "Kitchen Primer" by Craig Claiborne. It's got really basic instructions, with clever little illustrations, for the kinds of things most Americans would be familiar with (for example, an excellent homemade mac and cheese).

Finally, take notes and keep a log. You never think you'll forget these things, but you do, and a few minutes with the notes will save you many embarassing evenings.

As a bonus, some time spent learning to cook well will get you farther with the ladies or gentleman than anything these fucktard PUAs could imagine. Trust me.

flotsam - 2011-09-05
You could always start with simple recipes, wtf japan. If you're a lazy cook like myself, then you'll find BBC's one pot recipes handy: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/search.do?keywords=One-pot

My favorite recipes are:

Sausage Mash - http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5161/sausages-with-oregano-mush rooms-and-olives

With this I exchanged the olives in brine for olives in red wine vinegar. I served it with french bread drizzled with olive oil.

Chicken & White Bean Stew - http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/9021/chicken-and-white-bean-ste w

I used Navy beans instead of Haricot beans and served it with oven toasted Sourdough bread.

If you made too much, you can always freeze the remainder as portions.

wtf japan - 2011-09-06
You guys are awesome. I tried cooking out of beginner books for a bit, but I suffered from several of the problems you identified. (Is it *supposed* to be bland?)

My plan now is to master my regional specialties (i.e., southern/soul food) first, since I know what they are taste like and can definitely get help/advice from someone nearby if I get stuck. Then, I'll start to branch out geographically.

Adham Nu'man - 2011-09-03
I won't buy it but it looks cool.
Robin Kestrel - 2011-09-04
Food porn for rich people.
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