Thursday, January 20, 2011
Cookbook watch: educational books
Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. Well, I'm late to the party, you've already read about this book on all the other food blogs, and possibly in magazines as well, It's worth all the buzz, because it's a pretty smart book. And this book will definitely make you a smarter cook, too. It will help you free yourself of recipes (though, why would you want to, if you like me have 200+ cookbooks), and help you develop your own style of cooking and baking. It'll make you successful in dough-making, especially, whether it's pie, biscuits or bread you're making. It's not a flashy book, but it's a helpful one.
Similar in it's non-flashiness, is Ideas in Food by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot. It, also, has a lot of information and a lot of science: how food actually works. It'll tell you what the ingredients do, on a molecular level as well as on a gastronomic. And it has tons of recipes. It's a great resource and a good read, but I do miss inspiring photos.
Mat, vin, öl, sprit ("Food, wine, beer, spirits") by Michel Jamais and Mathias Emilsson is all about the pairing of food and drinks. Not just wine, but as the title implies, also beer and hard spirits that you might not automatically think would go so well with food. It has some complicated and impressive dishes, as well as simpler ones. I'd like to try the Sainte-Maure goat's cheese, on a crisp made from sourdough bread and topped with a sauvignon blanc-reduction. Sounds pretty yummy, no? I find this book very educational and informative, as well as inspirational. And you don't have to appriciate alcohol to enjoy the book - I'll probably just cook the food and not bother about the actual pairings, as I'm a very occasional drinker.