The Competent Cook

The Competent Cook

Lauren Braun Costello

Language: English

Pages: 179

ISBN: 160550145X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The kitchen can be an intimidating place for those who don’t know whether they should blanch, braise, or broil. But not everyone can afford to go out whenever they want to eat well! So how does the hopeful cook learn to create delicious cuisine?

In this cookbook, professional caterer and cooking expert Lauren Braun Costello gives the gourmet wannabe plenty of food for thought, including how to:

Organize the kitchen to maximize space and accessibility
Stock the pantry with essential tools and ingredients
Master the ten techniques every home chef should know
Whip up classic recipes, adapted to different palates and skill levels
Use lingo you’ve always wondered about (what is coulis, anyway?)

Starting with the most basic skills and building to advanced techniques, this culinary compendium serves up a complete A-to-Z course that starts out al dente and finishes with some zest!















preferred model among professionals. The iconic American rolling pin, with its two side handles and heavy (usually wooden but occasionally marble) cylinder that rolls freely around ball bearings or a center axle, was once the home baker’s standard. More people are now familiar with the French rolling pin and its unquestionable superiority. While the American rolling pin does not require much muscle to move across dough given its weight and construction, it is cumbersome to control. Though you

added fat for leaner, lighter fare. Electric grills are either open or closed, with one or two nonstick cooking surfaces. Open models resemble an outdoor grill with a rack that rests above a heating element, or a grid that is the heating element itself with embedded electric coils. Food needs to be turned to cook on both sides. Closed electric grills, like waffle irons and panini presses, have heated electric coils on the base and the top to provide direct heat contact, cooking both sides of

noodles like spaghetti or linguine. It’s not an essential tool since tongs do the same job with greater control. Pastry Blender or Cutter This tool has a wooden, metal, or rubber handle with several arched metallic blades attached that form a “D” shape. It’s used to cut solid fat into a flour-based mixture when making any variety of pastry dough. It’s a useful tool that keeps your fingers clean, but does the same job your fingers would! Pizza Peel This giant wooden (or metal) paddle easily

stone fruits (nectarines, plums, apricots) are best left on the counter. The cupboard is completely dark, whereas the counter is exposed to ceiling and indirect outdoor light because (if you have windows in your kitchen). Never place any groceries to be stored on the counter in direct sunlight. When in doubt, of course, store food in the fridge. Get to Know Your Grocer The best way to make the local grocery store feel more like your grocery store is to speak up! Get to know the management and

kosher salt 2 cups raspberry jam confectioners’ sugar for dusting ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT dry measuring cups measuring spoons mixing bowls hand or standing mixer rubber spatula wooden spoon rolling pin cookie cutters silicone baking liners cookie sheets cooling rack butter knife sifter ESSENTIAL TECHNIQUES mise en place “spoon and sweep” flour beating sugar and eggs (blanchir) combining wet and dry ingredients separately baking MAKES 18 4-INCH SANDWICHES. 1 Beat the sugar,

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