With subtitles like the above, book reviewing might become obsolete. Be that as it may, this overwhelmingly successful book is a worthy recipient of all the positive press it serves to generate. Once again, Weinstein and Scarbrough, the authors of three other books and several scores of columns for high quality magazines, gamely showcase their unique ability to take the fear out of frying, flipping, fricasseeing, and flaming. While the authors call this a technique book, they note, “the techniques are focused on and by the recipes….What you’ll find in this book is an alphabetical list of recipe-driven, technique-centered explications that build out into hundreds of dishes.”
As an example, page 134 is titled “Fish Fillets with a Pan Sauce.” In six steps we are hand-led through the process of choosing the correct oil or butter and the appropriate fry pan, dredging the fillets in flour and sautéing, then adding additional oil to the same pan, and sautéing diced aromatics like onion, shallot, leek, or scallions. Then, there’s the addition of diced vegetables or fruit, minced herbs or spices or garlic, and finally a little wine or broth to deglaze and finish the sauce. With the technique on your side, you are now empowered to knock off any number of fish fillet recipes. Cooking Know-How offers eight, including sauces with figs and zucchini, fennel and shallots, and fresh corn relish. In all, sixty-five master recipes (techniques) lead to more than 500 recipes in this remarkable book.