The Improvisational Cook
By Sally Schneider
(William Morrow Cookbooks, Hardcover, 9780060731649, 400pp.)
Publication Date: October 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
In The Improvisational Cook, Sally Schneider helps home cooks declare their independence from recipes and set lists of ingredients and offers an invitation to a fun, more spontaneous way to cook with whatever is on hand. But how do you become an improvisational cook?
Once you understand how a basic technique or a recipe works, you can then begin to improvise. Start with one of The Improvisational Cook's essential recipes, such as Caramelized Onions. A special "Understanding" section follows, explaining the internal "logic" of the recipe and its creative possibilities. With that in mind, a savory onion jam; a real onion dip; a quick bruschetta topped with the onions, anchovies, and olives; or a rustic onion soup with dried porcini mushrooms is just a step or two beyond. Sally's notated improvisations illustrate simple, clever approaches and can be followed as is or used as a jumping-off point.
The possibilities are endless. Slow-roast fish at 300 degrees, along with some cherry tomatoes and olives for a sauce. Prepare a savory lemon jam to go with lamb or veal chops, or turn it into a cake filling. Roast a whole lobster instead of a fish in a salt crust. Add minced rosemary or Earl Grey tea to butter cookie dough. Turn a brownie batter into an elegant pepper-scented chocolate cake.
Sally gives you the know-how to embellish, adapt, change, alter, modify, and experiment in your cooking with plenty of encouragement and helpful information -- the tools and insights you need to find your own voice and cook improvi-sationally. These include an exploration of the "inside" of improvisation -- the creative mind-set, where to find inspiration, how to deal with the unexpected, practical approaches to learning "what goes with what," including a chart of classic flavor affinities, and tips on organizing your kitchen to make improvising easier, from long-keeping pantry staples to makeshift tools.
Using The Improvisational Cook, you'll discover a way of cooking that's fun, unfussy, and truly pleasurable. Everyday cooking can become creative every day.
“...teaching the reader to think like a chef.”