The Improvisational Cook
Publication Date: February 2011
List Price: $27.50*
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What happens if you . . .
. . . pair prosciutto with roasted pears?
. . . shave Parmesan on French fries?
. . . add pepper to a chocolate cake?
. . . pan-fry macaroni and cheese?
In The Improvisational Cook, Sally Schneider helps home cooks declare their independence from recipes and set lists of ingredients by offering a fun, more spontaneous way to cook. The secret lies in understanding the internal "logic" of a recipe and its creative possibilities.
Start with an essential dish, such as Caramelized Onions. Following Schneider's clear advice, it can become a savory onion jam; a real onion dip; a quick bruschetta topping with anchovies and olives; or a rustic onion soup with dried porcini mushroomsall in just a step or two.
The possibilities are endless. 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.
Schneider gives cooks the know-how to embellish, adapt, change, alter, modify, and experiment in their cooking with plenty of encouragement and helpful information. Here are the tools and insights everyone needs to find his or her own voice in the kitchenfrom where to get inspiration, to learning "what goes with what," to pantry staples that make improvising easy.
Barbara Kafka is a TVFN (Television Food Network) regular, a Gourmet columnist, and a frequent contributor to The New York Times. Her award-winning cookbooks have changed the way Americans cook. She lives in New York City and Vermont.