Book To Read

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

I just finished reading Ruhlman's Twenty and I have to say that this is one of the best cookbooks that I have ever read. And yes, I did say read. Ruhlman is also known for his infamous Ratio book, which I think is must reading for anyone who really likes to bake and likes to understand what they are baking.

But why I suggest reading and owning Ruhlman's Twenty is that he explains a lot of the science behind why things are done in specific ways in the kitchen. For example, he explains why you shouldn't mix batter too much. He even explains brine. And he suggests an interesting way to cook bacon!

I have the book in epub, so I can easily just bring up the reader and search for words. But it's a great resource that helps us better understand why we do things in certain ways and what we can do to make things better... like mixing more or mixing less or even which salt works best and at what concentrations.

Ratio, if you haven't seen it, is all about the ratios used to cook certain items, for example, the ratio for choux pastry. Which allows you to look at replacing things like the flour to make it gluten-free or why and how it works.

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Generic's picture
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I saw this today... lifehacker.com/5910362/fry-perfect-crispy-bacon-every-time-by-adding-water and it's actually something that is in Ruhlman's Twenty book (along with the same sort of instruction for onions.) So I thought... why not post this here as well. 

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

I saw this today... lifehacker.com/5910362/fry-perfect-crispy-bacon-every-time-by-adding-water and it's actually something that is in Ruhlman's Twenty book (along with the same sort of instruction for onions.) So I thought... why not post this here as well. 

But where does all the bacon fat go? If it is supposed to keep it from being so airborne? And heck how long does it take? I just watched it, I can't imagine.

I use the foreman grill and all the bacon grease fills up a tray, and the bacon is crisp and chewy not dry and brittle. But it is not airborne, and it is collected. I gotta know where the fat goes?

(Hey now that sounds like another great innkeeper T)  Smiling

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Generic's picture
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Essentially it takes the same amount of time as it would in the oven. Initially the fat renders into the water and therefore settles on the bottom of the pan instead of spreading out. It also minimizes the smell (and spatter). But it does take time.

He basically talks about the same technique (less water) for onions that you want to brown nicely. The sugar leeches into the water and the onions carmelized evenly.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Looking at the video I'd say the bacon fat is now all over the kitchen. In the steam from the water boiling. Your GF grill is a better way to make bacon!

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white pine's picture
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Thanks for posting.  I have never heard of it, but as an avid baker I know it  is all about ratios.  I put them on the book list!

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Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

Along the same lines, I can highly recommend Cook's Illustrated, which I have subscribed to for over 20 years.  Great magazine with no ads...just logically created recipes that work and the scientific explaination for them.  I believer that they were the original "test kitchen", where scientific principles were discussed for use by the home cook.  Cook's now also has a web site for those who prefer to get their information on-line. 

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