Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Flavor Bible

This book is a must for every chef. Some people just look at ingredients and know how to pair and prepare them. Ahh, yes a creme brulee of foie gras. Yes, that would be perfect.... I'll never forget when my roommate's boyfriend in college cooked for us. The 3 of us that lived together thought we were left for dead. Our fridge was empty. We had a chicken breast and some dry pasta, a little bit of butter....that was about it. Some how, he cooked an amazing dinner that I still remember to this day. You would have thought we had intended dinner to turn out that way. If you know what you're doing, you really can make something out of nothing. Well, for those of us who aren't so culinary-ly inclined, we now have a chance! The Flavor Bible (brought to my attetion by my personal librarian). This book breaks down why people like a meal: taste buds, the mouthfeel, balanced flavors, quality, and as they call, "the X-Factor--visual, emotional and mental. Once you've got these things mastered, you can move on to matching flavors. They do this in different ways: by ingredent and by cuisine (ie African, Southern, etc.). So, if you were looking to cook Belgian cuisine, you would most likely use: almonds, brussels sprouts, potatoes, vinegar, or endive. Who knew!?! Or if you wanted to make a dish with matsutake mushrooms, you would want to pair them with: butter, chicken, cream, fish, mirin, or custard. Impressive, right? Who knew cooking could be this easy!?!? They also have ways to cook the items. The best way to cook sweetbreads is to braise, deep fry, grill, pan roast or saute them. If you like to cook I would definitely check this book out! (by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg)

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