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on 21 May 2009
Ok, so where do I begin?! I think that I'll start off by saying that this is simply a GREAT book! It does what it says in the title - "Cooking". There're over 500 pages worth of recipes, step-by-step techniques, over 1,500 pictures for those of you who are visual learners, and more! How do I emphasize this enough.. The table of contents are 6 large pages long and consist of:

1. Techniques - e.g. roasting, braising, poaching, smoking, steaming, sauteing, barbecuing, boiling.

2. Starters - e.g. cheese puffs, canapes, tartlets, foie gras terrine, chicken liver mousse, fried squid, crab cakes.

3. Broths and soups - e.g. brown chicken broth, fish broth,, beef consomme, mushroom soup, miso soup, tomato soup, french onion soup, gazpacho, Thai hot-and-spicy shrimp soup, Chinese hot-and-sour soup, oxtail soup.

4. Salads - e.g. vinaigretter, caesar salad, mushroom and duck confit salad, salad nicoise, japanese cucumber sald, pasta or rice salad.

5. Eggs and cheese - e.g. cheese souffles, quiche, cheese fondue.

6. Shellfish - e.g. mussels steamed in white wine, clam chowder, oyster on the half shell, sauteed scallops, shrimp tagine, boiled lobster, blue crab soup, braised squid.

7. Fish - e.g. Salmon teriyaki, red wine fish stew, skates with caper and lemon, grilled tuna, Indian style braised fillet of stiped bass.

8. Beef - e.g. grilled/broiled steak, tenderloin sandwich, the best burgers, beef stew, boeuf a la bourguignonne.

9. Veal - e.g. roasted veal, veal pot roast, veal piccata, sauteed calf's liver, braised sweetbreads with root vegetable mecedoine.

10. Lamb - e.g. braised lamb shank with garlic, roast lamb, lab stew, lamb korma, lamb pot roast.

11. Pork - e.g. roast country ham, pork loin roast, pork tenderloin with apples, barbecued pork spareribs, sweet and sour pork.

12. Chicken and turkey - e.g. roast chicken, provencal chicken with aioli, tomatoes and basil; chicken fricassee with morels, Thai chicken curry, Fried chicken, roast turkey and gravy.

13. Duck and small birds - e.g. sauteed duck breasts, slow roasted duck with red cabbage and apples, duck confit, sauteed whole quail.

14. Vegetables, beans, and herbs - e.g. boiled/steamed vegetables, basic spinach, glazed baby carrots, roast vegetables, baked potatoes, french fries, grilled zucchini, bell peppers with herbs and anchovies, cauliflower gratin, cassoulet.

15. Sauces, salsas, and chutneys - e.g. bechamel sauce, creme anglaise, beurre blanc, bordelaise sauce, brown sauce, bolognese sauce, mayonnaise, tartar sauce, pesto, yakitori sauce, guacamole, Vietnamese basic fish dipping sauce, herb chutney.

16. Pasta, rice, and polenta - e.g. fresh egg pasta noodles, raviolo, aioli, linquine, lasagne, risotto, couscous, rice pilaf, polenta.

17. Quick breads and flat cakes - e.g. blueberry muffins, scones, pancakes, waffles, french toast.

18. Breads - e.g. basic white bread, baguettes, ciabatta, sourdough bread, rye bread, pizza dough, pita bread, focaccia, brioche, cinnamon rolls.

19. Cakes - e.g. classic sponge cakes, pound cakes, angel food cake, Devil's food cake, cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, meringue.

20. Pies and tarts - e.g. apple pie, pecan pie, banana cream pie, cherry cobblers, lemon curd, brown butter.

21. Pastries - e.g. puff pastry, napolens, croissants, danish pastries, eclairs.

22. Custards, souffles, and mousses - e.g. cremem brulee, ginger pots de creme, zabaglione, panna cotta, souffles, narquise, chocolate mousse.

23. Cookies - e.g. butter cookies, shortbread, madeleines, almond tuiles, macaroons, biscotti, brownies, lemon bars.

Plus MANY MANY MORE!!!

(PHEW!)

The recipes are very straightforward and clearly written, making it extremely easy to follow. The book doesn't call for too many hard-to-find ingredients, which is always a bonus! I've tried several recipes already and they've all worked wonderfully and are fail-proof! I cannot recommend this book enough. It'll be suitable for all levels, but especially good for beginners and casual cooks who wants to learn new and correct skills and techniques - as this book has sooooo many pictures showing you how to do things. For those who are experienced cooks, you'll also benefit from this book as it gives you plenty of ideas on what you can do with different cuts of meat, etc.

Overall, a must-buy, a kitchen bible, a good reference. Buy it! You will not be disappointed!
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