Friday, December 10, 2010

Weekend Cooking - a welcome addition to the cookbook shelf

Author: David Joachim
Publisher/Format:Robert Rose (2005), Paperback, 621 pages
Subject: Food definitions
Genre:  Reference
Source:  Public Library

This is a fantastic guide that would be a welcome addition to any well stocked cookbook collection.  Even for those who do not have a lot of cookbooks, this one is quite useful.  I've been thumbing through it now for the past two weeks since I got it from the library, and with all the holiday cooking, it has really come in handy.  For instance, tonite I had a recipe that called for grinding almonds in a food processort to make almond flour.  I really didn't want to get the food processor  out just to do this, particularly when I had purchased a bag of almond flour last week because several cookie recipes I'm planning to bake called for this.  However, I was at a loss on how to convert cups of chopped almonds to cups of almond flour.  Joachim's guide had it right there.

There are definitions of ingredients with lists of acceptable substitutions.  What do you do if you don't have any  persimmons for your mother in law's favorite recipe?  There are also exceptionally thorough tables of conversions, listing metrics, liquids, solids, etc. etc. etc.

I noted when I went to order this one for myself that there is a new edition out. .  The cover indicates:
Practical and enjoyable to read, this new edition of The Food Substitutions Bible has the best instructions for the home cook or professional chef who needs to find a great substitution when a vital ingredient is missing at a critical time in the preparation of a recipe.
Every substitution includes exact proportions and precise directions for making accurate, reliable replacements. Out of confectioner's sugar? Finely grind half a cup plus one and a half tablespoons of granulated sugar with three-quarters of a teaspoon of cornstarch in a blender or small food processor.
This new edition features:
More than 300 new entries and cross-references for ingredients, such as agave nectar, and equipment, such as a mandoline. Five new ingredient charts and measurement tables, such as Picking Coffee, Container Size Equivalents and Alcohol Retention in Cooking 20 percent more content overall...
The straightforward page design makes each entry, chart and sidebar easy to understand and follow. This new edition is bigger, better, updated, expanded and completely revised, providing more information more readily.

I'm not waiting for Santa on this one.

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