It's All About the FoodChristmas Baking with SusieJ

Shirley Corriher: Cookwise

Shirley Corriher first came to America's attention (and captured my baking heart) on Alton Brown's show, Good Eats. She was chipper, knowledgable and fun. She explained food chemistry so that the home cook, one who had fallen asleep once in high school chemistry perhaps, could understand the reactions that make cooked food delicious.

Cookwise was the first book I read that really made me understand cooking. Michael Ruhlman's Ratio explains what works; Cookwise explains why it works and how changes will affect the dish.

If I had to pick a favorite dish from the book, it would be the quiche, with a nice, straightforward ratio of eggs to milk, and what each part of the recipe does, along with variations.

There are still so many recipes I still want to try: grated sweet potato pudding, buerre rouge, golden tomato bake and chicken with wild dried mushrooms and wine. (Really, could I just quit my job and cook?) Thus, it passes the very first test of a cookbook: does it inspire?

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