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Basic Cooking: All You Need to Cook Well Quickly [Paperback]

Sebastian Dickhaut , Jennifer Newens
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 1 2001 Basic Series
Finally a cookbook especially designed to show young people how to prepare great meals rapidly, while having fun at the same time. Loaded with over 200 color photos, this is a basic, unpretentious cookbook, with the potential of becoming a favorite cookbook in modern kitchens. Previously available only in Germany where it sold more than 100,000 copies in 8 months, this American edition has been carefully edited by a Certified Culinary Professional.

The first section of Basic Cooking covers basic cooking know-how, offers advice on shopping, recommends essential kitchen equipment, and suggests fundamental staple requirements for the pantry. The second part of the book shows you how to put all this knowledge to use through over a hundred tempting recipes. From favorite Italian dishes to Mousse au Chocolat to simple fare, this book has all the key elements. You will find everything from delicious fried potato recipes, to spur-of-the-moment entrees, to basic accompaniments, such as homemade mayonnaise, to go with everything. Loaded with color photos, trendy design, and humorous text, this book transforms cooking from chore to recreation.

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Where can twentysomethings learn to cook? Basic Cooking, first published in Germany and now Americanized, is a good starting place. Relying on bold layouts to keep things visually spirited and a "hip" authorial voice that jollies readers along, the book imparts solid cooking information and core recipes in a direct, friendly way. "Think basic and have fun," the authors exhort; most readers, of whatever age, will.

Assuming kitchen innocence but informed taste, the book offers its readers data on shopping and pantry setup (a sidebar usefully dissects refrigerator space), basic techniques (the labels "strong" and "gentle" cooking are its helpful way of dividing the wet-cooking methods), and over 150 attractive recipes. Recipe chapters begin with basic info--on rice types, for example--and then present photo-illustrated formulas for the likes of spaghetti with clams, caesar salad, baked salmon, and chocolate pudding. The recipes, which include extensive prep information, cover not only simple dishes, as above, but more sophisticated ones such as Whole Fish Baked in Salt, Provincial Vegetable Ragout, and Crème Caramel. With small tutorials such as "Five 5-Minute Savory Sauces" among its trove of show-and-tell material, the book should attract its intended audience and others as well. --Arthur Boehm

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Oct. 22 2000
This is the book I should have had twenty years ago when I was just starting out. It tells you everything about what you need in your kitchen. Not just the usual items that every other book tells you about. This book tells you how to shop so that you don't spend everything you have on food and still come away with the very best ingredients just to name one example.
It is clear that it was written by a culinary professional, however, it does not intimidate the person just setting up their first apartment. The recipes use basic ingredients and the instructions are easy to follow. Though the cook will end up with some very special culinary dishes and will have used complex techniques, they will assume they have not because it was so easy for them to do. Isn't this the way all of us want to learn?
Congratualations on a job very well done. Now I'll be ording my second copy for my daughter as I can't seem to part with the first.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Favortite cookbook March 15 2004
I love this cookbook. I have had it for 5 years, and it is still my favorite. The best thing about it is that it teaches you everything you need to know about stocking your kitchen with essentials, how to cook all different types of foods, and even how to cook for company. The recipes are simple, and taste delicious. I could never get tired of it. Most of the meat dishes are now my staples.
I am actually an accomplished cook, but I bought this book because I used to be a vegetarian, so I did not know how to cook meats. It makes everything simple, and doesn't use crazy ingredients, which makes it a staple for everyday cooking. Also, it tells you how long it takes for prep time and cooking each dish so you can judge if you have time to make it.
I highly recommend this book to beginners and anyone looking for easy fast recipes that will have everyone thinking you are the best hostess ever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book to get you started Oct. 15 2002
This book is much more than a bunch of recipes, it teaches process. I've recently found a passion for cooking. This book has been extremely helpful in allowing me to become a better cook. The other cookbooks I have didn't help nearly as much.
I also like that it is large and lays flat without me having to put something on it. It means I can check the recipe without having to hold the book open at the same time. The vibrant pictures really inspire you to want to try out a recipe. I find that inspiration is often the hardest thing.
In addition to all this, the recipes are great. I wasn't a huge fan of the pumpkin soup, but everything else has turned out wonderful.
This is a must have for anybody who wants to start cooking good meals for themselves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Looks great, tastes great Sept. 24 2002
Lots of color pictures (who doesn't want to see what they're trying to make) that remind me a bit of a certain European furniture catalog....The food is really good and easy, and the lists of M (must-haves), L (luxury) and XL (extra-luxury) ingredients are handy, so you don't buy lots of stuff that looks interesting, and sits on the shelf for years. There's a good mix of healthy and not-healthy stuff for carnivores and vegetarians, so everyone will be happy, and most recipes don't have huge lists of things to slice and dice-great when you're starving and just want to eat. The Chicken Saltimbocca is mighty tasty.
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