Southern Living Home Cooking Basics: A complete illustrated guide to Southern cooking Hardcover – Sep 18 2012
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"Home Cooking Basics illuminates fundamental culinary techniques in this unrivaled guide to classic Southern cooking."
―Virginia Willis, author of Bon Appetit, Y'all!
About the Author
For over 40 years, Southern Living magazine has delivered definitive Southern food, decorating, and entertaining ideas to over 16 million readers monthly, making it one of the most trusted lifestyle brands in the country. With thousands of Southern Living Test Kitchen-approved recipes in the archive, Southern Living is primed to publish a basic cookbook guaranteed to yield successful, flavorful results for those new to the kitchen and experienced cooks alike.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Approximately the first hundred pages provide basic information on kitchen equipment, ingredients, and prep work. These sections include attractive yet informative photographs. The accompanying descriptions are clear, organized, and easy to understand. The chapter on kitchen equipment covers specific types of cookware, bakeware, knives, tools, electrical appliances, barware, and table settings. It includes a picture of each item, a description of what it is used for, and what to look for when buying one. The chapter on ingredients follows a similar format. Again, each item has a picture and a description of how it is typically used in cooking. Information is included on spices, sugars, salts, vinegars, fats/oils, grains, nuts/seeds, cheeses, beans, vegetables, fresh herbs, fruits, meats/fish, and wines. It is very thorough and covers just about every ingredient that would be encountered in Southern cooking. For example, the cheeses are divided into categories (fresh, blue, soft, melting, grilling, and grating), and a total of 39 types of cheese are pictured and described. The chapter on prep work includes definitions of common terms (chop, dice, julienne, etc.) and goes on to provide specific instructions (with photos) for common tasks. For example, how to peel and core and apple, cut up a chicken, separate eggs, and blanch vegetables.
The methods section covers baking, boiling, braising, frying, grilling, roasting, sautéing, and steaming. Recipes are included to help illustrate each method. Photos and detailed instructions help guide the cook through the process. This section is much like a normal cookbook, except with more detailed instructions and step-by-step photos of the cooking process.
The final section of the book includes more recipes, intended to be used by someone who has become more comfortable with cooking, and no longer needs step-by-step photos or highly detailed instructions. It includes a nice, balanced selection of recipes with a focus on Southern types of food. Photos are included for some recipes.
Overall, I think this book is great choice for someone with little or no experience in the kitchen.
What a disappointment.
The recipes are circa mid-nineteenth century using cans of this and tubes of that. For instance the Brunswick Stew uses 2 cans of lima beans and more frozen lima beans with canned cream-style corn and a quarter cup of sugar to make it even sweeter. What a waste of a perfectly good whole chicken!
The green bean casserole is 'updated' using bottled Alfredo sauce instead of the cream of mushroom soup that my mother did in 1955 - but it is still a terrible casserole.
I have traveled in North Carolina, Florida and other parts of the south and have often experienced excellent creative food in the southern tradition. There is none of it in this book!