Most helpful positive review
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Free yourself from cook books and get creative !
on November 30, 2010
Michael Ruhlman will tell you all you need to know about cooking. Therefore, he will discuss ratios with you.
This is no fancy book. There are no spiffy looking pictures along the way. This is basics at their best. Everything is brought to their smallest common denominator.
In part one, he'll show you the many doughs and batters one might want to use while cooking. This is the largest section. Part two consists of stocks and how to deal with them properly. Part three is the meat. Part four shows you the fat-based sauces (very interresting) and we end up with the custard, and it's different states.
Everything is very straight forward. Mr Ruhlman DOES encourage you to be creative, but AFTER you've learned the base. For quick reference, all the ratios are conveniently presented on one of the first few pages. Every ratio, once explained, is followed by a basic recipe. Then, creativity ensues: following recipes are variations on the freshly explained ratio.
Don't be fooled by the small volume of the book: the absence of lavish pictures made it easy for the author to cram in LOTS of information, tips, variations and recipes. You won't, at first, rely on this book instinctivly. But I assure you, leave it where you can see it, sometimes flip a few pages, it's going to grow on you.
I'm very happy with this book, the price was awesome (for a hardcover !), the knowledge is simply unbeatable, yet simple and straight to the point. A MUST get for everyone !
On my end, I'm looking forward to creating my own recipes with the help of this book, especially concerning cakes and other leavened items. Also, it helps a great deal when you want to scale up or down a recipe.