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I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking Hardcover – May 1 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (May 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584790830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584790839
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 3.4 x 23.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #230,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Alton Brown, host of Food Network's Good Eats, is not your typical TV cook. Equal parts Jacques Pépin and Mr. Science, with a dash of MacGyver, Brown goes to great lengths to get the most out of his ingredients and tools to discover the right cooking method for the dish at hand. With his debut cookbook, I'm Just Here for the Food, Brown explores the foundation of cooking: heat. From searing and roasting to braising, frying, and boiling, he covers the spectrum of cooking techniques, stopping along the way to explain the science behind it all, often adding a pun and recipe or two (usually combined, as with Miller Thyme Trout).

I'm Just Here for the Food is chock-full of information, but Brown teaches the science of cooking with a soft touch, adding humor even to the book's illustrations--his channeling of the conveyer belt episode of I Love Lucy to explain heat convection is a hoot. The techniques are thoroughly explained, and Brown also frequently adds how to augment the cooking to get optimal results, including a tip on modifying a grill with a hair dryer for more heat combustion. But what about the food? Brown sticks largely to the traditional, from roast turkey to braised chicken piccata, though he does throw a curveball or two, such as Bar-B-Fu (marinated, barbecued tofu). And you'll quickly be a convert of his French method of scrambling eggs via a specially rigged double boiler--the resulting dish is soft, succulent, and lovely. But more than just a recipe book, I'm Just Here for the Food is a fascinating, delightful tour de force about the love of food and the joy of discovery. --Agen Schmitz

From Publishers Weekly

Known as the successful host of Good Eats currently airing on the Food Network Channel, Alton Brown brings an MTV style to food and cooking. He applies his winning formula of pop culture combined with history, science and common sense to his first cookbook. He offers his formula of food preparation ("food + heat = cooking"), explaining each process and food element in quirky sound bites. Starting with searing and taking in grilling, water and eggs among other elements, he uses diagrams, captions, sidebars and footnotes. Each module has a master recipe that applies the tactic explained to a dish and is followed by several others to emphasize the lesson. He carefully integrates his recipe to produce a comprehensive repertoire, whether it's Skirt Steak: The Master Recipe, Chicken Piccata or Lamb "Pot Roast." Despite its unconventional style, this is a solid volume presented in a lively, fun manner guaranteed to put cooking in the reach of just about anyone: Alton Brown + Cook = Success.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Alton Brown is the mastermind behind the Food Network's show, "Good Eats". As "Good Eats" success began to blossom, Alton decided to try his hand at a book. As fans began to wait in anticipation of "I'm Just Here For The Food: Food + Heat = Cooking," it was assumed that this book would be a take off from his show "Good Eats". However, it is not, but does show you what Alton enjoys most of cooking - the science, the understanding of what goes on in the kitchen.
The book's chapters are divided into cooking processes, such as grilling, braising, microwaving and more. In each chapter, he explains the type of heat, what method is best for applying this heat and some recipes as examples. By understanding the heating process, and thus, the science behind cooking, the more in control of each meal or recipe you will be.
He explains scientific terms in a manner in which a layman can understand. He also explains those unspoken rules to cooking that most cookbooks do not explain, either from the assumption that you went to culinary school too, or because the writer did not know these rules either.
His usual humor and wit is ever present in this book. In fact, you feel like Alton is actually reading the book to you! He uses his own terms for things, such as "software" (food), "hardware" (pots, pans, and utensils) and "application" (cooking process). He even has funny diagrams and photographs in case you wanted an extra chuckle.
Also included in this book is an explanation of ingredients, such as the varieties of butter: unsalted, clarified, whipped, buttermilk and margarine. So, if you were at all confused, you will no longer be.
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Format: Hardcover
If you want recipies, this isn't the book for you. Sure, there are recipies in the book, but the real focus of the book is on learning how to cook.
Early in the book, Alton compares recipies to step-by-step directions to a location. But what do you do if a road is closed, or you can't turn left at a certain corner. If you don't already know the area, what you need is a map. This book is a map.
Cooking is defined as appling heat to food. The organization of the book is around the various methods of heating foods. The central theme is to understand how different kinds of heat affects different kinds of food.
If you love the Food Network's show, Good Eats (host, Alton Brown), you'll enjoy this book. Alton brings the same instructive nature and moves it from film to paper. But don't expect to find any of the recipies from the TV show here. It's all original material. (Okay... There are a couple of paragraphs that have been uttered on the show. But we're not talking recycled material here.)
So, if you want to learn how to cook, this book is for you. If you want a recipe book. Go someplace else, and then come back here when you're ready to learn how to cook!
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Format: Hardcover
In the interest of being objective I must disclose that this book is not what I expected it to be. It was my hope that the book would contain a large amount of information and recipes from the "Good Eats" television show. As anybody who has watched the shows and gone to the web to get a recipe knows - the recipes are just a series of steps that have none of the details from the show.
This leads me to my main criticism of the book. All of the recipes are short and have little of the detail viewers are accustomed to getting. At the very start of the book Mr. Brown aspires to be a "culinary cartographer" laying out recipes as maps instead of just instructions so that followers can gain a deeper understanding of what is happening. In describing cooking methods he partially deals with this but not to the degree I had hoped. When it comes to the recipes readers are left without a compass.
There are definitely some good parts of the book where experienced cooks can cull some extra information. I found the sections on cleanliness and the basic culinary toolbox very informative and wished there were more sections like them which brings me to my final point. These sections are different in that Mr. Brown shares wisdom that he has gleaned over the years as opposed to raw knowledge of what happens when you boil water in a microwave. If you are looking for a book that explains how recipes tick I would recommend "The Best Recipe" instead.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't consider myself a chef, but I love to cook, and people love what I cook. This wasn't the first cookbook that I read from cover to cover either. However, I have never enjoyed a cookbook quite so much. It is very entertaining and informative. I've been cooking for years, and yet, I learned so much from this book. I learned some new cooking techniques, and although I was already familiar with quite a few of the techniques that Alton Brown uses, I learned why I do it that way. My picata recipe only varied slightly from Alton's but his was definitely an improvement! I really think men would read and use this cookbook more than any other. I will probably be getting a copy for my son. There are a few typographical errors that I've discovered as a transcribe some recipes into my recipe program, such as 1/4 tsp ground in the Marinated Flank Steak Recipe. I decided to ignore that ingredient, and my recipe still turned out fine. I don't think he meant dirt...did you, Alton? Anyway, I still give it 5 stars and recommend it highly!!
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