For culinary visionary Michael Ruhlman, the question is not whether the chicken or the egg came first, it's how anything could be accomplished in the kitchen without the magic of the common egg. Read more...
For culinary visionary Michael Ruhlman, the question is not whether the chicken or the egg came first, it's how anything could be accomplished in the kitchen without the magic of the common egg. He starts with perfect poached and scrambled eggs and builds up to brioche and Italian meringue. Along the way readers learn to make their own mayonnaise, pasta, custards, quiches, cakes, and other preparations that rely fundamentally on the hidden powers of the egg.
A unique framework for the book is provided in Ruhlman's egg flowchart, which starts with the whole egg at the top and branches out to describe its many uses and preparations -- boiled, pressure-cooked, poached, fried, coddled, separated, worked into batters and doughs, and more. A removable illustrated flowchart is included with the book.
Nearly 100 recipes are grouped by technique and range from simple (Egg Salad with Tarragon and Chives) to sophisticated (nougat). Dozens of step-by-step photographs guide the home cook through this remarkable culinary journey.
- ISBN-13: 9780316254069
- ISBN-10: 0316254061
- Publisher: Little Brown and Company
- Publish Date: April 2014
- Page Count: 256
- Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.1 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.95 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-04-07
- Reviewer: Staff
Ruhlman (Ruhlman’s Twenty; Charcuterie) pays homage to the amazing egg in this appetizing exploration of the greatest of all foods. He starts with the basics, from hard-cooked to gently fried to poached, and shows how to perfectly prepare each. Curried egg salad and poached duck egg on duck confit hash are just a taste of what eggs can do. Omelets with creamy morel mushrooms, bacon and sausage breakfast strata, and frittatas made with potatoes, onions, and cheese elevate the egg even higher. Yet it can switch from star role to helper—in a binder, egg wash, or as an enricher. Breads such as brioche and challah and most cakes rely on eggs as leaveners. Ruhlman’s regard for this simple ingredient is evident as he describes the multiple functions it serves and then offers up recipes for a wide array of appetizing dishes. Scrumptious desserts including chocolate mocha cake and crunchy French meringues and creamy sauces such as lemon-shallot mayonnaise and blender hollandaise confirm his assertion. Home cooks and professionals will embrace this useful resource, which includes a pull-out flow chart measuring over four feet long. (Apr.)
Cooking: Eggstra, eggstra!
Michael Ruhlman is a curious, capable cook and a wonderful food writer—a great recipe for a cookbook author. His latest, Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient, is an ode to this abundant, affordable miracle that provides powerful nutrients and offers cooks “a range of culinary acrobatics, from an airy cake to a tightly bound seafood terrine.” To Ruhlman, an egg is a “singularity with a thousand ends,” and it’s these ends, all part of the great egg continuum, that he addresses here. The more than 100 recipes, all organized by technique (cooked in the shell, out of the shell, whole, separated, etc.), go from a super-simple, soft-cooked egg to an irresistible Île Flottante with Poire William Sabayon. You’ll find sensational surprises like Eggs in Puttanesca Sauce, Aged Eggnog that keeps for three years in the fridge and bibimbap topped with an “aggressively fried” egg, alongside much-craved classics like Gougères, Chicken Fricassee, Crunchy French Meringue and Curried Egg Salad. All in all, egg-ceptional, egg-semplary and egg-cellent!
We still may not know what women want. But when it comes to grilling, we know what Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby want—to “dial it back,” make it radically easy, without marinating, brining or using fancy equipment. They lay out their unique grilling game plan in The Big-Flavor Grill: No-Marinade, No-Hassle Recipes. To achieve big flavor without big effort, Schlesinger and Willoughby turned to the hot-weather regions, where “bold, contrasting, competing but complementary flavors” are in the gastronomic DNA. Spice rubs replace marinades, and “razzle-dazzles”—quickly composed combos of flavor boosters like a splash of citrus, fresh herbs, chopped fruit, garlic, onion and more—add pizzazz and extra oomph. While the fire heats up, put the fixings for one of the many international razzle-dazzles into a big bowl, add the main item—such as steak tips, pork skewers, fish fillets, chicken wings or corn, grilled according to their “super-basic” recipes—toss it well, then savor the flavor and revolutionary simplicity.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
I’m not exactly sure how “bistronomy” is defined, but if it describes the food Greg Marchand creates and serves, then count me in as a bistro-ista. Trained in classic French cooking, Marchand has worked in Hong Kong, Spain, London and New York, where he experienced new flavors and learned to appreciate the excitement of contrasts within a dish. When he opened Frenchie, his first restaurant, on an unfashionable street in Paris, he seasoned the best of bistro tradition with innovative, international ingredients and a flare for light-handed fusion. In his beautifully illustrated debut cookbook, Frenchie: New Bistro Cooking, Marchand makes his vibrant recipes totally accessible for the home cook. I had the joy of tasting a few of his creations at a lunch in New York. Each one was a WOW, and I’ve now wowed my friends with his Butternut Squash Risotto with Amaretti (go with the crumbled-cookie crunch), the silkiest panna cotta ever and his superbly original take on duck à l’orange. If you can’t get to Paris tomorrow, you can still revel in Marchand’s nouvelle vague bistro cooking.