It's a DIY cook's dream come true: It's pizza night, and you've made not only the crust and sauce but the mozzarella, too. Or you're whipping up quesadillas for a snack, using your homemade Triple Pepper Hack. Or the dinner party's in high gear and out comes the cheese plate--and yes, you've made all the cheeses on it.Read more...
It's a DIY cook's dream come true: It's pizza night, and you've made not only the crust and sauce but the mozzarella, too. Or you're whipping up quesadillas for a snack, using your homemade Triple Pepper Hack. Or the dinner party's in high gear and out comes the cheese plate--and yes, you've made all the cheeses on it. Even better--you made them all earlier that day.
In a cookbook whose results seem like magic but whose recipes and instructions are specific, easy-to-follow, and foolproof, Claudia Lucero shows step by step--with every step photographed--exactly how to make sixteen fresh cheeses at home, using easily available ingredients and tools, in an hour or less. The approach is basic and based on thousands of years of cheesemaking wisdom: Heat milk, add coagulant, drain, salt, and press. Simple variations produce delicious results across three categories--Creamy and Spreadable, Firm and Chewy, and Melty and Gooey. And just as delicious, the author shows the best ways to serve them, recipes included: Squeaky -Pasta- Primavera, Mozzarella Kebab Party, and Curry in a Hurry Lettuce Wraps.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-06-02
- Reviewer: Staff
According to Lucero (UrbanCheesecraft.com), every home cook has a “One-hour Cheese” kitchen. Lucero demystifies the ancient art of making fresh cheese, revealing simple, age-old methods for 16 basic varieties, all easily prepared on the stove top. Through her foolproof process, Lucero guides cooks, advising them how to prepare kitchen, pantry, and mind for cheese making and how key ingredients of acids, salts, milk, and rennet combine to “bring out the potential of a gallon of whole milk.” Step-by-step photographs walk cooks through properly heating milk, stirring curds, molding, kneading, and stretching. Organized into three basic cheese styles (Creamy and Spreadables, Firm and Chewy, Melty and Gooey) and level of difficulty (Easy, Easier, and Easiest), recipes include variations for herbal mix-ins, edible flowers, nuts, fruits, olives, or honey. Molding techniques abound, and serving suggestions showcase cheese platters, grape leaf wrapping, and a splash of fruit and booze. A section on how to make butter, ghee, and low-tech yogurt as well as discussions about milk varieties (raw, pasteurized, goat) and the benefits/uses of fresh whey encourage home cheese makers to “think like a farmer.” From a tangy Meyer lemon ricotta to a curried paneer, Lucero’s recipes show home cooks that the art of crafting fresh cheese is accessible on their own stovetops. (May)
Cooking: Thai one on
As Thai restaurants proliferate, many Americans have become real aficionados of this intensely flavorful cuisine. But most of us haven’t had the courage to do Thai make-in instead of Thai take-out. Leela Punyaratabandhu—a Bangkok native, accomplished cook and creator of the blog She Simmers—wants to change that situation by providing all the support, info on ingredients (with suggestions for easily available substitutions) and the doable recipes you’ll need to re-create Thai classics in your own kitchen, no gadgets or gizmos required, in less time and more economically than ordering in. Punyaratabandhu has adapted 100 authentic recipes for home cooks in her first cookbook, aptly titled Simple Thai Food (Ten Speed, $24.99, 236 pages, ISBN 9781607745235). This isn’t “fusion fare” or fancy “Thai-inspired” riffs; the food you’ll cook is the food Punyaratabandhu cooks when she’s longing for the taste of home: Pork Satay with irresistible Peanut Sauce, soul-soothing Pad Thai with Shrimp, “down-home” Chicken-Ginger Stir Fry, Fish with Lime-Chile-Garlic Dressing, versatile basics like Chile Jam and red, green and yellow curry pastes, plus an array of super sweets.
Claudia Lucero doesn’t just say cheese; she makes it—and makes it fast. In One-Hour Cheese she distills thousands of years of cheese-making know-how into a foolproof, simple-to-follow manual—with step-by-step photos—that makes turning milk into 16 different cheeses a DIY delight. Lucero is as enthusiastic as she is capable, and her preamble of pep talks, tips on the cheese kitchen and pantry, tricks of the trade and troubleshooting basics will put you in a creative comfort zone, ready to change the way you think about creamy, spreadable, firm, chewy, melty and gloriously gooey CHEESE. The recipes, from delicate Meyer Lemon Ricotta to dreamily decadent Brown Butter Burrata, flow in a natural progression, each with a brief summary letting you know what to expect. Add advice on customizing flavors and great party sides to these wondrous one-hour winners, and you’ll be in cheese heaven.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
Though Marc Forgione—chef and owner of his eponymous, Michelin-starred Restaurant Marc Forgione in New York City and star of “Iron Chef America”—was born into a chef family, he had to fight the good fight to make his mark in the food world, never changing the way he cooked or the food he served. His debut cookbook, Marc Forgione: Recipes and Stories from the Acclaimed Chef and Restaurant, details the challenges he’s had to overcome and challenges you to push your inner chef to new heights—to become fearless in the kitchen. These are complex recipes with many intriguingly combined elements, and until you feel comfortable, you can pick the parts you want to tackle. Marinated Cuttlefish with Sriracha Mayo, a spectacular Salt-Crusted Rack of Lamb, Pine Nut Butter and Apple Pie Soufflé are just a small sampling of the treasures you can try before attempting one of Forgione’s multicomponent masterpieces like Pork Tenderloin with Speck, Mustard Greens and Gnocchi à la Romaine, or his signature Chicken Under a Brick and Chili Lobster. Forgione’s food is fabulous, his techniques learnable. So, take his challenge, stretch your cooking muscles and enjoy the results.