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Cooking Basics For Dummies®, 4th Edition

Cooking Basics For Dummies®, 4th Edition

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Master grilling, slow cooking, baking, roasting, sautéing, and more
Make tasty, affordable meals the whole family will enjoy
Prepare a complete holiday or party menu

Bryan Miller
Food and feature writer, The New York Times
Marie Rama
Food, beverage, and media consultant
Eve Adamson
Member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals

at a Glance
Part I: Go On In — It’s Only the Kitchen
Cooking with Confidence
Investing in the Essential Tools
The Bare Necessities: Stocking Your Pantry and Fridge
Part II: Know Your Techniques
The Cutting Edge: Working with Knives
Boiling, Poaching, and Steaming
Sautéing
Braising and Stewing: Slow and Seductive
Roasting Poultry, Meats, and Veggies
Coals and Coils: Grilling and Broiling
Baking Basics
Part III: Expand Your Repertoire
Mastering Breakfast
Super Soups and Savory Salads
From Sides to Mains: Great Grains
Making Sensational Sauces: Fear No More
Sweet Dreams
Part IV: Now You’re Cooking! Real Menus
for Real Life
Taking It Easy with One-Pot Meals 
Making More (and Better) for Less 
When You Want to Impress
Would I Serve You Leftovers? This Is My Latest Creation! 
Summertime Soirees
Feeding Holiday Hordes: Festive Winter Menus
Part V: The Part of Tens
Ten Common Cooking Disasters and How to Deal with Them
Ten Ways to Think Like a Chef
Ten Ways to Cook for Good Health
Appendix A: 
Glossary of 100 (Plus) Common Cooking Terms
Appendix B: 
Common Substitutions, Abbreviations, and Equivalents 

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Book Details
 Price
 3.00 USD
 Pages
 468 p
 File Size
 8,167 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN
 978-0-470-91388-8
 Copyright   
 2011 by Wiley Publishing, Inc 

About the Author
Bryan Miller is a food and wine writer and a former restaurant critic for The New
York Times. He has written and co-written 11 books. In the past 25 years he has
received numerous awards, including three writing awards from the James Beard
Foundation, and the organization’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Marie Rama grew up in the restaurant business surrounded by a large Italian
family of food professionals and entrepreneurs. She has worked as a pastry chef,
a recipe tester, and an account executive and spokesperson for national companies
and associations such as Tabasco Sauce, The United Fresh Fruit and
Vegetable Association, Korbel Champagne, and Sunkist Growers. In addition to
Cooking For Dummies, Ms. Rama also wrote Grilling For Dummies (with John
Mariani) and is working on a cookbook that celebrates the many uses and irresistible
enticement of bacon. Ms. Rama has two sons, Nicholas and William, and lives
in Yonkers, New York with her husband and literary agent Mark Reiter. When
she’s not in the kitchen testing and researching new recipes, Ms. Rama is either
volunteering for her favorite foundation, Yonkers Partners in Education, or playing golf.

Eve Adamson is a New York Times best-selling author who has written or coauthored
over 50 books on food, cooking, dieting, and lifestyle subjects, including
several other For Dummies guides, several books on the Mediterranean diet, and
a book on craft beer. Eve is a member of the International Association of Culinary
Professionals and a self-taught home cook who loves to travel and sample the
cuisines of different regions and cultures. She lives in Iowa City with her family,
where she spends her days writing, cooking, planning her next trip, and contemplating
remodeling her kitchen (pretty much in that order). To find out more, visit
her Web site at www.eveadamson.com.

Recipes at a Glance
Breakfasts
Bacon and Cheese Strata
Berry Good Muffins
Fabulous French Toast
Mushroom-Swiss Frittata
Omelet with Herbs
Perfect Pancakes
Scrambled Eggs
Breads
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Cornbread for Stuffing
French Baguette
Multigrain Loaf 
Appetizers
Apple Curry Dip
Fresh Tomato Quesadillas
Warm Artichoke-Spinach Dip
Soups
Carrot Soup with Dill 
Chicken Noodle Soup
Cream of Potato Soup
French Onion Soup
Mediterranean Seafood Stew
Old-Fashioned Beef Stew
Pasta and Bean Soup
Southwestern Chili
Tomato Soup 
Salads
All-American Coleslaw
Avocado and Tomato Salad
Bell Pepper-Rice Salad
Broccoli Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
Cherry Tomato and Feta Cheese Salad 
Chicken, Avocado, and Red Onion Salad
Cucumber-Dill Salad
Easy Egg Salad
Easy Mixed Green Salad
French Potato Salad
Fruit Salsa
Garbanzo Bean Toss 
Grilled Vegetable Platter with Fresh Pesto
Layered Cheese and Vegetable Salad
Pasta Medley Salad
Tabbouleh Salad
Three-Berry Dessert Salad
Tomato, Red Onion, and Basil Salad
Tuscan Bread Salad
Main Dishes
Barbecued Chicken
Beer-Braised Beef with Onions
Broiled Skirt Steak, Cajun Style
Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie
Chicken and Grilled Vegetable Wrap
Glazed Leg of Lamb with Pan Gravy and Red Currant Glaze
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Grilled Tuna with Niçoise Dressing
Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese
Hungry Family Lasagna
Lamb Curry
Lemon-Rubbed Chicken with Rosemary
Osso Buco
Penne with Parmesan Cheese and Basil
The Perfect Hamburger
The Perfect Steak
Poached Salmon Steaks with Béarnaise Sauce
Pork and Noodle Stir-Fry
Pot Roast with Vegetables
Roast Loin of Pork
Roasted Chicken
Roasted Fillet of Beef
Roasted Pork Ribs with Country Barbecue Sauce
Roasted Turkey
Salmon Marinated in Ginger and Cilantro
Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Thyme
Shepherd’s Pie
Slow Cooker Ratatouille
Smoked Ham with Apricot Glaze
Smoked Pork with Winter Vegetables
Smoked Pork Hash
Snapper Fillets with Tomatoes
Spaghetti with Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce
Spanish Paella
Steak au Poivre
Summer Veggie Burger
Taco Casserole
Tuna Steaks with Ginger-Chili Glaze
Vegetables and Side Dishes
Basic Rice Pilaf 
Basic Wild Rice
Braised Cabbage with Apples and Caraway
Converted Rice
Cornbread, Sausage, and Apple Stuffing
Crispy Roasted Root Vegetables
Garlic-Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Green Beans with Shallots
Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Indian Rice with Ginger, Walnuts, and Raisins
Lentils with Balsamic Vinegar 
Mixed Vegetables Italian Style 
Perfect Corn on the Cob
Polenta with Herbs
Quinoa Pilaf
Risotto
Roasted Summer Vegetables
Rum-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Sautéed Skillet Potatoes
Southern Fried Grits
Spanish Rice
Steamed Broccoli with Lemon Butter
White Beans with Tomatoes and Thyme
Sauces, Dressings, and Garnishes
Béarnaise Sauce
Béchamel
Blender Dill Sauce
Blender Salsa Verde
Caramel Sauce
Cracklin’ Hot Fudge Sauce 
Fresh Cranberry-Orange Relish with Walnuts
Fresh Summer Pesto Sauce
Fresh Strawberry Sauc
Gremolata
Hollandaise
Homemade Ranch Dressing
Madeira Pan Gravy
Mint Mango Sauce
Red Onion and Mango Chutney
Red Pepper Purée
Sour Cream and Watercress Sauce
Vanilla Custard Sauce
Velouté
Vinaigrette Dressing
Warm Blueberry Sauce
Whipped Cream
Sweets and Desserts
Apple-Pear Crisp
Apple Pie
Basic Pastry Crust
Chocolate Mousse 
Divine Brownies 
Double Chocolate Pudding
Free-Form Fresh Fruit Tart
Homey Rice Pudding
Lemon and Chocolate Tart 
Lemon Bars
Lemon Granité 
Lime Ice Cream
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peach-Blueberry Cobbler
Perfect Chocolate Cake
Praline Pumpkin Pie
Red, White, and Blue Berry Shortcake 
Rosy Red Velvet Cupcakes
Tiramisù
Beverages
Eggnog
Warm Red Wine and Orange Punch
Sparkling Sangria
Strawberry Lemonade
Summer Berry Smoothie 

Table of Contents
Introduction ................................................................. 1
About This Book ..............................................................................................1
Conventions Used in This Book .....................................................................2
What You’re Not to Read ................................................................................3
Foolish Assumptions .......................................................................................3
How This Book Is Organized ..........................................................................4
Part I: Go On In — It’s Only the Kitchen .............................................4
Part II: Know Your Techniques ............................................................4
Part III: Expand Your Repertoire ..........................................................4
Part IV: Now You’re Cooking! Real Menus for Real Life ....................5
Part V: The Part of Tens ........................................................................5
Icons Used in This Book .................................................................................5
Where to Go from Here ...................................................................................6
Part I: Go On In — It’s Only the Kitchen
Chapter 1: Cooking with Confidence
Warming Up to Your Kitchen .......................................................................10
Setting up your cooking space ...........................................................10
Introducing major appliances: Friends, not foes .............................13
Getting Acquainted with Basic Cooking Techniques ................................19
Planning Your Menu ......................................................................................20
Kitchen Safety 101 .........................................................................................21
Now Get Crackin’! ..........................................................................................23
Chapter 2: Investing in the Essential Tools
Collecting Your Cookware Basics ................................................................25
Picking Pots and Pans ...................................................................................26
Doing some comparison shopping ....................................................27
Buying the essentials ...........................................................................28
Getting fancy.........................................................................................31
Selecting Tools for Mixing and Baking ........................................................33
Considering Small Appliances .....................................................................37
Getting Your Fill of Gizmos and Gadgets ....................................................38
Chapter 3: The Bare Necessities: Stocking Your Pantry and Fridge
Dry Goods: The Pantry’s Backbone ............................................................42
Stocking Up on Baking Supplies ..................................................................42
Spicing Up Your Life with Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings .......................44
Working with herbs .............................................................................44
Studying spices ....................................................................................47
Peanut Butter and Beyond: Bottled and Canned Goods ..........................48
Cooling It with Refrigerated and Frozen Staples .......................................51
Squeezing the Melon: Buying and Storing Fruits and Vegetables ...........52
Selecting, Buying, and Storing Meat, Poultry, and Fish ............................55
Beef ........................................................................................................55
Chicken ..................................................................................................56
Fish ........................................................................................................58
Part II: Know Your Techniques
Chapter 4: The Cutting Edge: Working with Knives
Buying Knives for All Occasions ..................................................................64
Investing in the three essentials ........................................................64
Adding to your knife block .................................................................65
Shopping wisely ...................................................................................66
Caring for Your Knives ..................................................................................67
Storing and washing ............................................................................67
Sharpening twice a year ......................................................................67
Honing before each use.......................................................................68
Using Knives Correctly (and Safely) ...........................................................69
Chopping, Mincing, Julienning, and More ..................................................70
Chopping and mincing ........................................................................70
Julienning ..............................................................................................72
Cubing (or dicing) ................................................................................73
Slicing ....................................................................................................73
Paring ....................................................................................................74
Carving Poultry and Meats ...........................................................................75
Showing a turkey or chicken who’s boss ..........................................76
Cutting a pot roast ...............................................................................77
Slicing a leg of lamb .............................................................................77
Handling a ham ....................................................................................78
Chapter 5: Boiling, Poaching, and Steaming
Water, Water Everywhere . . . Now What? ..................................................79
Making Hard- and Soft-Cooked Eggs ............................................................80
Giving Your Veggies a Hot Bath ...................................................................82
Parboiling, blanching, and steaming veggies ...................................82
Simple tips for boiling and steaming a dozen fresh vegetables .....83
Making vegetable purées ....................................................................85
Poaching Seafood ..........................................................................................86
Chapter 6: Sautéing 
Knowing When to Use Oil or Butter ............................................................92
Making Great Sauce from Bits in the Pan: Deglazing ................................93
Getting Versatile with Your Sautéing ..........................................................94
Vegetables.............................................................................................94
Firm, rich fish .......................................................................................95
Chicken and turkey ..............................................................................96
Beef ........................................................................................................96
Chapter 7: Braising and Stewing: Slow and Seductive
Cooking in Liquid .........................................................................................104
Browning before braising .................................................................104
Taking time to stew ...........................................................................104
Keeping Herbs and Spices in Check ..........................................................105
Chapter 8: Roasting Poultry, Meats, and Veggies
Roasting Done Right ....................................................................................113
Seasoning your roasts .......................................................................113
Searing meat before you roast .........................................................114
Basting during cooking .....................................................................114
Taking a rest .......................................................................................115
Roasting Times and Temperatures for Poultry and Meat ......................115
Putting Poultry in the Oven ........................................................................119
Mastering Roasted Meats ...........................................................................121
Beef ......................................................................................................121
Pork......................................................................................................122
Ribs ......................................................................................................122
Ham ......................................................................................................123
Lamb ....................................................................................................125
Remember to Roast Your Veggies! ............................................................126
Chapter 9: Coals and Coils: Grilling and Broiling 
Mastering Your Grill ....................................................................................140
Charcoal grilling .................................................................................140
Gas grilling ..........................................................................................142
Electric grilling ...................................................................................142
Marinating for Flavor ..................................................................................143
Perfecting Your Grilling Technique ...........................................................143
Making Each Dish Delicious .......................................................................144
Burgers ................................................................................................144
Chicken ................................................................................................145
Vegetables...........................................................................................146
Steak ....................................................................................................146
Pork......................................................................................................147
Seafood ................................................................................................147
Chapter 10: Baking Basics
Don’t Wing It: Measuring with Care ...........................................................158
Measuring dry ingredients ................................................................158
Measuring wet ingredients ...............................................................159
Measuring other types of ingredients .............................................160
Working with Eggs .......................................................................................160
Breaking with care .............................................................................160
Separating an egg ...............................................................................161
Folding, Whipping, Kneading, and More: Getting the
Techniques Right .....................................................................................162
Perfecting Your Pie Crust ...........................................................................165
Making Cakes that Rise ...............................................................................169
Bread Basics .................................................................................................170
Part III: Expand Your Repertoire
Chapter 11: Mastering Breakfast 
All about Eggs ..............................................................................................183
Grade, size, and color ........................................................................184
Specialty eggs: Worth the extra bacon? ..........................................185
Cooking Perfect Eggs ...................................................................................186
Simply scrambled ..............................................................................186
Frankly fried........................................................................................186
Perfectly poached ..............................................................................186
Beautifully boiled ...............................................................................187
Ode to omelets ...................................................................................187
Oven-worthy eggs: Frittatas and stratas .........................................189
A Carnivore’s Breakfast ..............................................................................190
Everything’s better with bacon ........................................................190
Savory sausage ...................................................................................191
Ham (or Canadian bacon) it up ........................................................191
Steak your claim (to breakfast!) .......................................................192
Breakfast Breads ..........................................................................................192
French toast ........................................................................................193
Pancakes and waffles .........................................................................193
Muffins, scones, and quick breads ..................................................193
Chapter 12: Super Soups and Savory Salads
Mastering Essential Soup Skills .................................................................202
Sautéing meat and vegetables first ..................................................202
Thickening your soup........................................................................203
Skimming soups and stocks .............................................................204
Peeling and seeding a tomato ..........................................................205
Showing garlic, onions, and herbs some respect ..........................206
Trying Your Hand at Puréed or Chunky Soups .......................................206
Salad Days ....................................................................................................207
The soul of the salad: Crisp, fresh greens ......................................207
Skipping the greens but keeping the salad .....................................212
So many dressings, so little time .....................................................212
Ten salad ideas — so easy you don’t need a recipe! .....................215
Chapter 13: From Sides to Mains: Great Grains
Rice Is Nice ...................................................................................................227
Grain-o-Rama ................................................................................................229
Pasta-Mania ..................................................................................................231
Don’t sweat the fresh stuff: Dried versus fresh pasta ...................231
Pasta tips and tricks ..........................................................................232
Name that pasta: Pasta types and cooking times ..........................234
Sauce: Pasta’s Best Friend ..........................................................................236
Chapter 14: Making Sensational Sauces: Fear No More
What Is a Sauce Anyway? ...........................................................................247
Classic White Sauce from ze French .........................................................248
Delicious Deglazing .....................................................................................249
Here’s Egg in Your Sauce ............................................................................250
Light Blender Sauces in Minutes ...............................................................251
Delectable Dessert Sauces ..........................................................................252
Chapter 15: Sweet Dreams
Cozy Puddings and Elegant Ices ................................................................263
Fruit from the Oven .....................................................................................264
Cookie Collection: All You Need Is a Glass of Milk ..................................266
Taking on Tiramisù ......................................................................................268
Part IV: Now You’re Cooking! Real Menus
for Real Life
Chapter 16: Taking It Easy with One-Pot Meals
Slow Cookers: Small Input, Big Output .....................................................285
From Oven to Table: Simplicity in a Casserole Dish ...............................287
Simmering a Slow-Cooked Meal .................................................................288
Chapter 17: Making More (and Better) for Less
Big Dishes for Small Bucks .........................................................................299
Crowd-pleasing chili ..........................................................................300
Stir-fry for pennies .............................................................................300
Super Sidekicks ............................................................................................301
Root vegetables ..................................................................................301
Seasonal vegetables ...........................................................................301
Dried beans .........................................................................................302
Rice with some spice .........................................................................303
Chapter 18: When You Want to Impress 
If You Have All Day ......................................................................................311
Classy hors d’oeuvres .......................................................................312
Enticing entrees .................................................................................313
Suave side dishes ...............................................................................313
Finishing touches: Desserts ..............................................................314
If You Have An Hour or Two ......................................................................314
Getting started: Quickie appetizers .................................................314
Entrée: The short version .................................................................316
Super-quick side dishes ....................................................................317
Desserts on the double .....................................................................318
Chapter 19: Would I Serve You Leftovers? This Is My
Latest Creation!
Improvising with Leftovers ........................................................................331
Making the Most of a Pork Shoulder .........................................................332
On the Lamb: Serving It Three Ways .........................................................333
Chicken Dinner Times Three .....................................................................334
Wok This Way: Stir-Frying ..........................................................................335
Chapter 20: Summertime Soirees
Planning the Menu .......................................................................................347
Mixing Fruity Drinks for Thirsty Crowds ..................................................349
Preparing in Advance for a Stress-Free Party ..........................................350
Chapter 21: Feeding Holiday Hordes: Festive Winter Menus 
Planning the Menu .......................................................................................362
Getting Yourself Organized ........................................................................362
All about Turkey ..........................................................................................363
Teasing the Palate with Fresh Dips ...........................................................365
Scrumptious Stuffings and Sides ...............................................................366
Last Man Standing: Holiday Desserts ........................................................367
Warming Up with Holiday Libations .........................................................368
Part V: The Part of Tens
Chapter 22: Ten Common Cooking Disasters and How
to Deal with Them
You Started a Fire ........................................................................................385
You Burned Yourself ...................................................................................387
You Cut Yourself ..........................................................................................388
You Burned the Food ..................................................................................388
Your Barbecue Is Ablaze ............................................................................389
Your Recipe Misses the Mark ....................................................................389
You’re Out of an Ingredient ........................................................................390
You Have Too Many Mouths to Feed ........................................................391
You Damaged Your Kitchen Counter ........................................................391
You Have to Do All the Cooking .................................................................392
Chapter 23: Ten Ways to Think Like a Chef 
Know the Basic Techniques .......................................................................393
Use Only the Freshest Ingredients ............................................................393
Get It Together .............................................................................................393
With This Basil, I Thee Wed .......................................................................394
All the Plate’s a Stage ..................................................................................394
Plan Your Menus in Advance .....................................................................394
Be Thrifty ......................................................................................................395
Don’t Be a Slave to Recipes ........................................................................395
Simplify .........................................................................................................395
Above All, Have Fun ....................................................................................395
Chapter 24: Ten Ways to Cook for Good Health 
Cooking at Home ..........................................................................................397
Choosing Great Ingredients ........................................................................398
Going Organic ..............................................................................................398
Managing Fat, Sugar, and Salt ....................................................................400
Making Low-Fat Meals .................................................................................401
Reducing Sugar ............................................................................................402
Increasing Fiber ...........................................................................................403
Going Vegetarian or Vegan .........................................................................403
Eliminating Gluten .......................................................................................405
Making Healthful Food Taste Great ...........................................................406
Appendix A: Glossary of 100 (Plus) Common
Cooking Terms .......................................................... 407
Appendix B: Common Substitutions, Abbreviations,
and Equivalents ........................................................ 415
Substituting in a Pinch ................................................................................415
Taking a Quick Look at Abbreviations ......................................................417
Looking Up Conversions and Metric Equivalents ...................................418
Index ....................................................................... 421

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Introduction
Whether you fancy yourself a hotshot home cook or someone who
wouldn’t know a whisk from a Weimaraner, Cooking Basics For Dummies, 4th Edition
can help you. Unlike most cookbooks, this one is more than a compilation of tasty recipes.
We also focus on cooking techniques like broiling, steaming, braising, and
roasting, as well as ingredients like different kinds of grains, cuts of meat,
and types of pasta. You learn the best way to mince garlic, peel a tomato, and
truss a chicken (if you want to!). After you master these techniques, you’re
no longer a slave to recipes. You can cook with imagination and creativity —
and that’s the sign of a skilled cook.

Furthermore, this book is structured around the way you live. For example,
it includes information about cooking economically, making a delicious meal
when you don’t even have time to get to the market, and throwing a party or
celebrating a holiday when you’ve got all the time in the world.
Most of all, you actually have fun as you explore the endless pleasures of
cooking. And that, after all, is what this book is all about.

About This Book
We start at the very beginning: your kitchen and your equipment. What basic
tools do you need? How do you use these things? We help you stock your
pantry, refrigerator, and freezer with basic staples so you know what to have
on hand. Then we move on to cooking techniques to get you up and running
as soon as possible. Doing simple things well offers great personal satisfaction,
as you will see.

Depending on your needs and cooking skills, you can start at the beginning of
the book and work your way through, go straight to the chapters that interest
you most (the table of contents and index point you in the right direction), or
read the book backwards, if that’s your thing.

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