Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ad hoc at home

The Hubs here.  One of the things we wanted to share with our food blog was our love of cookbooks.  I don’t know if you have noticed, but there are a ton of cookbooks available every year.  And we seem to buy up quite a few of them.  This is not a complaint.  We enjoy having them and exploring new recipes (well, I enjoy the exploring … the wife is a little apprehensive about my experimentation).  We have come across quite a few good ones, some expected and some surprises, and wanted to share our finds with you here.  So, every so often we will put up a review of one of the cookbooks we have come across and let you know what we think.
One of my absolute favorite cookbooks is Thomas Keller’s “ad hoc at home” (and the lower case letters were on purpose as you can see).

At first glance, the cookbook may seem a little intimidating to some.  I urge you to give it a closer look.  This cookbook covers a broad spectrum of recipes and is written from the perspective of family style recipes meant to be cooked at home.  And although you may shy away from some of the ingredients or techniques, I assure you that the recipes are easy to understand and Chef Keller does a great job of laying out the techniques and the extras that some other cookbooks might already expect you to know.
There is also quite a wealth of those recipes to be had.  Not just main courses, but also sides, salads … even how to make buttermilk biscuits.  The sticker price may be a little bit higher than you normally pay for a cookbook, but I would say that it is definitely worth the price.  There is quite a bit of knowledge (as well as just plain good food) contained in those pages.
One of the things I like the most about this cookbook is that it is obviously written from a desire to teach and not just impart good recipes.  As is stated on the jacket notes, Thomas Keller is a “born teacher” and it definitely shows in the amount of information imparted in the book and the way it is written.  Chef Keller spends a good deal of time teaching you about the techniques of cooking.  Something as simple as how to roast a chicken (something I am still trying to perfect) to how much time to rest meat … both before and after cooking.  There is an entire section at the back of the book on the “Basics”.  If you ever wanted to try your hand at something a little more challenging that your every day meals, but were afraid you didn’t have the technique for it, this is a good place to get started.
I would highly recommend this cookbook for anyone with a desire to learn more about techniques, food basics and cooking in general.  If you end up giving it a shot, drop us a comment and let us know what you think of it.  Get cooking.

Disclaimer: We were not compensated for writing this review, we just really liked this cookbook. We are positive Thomas Keller has no idea who we are, but we hope he enjoyed our review. If you click on the source link above you'll be redirected to Amazon.com's page for this book. We will not receive any sort of compensation should you choose to purchase it. Also, if you own it, we'd love to hear your thoughts as well! Leave us a comment!

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