All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art

( 2 )


A master teacher provides delicious recipes and explains the principles behind the essential technique of roasting.
Successful restaurateurs have always known that adding "roasted" to a dish guarantees immediate appeal. Molly Stevens brings her trademark thoroughness and eye for detail to the technique of roasting. She breaks down when to use high heat, moderate heat, or low heat to produce juicy, well-seared meats, caramelized drippings, and concentrated flavors. Her 150 ...

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A master teacher provides delicious recipes and explains the principles behind the essential technique of roasting.
Successful restaurateurs have always known that adding "roasted" to a dish guarantees immediate appeal. Molly Stevens brings her trademark thoroughness and eye for detail to the technique of roasting. She breaks down when to use high heat, moderate heat, or low heat to produce juicy, well-seared meats, caramelized drippings, and concentrated flavors. Her 150 recipes feature the full range of dishes from beef, lamb, pork, and poultry to seafood and vegetables. Showstoppers include porchetta ingeniously made with a loin of pork, a roast goose with potato-sage stuffing, and a one-hour beef rib roast-dishes we've dreamed of making, and that Molly makes possible with her precise and encouraging instructions. Other recipes such as a Sunday supper roast chicken, herb-roasted shrimp, and blasted broccoli make this an indispensable book for home cooks and chefs. All About Roasting is like having the best teacher in America in the kitchen with you.

Winner of the 2012 James Beard Foundation Award for Single Subject

Winner of the 2012 IACP Award in the General and Single Subject Categories

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Stevens is a cooking instructor and food writer whose first book, The Art of Braising, won a 2005 James Beard Foundation award. Here, in this outstanding cookbook, she shows herself to still be at the top of her game. She begins with a 45-page introduction to the art and science of roasting that should be required reading for anyone in possession of a chunk of meat and an oven. Topics covered include the differences in employing high versus low heat, the reasons to rest meat before carving, the joys of convection ovens, and why fat is always a critical component. Next come 150 recipes divided into chapters on beef, pork, poultry, fish, and vegetables. Each begins with a basic entree that, once grasped, leads the way to more complex adventures. A simple sear-roasted pork tenderloin, for example, involves only salt, pepper, and oil, but 30 pages later it is time for a sausage and prune stuffed pork loin with brandy cream sauce. Numerous tips on trimming, carving, and shopping augment the work, all of which is written in a clear, confident voice that educates “Fat conducts heat much better than air” and entertains “Halibut is an easy fish to love”. It is a compelling collection that drives home the difference between a chef merely showing off some recipes and a teacher exploring her craft. Nov.
Christopher Kimball
This is the one book on my list that is more practical than inspirational, although it is well appointed and more than serviceable in design. Roasting books have been done before (thanks to Barbara Kafka, among others), and the author is, therefore, treading well-worn ground. But she has struck a nice balance between useful recipes, clear directions, and more-than-sufficient culinary artistry to make me sit up and pay attention. The standard recipes are all there, but she dresses them up just enough to make you look good at home without being overly trendy. I would be perfectly happy to serve Spice-Rubbed Roast Chicken Thighs with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette or Quick-Roasted Halibut Steaks with Basil-Mint Browned Butter and Almonds. This is a glossy book with big color photos that you can really cook from—a good solid book from someone who clearly knows her way around the kitchen.
Founder and Editor, America's Test Kitchen
Dan Barber
“Is there anything more comforting than roasting? In All About Roasting the indefatigable Molly Stevens brings finesse to an age-old art form. And, yes, in these pages it is an art. From hamburgers to grapes, oysters to pineapples, Stevens explains, illuminates, and refines roasting with all the grace and expertise of a master. You’ll be happy you signed on as apprentice.”
James Peterson
“I’m delighted to see that Molly Stevens has come out with a book that’s far ahead of the pack on the subject of roasting. The book is detailed yet succinct, complex yet simply explained and a must-have for any cook’s library. Brava.”
Nigella Lawson
“Roasting is my favorite kind of cooking. And All About Roasting is my favorite kind of book.”
Paula Wolfert
“In Molly Stevens’s outstanding book, successful roasting is explained at every stage. All About Roasting is destined to remain a keeper for years to come.”
Brian Polcyn
“Understanding fundamentals and basics is the foundation to great cooking. All About Roasting clearly demystifies this subject with solid information and easy-to-use recipes.”
Danny Meyer
“Molly Stevens is a professor of roasting and a hedonist at heart. Whether you are someone who takes visceral pleasure from the crackling sounds and intoxicating smells of a kitchen in which something is being roasted – or a culinary scientist who just wants to know how it’s done – you need to have this cookbook in your collection. I guarantee All About Roasting will become one of the most referred to books in my home; one my family will turn to when cooking for the holidays, Sunday night dinners, and whenever we’re looking for a good reason to open a bottle of wine.”
Bruce Aidells
“For any cook who aspires to roast the perfect chicken, roast beef, or roast pork, All About Roasting is your guide. The information on how to choose the right cut to produce succulent and juicy results that we all aspire to achieve is invaluable.”
Library Journal
Stevens, author of the James Beard and IACP cookbook award winner All About Braising, has once again delivered a comprehensive, must-have volume that deftly illuminates a seemingly simple technique. After reading Stevens's introduction to roasting history, science, and basic principles, cooks of all levels can confidently tackle the book's 150 recipes for roasted meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, vegetables, and fruit. The recipes progress from simple (e.g., Basic Roast Chicken) to more complex (e.g., Thai-Style Roast Chicken Pieces with Lemongrass, Red Peppers, and Shiitakes) and clearly list yield, cooking times, and wine/beer pairings. This book arrives just in time for readers hoping to sear, sauce, and serve an impressive roast this holiday season.
Corby Kummer
Any meat-lover—and fish- and vegetable-lover—will learn from All about Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art because the author, Molly Stevens, is such a careful teacher…
—The New York Times Book Review
The Barnes & Noble Review
In her award–winning cookbook All About Braising, Molly Stevens produced an indispensable, surprisingly informative guide to the possibilities of a single –– and supposedly simple –– cooking process. All About Roasting looks to repeat the trick, taking the mystery and chance out of what may well be the most laissez–faire, cook–friendly of all culinary procedures. Did you know, for example, why those bags of so–called baby carrots never roast as well as rounds you cut yourself? Because they're processed with water –– and the first rule of roasting is that foods should be dry. This is because "foods cooked with moist heat can never reach temperatures above 212 degrees" –– and temperatures above 220 degrees are required for browning. Roasting, as it turns out, involves maximizing heat conductivity, which is why it's important to coat meats and vegetables with olive oil or some other fat –– which conducts heat better than air –– and cook them in low–sided dishes that don't deflect heat.

Beyond the dry–versus–wet issue, the main variable cooks face when roasting is speed, and Stevens explains which foods do best with a blast of high heat (whole beef tenderloin, whole chickens, quail, Cornish hens, most fish, and most vegetables); which ones benefit from a slow, gentle oven (tougher cuts of meat, salmon fillets, high–moisture–content veggies like tomatoes and onions); and which ones do best with an initial searing followed by moderate heat or a combination of temperatures (pork tenderloin, chicken parts, duck). Her book will soothe the most flummoxed cooks, who otherwise might find themselves driven to the wilds of the Internet –– or a panicked phone call to Mom –– when faced with a holiday lamb.

While All About Roasting isn't geared toward vegetarians, it features plenty of non–meat options, along with appealing sauces and relishes. Stevens's best tip on roasting veggies, including the delicious Maple–Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples I made for Thanksgiving: Don't overcrowd the pan, or you'll end up with steamy mush instead of lovely browned surfaces. For those of us who feel there are few meals that roast potatoes can't improve, Stevens offers multiple variations. Don't miss her irresistible, crunchy British–style wedges, achieved by parboiling russets and dusting them in semolina prior to roasting them in preheated fat.

Heller McAlpin is a New York–based critic who reviews books for, The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, and other publications.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393065268
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 177,486
  • Product dimensions: 10.28 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Molly Stevens is the author of All About Roasting and All About Braising, the latter of which won both the James Beard and the IACP cookbook awards. A contributing editor at Fine Cooking magazine, she lives near Burlington, Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    I came across this book while searching for some new cooking ide

    I came across this book while searching for some new cooking ideas. Normally I season a roast and throw it in the oven at 350 then wait for it to be done. Sometimes this method worked and sometimes it didn't. The information is very straight forward and easily understood. It has taken my cooking ability up several notches. I find it much more enjoyable since learning how to properly prepare various roasts..

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  • Posted November 30, 2012

    I got this book at the library and had to get it. You would thin

    I got this book at the library and had to get it. You would think roasting would be so simple, however, many tips on keeping roasts moist, especially the cheaper cuts. Also has recipes on roasting vegetables. Great book!

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