Gourmet Cooking for Dummies

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If tuna casserole is the most exciting meal you've made lately, let Gourmet Cooking For Dummies™ come to your culinary rescue! In a matter of minutes, you can create mouth-watering dishes – from soups and sauces to zesty vegetarian delights and seafood masterpieces – that are guaranteed to impress your family and friends.

Inside, you'll discover how to:

  • Set up your gourmet ...
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If tuna casserole is the most exciting meal you've made lately, let Gourmet Cooking For Dummies™ come to your culinary rescue! In a matter of minutes, you can create mouth-watering dishes – from soups and sauces to zesty vegetarian delights and seafood masterpieces – that are guaranteed to impress your family and friends.

Inside, you'll discover how to:

  • Set up your gourmet kitchen with the right pots and pans, tools, and spices
  • Prepare sauces, soups, vegetable dishes, seafood creations, desserts, and more with a minimum of ingredients
  • Create complete menus for any occasion, from a meal with your boss to a summer picnic
  • Bring the world into your kitchen with recipes for ethnically inspired dishes
  • Use Charlie's chef-tested cooking tips to make gourmet cooking fun and easy

Author Biography: Charlie Trotter is the chef and owner of the critically acclaimed restaurant Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, one of only a handful of restaurants in the U.S. to have earned Five Mobil Stars, Five AAA Diamonds, and induction into the internationally renowned Relais & Chateaux. He was also given Wine Spectator's Readers' Choice Awards for The Best Chef Currently Working in the U.S. and The Best Dining Experience for 1997. He is the award-winning author of three bestselling books, Charlie Trotter's, Charlie Trotter's Vegetables, and Charlie Trotter's Seafood.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Renowned Chicago restaurateur Trotter demystifies the world of gourmet cooking for countless gourmands at heart. His no-frills approach clearly demonstrates the essential ingredients and techniques for creating culinary masterpieces. Chapter by chapter, Trotter serves up a delectable background of gourmet cuisine, yielding easy recipes and informative tidbits about each food. He provides comprehensive guides to fruits and vegetables; meats, fish, and poultry; and chocolate. The chapter on sauces, stocks, and oils will be indispensable to many readers. In addition, Trotter advises how to stock the larder and explains essential kitchenware. Despite its bare-bones demeanor, Trotter's book stands equally alongside the works of Julia Child and James Beard. Useful for reference and perusing alike, this is highly recommended for cookery collections in all public libraries. (Index not seen.)Michael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Libs, South Bend, Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764550294
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/27/1997
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 390
  • Product dimensions: 7.42 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents



About This Book
Foolish Assumptions
Conventions Used in This Book
How This Book Is Organized

Part I: Building Your Way to a Well-Stocked Kitchen
Part II: So You Know How to Boil Water and Fry an Egg
Part III: Bumping It Up a Notch and Taking It to the Next Level
Part IV: Ooh, You Sweet Thing!
Part V: The Home Stretch: Taking It to Your Dinner Table
Part VI: The Part of Tens

Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here

Part I: Building Your Way to a Well-Stocked Kitchen

Chapter 1: What Makes It Gourmet?
Buying the Freshest Ingredients
Combining Flavors and Textures
Taking Extra Care in Preparing Dishes
Plating Foods in Attractive Ways
Learning the Lingo of Gourmet Cuisine
Being Flexible with Ingredients and Tools
Taking Risks with Your Recipes
Chapter 2: Stocking Your Kitchen for the New Millennium
Choosing Basic Equipment

Pots and pans
Picking the right pans
Other kitchen necessities

Lining Up Your Lotto List
Stocking Up with Staple Ingredients

Pantry items
Refrigerator and freezer items
Chapter 3: Getting Your Cooking Permit
Cooking Techniques

Dry heat cooking methods
Dry heat cooking methods using fats and oils
Moist heat cooking methods

Formal Knife Cuts
Gourmet Cooking Terms
Chapter 4: Surviving Your First Trip to the Produce Market

Carambolas (star fruit)
Cherimoyas (custard apples)
Kiwi fruit
Passion fruit
Prickly pears (cactus pears)
Tangerines and mandarins
Ugli fruit
White sapotes


Beans (fresh)
Bok choy (Chinese white cabbage)
Brussels sprouts
Fava beans
Napa cabbage
Snow peas
Sweet peppers
Sweet potatoes
Swiss chard
Water chestnuts

Part II: So You Know How to Boil Water and Fry an Egg

Chapter 5: Getting Sauced
The Mother Sauce Name Game
Creating Savory Stocks
The do's and don'ts of stock-making
Making your own stocks
Various ways to thicken stocks and sauces
Intensifying Flavors with Reductions
Vegetable Broths
Infused Oils
Making infused oils
Making infused vinegars
Chapter 6: Saucing Up a Plate in Nontraditional Ways: Salsas, Relishes, and Chutneys
Doing the Salsa
Relishing Your Dishes
Charming Your Cuisine with Chutney
Chapter 7: Where's the Beef? Vegetable Cuisine
Chapter 8: Vegetable Cuisine: Using Legumes, Grains, and Pasta
Chapter 9: 125 Million Japanese Can't Be Wrong! Raw, Marinated, and Cooked Seafood
Buying Fresh Seafood
Storing Fresh Seafood
Choosing Seafood That's Available Year-Round
Selecting Seasonal Seafood
Enjoying Raw Seafood
Using Seafood Marinades
Discovering Various Cooking Methods for Seafood
Cold and hot poaching
Olive oil poaching
Roasting and slow-roasting
Chapter 10: Who Are You Calling Fowl?
How Poultry Is Raised
Storing and Handling Poultry
Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg?
Discovering Different Types of Poultry
Rock Cornish hen
Chapter 11: What's Your Beef? Adding Meat to Your Repertoire
Meat Inspection and Quality Grades
Selecting Fresh Meat
Handling and Storing Meat
Is It Done Yet?
Choosing the Right Cut of Meat for the Right Cooking Method
Which lamb is it?

Part III: Bumping It Up a Notch and Taking It to The Next Level

Chapter 12: Is Mies van der Rohe in the House? Architectural Cuisine Made Easy
Creating a Superstructure with Tuiles
Gluing a Dish Together Using Vegetable Purees
Adding Dimension with Crispy Garnishes
Constructing Layered and Formed Foods

Chapter 13: So You're Loaded and Have Great Taste in Food: Edible Indulgences
Tiny White Asparagus
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Diver Scallops
Foie Gras
Fraises des Bois
Kobe Beef
Porcini Mushrooms

Part IV: Ooh, You Sweet Thing!

Chapter 14: Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too: Basic Dessert Techniques and Starter Recipes
Preparing Basic Pastry Doughs and Sponge Cakes
Brioche and pastry doughs
Filo dough
Creating Custards and Ice Creams
Citrus curds
Homemade ice cream
Doing Up Dessert Sauces
Chipping In with Garnishes and Textural Treats
Dried fruit chips
Chapter 15: How Sweet It Is: Fruit Desserts and Individual Pastries
Starting with Sorbets
Creating Tasty Tarts
Preparing Poached Fruit and Pudding Desserts
Fashioning Fluffy Soufflés
Putting New Twists on Old Favorites
Chapter 16: The Grand Finale: Chocoholics Unanimous!
Discovering Different Types of Chocolate
White chocolate
Milk chocolate
Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate
Choosing Chocolate
Storing Chocolate
Melting Chocolate
Keeping Chocolate from Seizing
Creating the Building Blocks of Chocolate Desserts
Chocolate Overkill: How to Get Yours

Part V: The Home Stretch: Taking it to Your Dinner Table

Chapter 17: From Champagne to Cappuccino: Creating a Complete Meal
Planning Ahead for a Gourmet Dinner
Planning your attack
Planning your menu
Approaching the menu you have selected
Menus for Every Occasion
The "Impressing the Boss" dinner
The "Getting Yourself Out of the Doghouse" dinner
The "Aphrodisiac" dinner
The "Sunday Afternoon in the Park Picnic" menu
The "Meeting the In-Laws" dinner
The "Sure Thing" dinner
The "What Do You Mean One of Them Is a Vegetarian?" dinner
The "So You Just Inherited Some Extra Cash" dinner
The "Help Me Eat Healthy" dinner
The "Even Your Teenagers Will Like It" dinner
The "Seafood Fest" dinner
The "Cook Dinner One Day Ahead So That You Can Enjoy the Party" dinner
The "Saving Room for Dessert" dinner
The Cheese Course

Part VI: The Part of Tens

Chapter 18: Ten Classic Food and Wine Pairings
Sauternes and foie gras
Sauvignon Blanc and smoked salmon
Port and blue cheese
Champagne and oysters
Chardonnay and lobster
Côte-Rôtie and lamb
Burgundy and game birds
Chilled vodka and caviar
Sancerre and goat cheese
Cabernet Sauvignon and beef
Chapter 19: Ten Dining Cities and Their Recommended Gourmet Restaurants
Boston, Massachusetts
Chicago, Illinois
London, England
Los Angeles, California
Melbourne, Australia
New Orleans, Louisiana
New York, New York
Paris, France and surrounding areas
San Francisco Bay area, California
Sydney, Australia
Chapter 20: Ten Charlie-Endorsed Vendors
American Spoon Foods
Browne Trading Company
Charlie Trotter's
Dean & Deluca
Diamond Organics
Maytag Dairy Farms
Wild Game, Inc.
Chapter 21: Ten Food and Wine Books to Stock in Your Library
Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, by Alice Waters
The Cooking of South-West France, by Paula Wolfert
Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking, by Emeril Lagasse
The Food Lover's Companion, by Sharon Tyler Herbst
James Beard's American Cookery, by James Beard
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volumes 1 and 2, by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck
Norman's New World Cuisine, by Norman Van Aken
An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, by Elizabeth David
The Oxford Companion to Wine, by Jancis Robinson
Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables, by Elizabeth Schneider


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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2001

    A great reference for the aspiring chef

    This is perhaps one of the most accessible (and affordable) `celebrity¿ cookbooks on the market today. The depth of explanation is remarkable compared to Trotter¿s other books, many of which serve only to stoke the ego of a wealthy restaurateur. Gourmet Cooking for Dummies breaks down many of the barriers associated with fine cooking. By explaining techniques (many of which are very simple), Trotter¿s book allows readers to expose themselves to food and cooking to an extent previously limited to picture books dedicated to food (as many of Trotter¿s other books are). A great learning tool for beginners, and a reference for the rest of us. Highly recommended.

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