The Cook's Bible: The Best of American Home Cooking

Overview

The Cook's Bible takes the mystery out of preparing a great meal. What's the ideal ratio of oil to vinegar in a vinaigrette? Kimball gives you the answer: 4 1/2 to 1. What's the secret to perfect roast chicken? A 375(degree) oven and a 170(degree) internal temperature for the thigh. How about the toughest kitchen challenge of all, piecrust? Kimball makes it easy with the right ingredients (including Crisco and butter) and illustrated step-by-step instructions. For these and the rest of America's best-loved dishes...

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Overview

The Cook's Bible takes the mystery out of preparing a great meal. What's the ideal ratio of oil to vinegar in a vinaigrette? Kimball gives you the answer: 4 1/2 to 1. What's the secret to perfect roast chicken? A 375(degree) oven and a 170(degree) internal temperature for the thigh. How about the toughest kitchen challenge of all, piecrust? Kimball makes it easy with the right ingredients (including Crisco and butter) and illustrated step-by-step instructions. For these and the rest of America's best-loved dishes - vegetable soup, poached salmon, roast beef, barbecued ribs, homemade pizza, waffles, chocolate chip cookies, and many others - Kimball has tested and retested to deliver the definitive recipes. In addition to these master recipes, Kimball also serves up a generous helping of appealing variations - nearly 450 recipes in all. Throughout, Kimball elucidates kitchen procedures - butterflying a chicken, for instance, or dicing an onion - with more than 250 beautifully rendered step-by-step illustrations. And he also provides lucid guidance on what kitchen equipment you need and what you can live without - a microwave oven is optional, but good knives are essential - including brand names, model numbers, and prices. From recipes to techniques to equipment, here is a one-volume master class in American home cookery, a cooking school in print for beginners and experienced cooks alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
What Gideon is to the hotel room, Kimball will soon be to the kitchen: inspirational, informative and probably ubiquitous. In this compendium of facts and firm opinions, the founding editor of Cook's Illustrated magazine details the research that informs his positions on the best pots, thermometers and knives and the value of pasta machines, microwaves and ice-cream makers. This evaluative approach extends to the 400 intensively tested recipes that advocate preferred methods for cooking rice, grains, fish, meat, poultry, sweets and more. Kimball dispels many widely held misconceptions as he asserts that an overnight soaking of dried beans is "vastly preferable" to a quick-soak and that a tightly trussed bird will roast unevenly. It took 33 tries in Kimball's count before he achieved the perfect pie crust; following his progress is like solving a delicious mystery. Some bread bakers may question the author's praise for rapid-rise yeast and his declaration that saltless bread is "inedible" (thereby dismissing a tradition of Tuscan bread-making), but these are quibbles about a highly personal book that tells not only how to prepare specific foods but why. For many, Kimball, who comes across as a purist's Martha Stewart, will be the ultimate source for such kitchen basics as the best method for roasting beef (a speedy 400 degrees for tenderloin; a more leisurely bout at 250 for tough bottom round). Kimball's experiments demonstrate that even experienced cooks don't know all the answers, although everyone will know more after reading this impressive compilation. 200 halftone illustrations not seen by PW. 40,000 first printing; BOMC/Good Cook selection; author tour. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Kimball was the founding editor of the original, much-loved Cook's magazine, which he revived several years ago as Cook's Illustrated. Here he offers his culinary knowledge in 50 chapters, from What To Buy for the Kitchen to Baked Fruit Desserts, with dozens of photographs and step-by-step line drawings. The approach follows that of the magazine, where, for example, chicken may be roasted 15 different ways to determine "the best" way to cook it, or 40 batches of chocolate chip cookies are baked to find "the best" recipe. Some readers will find the detailed accounts of all the retesting and experimenting fascinating, while others will probably prefer just the recipes that resulted and less of the background. Sometimes the emphasis seems a bit oddfor example, there's a chapter on pasta sauces and another on how to make ravioli, but none on making basic pasta dough and using it for different shapes. Kimball is a man of strong opinions ("very few home cooks have a salt box, but everyone needs one"), and his very personal book will not be for everyone. Recommended for larger collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316493710
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 11/16/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 892,098
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Kimball serves as the publisher and editor of the magazines Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country. He also hosts the public television cooking shows America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen. Kimball is a regular contributor to The CBS Early Show and has been featured in many publications, including The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and People.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2001

    The cookbook I use and trust most.

    I am addicted to cookbooks. I read them like other people read novels. I own dozens of them. The Cook's Bible is the best of the lot. The pizza, stir-fry, rice pudding, pear chutney, pecan squash, and chocolate cake are all perfect. As an added bonus, the first section of the book critiques cookware, small appliances, and kitchen gadgets.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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