Think Like a Chef [NOOK Book]

Overview

With Think Like a Chef, Tom Colicchio has created a new kind of cookbook. Rather than list a series of restaurant recipes, he uses simple steps to deconstruct a chef's creative process, making it easily available to any home cook.

He starts with techniques: What's roasting, for example, and how do you do it in the oven or on top of the stove? He also gets you comfortable with braising, saut?ing, and making stocks and sauces. Next he introduces...
See more details below
Think Like a Chef

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

With Think Like a Chef, Tom Colicchio has created a new kind of cookbook. Rather than list a series of restaurant recipes, he uses simple steps to deconstruct a chef's creative process, making it easily available to any home cook.

He starts with techniques: What's roasting, for example, and how do you do it in the oven or on top of the stove? He also gets you comfortable with braising, sautéing, and making stocks and sauces. Next he introduces simple "ingredients" -- roasted tomatoes, say, or braised artichokes -- and tells you how to use them in a variety of ways. So those easy roasted tomatoes may be turned into anything from a vinaigrette to a caramelized tomato tart, with many delicious options in between.

In a section called Trilogies, Tom takes three ingredients and puts them together to make one dish that's quick and other dishes that are increasingly more involved. As Tom says, "Juxtaposed in interesting ways, these ingredients prove that the whole can be greater than the sum of their parts," and you'll agree once you've tasted the Ragout of Asparagus, Morels, and Ramps or the Baked Free-Form "Ravioli" -- both dishes made with the same trilogy of ingredients.

The final section of the books offers simple recipes for components -- from zucchini with lemon thyme to roasted endive with whole spices to boulangerie potatoes -- that can be used in endless combinations.

Written in Tom's warm and friendly voice and illustrated with glorious photographs of finished dishes, Think Like a Chef will bring out the master chef in all of us.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In Think Like a Chef, Tom has opened the door to his culinary process and explained--in straight terms--how his very personal style is actually based on a simple logic that can be employed successfully by anyone who simply loves great food."        
--Danny Meyer
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780770433895
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/18/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 309,339
  • File size: 16 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Tom Colicchio is chef/owner of New York's celebrated Gramercy Tavern and chef/owner of the newly opened Craft. He is the winner of the James  Beard/American Express Best Chef Award for New York City. This is his first book.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

My partner at Gramercy Tavern, Danny Meyer, likes to say that the best way to get people to try something new is to let them know it is roasted. The term manages to conjure comfort food and adventurous cooking simultaneously, along with an image of gorgeously browned edges and caramelized flavor. Lamb, beef, pork, venison, rabbit, squab, chicken and turkey, foie gras, whole fish, fish fillets, lobster, almost every vegetable: you name it, I roast it.

Roasting, simply put, is cooking with dry heat, traditionally over or in front of an open flame. Most often, the word "roast" implies oven cooking, but I use the word as shorthand for both oven roasting and pan roasting. They are both the exact same technique, but oven roasting, as the name implies, involves transferring the pan to a hot oven to complete the process. Pan roasting finishes the food in the same pan, on top of the stove.

As a rule, I prefer pan roasting. It allows me to effect a transformation on something almost immediately. Roasting in an oven cheats me of the audible, visual, and tactile cues that are such a gratifying step of the cooking process. For some people, the end result alone--the perfectly browned sea bass, the crisp chicken--is the point, but for me the process of browning the meat, watching the sugars in the surface caramelize, and listening to the sizzling sound of the butter, the sputter as the moisture in the herbs meets the juices in the pan, is as satisfying as the result. Watching as the dish transforms from a group of separate, inert ingredients into a new thing altogether is rewarding even before the first bite. When you learn to pan roast for yourself, a practical benefit is that in time you'll come to recognize the audible and visual cues of correctly cooked food, and you'll find yourself relying less and less on the times and temperatures printed in any recipe.

If I had all day I imagine I'd even cook larger roasts this way. But I don't, and neither do you. Transferring a large piece of meat or fish to the oven allows you to complete the process without standing for hours next to the stove, turning the food. That is not to say that you can transfer a roast to the oven and forget about it. You can't. Even in the oven, the surface that is in contact with the hot pan will roast more quickly than the rest, and the food still needs to be basted. But, loosely speaking, oven roasting allows you to free up the stovetop and yourself (somewhat) to work on something else.

Basic roasting technique

These steps apply to pan roasting and oven roasting alike.

1.Brown the food on top of the stove, in a pan with a small amount of oil, at about medium heat. Browning helps to get the cooking started, moves the juices toward the center of the roast, and ensures a nicely cooked exterior. Don't worry about the food sticking to the pan during this step. If you pat it completely dry first, use only medium or medium-high heat, and be patient, the food will release itself from the pan when it's browned. You'll know when you've attained the correct heat by the "sound" of the pan: The oil should sizzle, but not pop and sputter, as the food cooks.

2.Avoid using high heat, both on the stove and in the oven (temperatures of 325° F. to 375° F. usually work best). Although it is tempting to roast at a high heat, you'll get the best results in terms of flavor and texture by treating the ingredients gently. Contrary to what many recipes say, you do not need to start the oven at a higher temperature, then lower it halfway through.

3.Add some butter to the pan about three-quarters of the way through cooking. It will melt quickly and commingle with the juices from the roast, creating a liquid for basting. This is usually when I add some herbs to the pan. Baste the roast with the liquids in the pan.

4.Let the food rest. The juices will have been forced to the center by the heat. During the resting period they will have a chance to redistribute themselves. If you've properly basted the roast, the outer flesh will have no problem reabsorbing these juices. You can omit this step for fish and vegetables.

It only seems complicated on the page. In practice it is anything but. Just keep repeating to yourself: Brown, gently roast, baste, rest. This same technique works equally well for foods we don't explicitly cover in this chapter--like venison or pork. The only thing that differs is length of time the food cooks until done. Fish obviously takes less time, as do thinner cuts or single portions of meat. Aha! you're thinking. That's why I need a recipe. To know when it's done! But actually, there are a number of ways to test for doneness. You might find it easiest to use a meat thermometer to see if you've achieved the temperature you like (see the box on page 34) or you can pierce it with a knife and see if the juices run clear. A trick I especially like for large cuts of meat is to stick a long metal skewer completely through the roast, leave it there for a moment, then pull it out and press it against my upper lip. If it feels warmer than my skin, I know that the center of the roast is approaching medium rare (125° F.).

If you do rely on a meat thermometer, make a habit of pressing the meat or fish with your finger once it's done and noticing the resistance you feel. If you like your food rare, there should be plenty of "give" to the flesh. At medium, you will be able to press down, but there will be some underlying firmness as well. At well done, the meat will be quite firm, without much give at all. Try to remember the feel of food cooked the way you like it. Eventually you will be able to rely on this tactile method, and you may be able to do away with the thermometer altogether.

Vegetables are cooked through when they are pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Guidelines for fish are hard to give here, since people vary widely on how they like their fish cooked. Usually, when fish turns opaque, it is cooked through. (I like it when it still has a touch of translucence, except in the case of very meaty fish, such as tuna, which I like seared on the edges and rare in the center.) Try to take fish out of the pan a few moments before it's done, as it will continue to cook on its own.

The recipes that follow have suggested cooking times. Please remember, a recipe can't take into account variables like size and thickness of the food, or variations in oven temperature. Even if you can control your oven's temperature with an oven thermometer, a recipe's cooking time should serve as a general guideline only. Check the food earlier than the recipe states and keep checking until it's done.


Roasted Chicken

Serves 4

1 (3- to 3½-pound) free-range chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Coarse sea salt


1. Heat the oven to 375° F. Rinse the chicken and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Cut off the last joint of the wing and discard. Season the chicken liberally inside and out with kosher salt and pepper, place the rosemary and thyme inside the cavity, then truss.

2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy ovenproof skillet over medium heat until it moves easily across the pan. Place the chicken on its side in the skillet and brown, about 7 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, about 7 minutes more. Place the chicken breast-side up and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for about 20 minutes, then add butter. Continue roasting, basting occasionally, until the thigh juices run clear, about 30 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, then carve and serve sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

Trussing a Chicken
The classic method of trussing a chicken involves sewing the bird shut with a trussing needle and twine. I prefer the simpler method of tying the bird's cavity shut without sewing.

To begin, cut a long piece of butcher's twine (available in most supermarkets), about
3 feet long, and loop the center around the narrowest part of each leg (the "ankles"), pulling the ends tightly to bind the legs together. Bring both ends of twine along the breast, nestling it between the breast and the legs, go around the outside of the wings with each end of the twine, then draw the string up to the nub at the chicken's neck. Cross the ends of the string over the nub. Holding both the strings and the nub, turn the bird over onto its breast. Tie the ends of the string into a tight knot at the nub of the neck.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2008

    Perfect for the aspiring chef!

    I LOVE THIS BOOK! I loved how Tom walked through all the professional terms and jargon and explained it all well. He also discribed the techniques that chefs use to get the amazing flavors of the resturant. I've followed his method many times in the past week (when I bought the book) and both my husband and myself have noticed that my meals are much more flavorful and delicious! I would HIGHLY reccommend this book to any cook!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2002

    An Excellent Culinary Guide

    Tom Colicchio, a genius NYC chef, shares the techniques that bring him success in the kitchen. Unlike many other books written by brilliant chefs, Think Like A Chef offers recipes and suggestions that are easy to incorporate into your everyday cooking. This book is an excellent source for learning how to cook using fresh ingredients that are readily available. Colicchio's self-taught techniques, which he has accumulated through many years of experience in the kitchen, will greatly enhance the culinary craft of his readers. I would recommend this book to anyone who spends time in the kitchen- from novice to culinary expert.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2000

    You Can Think Like A Chef

    Beautiful pictures and complex dishes made simple make for an excellent tool to cook by. Authored by the 2000 James Beard Foundation's New York City Chef of the Year it makes you feel as if you CAN think and cook like a chef. Some interesting homespun yarns as well. Pick it up and try the recipes. A winner!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 16, 2010

    Culinary School at Home

    I had heard so many good things about this book so I just had to buy it. I'm SO glad I did. I have learned so much. It is a good blend of college textbook meets cookbook. I first read it like a book, but use it now as a textbook.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)