Prep School: How to Improve Your Kitchen Skills and Cooking Techniques

Prep School: How to Improve Your Kitchen Skills and Cooking Techniques

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781572841987
Publisher: Agate
Publication date: 08/09/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 325,275
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

James P. DeWan is a chef, culinary instructor and award-winning food writer. His Chicago Tribune column, "Prep School," is now in its fifth year, and he has served on the culinary faculty at Kendall College in Chicago. James lives in Chicago, IL. The Chicago Tribune , founded in 1847, is the flagship newspaper of the Tribune Company. Its staff comprises dedicated, award-winning journalists who have authored many best-selling books.

Table of Contents

About This Book 10

Kitchen Tips 11

Presents for the cook 12

Cooking tips to make life better in the kitchen 14

6 essentials to make you a better cook 16

Order in the kitchen? The French have an answer to cooking chaos 19

Knife Skills 21

Sharpening your knife skills 22

Steeling yourself: Learning how to hone your knives will keep your cuts safe and true 25

Learning the best cuts 27

Twice the dice: Using two knives can double efficiency and minimize prep time 30

Mastering the perfect diced onion 33

There's another way to slice it: In which we return to the noble onion 37

Tricks for tackling ripe summer fruit 40

Sharpening your skills on a whole bird 45

Spatchcocking makes cooking a bird quicker 52

Chicken takes a romantic turn 58

Orange supremes add elegant touch 62

Fillet your way to dinner: Butterflying a whole fish puts you in control of your food and saves money 66

More than one way to chop a nut 71

Preparation and Cooking Techniques 73

You'll flip for this sauteing skill: Cook food evenly-and look cool doing it 74

Come into the fold: French technique intensifies flavor, eases cleanup 78

Stir-frying puts some sizzle in a cook's repertoire 81

Building a better burger 86

Stuffing pork chops in no time: Endless variations for elegant dinner 91

Braise away the winter blues: Roll up warm relief in the form of a classic Italian braciola 95

Praising braising: Slow-cooking technique brings out the best in many cuts of meat 100

Take one roast, tie up in knots: Trussing a roast makes a neat package for more even cooking-and is easier to master 106

Smoky sensation: Easy, age-old technique yields an outdoor flavor 111

To brine is divine: A simple soak locks moisture and flavor into lean meats 116

Running hot and cold: Blanching and shocking serve many kitchen needs 120

French elegance, on the double 126

Don't fear the mussels: Cleaning, cooking these tasty bivalves is a snap 129

CIY (cure it yourself): You can buy corned beef, sure. But when you make it at home, you won't believe the flavor and texture 135

Bathed in simplicity: The bain-marie is an old school technique to heat food without scorching 140

Poaching perfection: Underused technique brings out the best in many fruits 142

Fricassee elevates humble chicken 148

Frenching 101: Technique dresses up pork chops for fancier dining 151

A toast to bringing out flavor 154

Listen for the whistling: And more tips that will help you make the best fries ever 157

Old-school tool: Food mill uses old-fashioned technology to produce smooth-as-silk purees and sauces 160

Sticking with it: Though skewers are a familiar tool, these tips will help you perfect your results 164

Grilling wizardry applies to veggies too: These tips help bring out flavor and preserve texture 167

Stocks, Sauces and Pantry Essentials 170

Stocking up: It takes lots of time, yes, but then your freezer will be full of delicious homemade broth 172

Taking stock: That turkey carcass has life left in it as a source for soups, sauces 176

Learning curves: How to build flavor in a perfect pureed soup 178

Confit: An ingredient for the ages 181

A French sauce blends bitter with the sweet 184

Ghee whiz: Making clarified butter is a snap and gives you more cooking fat 187

Whisked away: Emulsions lead way to irresistible-and easy to make-vinaigrettes and sauces 191

Immersed in emulsions: Beurre blanc sauce is easy to make-and here's a trick to keep it from separating 196

The wonder of homemade vinegar: Simple process has sweet rewards 199

Homemade mayonnaise whisks up in a jiffy-and is worth the effort 202

Roux the day: Versatile base lends itself to myriad sauces and soups 206

A treasure-trove of flavors can be found in pan sauces 210

Follow these simple steps and you'll get the perfect sauce… and the rest is gravy 214

Dairy, Eggs, and Breakfast Dishes 219

Egg poaching secret: Leave it alone 220

The elegant egg: French approach to omelets creates lovely presentation and great flavor 224

Over easy, over and over! You have to break a few (dozen) eggs to master the technique 227

Shirred pleasure: Easy-to-make egg dish perfect for brunch 230

Egg + milk + bread-simple equation adds up to a foolproof dish: French toast 233

With crepes, dinner options endless 236

Whipping up homemade ricotta gets you bragging rights and a fresh, pure result 242

Anatomy of a smoothie: Learning to master this drink can lead to further improvisation in the kitchen 247

Rice, Pasta, Vegetables and Fruits 249

As simple as stir, stir, stir: Learn risotto basics, then dive into a gazillion variations of classic dish 250

Filling you in on stuffed pasta: Mashed potatoes help reveal the secrets 254

The skinny on fresh herbs: Slicing technique takes practice, but will give dishes an elegant finish 258

Rolling with peppers for a clean, efficient cut 262

Mincing or creaming controls the bite of garlic 266

Getting to the root of the matter with parsnips 270

Whip potatoes into shape: Secrets on avoiding a gluey, stiff or lumpy flavorless mess 273

We're ready: Bring on the tomatoes! Concasse is springboard for using season's bounty 278

How to make the most of autumn's apple harvest 281

Holiday Meals 285

7 steps to a successful holiday meal 286

How to carve a turkey: Take the bird apart in the privacy of the kitchen with these detailed steps 289

Simple steps for matzo balls that float 294

After a long, slow cook, even the toughest bird (or meat) is ready to be pulled apart 298

Baking and Desserts 303

Whipping up dessert: Discovering many levels of goodness of freshly whipped cream 304

Conquer all muffins: Once you master the basic method, baking is a breeze 308

In pie heaven: A perfect dough begins with understanding the fat 311

Here's looking at you, cookie: How to give home-baked treats a professional look 316

Frosting a cake like a pro 319

It's the layers: Simple guidelines help your puff pastry rise 324

Take a poundcake…When good isn't good enough, use this classic dessert (and break the bread habit) to build unexpected delights 326

Recipe List 332

Photo Credits 334

Index 336

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Prep School: How to Improve Your Kitchen Skills and Cooking Techniques 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
SandrasBookNook More than 1 year ago
This is such a great resource for cooks!! From bare beginners to confident cooks, all can glean from this reference book for cooks. From chopping onions, to cleaning mussels, corning beef, poaching an egg, making homemade ricotta cheese (something I LOVE to do, but I know many cooks who didn't even realize you could easily make your own at home), carving a turkey or cooking in parchment paper, this book covers it all. It's not just a "how-to" book, but after teaching you the technique then gives you at least one recipe to use that technique. While most cooks can glean something from this book, I especially recommend it to beginner cooks. There is so much they can learn out of this book. I highly recommend it! I received a copy of this book from Agate Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. (This review is for the hardcover book, not an ebook.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Constantly crashes on my nook tablet. But when i can get into it i find myself applying these lessons in my home kitchen as well as my kitchen at work.