The Competent Cook: Essential Tools, Techniques, and Recipes for the Modern At-Home Cook

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Adams Media, Oct 18, 2009 - Cooking - 288 pages
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The kitchen can be an intimidating place for those who don't know whether they should blanch, braise, or broil. But not everyone can afford to go out whenever they want to eat well! So how does the hopeful cook learn to create delicious cuisine?

In this cookbook, professional caterer and cooking expert Lauren Braun Costello gives the gourmet wannabe plenty of food for thought, including how to:

  • Organize the kitchen to maximize space and accessibility
  • Stock the pantry with essential tools and ingredients
  • Master the ten techniques every home chef should know
  • Whip up classic recipes, adapted to different palates and skill levels
  • Use lingo you've always wondered about (what is coulis, anyway?)
Starting with the most basic skills and building to advanced techniques, this culinary compendium serves up a complete A-to-Z course that starts out al dente and finishes with some zest!

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ate Essential Recipes 105
The Essential Tools
The Essential Techniques
The Bakers Essential Tools and Techniques
The Serious Cooks Essential Tools and Techniques
The Grill Masters Essential Tools and Techniques
How to Shop for Food and Store It Properly
Chapter 12
Chapter 14
Chapter 16
Chapter 18
Chapter 20
Appendix B Measurement Conversions
Cooking with Eggs

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About the author (2009)

Lauren Braun Costello was founder and Executive Chef of Gotham Caterers for seven years. She has worked as a private chef, culinary instructor, recipe tester for The Joy of Cooking, food stylist for The Early Show and has appeared on The View. She received a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts from The French Culinary Institute. Her first book, Notes on Cooking, has been praised by culinary masters such as Jacques Pepin, James Peterson, and Daniel Boulud. For more than a year, Costello wrote a weekly cooking column, “The Competent Cook,” on She lives in New York City with her son and her husband.

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