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A New Way to Cook

by Sally Schneider

Other authors: Maria Robledo (Photographer)

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333659,805 (3.83)None
Sally Schneider was tired of doing what we all do--separating foods into "good" and "bad," into those we crave but can't have and those we can eat freely but don't especially want--so she created A New Way To Cook. Her book is nothing short of revolutionary, a redefinition of healthy eating, where no food is taboo, where the pleasure principle is essential to well-being, where the concept of self-denial just doesn't exist. More than 600 lavishly illustrated recipes result in marvelous, vividly flavored foods. You'll find quintessential American favorites that taste every bit as good as the traditional "full-tilt" versions: macaroni and cheese, rosemary buttermilk biscuits, chocolate malted pudding. You'll find Italian polentas, risottos, focaccias, and pastas, all reinvented without the loss of a single drop of deliciousness. Asian flavors shine through in cold sesame noodles; mussels with lemongrass, ginger, and chiles; and curry-crusted shrimp. Even French food is no longer on the forbidden list, with country-style pâtés and cassoulet. Hundreds of techniques, radical in their ultimate simplicty, make all the difference in the world: using chestnut puree in place of cream, butter, and pork fat in a duck liver mousse; extending the richness of flavored oils by boiling them with a little broth to dress starchy beans and grains; casserole-roasting baby back ribs to render them of fat, then lacquering them with a pungent maple glaze. Scores of flavor catalysts--quickly made sauces, rubs, marinades, essences, and vinaigrettes--add instant hits of flavor with little effort. Leek broth dresses pasta; chive oil becomes an instant sauce for broiled salmon; a smoky tea essence imparts a sweet, grilled flavor to steak; balsamic vinegar turns into a luscious dessert sauce. Variations and improvisations offer infiinite flexibility. Once you learn a basic recipe, it's simple to devise your own version for any part of the meal. "Fried" artichockes with crispy garlic and sage can be an hors d-oeuvre topped with shaved cheeses, part of a composed salad, or as a main course when tossed iwth pasta. It's equally happy on top of pizza or stirred into risotto. And by building dishes from simple elements, turning out complex meals doesn't have to be a complex affair. A wealth of tips and practical information to make you a more accomplished and self-confident cook: how to rescue ordinary olive oil to give it more flavor, how to make soups creamy without cream, how to freshen less-than-perfect fish. So here it is, 756 glorious pages of all the deliciousness and joy that food is meant to convey.… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
Precisely how I like to cook. Intense flavors derived from fresh ingredients without excess fuss. ( )
  bunwat | Mar 30, 2013 |
There have always been 2 different things, when it comes to cookbooks: on the one hand, cookbooks that focus on getting the maximum taste out of food. This usually means cooking rich, high in calories food, that tastes good because of the use of butter, lots of unrefined sugar, cream, etc. My cookbook shelf contains quite a few books focusing on this type of food, & they surely have a place in every cookbook collection. On the other hand, there have always been books focusing on "light" cooking, containing recipes that tend to use "light" ingredients & many vegetables & fruit. There's always been a need for a book that addresses the gap between these 2 types of cooking, & attempts to bridge this gap. "A new way to cook" is exactly this long-awaited book!

Sally Schneider has put taste above everything else: she wants her food to look good & taste good. She also realises, though, that this cannot realistically be achieved through the use of lots of oil or butter or whatever else, since most people have health & weight considerations to take into account. So what she has done is this: she's experimented with lots of different cooking methods, trying to get the best possible taste out of a certain food, using the least possible calories. She does not exclude any ingredients: she just uses everything in moderation & proposes lots of inventive methods.

Something that is important is that her book never gets anywhere near boring, "light-cooking" recipes. She has a whole chapter on colorful, indulgent desserts, where you can find everything from lighter desserts using fruits to decadent chocolate cakes & tarts. Schneider's basic premise is that moderation, the use of good ingredients, & inventive, creative cooking methods are the key to good, healthy & yes- in the end, light eating. ( )
  marialondon | Jun 30, 2009 |
Comprehensive and specific enough for someone like me who doesn't cook a whole lot and isn't very confident in their improvisational skills, but I think there is enough depth that anyone would find this book enjoyable and useful. I think there is some protesting too much regarding how delicious yet healthy things are. Sometimes, you really do miss the fat. ( )
  happymedium | Mar 12, 2008 |
Quite good, but too much focus on health and not enough on flavor. ( )
  BrianDewey | Aug 7, 2007 |
This book includes a very nice 20-page section on kitchen staples (like oils and spices). There are also nicely done tables on grains, beans, and other sometimes-overwhelming foods. The recipes themselves are pretty straightforward and use only a few ingredients, and the techniques are well-explained, but don't let that fool you into thinking that they are all boring things you've seen before. I highly recommend this book for an experienced home cook who is ready to move beyond "recipe following" and into the joy of "cooking". This was the only cookbook I brought on a 2-month personal chef gig. ( )
  beau.p.laurence | Jul 23, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Robledo, MariaPhotographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Sally Schneider was tired of doing what we all do--separating foods into "good" and "bad," into those we crave but can't have and those we can eat freely but don't especially want--so she created A New Way To Cook. Her book is nothing short of revolutionary, a redefinition of healthy eating, where no food is taboo, where the pleasure principle is essential to well-being, where the concept of self-denial just doesn't exist. More than 600 lavishly illustrated recipes result in marvelous, vividly flavored foods. You'll find quintessential American favorites that taste every bit as good as the traditional "full-tilt" versions: macaroni and cheese, rosemary buttermilk biscuits, chocolate malted pudding. You'll find Italian polentas, risottos, focaccias, and pastas, all reinvented without the loss of a single drop of deliciousness. Asian flavors shine through in cold sesame noodles; mussels with lemongrass, ginger, and chiles; and curry-crusted shrimp. Even French food is no longer on the forbidden list, with country-style pâtés and cassoulet. Hundreds of techniques, radical in their ultimate simplicty, make all the difference in the world: using chestnut puree in place of cream, butter, and pork fat in a duck liver mousse; extending the richness of flavored oils by boiling them with a little broth to dress starchy beans and grains; casserole-roasting baby back ribs to render them of fat, then lacquering them with a pungent maple glaze. Scores of flavor catalysts--quickly made sauces, rubs, marinades, essences, and vinaigrettes--add instant hits of flavor with little effort. Leek broth dresses pasta; chive oil becomes an instant sauce for broiled salmon; a smoky tea essence imparts a sweet, grilled flavor to steak; balsamic vinegar turns into a luscious dessert sauce. Variations and improvisations offer infiinite flexibility. Once you learn a basic recipe, it's simple to devise your own version for any part of the meal. "Fried" artichockes with crispy garlic and sage can be an hors d-oeuvre topped with shaved cheeses, part of a composed salad, or as a main course when tossed iwth pasta. It's equally happy on top of pizza or stirred into risotto. And by building dishes from simple elements, turning out complex meals doesn't have to be a complex affair. A wealth of tips and practical information to make you a more accomplished and self-confident cook: how to rescue ordinary olive oil to give it more flavor, how to make soups creamy without cream, how to freshen less-than-perfect fish. So here it is, 756 glorious pages of all the deliciousness and joy that food is meant to convey.

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