Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman
Michael Ruhlman is a seasoned author who has penned several cookbooks including "the Elements of ...more
Okay.. I really like cooking and I really like cookbooks, but I have NEVER been so taken with a cookbook that I couldn't put it down and took it with me to read over lunch!!! Not until now, anyway. Michael Ruhlman is a seasoned author who has penned several cookbooks including "the Elements of Cooking". In Ratio, he lays bare the formulas behind the basics of cooking - the ratio of the basic ingredients that define the outcome. And he makes it all interesting!! Once you know the ratio, you have the foundation to riff off of it to your hearts content without being tied to a particular recipe. He defines the RATIO of flour/liquid/fat/sugar/etc necessary for basic doughs, batters, sauces, etc. and then suggests variations to tweak the outcome. So, what is the difference between a cake, muffin, a biscuit, a crepe, pasta and pizza dough... they all have the same basic ingredients, right? Well, It all makes sense when you know the basic formula and see how the differences in proportions create a totally different finished product. It's all in the RATIO. For the purists out there, and you know who you are, Ruhlman makes it clear from the start that technique and quality ingredients are key. However, he also maintains that if you follow the formula and understand how things work together, that you can create a good product from the very beginning and then spend your time and energy improving your technique instead of looking for good recipes. A great read and very practical.