So this works because you add an acid to a base...
December 31, 2009 1:13 PM Subscribe
Looking for books teaching the principles
posted by Hakaisha to Food & Drink (36 answers total) 104 users marked this as a favorite
Among my circle of friends, I'm a pretty decent cook (if it matters, I'm early 20s, female, college student). Thing is, usually for those get-together endeavours I pull up recipes from the internet, add/improvise as I see fit, and it usually turns out well.
However, said improvisation is usually because my kitchen is limited in ingredients/tools and not because I understand how to substitute one ingredient for another. While there are very celebrated recipe books out there (The Joy of Cooking is the first that comes to mind, among others), I'm more looking for books that teaches the principles behind cooking: how to complement notes and flavours, acids to bases, or whatever. (And as a chemistry student IRL, I'm doubly interested in what makes recipes work in the chemical sense.) My relatives are all more of the 'this works because it does' school and thus can't really teach me why a certain recipe works the way it does.
My boyfriend got me Alton Brown's Good Eats: The Early Years for Christmas, which I thought was fantastic--it explained a lot about where certain foods came from (I had seriously never known what the cuts of beef were called. No joke), but again, not really too much on how the principles of complementing flavours work. Or the theory of how cutting dry ingredients into wet is different from just blending the heck out of it with a blender. Basically, I'm looking for books that'd teach me the why and the how, and not recipes towards one particular cuisine or type. Baking, stir-frying, whatever--it's all good, as long as the theory's there.
So, hit me, MeFites! And thanks in advance. =)