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The Great Cook is the answer.

ISBN 10:

G R E AT C O O K

The success of a dish often lies between the lines of a recipe. In this master class in home cooking, chef and culinary instructor James Briscione partners with Cooking Light to bring great, flavorful food back to basics, guiding you through 36 recipe-focused cooking lessons captured in 500 stunning photographs. Each lesson features a master recipe accompanied by stepby-step images and variations on the dish to let you practice your new epicurean skills. Confidently turn out a pie with a tender, flaky crust, make fresh pasta from scratch, and unlock the secrets of sauces as you roast, bake, and sauté your way through this book. If you’ve ever wished you could impress with beautifully grilled vegetables, a luxurious Coq Au Vin, or a delicious soufflé,

The

The

Master more than 100 classic, all-time favorite recipes— and learn how to cook them perfectly.

G R E AT

C OOK E S S E N T I A L T E C H N I Q U E S A N D I N S P I R E D F L AV O R S TO MAKE EVERY DISH BETTER JA M E S BRI SC I O NE

$29.95 US / $32.95 CAN ISBN 10: 0-8487-3991-4 ISBN 13: 978-0-8487-3991-1

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BRISCIONE

780848 739911

Company: OH Client: Cooking Light The Great Cook Date: 01/07/2015 ISBN

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The

G r e at

c o ok e s s e n t i a l t e C h n i Q u e s a n d i n s P i r e d F l av o r s to maKe everY dish better

JaMeS BRISCIONe W ith t h e ed i t o r s o F

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coNteNtS introduCtion 7

how to BeCoMe a great Cook 8

kitChen essentials 10

S O UPS & ST EWS

SEAFOOD

27 Chicken Stock

126 Grilled Fish

34 French Onion Soup

135 Crispy-Crunchy Fish

43 Savory Stews

145 Roasted Whole Fish

51 Chili

153 Tender Seared Scallops 163 Quick & Delicious Steamed Mussels

ME AT & POULT RY

171 Sautéed Shrimp

60 Flank Steak

SALADS & VEGETABLES

70 Meatloaf

180 Leafy Main Salads

78 Roast Chicken

189 Kale

89 Flavorful Chicken Breasts

197 Grilled Vegetables

99 Coq au Vin

205 Heirloom Tomatoes

106 Pork Perfected

215 Stir-Fry

114 Pan-Seared Lamb Chops

223 Gratins

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GRAINS & PASTA

D ESSERT S

234 Mac and Cheese

306 Brownies

243 Stuffed and Baked Pastas

315 Classic Pies

251 Homemade Pasta

325 Layer Cakes

259 Quinoa

339 Ice Cream

B READS 268 Muffins

347 SoufflĂŠs

356

n u t r i t i o n a l a n a lY s i s

279 Banana Bread

357

metriC eQuivalents

287 Buttermilk Biscuits

358

aCknowledgeMents

358

about the author

295 Dinner Rolls

359

indeX

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How to Become a G R EA T C O O K

T

o be honest, recipes can take you only so far. Great cooks rely on practice and experience, so cooking becomes almost instinct. The first and most critical step: Understand that most recipes act merely as guidelines to processes. Processes that need to be learned and mastered over time. As any trained chef will tell you, each dish has its own flavor arc, and the better cook learns to attend and guide a fixed series of recipe steps to an eventual, and usually delicious, end result. This might entail adjusting the temperature of the burner, stirring the sauce, or adding key flavors at just the right moment. Dried herbs, for instance, go into the pot early in the cycle of a stew, while fresh herbs (even the same herbs) go in near the end. To achieve light, exquisite dinner rolls, kneading bread dough by hand requires adding small amounts of flour until the dough reaches a texture that the experienced baker knows feels and looks just right. For the newbie cook, this knowing might seem mysterious. It’s not; it’s just a mark of experience. The resistance of a bread dough under the heel of the hand; how a dimple bounces back; the tough sort-of silkiness of developed gluten: Bread sends signals that the experienced baker receives. Most of these signals are intercepted by the senses, which is why a great cook learns to use ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and fingers throughout the cooking process. Touching, tasting, smelling—these are key cooking strategies because the success of a dish often lies between the lines

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of a recipe, in the unwritten and almost indescribable things that help you know when a dish is cooking exactly the way it should. The goal of these 36 lessons, each with its own visual step-bystep process for mastering a dish, is to lead you along and through that cooking continuum so that you understand every single part of the process. The first part of the process in these lessons begins with mise en place. This is a French term that means “everything in its place” and it is the most essential skill that a great cook learns. Doing your mise en place means getting all of your peeling, chopping, and organizing out of the way before you begin cooking. Most people marvel at how chefs make cooking look so effortless on TV, that’s because they’ve got all their prepped ingredients and equipment ready to go. Plus, they’ve run through the steps of the recipe many times in their head—mise en place is mental, too. More than anything, good mise en place makes the act of cooking fun by getting rid of clutter and confusion. Take these lessons at your own pace. Study each recipe with a critical eye, looking for anything unfamiliar. Shop for quality ingredients. Gather your mise en place. Make the recipes one or two or more times. Taste as you go. Eventually your practice and attention to detail will set you well on your way to gaining the experience it takes to catapult you from the realm of a good cook up to the level of a great one.

T h e g r e a t coo k

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MASTER RECIPE

Maple and Soy Glazed

Flank Steak Letting your marinade pull double duty and act as a glaze or sauce is a simple way to amp up flavor. Just be sure the marinade boils well so it reduces to a glaze.

1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed

1. Preheat broiler. Pierce steak gently on both sides with

3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce 3 tablespoons maple syrup

a fork. Combine next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish; add steak and turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

2 tablespoons sake (rice wine) or dry sherry

2. Remove steak from marinade, reserving marinade.

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil 1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce) 1

â „ 8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place steak on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. 3. Pour marinade into a small skillet; bring to a boil,

stirring well. Cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until thick and syrupy. 4. Brush steak with half of glaze; broil 5 minutes. Turn

Cooking spray

Hands-on time: 30 min. Total time: 30 min.

steak over, and brush with remaining glaze; broil 5 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. 5. Place steak on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes.

Meat fibers run in lines known as grain; this grain is very apparent in flank steak. Slicing across the grain, or perpendicular to the lines, makes steak tender.

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Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces) CALORIES 232; FAT 9. 1g (sat 3. 2g, m ono 3. 6g, pol y 1. 2g); PROTEIN 23. 4g; CARB 11. 9g; FIBER 0. 2g; CHOL 45mg; IRON 2m g; SODIUM 436m g; CALC 25m g

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VARIATION

Flank Steak Tacos A spice mixture is rubbed into the steak before grilling to build in smoky, rich flavor; then it’s tucked into warmed tortillas. If you don’t feel like tacos, add the steak to a salad.

2 tablespoons olive oil 2 1 ⁄ 4 teaspoons hot paprika 2 1 ⁄ 4 teaspoons ground cumin

1. Combine first 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a small

bowl. Rub steak evenly with spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. 2. Preheat grill to high heat. Sprinkle steak evenly with

salt and black pepper. Place steak on a grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from grill, and let stand for 10 minutes. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices. 3. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide

steak evenly among tortillas. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)

1 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar 1

⁄ 2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika

1

⁄ 2 teaspoon ground red pepper

1

⁄ 4 teaspoon celery seeds

CALORIES 256; FAT 10. 7g (sat 2. 4g, mono 5g, pol y 1. 2g); PROTEIN 2 0 . 9 g ; CARB 20. 7g; FIBER 2. 8g; CHOL 28m g; IRON 2m g; SODIUM 380m g; CALC 5 4 m g

3 garlic cloves, minced 1 (1 1 ⁄ 2 -pound) flank steak, trimmed 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1

⁄ 2 teaspoon black pepper

Cooking spray 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Hands-on time: 30 min. Total time: 2hr. 40 min.

Meat & Poultry

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how long will it last? Product High-acid canned goods (fruit- or tomato-based)

Low-acid canned foods (meat, fish, vegetables)

Oil Starchy staples

(rice, pasta, beans, flour)

Sugar

Shelf Life

Excess Storage Risk

Up to 18 months

Metal from can dissolves into food

Up to 5 years

Quality deterioration

1 year

Rancidity

Up to 18 months

Quality deterioration; pest infestation; mold growth

Several years

If it gets wet, will clump and may grow mold Kitc h e n Ess e nti a ls

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MASTER RECIPE

Chicken Piccata In Italy, this classic dish is typically made with veal. But chicken breasts make a great substitute for the more expensive veal and go just as well with the lemon-caper sauce.

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1

⁄ 2 cup all-purpose flour, divided

1

⁄ 2 teaspoon kosher salt

1

⁄ 4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 1 ⁄ 2 tablespoons butter, divided 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1

⁄ 4 cup finely chopped shallots

4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1

⁄ 2 cup dry white wine

3

⁄ 4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 ⁄ 2 tablespoons drained capers 1

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Hands-on time: 31 min. Total time: 31 min.

1. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-

duty plastic wrap; pound to 1⁄2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. 2. Place 1 teaspoon flour in a small bowl, and place remain-

ing flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour in shallow dish; shake off excess. 3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-

high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. 4. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side or until

done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. 5. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan; swirl to coat.

Add shallots to pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. 6. Add wine; bring to a boil, scraping pan with wooden spoon

to loosen browned bits. Cook until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally. (continued)

Proper heat is the key here, if the oil becomes dark or begins to smoke at the edges, reduce temperature so the chicken can cook through without burning on the outside.

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When removing chicken from the pan, rest on a cooling rack rather than a plate to help the meat retain more juices.

7. Add 1⁄4 cup broth to reserved 1 teaspoon flour; stir until

smooth. 8. Add remaining 1⁄2 cup broth to pan; bring to a boil. Cook

until reduced by half (about 5 minutes). 9. Stir in flour mixture; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick,

stirring frequently. 10. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 11⁄2 tablespoons

butter, juice, and capers. Place 1 chicken breast half on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle each serving with about 2 teaspoons parsley. Yield: 4 servings CALORIES 365; FAT 16. 3g (sat 6. 1g, m ono 7. 3g, pol y 1. 5g); PROTEIN 41. 1g; CARB 9. 3g; FIBER 0. 7g; CHOL 118mg; IRON 2. 1m g; SODIUM 574m g; CALC 41m g

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Today’s Lesson Stuffed & Baked Pastas

C

urious cook: Get ready to meet crème fraîche. It’s destined to be your new this-sauce-is-so-creamy-and-delicious secret weapon. Never tried crème fraîche? Think of it as sour cream’s sophisticated cousin. It’s naturally soured so it’s richer and creamier (and has a bit more fat) than sour cream. But that richness keeps it from separating and becoming watery when cooked, making it the perfect addition (in small amounts) to baked pastas. Now that you’ve got your creamy pasta

sauce down, let’s talk about a nutrient-packed, one-dish meal that is completely irresistible. With kale (antioxidants; fiber; vitamins K, A, and C) and butternut squash (beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin B6 ), you’d be hard pressed to find a way to pack more goodness into one simple meal. Roasting vegetables, like the butternut squash, separately before incorporating them into a baked dish is a great way to concentrate their flavor and cut down cooking time. Did we mention the bacon and cheese? Perfection reached.

Y ou’ll le a rn: How to make a savory pasta sauce • How long to cook pasta that will also be baked • How to tell when a casserole is “done”

Ma s te r Re ci pe : bacon and butternut pasta

Va ri ati ons : shrimp stuffed shells • mushroom lasagna

Grains & pasta

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MASTER RECIPE

Maple and Soy–Glazed

your mise en place PROTEIN

Flank Steak

Bacon slices

DAIRY Letting your marinade pull double duty and act as a glaze or sauce is a simple way to amp up Crème FraÎche flavor. Just be sure the marinade boils well before putting it back on the cooked meat. GruyÈre cheese, shredded

FRESH PRODUCE 3 tablespoons lower-sodium

1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed soy sauce squash, cubed Butternut Kale, chopped 3 tablespoons maple syrup Onion, vertically sliced 2 tablespoons sake (rice wine) or dry sherry Garlic cloves, minced 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

2. Pierce steak gently on both sides with a fork. Combine

next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish; add steak and turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature 20 minutes, turning occasionally. 3. Remove steak from marinade, reserving marinade. Place

steak on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.

FLAVOR BOOSTERS/STAPLES 4. Pour marinade into a small skillet; bring to a boil, stirring

1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce)

well. Cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until thick Olive oil 1 / 8 teaspoon freshly ground black and syrupy. Cooking pepper spray Ziti Cooking spray 5. Brush steak with half of glaze; broil 5 minutes. Turn steak Salt over, and brush with remaining glaze; broil 5 minutes or until Hands-on time: 18 min. desired degree of doneness. Fat-free, chicken broth Total time: lower-sodium 38 min. All-purpose flour 6. Place steak on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Cut Meat fibers run in lines Crushed red pepper steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Yield: 4 known as grain; this grain servings (serving size: 3 ounces)

Equipment needed: is very apparent in flank sharp knife steak. Slicing across the Cheese grater grain, or perpendicular Large bowl to the lines, makes steak Baking sheet tender. Large pot 1. Preheat broiler. Nonstick skillet Small saucepan Small bowl Whisk Baking dish

CALORIES 232; FAT 9. 1g (sat 3. 2g, m ono 3. 6g, pol y 1. 2g); PROTEIN 23. 4g; CARB 11. 9g; FIBER 0. 2g; CHOL 45m g; IRON 2m g; SODIUM 436m g; CALC 25m g

Now try some variations!

Preheat your oven to 400°. 244

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Today’s Lesson Layer Cakes

L

ayer cake is the answer. No matter what the question or occasion may be, layer cake is inevitably the welcome dessert solution. Whether you are celebrating one of life’s special events or simply commemorating the fact that everyone is together for a meal, a richtasting, tender, moist cake layered with fluffy, creamy icing is a dramatic and memorable way to conclude. But questions remain, such as: Really? Me? In my kitchen? Make it myself? Again, the answer is yes, layer cake. We’re

here to show you how. We’ll not only take you through the steps to turn out a professional-looking cake, but we’ll shave off extra fat and calories along the way. So you just ran out of excuses. You’ll start baking the cake layers, using brilliant techniques and ingredients to get perfect flavor and texture without loads of butter. Then, finish it all off with the perfect icing: fluffy meringue, bittersweet chocolate glaze, or deeply flavored maple—it’s up to you.

Y ou’ll le a rn: How to mix a cake batter • How to bake a cake How to make several kinds of frosting

Ma s te r Re ci pe : Vanilla cake with Italian Meringue Frosting

Va ri ati ons : Chocolate-Orange Layer cake • Pecan spice cake with maple frosting

D ESSERTS

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MASTER RECIPE

Vanilla Cake

with Italian Meringue Frosting Precision is important when baking, especially light baking where there’s less margin for error. For absolute accuracy, get in the habit of weighing the flour (for tips, see page 276).

Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. To prepare cake, lightly coat 2

Cooking spray

(8-inch) round metal cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust each pan with 1 teaspoon flour.

2 teaspoons cake flour 11 ounces cake flour (about 2 3⁄4 cups) 1

⁄ 2 teaspoon baking powder

1

⁄ 2 teaspoon baking soda

1

⁄ 2 teaspoon salt

2. Weigh or lightly spoon 11 ounces flour into dry measuring

⁄ 4 cup 1% reduced-fat milk

cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine buttermilk and reduced-fat milk in a small bowl.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

3. Combine 1 cup sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with

1 cup nonfat buttermilk 1

5 tablespoons butter, softened 2 tablespoons canola oil 3 large egg yolks 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 large egg whites

mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add canola oil and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. 4. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to butter

Frosting:

mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until combined.

2

⁄ 3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

5. Place 3 egg whites in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer

1

⁄ 4 cup water

Dash of salt 1

⁄ 4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 large egg whites 1

at high speed until foamy, using clean, dry beaters. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. (continued)

⁄ 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling: 1

⁄ 2 cup bottled lemon curd

Hands-on time: 45 min. Total time: 1 hr. 25 min.

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6. Gently fold egg white mixture into batter.

Cream of tartar is your insurance policy when whipping egg whites for a fluffy frosting. It helps stabilize the whites while adding volume. Prevent the layers from sticking to the pan and crumbling by spraying with cooking spray, lining with paper, spraying again, and dusting with flour.

7. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake at 350°

for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. 8. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks. Loosen edges

with a knife, and invert cakes onto racks. Cool completely; discard wax paper. 9. To prepare frosting, combine 2⁄3 cup sugar, 1⁄4 cup water,

and dash of salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until a thermometer registers 240°, about 4 minutes. 10. Combine cream of tartar and 3 egg whites in a clean large

bowl; beat with a mixer with clean, dry beaters at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating at high speed until medium peaks form. Gradually pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg white mixture, beating first at medium speed and then at high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract into the meringue frosting. 11. To prepare filling, place lemon curd in a medium bowl. Gently fold 1⁄3 cup meringue into the curd. Fold an additional 2 ⁄3 cup meringue into curd mixture. 12. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread filling over top of cake, leaving a 1⁄4-inch border. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting over sides and top of cake. Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 wedge) CALORIES 274; FAT 7. 5g (sat 3. 3g, m ono 2. 4g, pol y 0. 8g); PROTEIN 4. 2g; CARB 48. 4g; FIBER 1. 3g; CHOL 59mg; IRON 1. 7m g; SODIUM 214m g; CALC 23m g

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The Great Cook  

A master class in home cooking, The Great Cook combines tested recipes from the experts at Cooking Light with fundamental lessons that every...

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