The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

W. W. Norton & Company
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A New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the James Beard Award for General Cooking and the IACP Cookbook of the Year Award

"The one book you must have, no matter what you’re planning to cook or where your skill level falls."—New York Times Book Review

Ever wondered how to pan-fry a steak with a charred crust and an interior that's perfectly medium-rare from edge to edge when you cut into it? How to make homemade mac 'n' cheese that is as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but far tastier? How to roast a succulent, moist turkey (forget about brining!)—and use a foolproof method that works every time?

As Serious Eats's culinary nerd-in-residence, J. Kenji López-Alt has pondered all these questions and more. In The Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don’t work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new—but simple—techniques. In hundreds of easy-to-make recipes with over 1,000 full-color images, you will find out how to make foolproof Hollandaise sauce in just two minutes, how to transform one simple tomato sauce into a half dozen dishes, how to make the crispiest, creamiest potato casserole ever conceived, and much more.

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About the author

J. Kenji López-Alt is the managing culinary director of, author of the James Beard Award–nominated column The Food Lab, and a columnist for Cooking Light. He lives in San Mateo with his wife Adriana.

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25 total

Additional Information

W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Sep 21, 2015
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Cooking / Courses & Dishes / General
Cooking / General
Cooking / Individual Chefs & Restaurants
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • My name is Alton Brown, and I wrote this book. It’s my first in a few years because I’ve been a little busy with TV stuff and interwebs stuff and live stage show stuff. Sure, I’ve been cooking, but it’s been mostly to feed myself and people in my immediate vicinity—which is really what a cook is supposed to do, right? Well, one day I was sitting around trying to organize my recipes, and I realized that I should put them into a personal collection. One thing led to another, and here’s EveryDayCook. There’s still plenty of science and hopefully some humor in here (my agent says that’s my “wheelhouse”), but unlike in my other books, a lot of attention went into the photos, which were all taken on my iPhone (take that, Instagram) and are suitable for framing. As for the recipes, which are arranged by time of day, they’re pretty darned tasty. Highlights include: 
• Morning: Buttermilk Lassi, Overnight Coconut Oats, Nitrous Pancakes 
• Coffee Break: Cold Brew Coffee, Lacquered Bacon, Seedy Date Bars
• Noon: Smoky the Meat Loaf, Grilled Cheese Grilled Sandwich, “EnchiLasagna” or “Lasagnalada”
• Afternoon: Green Grape Cobbler, Crispy Chickpeas, Savory Greek Yogurt Dip
• Evening: Bad Day Bitter Martini, Mussels-O-Miso, Garam Masalmon Steaks
• Anytime: The General’s Fried Chicken, Roasted Chile Salsa, Peach Punch Pops
• Later: Cider House Fondue, Open Sesame Noodles, Chocapocalypse Cookie
So let’s review: 101 recipes with mouthwatering photos, a plethora of useful insights on methods, tools, and ingredients all written by an “award-winning and influential educator and tastemaker.” That last part is from the PR office. Real people don’t talk like that.
Every once in a while, a cookbook comes along that instantly says "classic." This is one of them. Acclaimed pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt and master baker Chad Robertson share not only their fabulous recipes, but also the secrets and expertise that transform a delicious homemade treat into a great one. It's no wonder there are lines out the door of Elisabeth and Chad's acclaimed Tartine Bakery. It's been written up in every magazine worth its sugar and spice. Here their bakers' art is transformed into easy-to-follow recipes for the home kitchen. The only thing hard about this cookbook is deciding which recipe to try first: moist Brioche Bread Pudding; luscious Banana Cream Pie; the sweet-tart perfection of Apple Crisp. And the cakes! Billowing chiffon cakes. Creamy Bavarians bursting with seasonal fruits. A luxe Devil's Food Cake. Lemon Pound Cake, Pumpkin Tea Cake. Along with the sweets, cakes, and confections come savory treats, such as terrifically simple Wild Mushroom Tart and Cheddar Cheese Crackers. There's a little something here for breakfast, lunch, tea, supper, hors d'oeuvres—and, of course, a whole lot for dessert! Practical advice comes in the form of handy Kitchen Notes. These "hows" and "whys" convey the authors' know-how, whether it's the key to the creamiest quiche (you'll be surprised), the most efficient way to core an apple, or tips for ensuring a flaky crust. Top it off with gorgeous photographs throughout and you have an utterly fresh, inspiring, and invaluable cookbook.
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