Clara Paul and Eric Treuille run Books for Cooks, a bookstore in London’s Notting Hill section specializing in all varieties of cookbooks.
Each day the two select a few recipes from the hundreds of cookbooks on their shelves and prepare a luncheon menu for paying guests in a small kitchen that is part of the bookstore.
In an interesting twist, Paul and Treuille have written their own cookbook titled, “200 Skills Every Cook Must Have: the Step-by-Step Methods that Will Turn a Good Cook into a Great Cook.”
Paul and Treuille explain their cookbook’s premise in the book’s introduction. They reveal they wanted to write the “ultimate book that answers all the queries, questions, and uncertainties that every home cook has, however experienced or confident they might be.”
The authors begin their book discussing sauces, which are important not only for the flavor they contribute to food, but also because a sauce often forms the basis of a recipe.
Here, from the Sauce Skills section of “200 Skills Every Cook Must Have,” are 10 sauces the authors believe every cook should know how to create:
1. Classic Tomato Sauce
2. Basic Vinaigrette
3. Gravy from cooking juices
4. Béchamel Sauce
5. Hollandaise Sauce
6. Béarnaise Sauce
7. Classic White Sauce
8. Crème Anglaise, (a sweet French sauce)
9. Ganache (Chocolate Sauce)
10. Crème Patissiere, (a vanilla cream sauce)
Each of these sauces is accompanied by a list of the tools and ingredients needed to prepare it, as well as an easy-to-follow method and color illustration. While "200 Skills Every Cook Must Have" favors those who are just learning how to cook, there is something here for every cook, no matter his or her level of expertise.
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