Cookwise: The Hows & Whys of Successful Cooking by Shirley O. Corriher

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Notes about this book

  • Kiyah on August 07, 2010

    You will learn much cooking with Shirley. Alton Brown knows this!

  • nomadchowwoman on July 17, 2010

    A wonderful reference, with fool-proof recipes. I love the recipe for flaky pastry. I go back to it again and again.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Crusty French-type bread

    • Dannausc on May 31, 2020

      It was good but nothing to get excited about.

  • Rich Finnish coffee bread

    • Dannausc on May 31, 2020

      The ingredient list calls for coarse sugar, but it’s never mentioned in the recipe. I didn’t realize this until I was finished baking. The bread was good, but probably would have been even better with the sugar on top.

  • Honey-walnut sticky buns

    • Dannausc on May 24, 2020

      Quite a few steps/took a long time. Good but not worth the effort.

  • Bourbon pecan pie

    • helskitchenvt on December 16, 2016

      I'm not sure where the graham crackers are in this recipe? I think they're from a different crust recipe?

  • Good-for-you apple bran muffins with walnuts and orange zest

    • ashallen on September 10, 2019

      These muffins taste very nice, are moist, and have lots of healthy ingredients. However, recipe has a fair number of prep steps with small amounts of individual ingredients (grate carrot, toast + butter walnuts, chop apple, zest oranges, drain pineapple) which made these higher-effort than other similarly tasty muffins. Oat bran was kind of gritty/nubbly when muffins were fresh from the oven, but it absorbed moisture and smoothed out well after sitting overnight. I substituted golden raisins for crushed pineapple - worked well, though pineapple would be great. Recipe calls for vanilla in instructions but omits quantity in ingredient list - I used 1.5 tsp. Recipe says to bake 20-25 minutes at 450F - mine were quite brown by 20 minutes (in a light/medium-dark tin) so keep an eye on them! Also, my oat bran seemed to have a bit of a stale taste - I purchased it from the bulk bin - I might try toasting it in the oven a bit before using next time (one more prep step!).

  • Horseradish meringue-crusted fillets

    • bching on December 06, 2018

      Edible but not good enough for the work involved. Topping was tasty but pasty!

  • Mixed greens with walnuts

    • Dannausc on May 31, 2020

      Pretty good. Worth a repeat. The walnuts gave a nice consistency and flavor to the dressing.

  • Broccoli salad with bacon and sweet-sour dressing

    • Beebopalulu on December 02, 2019

      Everyone loves this salad

    • sarahawker on September 10, 2015

      Best broccoli salad ever! I was surprised by the raw broccoli, but it went over really well, every one of us loved it.. I didn't have bacon and added the raisins early as they were hard. Worked very very well.

    • wester on September 03, 2010

      Once you get over your first reaction (What, RAW broccoli?) this salad is very good. The flavors combine very well. When I make this again, I will add the bacon and raisins half an hour before serving so the flavors can marry even better.

  • Cheddar-crusted chicken breasts with grapes and apples in Grand Marnier sauce

    • Dannausc on May 31, 2020

      I omitted the Grand Marnier. It was good though a bit on the sweet side. Nice blend of flavors and textures. I like the combination of chicken, cheese, and apples.

  • Sherried rice and barley with almonds

  • Shallot mashed potatoes with garlic

    • Dannausc on May 31, 2020

      Good but a little runny.

  • Salty-sea perfect tender shrimp

    • bching on May 27, 2017

      Excellent technique--fussy but worth it for well-flavored, tender, peel 'n eat shrimp. I doubled the amount of shrimp and increased the liquid by 2/3--a ratio I would use again. If you like very spicy shrimp you might want to increase the spice (heat) level but for a crowd, I think the spice level is just right. Fire lovers can up the heat level with a spice sauce/dip.

  • Spicy, garlicky New Orleans herbed shrimp

    • Dannausc on May 31, 2020

      I used 3/4 t. Cayenne. Good, tasty, with a nice kick.

  • Hot Thai curried chicken with coconut milk and avocados

    • Dannausc on July 05, 2020

      I added about 10 thinly sliced pickles Thai chiles which gave it about the right amount of heat. Good but a bit sweet. I’d cut down to 1/4 c. sugar next time.

  • Marinated grilled skirt steak

    • Dannausc on May 31, 2020

      I marinated the steak for two hours and cooked it under the broiler. It turned out fine. Quick, easy, and tasty.

  • Juicy pork tenderloins with spicy Chinese sauce

    • Dannausc on May 31, 2020

      Fairly quick and easy. Tasty.

  • Smothered chicken with ham and almonds

    • wester on June 18, 2014

      I liked this, a different way to serve chicken. Although the recipe was adapted from an Italian one, I thought there was a Spanish feel to it. It was quite filling too.

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  • ISBN 10 0688102298
  • ISBN 13 9780688102296
  • Published Jun 26 1997
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 524
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Imprint William Morrow

Publishers Text

Beard Award! In the long-awaited CookWise, food sleuth Shirley Corriher tells you how and why things happen in cooking. When you know how to estimate the right amount of baking powder, you can tell by looking at the recipe that the cake is overleavened and may fall. When you know that too little liquid for the amount of chocolate in a recipe can cause the chocolate to seize and become a solid grainy mass, you can spot chocolate truffle recipes that will be a disaster. And, in both cases, you know exactly how to "fix" the recipe. Knowing how ingredients work, individually and in combination, will not only make you more aware of the cooking process, but transform you into a confident and exceptional cook -- a cook who is in control.

CookWise is a different kind of cookbook. There are over 230 outstanding recipes -- from Snapper Fingers with Smoked Pepper Tartar Sauce to Chocolate Stonehenge Slabs with Cappuccino Mousse -- but here each recipe serves not only to please the palate but to demonstrate the roles of ingredients and techniques. A What This Recipe Shows section summarizes the special cooking points being demonstrated in each recipe. This little bit of science in everyday language indicates which steps or ingredients are vital and cannot be omitted without consequences.

Among the recipes you'll also find some surprises. Don't be afraid of a vinaigrette prepared without vinegar or a high-egg-white, crisp pâte â choux. Many of the concepts used here are Shirley's own. Try her method of sprinkling croissant or puff pastry dough with ice water before folding to keep it soft and easy to roll.

CookWise covers everything from the rise and fall of cakes, through unscrambling the powers of eggs and why red cabbage turns blue during cooking but red peppers don't, to the essential role of crystals in making fudge. Want to learn about what makes a crust flaky? Try the Big-Chunk Fresh Apple Pie in Flaky cheese Crust. Discover for yourself what brining does to poultry in Juicy Roast Chicken.

CookWise is not only informative, it's engrossing, and many sections react like a mystery story. The knowledge you gain from its pages will transform you, too, into a food sleuth, an informed and assured cook who can track down why sauces curdle or why the muffins were dry -- a cook who will never prepare a failed recipe again!

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