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

  • Broccoli salad with bacon and sweet-sour dressing

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Beebopalulu on December 02, 2019

      Everyone loves this salad

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Horseradish meringue-crusted fillets

    • bching on December 06, 2018

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

  • 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?

  • Fresh tomato-basil sauce with roasted almonds and garlic

    • Rodrigaba on April 01, 2021

      This sauce hits all the same notes as your run of the mill marinara, but with a little more oomph. The roasted almonds get blended into a paste that makes the final result taste creamy without any milk. I also loved the use of diced and fresh tomatoes to bring textural interest . According to Corriher, the vodka helps bring out some of the subtler notes in the sauce. While I cannot definitively say that it did (I don’t know how the sauce tastes without vodka), I can say that for a sauce with simple ingredients it came out very punchy.

  • Rich cappuccino ice cream

    • Rodrigaba on April 01, 2021

      This recipe was a disappointment. I’ll start out by saying the flavor of the ice cream was delicious. However there were two flaws in the recipe. First, th recipe has you put cracked espresso beans in the base before aging it in the fridge. It’s unclear if this is to infuse the base further, in which case the beans should be strained out before put in the ice cream maker, or if its to add textural interest to the ice cream, in which case they should be folded in at the very end. The overnight steep made them lose their crunch and gave them a weird woody texture. I ended up picking them out of the final product. The second issue is that the base had fat globules from improper emulsification. This is a common enough issue that a science-oriented cookbook should have given clear instructions to avoid it.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!).

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  • ISBN 10 0688102298
  • ISBN 13 9780688102296
  • Linked ISBNs
  • 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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