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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat

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Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Chunky: Tuscan bean and kale soup

    • Jane on December 31, 2017

      This is a lovely warming winter soup, a thick stew-like soup. I cooked the beans in the Instant Pot then added the cooking liquid from the beans instead of stock. I think the grated Parmesan on top is important to lift the flavor a notch.

    • ldtrieb on August 30, 2018

      Sort of followed the recipe, already cooked beans added to previously sautéed kale. Looked over the recipe and added anything that wasn't in the original recipe. Oh, and no tomatoes because I didn't have any. Amazing how the parmesan rind changed the taste in just a short simmering time. Superb!

  • Miso-mustard dressing

    • Laurendmck on October 22, 2018

      Really good on a slaw I made with cabbage, carrots, radishes, peppers, and garlic.

  • Cherry tomato confit

    • Laurendmck on July 23, 2018

      I made this with grape tomatoes and put it on top of small toasts with ricotta. They were quickly devoured by my dinner group!

  • Pork braised with chilies

    • jzanger on December 11, 2017

      This tastes incredible and is dead simple to prepare. I made this on Thanksgiving day and we ate it the next night which I think gave the liquid time to reabsorb back into the pork. The resulting sauce was intense and complex without being spicy and all the beer added such a wonderful acidity to something that has the potential to be incredibly rich. I will absolutely make this again.

    • Astrid5555 on January 13, 2019

      This was excellent. Made only half a recipe, but my pork shoulder took more than 4 hours to become as tender as I wanted it to be. Used dried Guajillo chiles and the optional smoked paprika for extra smokiness. Looooved the sauce! Already looking forward to use the leftover meat to make pork tacos.

    • Tatiana131 on January 28, 2018

      I think I used too much chipotle, less is more here. The sauce was complex and tasty, but not as enchanting as I'd hoped. It needed a lot of bright flavors of lime, sour cream, cheese to pick it up. I'd repeat it with some tweaks.

    • averythingcooks on September 04, 2017

      We really enjoyed this shredded pork / sauce combo in tacos. I used a mix of ancho, Anaheim and cascabel dried chilies and added chipotle as asuggested. After pureeing the sauce , I tried passing some through the sieve but didn't seem to "catch" much so skipped that step for the rest of the sauce. Of course I did peel the garlic even though she "said" I didn't have to :) I did thin it a bit with beef broth before adding it back to the shredded pork. Toppings included grilled corn cut off the cob, chopped lettuce, shredded cheese AND the lime crema / quick picked red onions from Dinner CTG. Those last 2 were a delicious complement to the smoky, spicy pork.

    • Dannausc on March 30, 2018

      I used beef broth in place of the beer. It turned out really good. Definitely deserves a repeat. Made for fantastic tacos.

  • Caesar dressing

    • okcook on March 07, 2018

      This turned out really well. But, I made some modifications: I used 4 oil packed anchovy fillets; 3 T lemon juice; and 1 oz of grated Parmesan (I think there is a typo because 1 oz was about the one cup she gives as an alternate to weighing the cheese.

  • Honey-mustard vinaigrette

    • Kjohns101 on June 12, 2018

      I love this. Made with dried shallots or without shallots. Very simple but just right amount of sweet, not too sweet. Used on a shrimp chef salad with oranges. Good on butter lettuce and goat cheese salad. Keeps well for 3 to 4 days in fridge.

  • Slow-roasted salmon

    • mondraussie on October 25, 2018

      Pay attention - cooking time depends on the thickness of your salmon. Definitely check after 25-30 mins.

    • rosten on January 16, 2018

      Very good, incredibly simple. Would have been better if I pulled it out of the oven a little sooner. So, would recommend checking after 30 minutes or so. . .

  • Glazed five-spice chicken

    • stockholm28 on June 09, 2018

      This requires an overnight marinade. Other than that, this is a very flavorful dish that requires little effort. I cut the recipe in half and just cooked 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.

    • Barb_N on June 12, 2018

      This is an amazing marinade that spins straw into gold while cooking. Next time I will bake in a larger dish as there were too many pan juices (which I normally would relish) for the pieces to really get sticky.

    • bwhip on July 08, 2017

      Delicious! I cut up a whole chicken for it, and made my own five-spice, as my grocery store was lacking. Marinade/Glaze was really tasty. I served it with the recommended Jasmine Rice and Vietnamese Cucumber Salad from the same cookbook. Excellent, flavorful combination.

  • Persian-ish rice

    • Tatiana131 on January 28, 2018

      After the initial parboiling the rice cooks uncovered in yogurt. In my case this was insufficient to finish cooking the rice as there are no instructions to cover the rice so it can steam. It came out pretty flavorless and raw.

    • puddlemere on January 06, 2019

      The recipe in the cookbook doesn't call for covering the rice after parboiling, but the version on the website does: https://www.saltfatacidheat.com/heat/pavo-en-escabeche/. I ended up covering it after about 15 minutes so that the rice would cook through, and cooked it in the butter/oil for about 45 minutes total. It came out really delicious and crispy!

    • Dannausc on December 27, 2017

      It did not hold together when I flipped it over and could have used a few more minutes in the pan. It still tasted really good though!

  • Meat: pasta al ragù

    • Tatiana131 on January 28, 2018

      Fabulously rich and complex sauce, made the house smell so good that my non-pork eating guests asked if they could have some. Comes together very easily, and is incredibly flavorful and rewarding.

    • ldtrieb on September 19, 2017

      Used up some whey I had frozen instead of milk (I did correct later after long cook down and add some regular milk) I had ground pork and ground up some leftover tri tip for the beef. It was lovely, more in the freezer for later.

  • Finger-lickin' pan-fried chicken

    • Tatiana131 on January 28, 2018

      I usually omit parmesan for ease of prep. The key is seasoning (salting) all toppings really well - the flour and the bread crumbs. Frying takes about 2X as long as indicated, but that may be because I'm a lazy chicken pounder. I usually only use about 3-4 tbsp of ghee, and it's enough. Excellent tender, flavorful chicken that has none of dryness or stringiness common to chicken breasts.

  • Buttermilk-marinated roast chicken

    • Tatiana131 on January 28, 2018

      Fabulous recipe, amazingly tender and well seasoned chicken. Rivals our house recipe of roast chicken with lemons and garlic.

    • raybun on September 17, 2017

      I know it's not much of a recipe but the method is excellent! The chicken is SO moist after its salt rub and 24 hr buttermilk marinade. That varnished mahogany look is not from a strange photo filter, it really looked like this! (Photo)

    • bwhip on November 23, 2017

      So simple, yet so great. Perfectly moist and flavorful chicken.

    • BasicStock on December 08, 2018

      This is going to be the way I roast chicken from now on. Moist and slightly elusively tangy. Makes me want to tackle more of Samin's recipes.

  • Tomato: pasta alla pomarola

    • ldtrieb on September 19, 2017

      I used wonderful tomatoes, they are so good this year. Froze some and made meat sauce with the rest.

  • Almond and cardamom tea cake

    • ldtrieb on September 19, 2017

      Was afraid it would be too sweet, reduced the sugar by 1/3 and almond paste from 9 oz to 7 oz. Ground my own cardamom and increased it slightly as I found a little more than the recipe called for. It came out very light, with subtle taste of cardamom and slightly crunchy almonds on top. I would definitely make this again.

  • Asian slaw

    • Lepa on April 18, 2018

      We liked the gingery taste of this slaw but I think it would benefit from a bit of fat- maybe some sesame oil? Also, I used purple cabbage and I'm not convinced the salting was necessary or improved the taste/texture of this slaw.

  • Roast: butternut squash and Brussels sprouts in agrodolce

    • Lepa on January 27, 2018

      My family of squash skeptics loved this salad. I did, too. I will absolutely make this again. We ate it with coconut rice and soy-glazed salmon and it was a bright contrast to the rich, creamy rice. Like the other poster, I turned the vegetables so they would evenly brown.

    • Rutikazooty on January 13, 2018

      This is an amazing dish!! I’m not crazy about squash but this is so good. I did turn the squash and brussel sprouts over while they roasted although it didn’t say to do that in order to get browned on other side.

  • Vegetable: pasta with broccoli and bread crumbs

    • Lepa on August 22, 2018

      I was trying to recreate a perfect bowl of pasta that I enjoyed in Italy recently so my expectations were rather high and I was probably setting myself up for disappointment. This made a good bowl of pasta, for sure, but the long-cooked broccoli didn't have the simple, sweet taste of the broccoli pasta of my dreams so I enjoyed it less than I might have under different circumstances. It was quite good with the breadcrumbs and parmesan (and anchovy) but I'm afraid I'll have to keep looking for the perfect recipe.

    • Dannausc on December 10, 2017

      Quite good.

  • Avocado, beet, and citrus salad

    • rosten on September 07, 2017

      Great instructions on prepping each part of salad independently. Lots of possible variations. I was surprised at how much better this very simple salad could get using her careful instructions.

  • Indian-spiced fried chicken

    • puddlemere on January 06, 2019

      This turned out amazing--I'm kind of obsessed with the Indian spice/mango chutney glaze combo. We used deboned chicken thighs.

  • Bright cabbage slaw

    • averythingcooks on December 26, 2018

      I made this to serve with tacos (chile braised pork from the same book). For me, it was far too acidic ..... a couple of spoonfuls of miracle whip (I know - love it or hate it!) tossed in fixed it for my palate.

    • sdutton on January 16, 2019

      My husband and I make this often. We love it.

  • Green goddess dressing

    • Frenchfoodie on July 22, 2018

      Tasty though I found it a little acidic, next time I’d hold back on the vinegar and add only after tasting.

  • Tomato vinaigrette

    • bwhip on September 07, 2017

      Used this on a Caprese Salad last night, and it was delightful.

  • Smooth: silky sweet corn soup

    • bwhip on August 06, 2017

      Very simple, extremely delicious! A family friend gave us a bunch of fresh corn, and this was a fantastic way to use a bunch of it.

  • Sicilian chicken salad

    • bwhip on July 03, 2017

      Very tasty. A really nice blend of textures and flavors, with the creaminess of the aioli offset by the acid of the lemon juice and macerated onions, along with a little sweetness from the currants.

  • Lori's chocolate midnight cake

    • bwhip on July 03, 2017

      Excellent cake. Great chocolate flavor, and a nice, light crumb from the oil. The vanilla whipped cream was the perfect light counterbalance. Recipe calls for hot water or coffee, we used coffee as I've always found it's great for chocolate cake flavor.

  • Vietnamese cucumber salad

  • Mexican-ish herb salsa

    • amandabeck on January 15, 2018

      Delicious! I used pickled jalapenos because it is impossible to get fresh ones where I live-- still turned out wonderful! Added some chopped cabbage as well for a nice crunch. Would have doubled or tripled the recipe if I knew it was going to be so delicious.

    • Dannausc on March 30, 2018

      Good easy; a nice accompaniment for tacos.

  • Mexi-slaw

    • Dannausc on March 30, 2018

      Good, easy; a nice accompaniment for tacos.

  • Japanese sesame seed dressing (Goma-ae)

    • Dannausc on December 27, 2017

      Good, but the tahini was a little overpowering.

  • Crispiest spatchcocked chicken

    • Dannausc on December 27, 2017

      Super crispy; quite good

  • Chicken and garlic soup

    • Dannausc on March 30, 2018

      Pretty decent. I liked it better than my wife did.

  • Chicken with vinegar (Poulet au vinaigre)

  • Turkish köfte

    • Dannausc on December 27, 2017

      So good!

  • Herbed yogurt

    • Dannausc on December 27, 2017

      It was missing a little something/needed some acid, so I sprinkled in some sumac which did the trick.

  • Classic egg drop soup

    • patioweather on April 22, 2018

      Couldn't be easier but everyone really enjoyed this. I don't think the cornstarch really contributed that much so it could be omitted.

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Reviews about this book

  • Stonesoup

    Always good to revisit the basics and Samin is an excellent guide. So much to learn! There aren’t any photos though so if you like your images this might not be the best book for you.

    Full review
  • The Kitchn

    ...an in-the-know show's originating text, full of wise advice for learning the intuitive elements of cooking.

    Full review
  • The Kitchn by Faith Durand

    This award-winning cookbook is becoming a must-watch new Netflix show.

    Full review
  • Food52

    Nosrat takes on a completely different mission, which is, in the span of one volume, to provide a universal culinary education.

    Full review
  • Food52

    Samin offers a simple, straightforward, often funny, totally complete education in food and cooking. She presents these lessons in a manner that is easy to digest...

    Full review
  • Eat the Love

    Samin’s book not only breaks down the mystique of cooking food, but also shows you that you can make fantastic food from some of the most basic ingredients.

    Full review
  • Simply Recipes

    ...is edifying and engaging—you have a cooking teacher in the room with you who goes deep into the details. And as we all know, that’s where the devil resides, especially in cooking.

    Full review
  • Food52

    What Food52 members are saying about this book.

    Full review
  • Food52

    Picked for Food52's September 2017 Cookbook Club.

    Full review
  • Joy the Baker

    Simplicity and knowledge and beautiful drawings. This book is approachable and inspiring and lays a strong, strong foundation.

    Full review
  • Food52

    ...we’re really excited about the book...it’s full of ...I can’t believe I never thought of that tips...it prioritizes a love of learning as much as a love of cooking.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 1476753830
  • ISBN 13 9781476753836
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Apr 04 2017
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 464
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Simon & Schuster

Publishers Text

A visionary new master class in cooking that distills decades of professional experience into just four simple elements, from the woman declared “America’s next great cooking teacher” by Alice Waters.

In the tradition of The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything comes Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, an ambitious new approach to cooking by a major new culinary voice. Chef and writer Samin Nosrat has taught everyone from professional chefs to middle school kids to author Michael Pollan to cook using her revolutionary, yet simple, philosophy. Master the use of just four elements—Salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food—and anything you cook will be delicious. By explaining the hows and whys of good cooking, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will teach and inspire a new generation of cooks how to confidently make better decisions in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time.

Echoing Samin’s own journey from culinary novice to award-winning chef, Salt, Fat Acid, Heat immediately bridges the gap between home and professional kitchens. With charming narrative, illustrated walkthroughs, and a lighthearted approach to kitchen science, Samin demystifies the four elements of good cooking for everyone. Refer to the canon of 100 essential recipes—and dozens of variations—to put the lessons into practice and make bright, balanced vinaigrettes, perfectly caramelized roast vegetables, tender braised meats, and light, flaky pastry doughs.

Featuring 150 illustrations and infographics that reveal an atlas to the world of flavor by renowned illustrator Wendy MacNaughton, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will be your compass in the kitchen. Destined to be a classic, it just might be the last cookbook you’ll ever need.

With a foreword by Michael Pollan.

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