Sep 23 2014
I love books, and cookbooks rank somewhere at the top of the list. But a cookbook having great recipes and beautiful illustrations just isn’t enough for me – I need more! I like cookbooks that bring something different to the table. That don’t just tell me what to put in the pot when, but also give me insight to food and the kitchen as a whole. That’s exactly what Professional Cooking by Wayne Gisslen does, and it’s done in such a unique way. It is truly unlike any other cookbook that I’ve ever seen. Just as the title suggests, this book is for someone who’s not just looking to feed their family, but who is looking to feed a crowd from a restaurant kitchen.
Professional Cooking takes you through the entire restaurant kitchen, breaking down everything from how modern cooking evolved, the rank of chefs (and if you don’t think there’s a ranking order, you’re kidding yourself,) to the organization of the modern kitchen today – and that’s just in the first chapter! And the recipes! Of course there are recipes. They might give you 25 portions but hey, we’re talking professional cooking here. And of course you can always pare those down if you’re just looking for a side dish or a meal for your family. That’s just what I did last night when I made these Carrots Vichy – really just a glazed carrots dish, but one that uses a completely different technique than what I’ve been doing in the past (and would you believe it’s easier, too?) The carrots were softer and a little roughed up along the edges, giving that glaze lots of nooks and crannies to fall into, and it was tastier than the old version I was using. My kids loved them, so I’m sure we’ll make the switch from glazed carrots to Carrots Vichy, and that they will appear on our menu more often.
And this post wouldn’t be complete without a huge thanks to Sous Chef Rob, for loaning me a book that I’ll have my nose in for weeks.
6 medium-sized carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut on a bias to make chunky triangles $1.00
2 tablespoons butter $0.06
2 tablespoons sugar $0.02
1 teaspoon salt $0.01
White pepper $0.01
2 teaspoons chopped parsley (this is what the book calls for but, with none in my fridge, I used chopped rosemary instead) $0.10
Total cost $1.20
Cost per serving $0.30
1.) Place the chopped carrots into a straight-sided saucepan and add enough water to just barely cover them. Add the butter, sugar, and salt.
2.) Set the pan over high heat on the stove and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a rapid boil, lower heat to medium and simmer until the carrots are tender and nearly all of the liquid has evaporated. (According to the book, “If this is done properly, these should happen at the same time.”) Toss the carrots with the glaze that is left in the bottom of the pan.
3.) Add a pinch of white pepper and the chopped herbs and toss.
4.) Serve and enjoy!