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Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller HeartHeart

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane

Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller is subtitled Family-Style Recipes which is a signal that the recipes are likely to be approachable and not require elaborate preparation. And on reading the book many are able to be implemented by the home cook.
The book is divided into chapters along the traditional lines of Poultry, Meat, Soups, Salads and so on. An initial chapter provides some hints on becoming a better cook with sections on using salt properly (both when to use it and how much to use), learning how to braise, how to use big-pot blanching (a recurring theme with Keller) and how to roast a chicken as examples.
Each of the main chapters contain interesting and sensible recipes backed up by lots of assistance with fundamental techniques and lots of clear, sensible advice on how to get the most out of the ingredients you are cooking.
The book also contains a large section devoted to pickles, preserves, oils, pastes and purees that form an invaluable store cupboard to add to your dishes.
Even the desserts are memorable. We particularly like the recipe for blueberry cobbler and the stunning appearance of the pineapple upside down cake.
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