19 September 2009

I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking by Alton Brown

Genre: Cookbook
On my TBR list?: No

Read for the Spice of Life Challenge

This book, written by Food Network personality Alton Brown, is like a cooking course in a book. It would make a great reference book because he doesn't stop at giving you recipes. Brown uses his humorous approach to explain the different ways that heat can be applied to food and what exactly is happening to the food. He throws in plenty of illustrations and anecdotes from his own life to keep things lively.

The subtitle of this book is "Food + Heat = Cooking" so you won't find any cookies or cakes here. In this book, Brown focuses mainly on taking a meat or vegetable, adding some seasoning, and heating it up. You will find detailed information on searing, roasting, grilling, frying, boiling, and braising, among other things. If you've ever wondered how to make french fries without having them soak up a ton of grease, this is the book to tell you.

Part of the Spice of Life challenge is to try some of the recipes in a cookbook. I didn't get a chance to try any of the recipes from this book, but I did use the suggestion to dip my chicken cutlets in flour before I dip them in the egg and then breadcrumbs. It improved the crunch and made the seasoning stand out more. Next, I want to try Brown's method of microwaving popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag. That sounds like a money-saver!

For the challenge, I am putting this in the Cookbook category because it is useful to the modern cook. The next cookbook on my list is more historical (some might say hysterical), so I am putting that one in the Nonfiction category.

Favorite quote: This quote describes the cheap cookware the author found in a colleague's kitchen.

"Next I checked out the hardware and what I found frightened me badly. It was as if one aluminum pie tin had been melted down and cast into 15 different pots and pans, each of which had then been adorned with a rotting balsa-wood handle."

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Beth F said...

I'm a Brown fan and I love his TV show. I have one his books -- about kitchen gadgets and machines.

This sounds like a great resource to have in the house. Thanks for the review.

Rebecca Reid said...

I'm so glad this was so fun for you! I gave it as a gift to a family member, but I admit I hadn't read it myself first....

I haven't seen many of Brown's shows but the ones I've seen have been fun. Sounds like this book is informative and fun!

Funny story: driving through very rural Illinois, I passed a very tiny little cafe with a big sign out front: Alton Brown Ate HEre! apparently a big deal. Not sure why Alton Brown was in RURAL Illinois but there you go!

Dani in NC said...

Rebecca, according to Wikipedia, Brown had nine episodes of his road food show "Feasting on Asphalt" that were based in Illinois. Maybe that cafe was one of the ones featured on the show.