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Hardcover Craig Claiborne's Kitchen Primer Book

ISBN: 0517189895

ISBN13: 9780517189894

Craig Claiborne's Kitchen Primer

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good


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Book Overview

As the former food and restaurant critic for The New York Times and the author of several distinguished cookbooks, Craig Claiborne has earned a reputation as the great educator of the American palate.... This description may be from another edition of this product.

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Cooking Cooking Holiday Cooking

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Trying to Learn How to Cook?

This is an outstanding book for the beginning cook. No more dried out pork chops or dry meatloaf. Mr. Claiborne covers every detail of cooking. Unlike most cookbooks which assume you already know certain things, like how to break an egg, or how to sautee onions, he lays out all of the basics. I've always had trouble cooking and most cookbooks haven't offered any help. They have strange recipes with odd ingredients--I could never seem to find simple recipes for, say, chile or tuna casserole or baked chicken. There are always odd or exotic recipes when I just want to know how to cook a decent hamburger: what do I add to the ground beef to make it tasty and what temperature do I use to cook the patties without drying them out? I look for ground beef recipes and I see "Creole Weiners" and "Hamburger-Corn Pie". What? The other problem with every other cookbook I've tried is that they give instructions with the assumption that you know how to do these things. For example, I remember the first time I used one cookbook recipe and the instructions said to "sautee the onions." Great, what does "sautee" mean and how do I do it? Or, make the patties and cook the burgers. On what heat? Should I coat the frying pan in butter or use a little water? You know what I'm talking about. "Craig Claiborne's Kitchen Primer" to the rescue. He begins by listing, with pictures, the basic equipment you'll need. He follows by giving instructions on cooking basics such as the proper way to crack an egg, how to sautee onions, how to scramble an egg, even the proper way to cut up vegetables. AND his recipes are delicious and easy to prepare. His best piece of advice? Have everything ready and on the counter before you start: practical advice for sure, as you don't want to start preparing the entree and find you need some thyme or you don't have enough flour. In short, this is the absolutely best cookbook I have found (and I have many sitting unused on my bookshelves) for learning, preparing and serving up delicious food to your family without the need for becoming a gourmet cook.

The Title Says It All

I bought two copies two years ago, as a gift and the other for myself. I wish I had been smart enough to look for a book like this in 1990, when I began to take cooking seriously. Now that I've got a small library of cookbooks (30+), I tend to rate cookbooks' usefulness on two criteria: the writing and the instructions. This one should be read for both. The Introduction and First Steps in Cooking alone are worth the price of the book.I've now realized that the best cookbooks are those that convey to the reader that cooking is really a simple undertaking. Some recipes simply take more muscle or thought, but fundamentally, it's just cooking and cooking well is about organization, understanding food, and community. That is, you don't just cook for yourself; you cook for others, too, so you might as well learn how to do it confidently.Claiborne shows you that cooking is just cooking and you can still produce food that tastes good. He never talks down to you. His instruction is that of a relaxed teacher, someone who seems to assume that you've been too busy to focus on other things to learn how to cook. Therefore, his tone IMHO is that of a person who understands the reader is intelligent but just hasn't had the time or inclination to cook. The novice and the expert will learn from this little gem.

The best beginners cookbook around

When I was (heck, I still am) learning how to cook, I ransacked bookstores and yard sales for the book that could give me the basics without a lot of fluff. I have everything from Cooking for Dummies to Jane Brody's Good Food Book (even Kids Cooking from Klutz Press). And, with all of those books, I find myself referencing this book before any other. Simple, clear writing, and about the right size (I found the hardback version that was reprinted in 1996). Size is pretty important, after all -- when you're cooking, it's hard to flip through pages of a tiny paperback or lug around a massive binder...but I digress.If you are new to cooking and can't boil an egg (much less water!) or figure out what pot to use, this book is for you.

A Great Little Cookbook.

This is one of my favorite cookbooks. I bought this book in 1980 and still have my original copy. That the pages are stained and tattered is testiomny to the many good meals I've cooked using Craig Claiborne's recipies. This book is an excellent first cookbook as it explains things very well without getting too technical. It would also make a great addition to the library of any casual cook.

The one book survival guide for life in the kitchen.

Craig Claiborne has presented the fundamentals for "exploration" and "colonization" of the most essential room in everyone's home! The presentations are crisp and clear and every recipe or set of instructions actually works! The primer gives basic lists of tools, simple recipes, lots of explanations and inspires confidence on every page. When I was a novice in the kitchen, this book was a map and compass. Now, many years later, it is a valued reference book that contains many fundamentals. While not as comprehensive as "The Joy of Cooking", this little book deserves an early place on the kitchen bookshelf. And it is a great book to give as a gift to "start-up" cooks (such as the college grad in a first apartment)!
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