Cookbook Review: Salt Fat Acid Heat

There has been a lot of buzz over the cookbook Salt Fat Acid HeatI had read all about it on various food blogs and websites before receiving it as a gift for Christmas. Cookbooks rank as my #2 favorite gift after chocolate so needless to say I was pretty excited about it. 

The book is authored by Samin Nosrat, a self-described cook, writer, and teacher. While studying English at Berkeley, she got caught up in the world of cooking after being mesmerized by a meal at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters' restaurant in San Francisco. She began by begging her way into an apprenticeship at Chez Panisse, first doing grunt work but eventually working her way up into cooking. The internship began her extreme focus on and impressive perseverance in learning the ways of good cooking, taking her to Italy and beyond in the quest for culinary wisdom. Along the way she developed a theory of culinary fundamentals - that good cooking essentially boils down to the correct understanding and application of four elements: salt, fat, acid, and heat. The book, then, is the product all her research, apprenticeship, interviews, and trial and error in the quest of honing her theory and her skills, which she delivers to the reader in a very clear and detailed format. As she says, "You can become not only a good cook, but a great one. I know, because it happened to me."

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lentil soup with sausage, potato and greens

There was a bowl filled with 10 cups of homemade chicken broth in my fridge that was fast approaching the 1-week mark. I'm not 100% positive about how long various things stay "fresh" in the fridge, and I suspect it is oftentimes longer than the standard safety recommendations*, but in general I operate under the 1-week policy. Under a week? Eat it. Over a week? Toss it. It's that hazy 6-7 day area where I know my logic is a bit spurious. It's okay to eat at 11pm on Day 6, but by 9am on Day 7 it has got to go. 

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