Timing is everything and in few places does it matter as
much as in cooking. Underdone, overdone, or perfectly done is all a
result of timing. It's a basic that often gets overlooked in the
process of chopping, marinating, basting, and otherwise agonizing
over a meal. Freshness of ingredients also matters. How long should
you keep the stock you made over the weekend? How long does it take
to defrost the turkey?
This book bills itself as the "complete timing guide to cooking."
It has "quick foolproof guides on how to bake, blanch, boil,
deep-fry, defrost, freeze, grill, microwave, pan-fry, poach, saute,
steam, stew, stir-fry and store every food from A-Z." And the
author does mean A-Z --- frog's legs, buffalo meat, and 26 kinds of
sausages are given the same copy as 12 different kinds of
Timing in cooking and food preparation to me is analogous to a
teenager driving a car alone for the first time. You know where the
mall is, you've been there a million times, but you have no idea on
how you actually get there when driving yourself. You have to think
through the rights and lefts a lot more than usual. In food
preparation, you know something goes in the oven and what it should
look like when it gets done, but at what temperature and for how
For me, no matter how long I have been cooking, or how intricate
the menus that I have prepared have been, I still scramble to
figure the timing and oven temperature for a roast. Likewise with
the annual Thanksgiving turkey --- I remember the first time I
bought I non-Butterball one and was paralyzed without the plastic
wrap cooking instructions and the little thermometer programmed to
pop when the turkey was done!
This handy reference guide is perfect for any cook.
Reviewed by Carol Fitzgerald on January 23, 2011