The kitchen counter cooking school.

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home CooksThe Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks by Kathleen Flinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

She did it again! This is such an empowering account of 9 culinary novice turned triumphant home cooks. Besides tracking the learning journey of these nine ordinary women, the author also included snippets of facts about the food that we consume, some of which can be rather alarming. It’s part educational due to this and simple recipes are provided too.

Some of the facts listed in her book:

– “Commercial poultry growers have researched how to engineer chickens through breeding to grow significantly greater portions of breast meat. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts fetch as much as six dollars per pound – roughly five times the retail price for whole chickens and at least twice as much as the other portions of the bird. The downside? To maximise profits chickens are often confined to massive barracks where they are provided an endless supply of feed around the clock but given little exercise. Some birds grow so big so fast, they ultimately cannot support themselves under the weight of their mighty breasts and fall down. Detractors of the industrial poultry process say that they system ratchets up the stress level for the chickens and breaks down their immune systems, thus requiring mass poultry growers to use a lot of antibiotics.”

– I realised Alfredo sauce is made up of cream, pasta water, some (Parmesan) cheese and maybe some garlic & pepper. Darn…so easy!!!

– Vinaigrette = 1 part acid (vinegar/ citrus juice) + 3 parts oil

– On parts of a cow: Chuck –> shoulder –> a lot of muscles = tough –> stew;  Shank & brisket –> thighs –> braise; meat near the ribs is tender; Behind the ribs are short loins and then sirloin –> most expensive cuts –> tenderloin, filet mignon…

May I suggest you read this book and especially the chapter on ‘What’s in the box?’. It’s important to learn to read the labels on boxes of pre-mixes or any ultraprocessed food that we buy.

Above all, learn to cook from scratch because you have control of what goes into that particular dish and I’m sure you only want the best for those whom you cook for. It’s really not that difficult; it just takes a little bit of time.

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