Braising lamb shanks? Sauteing onions just right? Making the perfect cup of coffee at home? These basic, and not-so-basic, cooking techniques are drawn out in detail in a colorful and informative anthology cookbook by one of the most renowned cooking schools in the world.‚ 

“The Culinary Institute of America Cookbook: Over 375 of Our Favorite Recipes for the Home Chef, Along with Tips and Preparation Techniques from the Classrooms of the World’s Premier Culinary College,” may have a long title, but the immensely diverse and delicious recipes included in this cookbook will have the most clueless chef cooking up something great in no time. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is a long standing institution of great cooking, comparable to the French Culinary Institute.

Founded in 1946 and is an independent, not-for-profit college that offers both bachelor’s and associate degrees in the culinary arts as well as the baking and pastry arts. The main campus is located in Hyde Park, N.Y. and has two other branches one in St. Helena, Calif. and the other in San Antonio, Texas.

Chef and instructor David Kamen at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), said this user-friendly cookbook for food enthusiasts is a compilation of recipes included in previous CIA cook books, as well as additional techniques and recipes.‚ 

“We had a chance to reedit and adjust some of our favorite recipes that have already been published,” Chef Kamen said. “There were several people involved in the making of the cookbook and we wanted to include the contemporary style of cooking reflecting today’s tastes. We tried included bolder, stronger flavors along with Latin American and Asian recipes which are definitely up and coming cuisines that reflect cooking today.”

This first edition of the cook book has a useful section titled “Prior to Cooking” before the first chapter which details the equipment and basic ingredients every food aficionado should have in their pantry. Many cooking techniques that seem daunting to the home cook are ‚ explained using beautiful photos and colorful writing. Plus, the book uses the techniques to truly healthy cooking while cutting down the recipes of the CIA to useful portion sizes for the home user.‚ 

“One of my absolute favorite recipes is ‘Swordfish with a Tomato-Olive Ragu’ on p. 170,” Chef Kamen said. “It screams Mediterranean at you with its use of olive oil and aversion of refined grained making it very healthy. It has really good flavor and is a great make ahead dish that is versatile. I love this recipe with chicken for example.”

With enthusiasm such as Chef Kamen’s for healthy, delicious, professional cooking at home, this cookbook offers a great how-to for chefs of all levels. When asked what the seemingly most difficult cooking technique is, Kamen responded that sauteing was viewed as ‚ being hard to perfect, but actually very simple. As described in the book extensively, Kamen explained.

“You need to sautee over high heat using a small amount of heat and cooking the fat quickly. The one problem is that people have difficulty controlling the heat, but the cookbook really helps guide the home chef to perfect these techniques.”

The cookbook has chapters covering the gamut of cooking from Beverages and Snacks, Egg Dishes and Griddle Cakes, to Baked Goods and Desserts and Light Fare. Along with Main Dishes and Appetizers and Salads, the book is sectioned to be simple to navigate and even easier to utilize in your own home kitchen.

From making the perfect Buckwheat Pancake to Osso Buco Milanese, from Lamb Korma to Chocolate Mousse, the CIA’s latest cookbook is inventive and a true guide for anyone who wants to cook classics or contemporary cuisines ranging in genres and nationalities. Novices and food enthusiasts alike will enjoy the the beautiful photos and layout along with the descriptive and easy to understand techniques in the book.

If you’d like to become a better chef too, email us at [email protected] by October 31 and enter for a chance to win a copy of this kitchen treasure. Please include all your contact information.

About The Author

Dinah Alobeid is a Blast correspondent

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