Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking
This has been on my list for a while and I finally checked it out at the library to preview prior to possibly purchasing it in Kindle format. I love the logical arrangement: Doughs, Batters, Stocks and Sauces, Farcir, Fat-Based Sauces, and Custards.
A culinary ratio is a fixed proportion of one ingredient or ingredients relative to another. These proportions form the backbone of the craft of cooking.
Ruhlman makes it sound uncomplicated and logical and helps to demystify processes that might otherwise seem mysterious. After reading his book, I now know a few kitchen items that I need to buy: a kitchen scale, butcher’s twine (for trussing a chicken), and cheesecloth. Otherwise, armed with these clear ratios, I can make just about anything I’m craving:
Cookies – 1 part sugar : 2 parts fat : 3 parts flour
Naturally, he expands on the ratios and even changes them to create the desired result. It’s not a recipe book with a lot of photos or illustrations. Those are used sparingly, if at all. But each section does contain plenty of recipes and substitutions.