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How to Cook: Revised Edition    by Raymond Sokolov order for
How to Cook
by Raymond Sokolov
Order:  USA  Can
Quill, 2004 (1986)
Hardcover, Softcover

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The subtitle of How to Cook is 'An Easy and Imaginative Guide for the Beginner'. Florence Fabricant, in the New York Times, wrote 'How to Cook is an extremely useful primer, and the intelligent text assumes a total lack of familiarity with anything to do with the kitchen. Mr. Sokolov explains all without condescension and provides sensible advice about basic equipment and shopping.'

Those words sum up the purpose of the book well. Everything you ever wanted to know about cooking and aren't afraid to find out is right here at your fingertips. Through no fault of their own, many people leave their families to create their own homes without ever having learned the basic food skills. They are 'culinary illiterates and need a simple straightforward primer to teach them to be self-sufficient at the stove.' As Fabricant points out, How to Cook is that primer. Sokolov says, 'Call it culinary special ed.'

The book starts with suggestions for basic equipment. Don't miss this section. It's the catalyst for what comes next, which will take you from learning to boil an egg to roasting a chicken. Learn to make Guacamole and Mayonnaise with confidence and success. Angel Food Cake, Quick Breads, Poached Fish - even Broiled Quail - can take a prominent place in your repertoire. Exotic dishes such as Eggplant Imam Bayildi can become everyday cooking for someone with your newfound skills.

How about wowing your gift list at Christmas with homemade Raspberry Preserves? Or excite your guests with an elegant bowl of Ratatouille, a favorite of mine. Comes right after Spaghetti alla Puttanesca in my book. Oh, you don't need me to tell you this is a great book. Get it for yourself and learn to cook. Or do everyone a favor and give it to a friend or relative who has been faking it for years.

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