SMORGASBORD: Ruhlman’s ‘Twenty’ . . . Knuckle saver . . . Pasta contest winners“Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, a Cook’s Manifesto” is a thick but accessible tome aimed at taking your cooking game to the next level — no matter where you start.
By: Herald Staff and Wire Reports,
On a warm spring evening at a 2009 food conference, author Michael Ruhlman was at the bar discussing kitchen skills with a powerful cookbook editor.
“In between sips of his mint julep,”
Ruhlman recalled, “he said to me, ‘You know, Michael, I love to cook, but I don’t seem to be getting any better.’”
The author replied that there are “‘really only about 20 things you need to know in order to cook just about anything,’ and then I watched his eyes light up.”
Two years later that conversation has produced “Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, a Cook’s Manifesto,” a thick but accessible tome aimed at taking your cooking game to the next level — no matter where you start.
The 20 techniques are broken up in chapters that range from “Think,” “Salt,” “Water” and “Egg” to “Grill,” “Fry” and “Chill,” with plenty of “Butter,” “Batter,” “Sauce,” “Soup” and “Braise” in between. Each chapter offers recipes and concepts that build on each other. Recipes are aimed at demonstrating techniques and building confidence while putting something delicious on the table.
Each section is filled with dozens of explanatory photos — by photojournalist Donna Turner Ruhlman, the author’s wife — that skip the glamour shots and simply illustrate exactly how the different stages of the dish should look in your kitchen.
Many of the early chapters demonstrate what Ruhlman calls “tools,” which include salt, water, acid, onion, egg and butter.
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Pasta contest winners
Here are the winners of the “Use Your Noodle” crossword puzzle contest, sponsored by the North Dakota Wheat Commission, Dakota Growers Pasta, American Italian Pasta Co., the U.S Durum Growers Association and the Herald.
From Minnesota: Margaret Kne, Thief River Falls; Kathy Englund, Karlstad; Joyce Habben, East Grand Forks; and Daryl Thompson, Crookston. From North Dakota: Emma Maendel, Fordville; Monika Fischer, Grand Forks; Helen Hanson, Devils Lake; Jon Kjellberg, Grand Forks; Paulette Moberg, Grafton; and Mike Partridge, Grand Forks.
The winners were chosen from about 200 contestants who successfully completed the crossword.