Monday, December 28, 2009

Review of Ratio by Michael Rhulman

I thought it would be a good idea since in my last article I made a point to disagree with an idea presented in Ratio to take a moment to say what a wonderful book it is. The contridiction was more towards a phrase which invoked an idea of my own views of food not any thing that really represents the book in full, and since I was unable to put the book away, finishing it in just one day, I should point out that for the home cook, more importantly the poor cook, Michael Rhulman has created another companion to the kitchen, the first being Charcuterie co-aurthored by Brian Polcyn, this is an invaluable text.

One of the things that kills a food budget is the constant need to purchase items for each meal. Most cooks, not relying on prepackaged or conveinces foods, are often forced into daily trips to the market for one or two items to complete the meal. This, I have noticed, most often starts before they even get home. A quick search on the internet trying to find a recipe to match to most items possible in their pantry. In my attempts to limited the cost of my food purchases have maintain par stock of certain materials for easy maintenance of my kitchen. This comes from years of restaurant experience of knowing what I have and being able to improvises from it. For those without the experience or knowledge the kitchen can be a trap of cost and inconvenience. Ratio attempts, to a certain degree, to free people of the dependence of recipes. To create a kitchen system that is based on obtaining a rudimentary understanding of the interrelationships of ingredient. It covers the base of cooking knowledge; bread, pasta, and pastry, stocks, sauces, sausage, and thickeners. With the arsenal of culinary knowledge you can reduce your supplies to a bases of ingredients in which to constantly be able to cook without the need of completing an list for shopping. The freedom to create from simple understanding.

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