August 25, 2010

heeeeeere's harold!

This is a bit of a different post for me, but when I was offered the chance to read and review Harold McGee's new book The Keys to Good Cooking and promote his book tour, I jumped at it. Leapt. Pounced, if you will.

I've been a fan of Mr. McGee since his information helped me explain the green carrot phenomenon a few months ago. His new book is full of useful and interesting facts and tips like that, for everything from meat preparation to candy making. For example, a simple step I never considered regarding the serving of meat dishes is preheating the plate:

Preheat plates to serve hot meat dishes, especially beef, veal, and lamb. As they cool below body temperature, meat fats congeal and the gelatin from connective tissue in long-cooked cuts becomes solid and rubbery.

Also, I always knew that one should store potatoes in the dark and never in the fridge, but I hadn't thought about why. Never fear, Harold's here:

Store potatoes at cool room temperature and in the dark, to prevent greening. At warm room temperatures, potatoes will sprout and decay. At refrigerator temperatures below about 45°F/7°C, they convert some starch into sugar and can brown too quickly and scorch when fried.

Get excited, folks. This is gonna be a fine read.