LATERAL COOKING * HOLIDAY BOOK PICK
December 20, 2019
Lateral Cooking by Niki Segnit basically describes the building blocks of recipes. There are detailed steps on how to make buttermilk from milk (how many times have you started a recipe only to find you have no buttermilk--here's the rescue) and rather than listing the ingredients on the side or at the top, they are embedded inside the conversational recipe.
The book is divided into sections like Batter, Roux, Stock, Soup & Stew, Custard, Pastry or Sauce--among others. Now within these categories recipes for vegetables and meat and fish abound. There's one fascinating recipe that answers the question "what does one do with asparagus stalk ends?" Well, the milk infused with woody ends is used as a base for asparagus croquettes.
Basically, the book came about as a response to those marvelous cooks who stand over a stove and cook from memory and instinct. Not that culinary instinct can be taught, but at least, if the basic building blocks of flavor and texture are understood, the recipe emerges tantalizingly alive.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis