Understanding cooking

#1 Mar 12th, 2014, 17:14
Join Date:
Mar 2013
  • Man & Mountain is offline
Hi all

I'm wondering if anyone can help me out with sources (electronic format preferably) which describe the basics of cooking. The objective is to be able to cook meals with specific nutritional content.

Before getting in to reading recipes (of which there are many), I'd like to understand cooking. What I mean by that is I'd like to know the whys and hows first rather than the whats. For example, marination - 1. Why is it done? 2. How does it achieve what it is supposed to achieve? 3. How is it done? Finally, 4. What items are needed? OR the several ways to cook - broil, fry, grill, etc followed by the sequence of questions to understand it better.

In short, I'd like to know the science behind cooking. The thought is that if I grasp the basics, I will be able to prepare stuff without specific recipes. And following recipes will only become easier.

I have an old, dusty copy of Modern Cookery by Thangam Philip. Although I've read through very little of the book, I think it does take the approach that I've described. I havent been able to find an electronic version of the book. There is one book listed by Big Texan here which seems to fit the bill.

Can anyone recommend any other such material in an electronic format?

#2 Mar 17th, 2014, 06:36
Join Date:
Jan 2010
London (UK) (Current) & Pali Hill, Bombay (IN)
  • ViShVa is offline
Since no one has chipped in so far here are my thoughts. There are many good books on methods, styles and cuisine arts, but since you demand an e-format only, here you go to start off with: BBC Good Food Guide. Most recipes have a link on terms and methodology.

I have Thangam's book (Modern Cookery - for teaching & the trade - Orient Longman - 4th Ed. 1988 - ISBN 81-250-0399-1) and love it. She has also done a second book. She used to be the head of the Dadar Catering College. Sadly, she is no more, but her work lives on. In the UK, Delia Smith's "How to Cook Vols. 1-3" are also excellent.
#3 Mar 17th, 2014, 06:51
Join Date:
Aug 2003
In the Middle of Nowhere, The Center of Everything
Send a message via Yahoo to Darmabum
  • Darmabum is offline
As a recovering chef/personal chef I might recommend the "Epicurious" website. GREAT site for recipes and I think there'll be links, perhaps even content on the site for particular cooking methods.

A book I recommend is "Culinary Artistry" by Dornenberg and Page (might be available on Kindle). Excellent book for what goes with what . . . as in: they give you lists of main ingredients/meat/etc and then you can easily find the herbs/spices to go with them; and, vice versa. It is The One book I carry with me from job to job. Set up as it is it will allow you to create your own dishes.

I will suggest that proposed approach is a good one. Know the basics and you can cook anything. Good luck
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson
#4 Mar 22nd, 2014, 01:26
Join Date:
May 2009
Mumbai, India
Send a message via Skype™ to ashok777
  • ashok777 is offline
Look up Heston Blumenthal's tv show 'kitchen chemistry' & 'In search of perfection' (youtube) and i have 'Modernist Cusine' in six volumes covering History and fundamentals/Techniques and equipment/Animals and Plants/Ingredients and preparation/Plated dish recipes/kitchen manual..almost 1Gb is size.
"Itís not about how to achieve your dreams. Itís about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you. "
ó Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
#5 Mar 22nd, 2014, 12:44
Join Date:
Mar 2013
  • Man & Mountain is offline
Thank you Vishva, Darmabum and Ashok. Some excellent resources here. I think I will be back here for guidance in the future

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