Are your favorite shows on hiatus due to the writer's strike? Do you need a little extra help to fill those dark, cold January primetime hours? We really recommend Shirley Corriher.
Some of you know Shirley Corriher as a guest on Alton Brown's Good Eats - she is a food science genius and a very good cook with a warm, enthusiastically friendly approach. Her book CookWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking was winner of a James Beard Foundation award and it's an incredibly helpful exploration of scientific insights and their application to traditional cooking.
This DVD, Kitchen Secrets Revealed ($29.95, Amazon) is a collection of some of Shirley's most helpful tips. It covers dairy, eggs, fruits and vegetables, cookies, poultry, shellfish and much more. Some of our favorites are below...
• In the section about cookies Corriher tells how so many grandmothers complain to her about crumbly cookies. She gives some secrets for making your cookies just the way you want them - soft, crispy, or brown. (Did you know that baking soda is important in getting your baked goods golden brown?)
• Corriher's Touch of Grace biscuits make a featured appearance as she explains how a wet dough will rise in the oven and give an airy, moister result. (Hello No-Knead Bread?) We have made these biscuits and they are serious magic.
• We adore how Corriher explains very scientific ideas as if she was talking to her grandchildren - in the bit about shellfish she waves her hands and uses her fingers demonstrating how the long little proteins pop out and then "tighten up!" when you overcook them. Her Southern accent adds to the charm. She takes her perfectly cooked shrimp and packs them with capers, onions, and bay leaves into a beautifully marinated shrimp dish that left us drooling over the TV remote.
We were captivated by this DVD - there is more kitchen wisdom packed into it than we know what to do with. Plus we like the stories she tells about Julia Child.
It's a great winter watch - who needs Lost when you have Shirley Corriher?