The combination of my own lack of knowledge and the inadequate explanations in cookbooks often drives me to distraction when I'm cooking. That's why I find James Peterson's What's a Cook to Do? to be so damned helpful. It explains (often with photos) everything, from how to deglaze a plan to how to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
Peterson really knows his stuff (his book Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making won the James Beard Cookbook of the Year award in 1992 ), and, more important, he knows how to impart his knowledge easily and succinctly with relatively few words and photos. Each day this week, we'll excerpt a tip from the book; the first tip will post shortly.
What's more, thanks to the good folks at Artisan Books, we're giving away five (5) copies of this enormously helpful book. Just post a comment here describing the best kitchen tip you know or have ever received. The five winners will be chosen at random from among the commenters.