Cook the Book: 'Martha Stewart's Cooking School'

Words by Michele Humes | Martha Stewart doesn't do things in half measures. Whether it's cookies or canapés, Stewart aims to be comprehensive and definitive. (She succeeds—I consider her Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook to be the font of all finger-food knowledge.)

Her latest enterprise, Martha Stewart's Cooking School, is downright encyclopedic. Only Martha could pull off a textbook that looks like a glossy magazine and reads like a conversation. And what a conversation. In this book, you'll learn how to sharpen a knife, make fresh pasta, identify cuts of meat, and master the soufflé. The book stays current by supplementing the traditional French curriculum with American and international flavors: There are detailed guides to Indian and Southeast Asian spices, dashi gets equal billing with classic French stocks, and the Great American Hamburger has its very own section.

Each day this week, we'll be posting a classic recipe that will stand you in good stead this Thanksgiving. Perfect Turkey Gravy, Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes, and One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes aren't going to blow you away with innovative flavor combinations—the wow factor is in the flawless technique.

Win 'Martha Stewart's Cooking School'

Thanks to the good folks at Clarkson Potter, we are giving away five (5) copies of Martha Stewart's Cooking School. In the comments below, just tell us your favorite Martha Stewart recipe of all time—we all have one!

Contest will end and comments will close at 3 p.m. ET, Monday, November 24, 2008. One entry per community member. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.