Cook the Book: 'Ruhlman's Twenty'

20110923-172052-ruhlmans-twenty.jpgThe first technique that
Michael Ruhlman introduces in his latest cookbook, Ruhlman's Twenty is simply titled Think because in his words, "Thinking in the kitchen is underrated." Ruhlman wants us to stop blindly following recipes, in an A plus B equals C, kitchen robot kind of way, and start thinking about the hows and whys that make recipe work.

In order to better understand these hows and whys, Ruhlman has introduced 20 fundamental techniques for today's kitchen in his latest volume—Think, Salt, Water, Onion, Acid, Egg, Butter, Dough, Batter, Sugar, Sauce, Vinaigrette, Soup, Sauté, Roast, Braise, Poach, Grill, Fry, Chill—all of which are not only tackled in typical Ruhlman straight-talk, everyman science but illustrated with a set of recipes that puts each technique into action.

For the next week we'll be taking on six of Ruhlman's Twenty for a roast chicken dinner. We'll be mixing up Lemon-Pepper Vinaigrette for a salad and checking out Ruhlman's Perfect Roasted Chicken with plenty of Pan Sauce for Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes, as well as a few other technique-heavy dishes that'll hip us to Ruhlman's fundamentals of cooking.

Win 'Ruhlman's Twenty'

Thanks to the generous folks over at Chronicle Books, we are giving away five (5) copies of Ruhlman's Twenty this week.

All you have to do is tell us about the most essential cooking technique in your kitchen in the comments section below.