The perfect combo.  Twenty & a pair of Spankettes. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

I’m giving away a personalized Twenty and two awesome Spankettes in return for your ideas. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Short version: I ask you, cherished reader, what book would you like me to write next?

Update, 5/9, 8 p.m.: A winner has been chosen using randomizer: Aaron Weiss, a journalist and TV news director in Sioux City, Iowa. Thanks for commenting, Aaron, and for cooking with your family! Thank you everyone. Frankly, I was astonished by all the ideas and fascinated by the patterns. Still making my way through the nearly 500 comments.

My favorite suggestion, got filtered out due to a spam issue, from regular reader and commenter, Bob Tenaglio:

I’d call the book “Time; The Secret Ingredient You’ll Never See On Iron Chef,” and it would delve into dry-aged meat, fermentation, enzymatic transformation, what constitutes “freshness” and “rot,” the role of rigor mortis in meats and seafood, “low and slow,” development of flavors.

Very intriguing! Thanks Bob and thanks all. I’m blessed and grateful.

 

…and now back to the original post…

Complete version, or here’s what happened Thursday at Bar Boulud, my favorite culinary landing pad when touching down in NYC. I was there to meet with my editor, Michael Sand, of Little, Brown, which will be publishing The Book of Schmaltz in August, and in the spring, my innovative exploration of the kitchen’s most versatile ingredient. These were the known factors when I decided to hook up with this venerable publisher.

This, too, was known: I would also write four shorter, single-subject cookbooks. And this was the main topic as Sand and I munched through salads and jambon beurre and a taste of boudins noir et blanc (exquisite, all). What should those books be?

Ruhlman Singles will be about one-third the length of a traditional cookbook. Like The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat, they will comprise 20 or so recipes, but recipes that might be short master classes on a specific idea and technique within that broader subject. In the Single for Roast, for instance, there would be a high-heat roast technique and recipe, a low, slow roast technique and recipe, a pan roast, etc., and it would explore all the finesse points, the techniques that take a dish from good to aaaawesome, recipes that gave my prose room to spread out, in a format that would allow photos of each dish and as many process shots as we feel needed. (Can’t tell you how many of you have thanked me, or Donna and me rather, for making you feel comfortable in the kitchen because of the process shots.)

The world doesn’t need more recipes, it needs more technique, and home cooks need more confidence and encouragement in the kitchen. (Because you’re not too stupid to cook, even though Kraft wants you to think you are.)

Sand and I mulled: should they be basic technique books, like roast? Or ones more suited to the ambitious home cook, like sous vide or fermentation (cooking with bugs!), or cooking with actual bugs, grasshoppers, and whatnot?! (As that’s Andrew Zimmern territory, I’ll probably stay out of the latter.)

Then Sand said: “Why don’t you ask your readers. What do they want?”

Well? I’d love to hear from you! I have a list of ten or so ideas already. But take a moment to tell me: if you could choose one subject for me to write and think about, to cook through and photograph, what would it be? As an enticement, I’m giving away to one of you, chosen by randomizer on Thursday, a signed and personalized copy of Ruhlman’s Twenty: Twenty Techniques, 100 Recipes, a Cook’s Manifesto, and two—yes TWO!—Spankettes, the middle-sized wooden spoon that is one of my most cherished and valuable tools in the kitchen. While the winner has to be chosen at random and live in the U.S. (postage issue, sorry Canada, England, Australia, India!), if I write about what you wanted me to write about, I will be eager to acknowledge and thank you by name (if you wish) in the book.

So, I ask you, with deep thanks for even clicking on this page, tell me, what should the next book be? I shall return to Sand today the revised manuscript on the world’s most versatile culinary ingredient, and photography will wrap up soon. What should I write about next?

If you liked this post, take a look at these links:

© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

Share

484 Wonderful responses to “Twenty/Wood Spoon Giveaway
(with butcher’s string attached: need your help!)”

    • lindsayc

      I’m with Tim. I am a decent home cook, but I’d love to feel confident about canning. This just was not covered in home ec. BTW, am Canadian, so if I some how win, please gift Tim.

  • Erin @ One Particular Kitchen

    Sort of a spin on the Roast concept, I’d love a technique manual for different cuts of meat — the sort of things people used to learn from their grandmothers or their butchers. Roast chicken is beautifully covered in Twenty, of course, but what about a pot roast? What’s a good cut and method for doing pulled pork? Or brisket? What if the inlaws are coming for supper and I need something I can cook quickly? Does anyone cook crown roast anymore?

    A breakdown/list of “hey, if you have all day, low and slow” or “crap, need supper done in an hour” options would be great as well.

    Thanks!

    • Aaron

      I LOVE this idea, and as much as I think it is a great book idea, I think it would be even better as an app – I’m thinking of a more meat focused version of the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch app. Would definitely spend $4-5 to be able to check this app on my phone to be able to check at the farmers market or butcher.

      I’d also like to see the preservation idea, and agree with the poster who suggested sauces and said that is real split between a good home cook and a restaurant type meal.

      Ultimately I think it really depends on the audience you’d like to reach with these 4 books. Are you looking to reach your core audience and the majority of people who post, most of whom I would expect are proficient home cooks? In that case more advanced techniques; tasks that require additional equipment. If you’re looking to encourage reluctant home cooks to take a more active role, I think that the first book should be focused on organization/menu planning/shopping.

      I still think that would be a great topic for the first book – how to grocery shop, how to get multiple meals out of one ‘cook’, planning on how to use leftovers and then making sure you have leftovers, etc.

  • Karen Gaylin

    Second vote for pickles, preserves and canning. We joined a CSA for the first time and l’m looking for ways to preserve summer’s bounty.

  • BJ

    I think it’s time for a vegetable book. Not necessarily a side dish thingy. Don’t get me wrong-Meat is King, and your books are fantastic, especially Charcuterie! But every King needs a Queen by his side. A good accompaniment to a great meat completes the meal! I’m thinking a “Farmer’s Market”-Veggie version of Charcuterie!!
    My next request is an expansion of your bread basics app into a text. Let’s drill those common ratios in deeper! 4 basic ingredients, endless combinations!
    Take care,
    BJ

  • Byron

    The basics of kitchen organization, meal planning, and shopping with some make-ahead recipes, ala your conversation with Alton Brown from 2010.

    The perfect topic for a short, targeted reference with some demo recipes that might be overblown by a full book length cookbook.

  • Nick

    What about seasonal? With 4 books it would work out perfect for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. You could go through ingredients that are abundant for that season, their uses and how to use them in different dishes.
    I enjoy eating locally grown/raised foods, and more knowledge in what is grown/raised during which seasons would be helpful and educating.

  • John

    I’d go along the lines of the Friday cocktail hour posts. Cocktails in general might be a little over-reaching for the shorter format you’re talking about, but something more specific might be appropriate. How about a book just on whisk(e)y, and cocktails thereof? Or just the sour family of cocktails?

  • MattW

    What is seriously lacking for today’s homebrewer/cook/vinter is a book on distillation: how to produce eau de vie of various sorts.

  • Annette

    Thickening. I know how to make a roux, but other thickening options I don’t feel comfortable with. It looks like my family is going to have to go gluten free, and I’m trying to get used to using arrow root to thicken gravy and soups, but my results are iffy at best. Someone mentioned that I need to add it at a different point, but I feel lost.

    • ruhlman

      you add it at the end, mixed with liquid to consistency of cream, makes a slurry, works great.

  • Arlene

    Growing a sourdough starter from scratch and then using it in various products like bread, pizza, hot cakes, etc. Or cheese making, in particular making aged cheeses at home. For something faster: oil. The various kinds and how to cook in them.

  • Sam

    Cheese. For example, some people seem to have trouble with the sauce for mac’n’cheese breaking, although I’ve never found this especially hard. But cheese can be tricky for me sometimes. I often find ricotta fillings in Italian dishes bland in flavor and texturally unappealing; what are the cooks doing wrong? I tried to make a side dish of asparagus with parmesan “cracker” topping (from the Eleven Madison Park cookbook, if I remember correctly), but the parmesan thingy would barely maintain structural integrity, let alone crunch in the delicate way I was looking for. A good cheese is often at its best served simply, or perhaps grated on top of a dish at the last moment. But what the recipes where a *good* cheese can really shine when cooked? A grilled cheese sandwich is one that comes to mind. But already when one gets to quesadillas, I think even a bland, inexpensive cheese often works as well as if not better than something extraordinary.

    I would never buy a whole cookbook about cheese. But a “single”? Just maybe. You could also tackle some related food science questions, such as that age-old puzzle: when a block of cheese grows moldy in the fridge, is it safe to just cut off the moldy bits?

  • Scott

    I’d like to see something on food safety. What are the things to actually be concerned about and what’s blown way out of proportion.

  • Debi

    I would love a book on butchering your own meat/poultry. That art is lost and I would love to be able to buy bigger cuts of meat or whole birds and break them down myself without hacking it into unrecognizable pieces.

  • Shane

    A book on leavening would be interesting. The basics, the techniques (sourdough yeast, or making yourl own yeast generally, etc).

  • Kevin R

    Agree with the cocktail idea above. Focusing on the fundamentals of cocktails along the lines of Twenty and Ratio

  • Drew Starr

    Pressure cooking. Moreover, how to take existing recipes and techniques and adapt them to using the pressure cooker. One of the greatest excuses people use for not cooking many dishes at home is time. Armed with a toolset for converting other people’s recipes into ones that can be sped w/ the help of a pressure cooker might encourage more home cooks to expand their horizons.

    I’d also definitely read books from you on either sous vide or fermentation, which likely would have been my recommendations for titles had you not already mentioned them.

  • Kaye

    Using leftovers, and planning to have leftovers that need to be used up.

  • LisaB

    Anything bread related. I’d love to see Donna’s process photos on various bread items, e.g. bagels, rolls, loaves, boules, etc.

  • Bob

    Pasta. How to cook it, how to season it, how to make it – plenty of room for expansive text and photos.

    Chinese. In particular, working with a wok/stir fry, which is at the high heat end of the spectrum as far as Twenty goes, and changes how you approach your recipe. (It’s also great for a discussion of mise en place.)

  • Kevin

    I would like to see a book about meals for when you are cooking for more people than just your family and how to pull them off. Whenever we have a large group of people over I always cook the same thing (tri-tip) cause I know I can do it well for a lot of people. I definitely want to expand my horizons but I am always reticent and I go back to what I know will work.

  • Lindsay

    Fish with scales – not shellfish. Cooking fish seems to be one of the scariest things in the kitchen, especially since fish names are so confusing and inconsistent. Yet with a few basic techniques you can cook almost any fish since so many are interchangeable.

  • Matt

    I’d vote for Cocktails, maybe something similar in scope to PDT but more informative and approachable…possibly digging into the thought process behind a particular drink as well as the balancing of the flavors/ratios.

  • Mike Draper

    I would like one on common mistakes that ruin or don’t quite make the dish what it should be. Most people only make a dish once in a while so they aren’t practiced or may not realize a few small things that they are doing wrong, so they repeat it every time they make that dish.

  • Marc Johnson

    Third vote for pickles, preserves and canning. One of my favorite photos from Donna is the peppers from Symon’s book. Refrigerator pickling, canning, etc. should given enough variations (and 20 or so recipes) to do a good short book.

  • Doug

    I would like one on Fermentation. It is a forgotten technique that has played a huge role in the evolution of food. You would have a really broad area to play in, dairy, bread, vegetables, meats, tea, and of course alcohol. You could cross cultures. The symbiotic relationship with our health. There are lots of accessible techniques.

  • ohiofarmgirl

    bacon. a whole book on how to smoke bacon and various cures … savory bacon, sweet bacon, bacon cured like pancetta but smoked, honey bacon… bacon bacon bacon and more bacon… *dreams of bacon* you left too much unsaid in Charcuterie and Salumi plus bacon making is so much darn fun and anyone can do it. then a few how to cook with it like bacon n egg pasta or a starter for coq au vin.

  • Melissa

    I would love to see a book on cheese, actually. I know of so many techniques for working with cheese, but I have trouble figuring out how to use what. Does brie loose anything when I melt it on a sandwich? When should I be thickening a cheese sauce with roux and when with cornstarch and how should I use the fabled sodium citrate for silky smooth sauce? How about working with eggs and cheese? If I want to make a parmesean sauce, how hot do I have to get it to melt? I feel like I get scared and only go for stuff I know will work, when there is SO much excellent cheese out there and so much more to do with it than just eat it with apples and crackers and wine!

  • Caroline Edwards

    Not only techniques, per se, but what I would love to learn about, based on reading some of your other books (Reach of a Chef, etc.) is how professional kitchens are organized – some of the key professional equipment that might be available to the home cook – basic prep techniques (for example, what in a restaurant is prepared in advance, how is it stored). Basically, how can I learn to be more professional in my approach by using the organizational and prep techniques used by the professionals? Thanks, by the way, for your writing – I am always eager for more.

  • Rachel O

    The boozy realm, please! Not just home brewing, even though that is always intriguing, but the making of bitters, tinctures, other things that make me think I should be sitting in a cocktail bar in the 1920s. I also think it makes a fascinating bit of history, and I do love a good book with history alongside technique!

  • Jenn

    I would love to see Ratio but for gluten free. When the standard ratios work, when they don’t, and what sorts of flour ratios make effective GF flour mixes for different baking applications. The Gluten Free Ratio Rally (#gfreerally) blog group was immensely inspired by and consulted Ratio often for a starting reference, but I would love to see an actual dedicated GF reference book using the Ratio methodology.

  • Kate

    Duck fat and it’s applications! Or sous-vide would be great, especially a way to do it in a home kitchen.

  • Tom Vincent

    How about a book on the flavors of different cuisines? What makes French food taste French, and Asian food taste Asian? It could look at the techniques and the basic spice combinations.

  • Anne B.

    First, I love the idea of addressing a single cut of meat and rocking out all the techniques and variables (brisket first!)

    Lard might be another idea….following the schmalz track….

    Stocks/bone broths would be another….

  • Angela Alaimo

    Another vote for pickling and canning. Small batch, for those of us who don’t have acres of vegetables growing out back.

  • Patrick

    I like several of the ideas above: pasta, pickling, butchering, cheese.

    What I would like most though would be a book on Dairy. I would like more info on a wide variety of dairy topics from yogurt to sauces to cheese making and pairings.

    If that’s too broad, then I guess I’d narrow it down to cheese or even more narrowed down to making cheese.

  • Tim Thompson

    1) “Pork Belly”, the novel. A lot of cultures have spins on pork belly. It might be interesting to show some techniques, recipes, etc.

    2) A book on curing and making sausage, salumi and charcuterie,

  • Matt

    I like the fermentation and sous vide angles, techniques that you can apply in seemingly infinite ways to an almost endless variety of foodstuffs. Fermentation could certainly touch on sourdough starters and would make Arlene happy as well! But things like vinegars, fermented vegetables, yogurt, chili paste (did I mention chili paste?!) and the like are all accessible and delicious and adaptable (which I think is one of the keys here). Sous vide might be tough since I believe it would more or less require someone to purchase a $200-$300 (minimum) piece of equipment that takes up a not insignificant amount of space (though I have seen but not really experimented with “bootleg” sous vide-ing [incidentally, if there is a good way to execute sous vide without an appliance dedicated to sous-vide-and-only-sous-vide that idea becomes even more appealing]). Anyhow, I’d vote for a series whose sort of overarching theme was something along the lines of underutilized but relatively accessible techniques. I tend to fall into the camp that says you learn the most my mastering a culinary skill rather than by mastering a particularly recipe (which, I guess, is really basically the point of “Twenty”). So I guess I’m saying I liked Twenty, and I’d love to see a series that could sort of be seen as compendium pieces to that but with techniques that aren’t as everyday/basic/essential as the techniques highlighted in Twenty. Anyhow, that’s my more than two cents.

  • Kristi Johnson

    I am torn between fermentation, stocks, and pickling/canning/preserving…any of those are areas so often neglected and where I find I’m not comfortable in the kitchen. No matter what you choose as your topics I’m sure the results will be worth perusing!

  • kathy

    how about a book about what to do with that roast beef or roasted chicken (that you cooked 2 of so leftovers are avail) or spaghetti dinner. Most families have no time to cook except maybe twice a week but would like to have ideas of what to do with the leftovers on tuesday, wed and thurs. Like a spaghetti pie, or tartlets out of leftover spaghetti and chicken. or just the other day I made a couple pork loins and used the leftovers for potstickers the next day. Something realistic, ingredients that are common and available. Something every member of the family will eat. A meal that can be prep’d the night before and is ready to cook within half an hour of getting home, and hour to eat, then everyone is fed and out the door. I’ve seen articles in mag’s but most of the suggestions are over the top and have ingredients not available. Pantry and freezer suggestions like pillsbury ready made crusts, dried pastas, filo, I love having leftovers around and available.

  • Dean McCord

    I want something on the mother sauces and extensions from them. These have been written about in many places, but, quite frankly, your approach to writing and instruction would make a huge difference to demystifying these essential sauces and their underlying techniques.

    Another idea is the concept of braising. Tom Colicchio in “Think Like a Chef” did the best job to teach me the various methods of braising and how it can work with meat, fish, fowl and vegetables.

  • Jeff Rose

    Flavor profiles and pairings. Why some combinations work so well and why others fail.

  • mpt

    Carmelizaion. And I mean the very basic process that can turn flour, meats, vegetables into a memorable dish. I feel like it’s such a simple reaction that people sometimes pass over, (to their loss).

  • Mitch

    This may be a little off topic (and maybe against the rules), but I would love to have you write not another book about food, but another book about process, like “Wooden Boats.” To me that book (along with “Making of a Chef”) is really not about the thing (food or boats) but it’s about making the thing, what goes into making the thing, and what the people who are doing the making of the thing are thinking about and going through. I recommend both “Boats” and “Making” to my design students because I think they are excellent and insightful examples about process and creation and ultimately more interesting than recipes. As far as a specific topic to explore this way, maybe it would be interesting to hear about some of the Dalton-Ruhlman objects in terms of design, etc…, and your take on the general design and making processes—be they in food, tools, and even writing books.

    -Mitch (@mgoldst)

  • tk

    maybe more about the business side of the food business. restaurants, but maybe also small farms, food trucks, jam makers. my favorite part of ‘life on the line’ was the stuff kokonas wrote about his contribution to alinea.

  • Steve

    Sauces – We spoke a long time ago about a ratio (of sauces) wall chart like you did from dry ingredients. Perhaps broken into two, mother sauces and “compound” sauces.

  • Dan N

    Braising or Pickling/preserving would be my sugestions

  • Dan N

    Thought of another,… Stock its something most people dont do and there cooking would improve so much if they stopped with the cans

  • Kari L

    I vote for fermentation. I have thought of trying it many times but I have shied away from it since the directions I find are not very step by step. I really want to make my own sauerkraut!

  • Greg

    This is easy. Expansion of every chapter in 20. 20 books. expanded techniques and recipes. First up, Salt.

  • Laura

    Cheese (specifically, how to use it in recipes, substitutes, etc.).
    Sauces (thickening, flavoring, basics).
    Potatoes.

  • Katie H.

    Booze. I’d love to see a mini book about stocking a good bar, subbing ingredients without sacrilege, catering to an after work-, after dinner-, large crowd, or who-knows-what audience. Sure, I’m interested in similar concepts regarding stocking cupboards, but that’s not quite as exciting.
    On a side note, there are a lot of suggestions regarding pickling, canning, and preserving, but I say, have you seen the book market out there? There are a ton of resources on the subject. You might have a good spin on it, but stick to your strong-suits, right? Cocktails seem a strong-suit. I also think that minimalism and not needing fancy equipment is a strongsuit, so that might eliminate certain fields that aren’t as approachable (sous vide! having livestock to butcher!)

  • Erik

    Spices. A tome of the common, and some not so common spices, their use, procurement, history, storage, and maybe some recipes. Like curry mixtures.

  • Devin

    Eggs… So many people don’t know about how to correctly scramble,poach, etc eggs. I have eaten so many rubbery over cooked eggs. Also you could talk about the differences in grades, a,b,c and what they mean to a cook. There could also be a section on types such as duck, chicken, quail, etc.

  • lisa

    I would also vote for canning/pickling/preserving, although Paul Virants’s Preservation Kitchen is great. I think something on butchering with Rob Leavitt from Butcher and Larder would be fantastic. That way we’d get to see more of you in Chicago.

  • Chris

    Above ideas of interest: Cheese & Fermentation.

    Related to Charcuterie/fermentation, a practical guide on setting up a fermentation chamber at home. I have a handful of books on making salumi, no easy way of curing, dry aging, etc.

    Grill Techniques. Specifically gas grills. Most books hate on the gas grill, even though its the most commonly used. And there aren’t many “top tier” grill books.

  • David

    A twist on technique, not exactly about just the food, but about the process… *Starting* (shopping, mise en place), *Doing* (the actual cooking process from 30,000 ft), *Finishing* (Last minute touches, plating, serving).

  • Andy

    Trinities: mirepoix, soffritto, etc. I would love to know more about these foundational combinations from different cuisines and how to build on top of them. Maybe just one of these would be enough for a short book.

  • Laura

    Basics is what most people seem to be suggesting and I agree. Dry vs wet cooking methods, basic understanding of what saute means, etc. At the CIA, that was among the first things we learned. Home cooks would better understand product and be able to just create a meal with on hand items by internalizing the foundational methods and what products to use for which.

  • Derrick

    I would also vote for a book on canning technique with interchangeable recipes for fruit, veggies, etc. Start with simple things (making pickles) and go towards more complex (jams, preserves, preserving garlic if you feel up for the risk). If you can somehow tie it back to the season when ingredients are fresh and available via farmers markets, it would be a great resource!

    A sous vide book would also be of high interest as well, even though there are a few pretty good books in that area already… unless you feel there’s more that can brought to the table for future sous vide home applications?

  • Elliott Papineau

    Fermentation would be a great addition to your catalog. Also, profiles on chef’s creativity and dedication to craft would be interesting.

  • Keith

    I’d like to see more with the under appreciated cuts, an offal cookbook. Using the whole animal not just the popular or widely accepted cuts of meat.

  • larry

    I’ll go with the first suggestion. Pickles, saurkraut, and other fermented things with some suggestions on how to accomplish them when you don’t live where there are months on end of 50-60deg (F) weather. Explore both the European pickle styles and the Asian (Korea and Japan seem to be particularly richly endowed in pickling techniques) As a second choice I’d echo the request for more vegetables, particularly those less-used winter vegetables. On a side note, I enjoyed your piece in Fine Cooking and would suggest Japanese mirin as an excellent glazing base. It has some alcohol and some sugar with a mild flavor.

  • Brendan W

    Not to be a bandwagon jumper but pickling/preserving would be fantastic.

    I also have found your posts on roasting chicken to be inspiring. So perhaps an book on techniques for cooking delicious chicken, particularly for those who are daunted by the idea and always turn to the old boring staple of chicken breasts. Maybe start the book with a primer on proper butchery of a whole bird.

  • Deanna

    I want a book all about eggs. How they can make sauces, work as leavener, or be a meal. If a toque signifies that there are 100 different ways to cook an egg, I maybe know 10.

  • Jim

    I’d love to see you do a book on canning or preserving. With the proliferation of farmers markets and more folks growing their own veg, a solid technique driven book on canning would cover a lot of ground in a single short book.

    My second choice would be your roast idea. The humble roast has so much versatility that it deserved a book of it’s own that treats it well.

  • Robert Bigot

    How to make cheese/butter would be welcomed. It’s one thing I can’t seem to master.

  • Steve

    Big Green Egg/ Komodo grill/smoker technique book. Almost nothing is more versatile than a BGE.

  • Scott

    I would like to see a book on healthy cooking that really tastes great. How can you season without the use of salt? Is it possible to have really good, low calorie, low sodium food that tastes great? There are 25 million Americans with diabetes who could use this information.

  • Steve

    I agree with the Butchering concept. I think that would definitely help my skills and be good to see in printed form.

  • Lora in Louisville

    While I am with Kathleen on the bourbon subject, I would vote for “shortbreads” savory and sweet, from a biscuit to a cookie and everything in between- and then the Jelly! in canning and pickling. Thanks Ruhlman for asking our thoughts and then actually taking the time to read them and respond. One of many reasons I respect you!

  • Rachael Starke

    TIME.

    As in – what can I make in ten minutes / half an hour / two hours.

    It’s the one ingredient/factor that seems to separate those who can cook at home, even in the midst of work/school/stuff, and those who can’t.

    Everyone else is doing the deconstructed, single-ingredient book. But I don’t see any books formatted around time.

  • David Mortman

    Cheese or pickling. Both useful things to learn how to make and cheese especially requires some technique

  • Bobby

    I dig your Friday cocktail hour thing! You rock the cocktail scene- how about a book on cocktails, you know thru the eyes of famous chefs. With appropriate charcuterie, pupu, horsderves and cocktail hour munchy pairings.

    • BJ

      Ohhh. Good call- cocktails, maybe some micro brewing or Wines 101.

  • Nina

    I don’t need it myself, but I see an increasing clamoring for more information about where and how to find good sources for food. Food that is not just local (plenty of local CAFOs, so “Ohio meat” means nothing) but also raised/grown in the best way possible – sustainably, with pastured chickens and animals for other meats as well as organic (or close to it if not certified) produce. What questions should you ask at the farmer’s market? What should I look for on the web? What should I say when I contact a farm to ask them questions? How much freezer space would I need for a quarter or side (more and more Moms I know are going in on half or whole cows to avoid factory farmed meat)? What cuts should I ask for to be ground into hamburger if I don’t have my own meat grinder? If I can’t buy organic, what’s most important to buy? (clean 15/dirty dozen) What seafood should I get? (Monteray Bay Aquarium’s seafood guide).

  • stefan

    agree with the above cocktail ideas, but with a twist (see what i did there?). a section on booze, history, basics of fermentation/distillation/aging, one on cocktails & mixers, and a section on cooking with.

  • Jason L

    My wish list, all technique driven:
    1. Preserve (Ferments, Canning, etc.)
    2. Salt (well covered in Twenty, but so much left unexplored)
    3. Pot and Pan (During the week, this is how I cook. Get home, pull out ingredients, and start cooking on the stove. I don’t have the time to fire up the oven and wait for it to heat up/cook things. So, I would love to focus on recipes/techniques that work on the stovetop.)

  • Jon Waalkes

    Sauces. The simple act of finishing a dish separates the home cook from the perception of the professional cook. The simple pan sauce presented in Twenty makes the roasted chicken dish come alive and is a simple technique that is overlooked in recipe only cookbooks. By understanding the basic techniques of individual sauces readers would be able to understand and build sauces from a beurre blanc to a traditional mole’.

  • Anna

    Meat: drawings of the animal with all the various cuts in various cuisines; pictures of the respective cuts, then exhaustive cooking techniques in true clear Ruhlman way.

    I like the way Sherry Yard structured her book “Secrets of Baking”, a basic recipe branching out into more refined ones.

  • JNorth

    The pickling and canning sounds like something I would get, as would something on butchering.

  • Kevin C

    A book on cocktails, shrubs, spritzers, and other beverages focused on fresh and local ingredients that one might find at one’s neighborhood farmer’s market

  • BobC

    You’ve finally got me to post!
    I would buy a short book about sauces, I would also buy a short book about fermentation a’ la’ Michael Pollan’s “Cooked”. I wish that section had more to it.

  • Pat

    Second the 4 seasons suggestion.
    Another option – focus on dutch oven possibilities

  • Stefanie

    Maybe this is totally crazy, but how about some basics on using your grill as an oven? I love to bake, but I hate turning on my oven for a long time in the summer. I already have recipes for grilled pizza, so I don’t have to have the oven on at 500 F for over an hour, but what about bread and cakes and biscuits?

  • SaraU

    “Take it up a Notch” cooking – I can do most home cooking, but how do I take it to the next level (without spending $17 on a spice I’ll only use once!), so beyond the basics would be nice.
    Also, I have kids so any cooking that involves introducing kids to new flavors, textures, etc. – to appreciate and not be afraid of ‘new’! Thank you and good luck! 🙂

  • Scott LaGraff

    Really like the roast idea. Someone also mentioned veggies; I’d enjoy that, too.

  • Shaun

    Cocktails would be the best thing you could do. Every Friday afternoon, I check out your Friday cocktails and go right to the liquor store.

  • Fred

    I’m rather against the sous vide concept. Immersion circulators are too far outside the reach of most home cooks.

    I do think fermentation is the way to go. Sections on dairy (yogurt and kefir), beverages (kombucha and beer), and of course vegetables (sauerkraut, fermented pickles, and the like). Perhaps sourdough bread, too. Plenty of places to go, and certainly fits in well with your series on classic cooking techniques, like Charcuterie and Salumi, and general how to’s like Ratio and Twenty.

    Cheese is another great concept, although like sous vide, this is tougher for home chefs, with raw milk hard to come by, and needing some special equipment. Still, I like it as we could use a lot of education on the topic, and some, like ricotta, are easy to do at home.

    Bourbon seems too narrowly focused, and illegal to do at home many places (and I’d prefer a book that I can use as a guide to make stuff at home rather than pure education). Perhaps part of a great chapter/section on beer, wine, and spirits in a fermentation book.

  • Sharon Dale

    How about cooking with spices? I grew up in a Middle Eastern household, so allspice, cumin, coriander are like salt and [Aleppo] pepper to me, but my friends, even those who cook, are timid about using spices. I would be interested in a butchering book as well.

  • Art Good

    I like the “seasonal” idea, but also think maybe a regional American cuisine set or global cuisine set (Europe, Asia, South America, North America maybe???).