Marco Canora's cookbook Salt to Taste is
now available. Below are some excerpts adapted
from the foreward.
Order now to recieve your Canora-inscribed
copy-$35.00 (plus shipping):
"The phrase 'salt
to taste' isn't a one-time instruction;
in fact, you could say that the phrase 'salt to
taste' represents my overall approach to cooking.
Great food is not the product of sticking rigidly
to exact measurements. The best cooks I know rely
mainly on their senses; they taste, smell, listen,
and watch what they are cooking in order to determine
what is needed to achieve the effect they want.
They allow the food and stove to guide them rather
than vice versa. If you are cooking a duck breast
on the stovetop, for example, notice how it behaves
when it reaches a perfect medium-rare: You'll
find that it puffs up like a balloon and springs
back when you poke it with your finger. Noticing
changes as you go is what becoming a good cook
is all about. It's about learning to sense when
the meat has reached 125°F without repeatedly
sticking it with a thermometer. (Besides, poking
holes in the meat is not a good thing, because
all of the delicious juices will flow out and
leave you with a dry, tasteless piece of duck
jerky.) This may take 8 minutes on my stove and
11 minutes on yours.
"I know a lot
of chefs who are great cooks, but I also know
great cooks who are not chefs.
My mom and older sister Zia Leda, never worked
in restaurants. The two of them probably taught
me more about cooking than anyone else. I have
always been in awe of how they can take the most
humble ingredient, like the plastic-wrapped cauliflower
sitting around in the produce section of the local
supermarket, and transform it into something delicious.
They taught me how to coax intense flavors from
every ingredient I use, always by feeling and
tasting my way through the cooking.
"When I tell people
what I ate as a child, many assume
my mother spent all day in the kitchen. In fact,
she was a single parent running her own company,
and yet she found time to cook healthy and delicious
meals almost every night of the week.
"Cooking at home every
day doesn't have to be an ordeal
if you prepare a little. The best part is that
the food you make stands a good chance of being
cheaper and better for you than what you'll find
on most restaurant menus. Once you've honed your
skills, you'll probably discover that what you
make actually tastes better than what you'd get
"Cooking is not a
mere chore but a creative outlet
and a pastime, one that requires you to use all
your senses, your intuition, and your resourcefulness.
Don't be afraid to experiment and learn to accept
the fact that sometimes your experiments will
flop. Take the occasional failure with a grain
of salt (so to speak) and learn from your mistakes.
Start to think of the recipes in the pages that
follow as templates, with information that you
can apply to a wide variety of dishes, foods and
cooking situations, and this book will have served
its purpose. If the food you are inspired to make
brings smiles and satisfaction to those who eat
it, then you will be doing something to make this
crazy world we live in a better, more hospitable
©2009 Marco Canora
all rights reserved