A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider is book that I’ve had on my shelves forever. It’s one that every time I cook from it, I feel the overwhelming urge to cook everything in it.
Not necessarily because everything in it sounds awesome and amazing (though a lot of it does), it’s just that I feel if I cooked through this book, I would know how to do all of the basics and then some.
I think it has to do with the way the recipes are organized. The are organized the normal way first….fish, chicken, veggies…but then within each section they are organized by how you cook it. For example, desserts are organized into Simple Fresh Fruit Desserts, Bowl and Spoon Deserts, and Fruit Tarts and Free Form Pastries. Then within in each section there is usually a section on improvising..a way to take each recipe and make it your own. It’s a book filled with recipes and techniques that every good cook should know.
A prime example: Caramelized Roasted Pears. Everyone should have a good roasted fruit recipe in their skill set. A classic and elegant dessert. This was everything I wanted it to be. It would be especially lovely served with some vanilla ice cream, but might fine on it’s own too.
Caramelized Roasted Pears
- 4 large not-quite-ripe pears
- 3/4 cup sweet dessert wine
- 1/2 vanilla bean (I used used a little vanilla extract)
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 375.
Peel and core the pears, slicing them lengthwise. Arrange them cut side down in an ovenproof skillet. Add 1/2 cup of wine, cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the wine and nestle the bean in too. Dot the pears with the butter and bring to a boil over moderate heat.
Cover loosely with foil and place in the oven to roast for about 35 minutes. Brushing occasionally with the wine. Turn the pears over, recover and roast for 15 minutes.
Set the skillet back over moderate heat, and the rest of the wine (1/4 cup) and simmer until the liquid is syrupy. Turn the pears back over cut side down and place back in the oven, roasting for about 10-15 more minutes. Brushing them frequently with glaze until they are nicely glazed. If it becomes too dry add a little more wine or water.
Set aside to cool slightly.
Serve with some of the sauce spooned over the top.