Trade Secrets

Want to cook like a chef? This nifty little book, Trucs of the Trade, will help move you in that direction.  It’s got recipes from the likes of Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless, Rose Levy Berenbaum, Daniel Boulud, Jim Dodge, Dean Fearing, Hubert Keller, Emeril Lagasse, Zarela Martinez, Jean-Louis Palladin, Jacques Pépin, Judy Rogers, André Soltner, Jacques Torres, and Paula Wolfert.  But that’s probably not the main reason you want this book.

You want it for it’s tips and trucs.  I don’t know why they chose to use the French word truc, which is kind of a special word.  Yes, it means trick, but also it’s the word you use for a thing whose name you don’t know, as in “what’s the name of that thing?” or “c’est quoi, ce truc ?”  It’s a word like da kine in pidgin Hawaiian, an all-purpose catch-all for the unknown or undefined.  The lazy person’s way to avoid precision, a slangy and amusing approach to conversation.

And in this case, here’s what it will get you: a collection of cute little cheffy kitchen tricks, like how to remove beet stains, how to cut cucumber fans, how to tell the gender of an eggplant (no kidding), how to dice onions without tears, how to protect your hands when you don’t have gloves, how to dry-poach pears in salt, how to open quail eggs, how to salvage burned rice, and lots of other things that are cool to know.

Personal chefs and caterers will want this one, but so will any curious cook.  If you’re ready to play like the big girls and boys, just leave a comment saying so.  If several people would like this book, I’ll put your names in a mixing bowl, give them a good stir, and draw one.  I’ll send it to you and I’ll ask you to pay for the postage, if you can, via PayPal.  For security and anti-spam reasons, please don’t put your email address or snail mail address in the Comments section.  When you comment I see your email address and I’ll contact you soon if I draw your name.  Give this book a good home, learn something clever from it, and I’ll be happy.

Explore posts in the same categories: French Letters Visits America


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16 Comments on “Trade Secrets”

  1. MadisonBleu Says:

    Oh I would just love to have this.

  2. Ujwala Samant Says:

    I’d love to put my name in the hat for this one.
    Sounds really interesting,

  3. Lee Says:

    Hi!! Don’t know how much I’d use the whole book but would like to know how to protect hands when not wearing gloves…I can’t stand to wear gloves while I work and my hands suffer from it!
    Hugs, Lee

  4. Eden Says:

    I would be happy to give it a home if my name gets drawn :>

  5. Sue Says:

    I’d love to read this book – make some notes and then pass it to another interested person.I’m on summer hours just now and really “into” the kitchen playing field.

    I hope that my name will go into the bowl.

  6. Brother Mark Says:

    I’m willing to pass on the book, but can you at least explain how to tell the gender of an eggplant? Curious minds want to know! 🙂

  7. Edye Says:

    What a fun idea to rotate this little gem around! Abra’s traveling road show Library! I would also like to participate in sharing…. And please do tell us how to figure out the gender eggplant and why!

  8. Patt Says:

    This looks like a lovely volume. I read cookbooks from cover to cover to glean new techniques and tricks. This looks like something I would love. Sadly neither of my local library systems has it.

  9. Debra Lane Says:

    Please put my name in for this one! Sounds like an interesting book.

  10. Zuleme Says:

    does the gender of an eggplant matter?

  11. Abra Bennett Says:

    Yes, eggplant gender matters! Because, as you might have guessed, female eggplants are full of seeds, whereas males have none or just a few. Here’s how to tell the difference: “look at the bottom of the vegetable where the flower was once attached. The male eggplant has a well-rounded bottom with a smooth, even stem area. The female has a narrow bottom with an elliptical, deeply indented stem area.” In other words, with certain obvious parallels to the human anatomy.

  12. Jan Says:

    We were at Kisaku the other night and watched the sushi chef open a quail egg by hand, then proceed to separate it and then wash the yolk under running water, all with his hands and no breakage…and fast too! It was amazing. Please put my name in the hat too…the book sounds like a good read and reference.

  13. Brier Chung Says:

    Sounds like a great book, Abra. Please put my name into the mixing bowl!

  14. Dana Wilk Says:

    please consider me! very excited about this book!

  15. I’d love to be in the mixing bowl.

  16. Sue Says:

    Since didn’t “win, I found this as a used book for almost pennies. It came yesterday and it’s more than a fun read. Lots of ideas to think about and some great hints that I’m going to use. thanks, Abra for bringing the book to my attetion.

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