T H E A U D I E N C E F O R which this book is written includes professional chefs, caterers, and advanced home cooks. With this in mind, several features should be noted. The ingredient list at the beginning of each recipe includes some preparation that will not be found in the instructions. For example, an entry in the ingredient list may be for “1 red bell pepper, fire roasted, seeded, peeled, and diced.” Read the ingredient list carefully and keep these preparations in mind when determining how much time it will take to prepare the dish. Another entry may be for “1⁄2 cup [120 mL] carrots, finely diced.” Measuring, in this case, implies that the carrots are measured after they have been diced. Also, it is assumed that the carrots were washed and peeled before they were diced. Another assumption is that an appropriate container or implement is selected for a particular task. You will not see the instruction “take out a bowl” or “use a wire whip” when mixing several ingredients for a marinade.
The book is divided into twenty-eight cooking region chapters, each of which begins with a general introduction containing the history of the region as it relates to the development of the area’s cuisine, the geography of the region, crops and animals raised for food, cooking and flavoring techniques, and influences of other cultures on cooking in the region. Following each general introduction is a number of selected recipes for that region.
Each recipe’s instructions have been organized into several sections. “Advance Preparation” is always listed first. This section lists things that can be done in advance, from several hours to several days. Advance preparation is essential in the professional setting and is quite useful to the home cook to relieve the stress associated with complex recipes requiring many stages. In addition, some things have to be done in advance (“marinate overnight”), so read this section carefully when preparing a dish. Next you may find several “Preparation of” sections for such things as sauces, doughs, and fillings. In the “Cooking Method” section that follows, all cooking instructions for final preparation of the dish are given. In this section it is assumed that the oven or oil has been heated to the correct temperature. For example, “Bake at 350°F [175°C] for 20 minutes” assumes that the oven has been heated first. Note also that all measured ingredients in the recipes are given in English measurements with metric measurements following in brackets. The “Service” section gives portion size, assembly method, and simple garnishing instructions