Man at His Best

Game-changing Tricks From The Best New Cookbooks

Elevate your cooking with a few tweaks and tips.

BY Editors | Aug 3, 2017 | Food & Drink

Illustrations by Kelsey Dake

Scraps, Wilt + Weeds: Turning Wasted Food into Plenty, by Mads Refslund (Grand Central Life & Style, SGD49):
Danish Chef Refslund, one of the founders of Noma, in Copenhagen, shows you how to elevate your cooking by putting a stop to pointless squandering. 

Key trick: Don’t buy fresh herbs only to let them get all gloopy in the crisper drawer. Have them dry out naturally on the counter and then crumble them into flavour dust. (Also: No time to cook that fish fillet you bought? Pack it in salt.)

On Vegetables, by Jeremy Fox (Phaidon, SGD70): 
This book is, yeah, about vegetables, but it’s also about how one of California’s greatest chefs got his shit together after the brain-fogging crash-and-burn frenzy of early fame. 

Key trick: Onion-top ash. No joke. You know the green part of a scallion or leek that you often wind up tossing? Incinerate it into black ash in the oven, pulverise it into powder, and then scatter it on anything for an instant touch of smokiness.

Project 258: Making Dinner at Fish & Game, by Zakary Pelaccio and Peter Barrett (University of Texas Press, SGD70): 
Pelaccio and his wife, the fermentation sorceress Jori Jayne Emde, have carved out an enviable life for themselves within the farmhouse bohemia of New York’s Hudson Valley. 

Key trick: Make vinegar. Yes, at home. It’s easier than you think (throw in carrot tops, corn cobs, peaches, whatever), and it brings a sour jolt to anything you cook.

Dinner: Changing the Game, by Melissa Clark (Clarkson Potter, SGD49): 
The New York Times’s superstar wants you to know that killer single-pot meals are dead simple. 

Key trick: Yogurt is your go-to secret sauce. Put some in a bowl, stir in salt and spices, and spoon it next to your steak or right into your pasta. “A sprinkle of chilli if you like it hot,” Clark says. “Takes two minutes to make.”

This article was first published in Esquire Singapore's The Big Food And Drinks Book 2017.