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In this innovative cookbook, James Beard award-winning author Michael Ruhlman explains why the egg is the key to the craft of cooking.

For culinary visionary Michael Ruhlman, the question is not whether the chicken or the egg came first, it's how anything could be accomplished in the kitchen without the magic of the common egg. He starts with perfect poached and scrambled eggs and builds up to brioche and Italian meringue. Along the way readers learn to make their own mayonnaise, pasta, custards, quiches, cakes, and other preparations that rely fundamentally on the hidden powers of the egg.

A unique framework for the book is provided in Ruhlman's egg flowchart, which starts with the whole egg at the top and branches out to describe its many uses and preparations -- boiled, pressure-cooked, poached, fried, coddled, separated, worked into batters and doughs, and more. A removable illustrated flowchart is included with the book.

Nearly 100 recipes are grouped by technique and range from simple (Egg Salad with Tarragon and Chives) to sophisticated (nougat). Dozens of step-by-step photographs guide the home cook through this remarkable culinary journey.

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