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A Better Cook in 10 Dishes

with Martha Holmberg
A Better Cook in 10 Dishes
Transform your cooking with 10 classic dishes! Discover time-saving techniques and go-to recipes for lasagna, chicken and even macaroni and cheese.

Join award-winning editor, author and instructor Martha Holmberg, as she breaks down 10 favorite dishes you’ll cook forever. Learn how to combine a variety of lettuces, herbs and homemade dressings for salads you’ll  crave! Then, master meals for any occasion, like baked fish en papillote, pan-grilled steak and even roast pork. Learn new knife skills you’ll wonder how you ever lived without, check your meat for the perfect doneness and create quick and flavorful pan sauces. Then, create creamy béchamel sauce, the base for silky soufflés and comforting macaroni and cheese. Find out how to turn favorites such as mushroom risotto and tempting lasagna into go-to meals, and take your stand-by chicken from bland to bold. Plus, make crowd-pleasing desserts packed with seasonal fruit and buttery, crisp topping. 

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Introduction

  • Meet your instructor, chef and cookbook author Martha Holmberg, and learn more about the foundational dishes you'll learn how to make. Each lesson stands on its own, so you can jump right to the recipes that interest you most, and refer back to any lesson whenever you want to learn or review a dish or technique.


Lesson 2. Green Salad With Vinaigrette

  • There are salads and there are great salads. Martha walks you through the bounty of lettuces and herbs you can combine for a refreshing variety of tastes and textures. Learn the principles of making your own delicious vinaigrette and you'll never need to buy another bottle. Martha also shows how easy it is to make your own crispy croutons from leftover bread.


Lesson 3. Fish en Papillote

  • Create an elegant and easy meal that's perfect for a weeknight dinner or weekend dinner party: fish gently baked in parchment paper or foil packet along with julienned vegetables and herbs. Martha discusses the best fish to buy and walks you through the preparation, including invaluable slicing and chopping techniques.


Lesson 4. Steak au Poivre

  • Put some sizzle into any dinner with a perfectly pan-grilled steak with peppercorns. Learn about the best cuts to consider, how to make sure your pan is hot enough and how to check the steaks for doneness. To complement the steak, make a quick and delicious pan sauce from the drippings.


Lesson 5. Pork Roast

  • A small pork roast can be the perfect weeknight dinner for two or four. It's especially delicious if you prepare it with Martha's herbed bread-crumb crust and a quick pan sauce. Martha discusses how to handle the roast, how to sear it to add flavor and how to check for doneness.


Lesson 6. Cheese Soufflé and Mac & Cheese

  • A versatile, cheesy white sauce will see you through a fancy brunch or a down-home dinner as the base for both a lofty soufflé and a comforting macaroni and cheese. Along the way you'll learn how to whip egg whites to the perfect consistency for the soufflé and how to boost the flavor of your macaroni and cheese from bland to bold.


Lesson 7. Risotto

  • If you thought risotto was a dish too fussy for home cooking, think again. Martha shows you step by step how to cook a creamy, savory version with porcini mushrooms and spring peas. Of course, you can choose your own favorite vegetables to add!


Lesson 8. Lasagna

  • Martha's lasagna is worth every minute you spend making it, and using no-boil noodles means fewer minutes spent! A rich, meaty sauce forms the basis of the dish, while an herbed ricotta cheese and béchamel sauce make the lasagna lighter than adding mozzarella would.


Lesson 9. Braised Chicken

  • Chicken thighs braised with leeks and apples make a perfect dish for family or visitors. You can cook the chicken and prepare the pan sauce ahead of time, then warm them again to serve. Martha guides you through the preparation of this classic French favorite.


Lesson 10. Fruit Crisp

  • What better way to finish a delicious meal than with seasonal fruit baked with a crunchy, buttery, nutty topping? Learn Martha's technique for cutting stone fruit and learn how to make extra batches of the topping you can store in the freezer along with cut fruit — you'll be ready to serve this summery dessert at a moment's notice.

Praise for Martha Holmberg's Homestyle Pan Sauces:

"I have learnt such a lot from this class. Everything is very simple but has made a huge difference to how I cook. Martha explains each type of sauce by making an example but her instructions encourage you to customise to make your own sauces. I am having great fun experimenting and my family are enjoying new tastes. The class has certainly got me thinking more about how I make sauces. Thank you Martha!"
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