In the days before commercially produced shortening and vegetable oils, schmaltz—good old, flavorful, carefully rendered chicken fat—was a standard ingredient in many kitchens, particularly Jewish ones. Ruhlman, the author of a number of important culinary reference works and a co-author of many of Thomas Keller's books, sets out here to restore schmaltz's reputation and utility for modern cooks. Precise and carefully photographed instructions make the rendering straightforward, and the array of recipes that follow includes both staples of Jewish fare as well as the likes of a savory brioche, red pepper scones, and even oatmeal cookies. It's great when something so useful is also fun.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.