Michael Ruhlman wants to free home cooks from what he calls the "shackles of the recipe."
His new book, Ratio, is about learning basic ratios. For example: 3:2:1 — three parts flour, two parts fat (like butter) and one part water — makes a basic pie crust. Add a dash of salt, and it's a savory base for a quiche. Add some sugar, and you've got a shell for cherries, chocolate cream or fresh peaches.
"I want people to understand the fundamentals of cooking," he tells host Guy Raz. He says home cooks are so focused on recipes that they don't understand the importance of ratios.