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Thursday, January 28, 2010


GOURMET TODAY; more than 1000 all-new recipes for the contemporary
kitchen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009, 1008 pages, ISBN 978-0-618-
61018-1, $40 US hard covers) has been edited by Ruth Reichl. Since the
book was published at the beginning of October, Gourmet magazine has
ceased publication. But Conde Nast still sits on all the recipes and
preps, so it is possible that there could be several Gourmet cookbooks
in the years ahead, a sort of upscale Mark Bittman. Reichl, the last
editor of Gourmet magazine, had edited the previous book which was
published in 2004 to great acclaim. This time, there are entirely new
recipes, and the cover is green, symbolic of sustainable agriculture.
There are two green bookmark ribbons as well, always a handy feature in
trying to keep flipping aside. Anyway, I usually advocate making a
photocopy of the recipe to be used (fair use, single copy, not breaking
any laws). Throughout there are sidebars and cook's notes. OK, here are
the numbers: about 650 preps that can be prepared in 30 minutes or
less, scores of recipes for promoting vegetarian main dishes, about 100
fish and shellfish recipes (all sustainable) with substitutions
mentioned, 100 cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, hundreds of
illustrations of ingredients and techniques, and much more which can be
found at The mood here is "contemporary",
meaning FESLOS (fast, easy, seasonal, local, organic or sustainable)
Audience and level of use: home cooks, subscribers to the former
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: rabbit braised in red wines;
spiced chicken; cornmeal sugar cookies; babaghanouj; Armenian lamb
pizza; arepas with black beans and feta; eggplant soufflé.
The downside to this book: the book weighs 4.8 pounds, and I'm not sure
if the binding can stand several years of wear and tear.
The upside to this book: if you want a sugar high, there are over 300
desserts covered in this book.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.

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