Many of the best restaurants tantalize diners' palates with charming, intensely flavored tastes that tickle the tongue and delight the eye. A tiny serving to whet the palate, an amuse-bouche
(literally, "mouth amusement") sets diners up for what is to come. Rick Tramonto, executive chef of Chicago's widely acclaimed Tru restaurant, is well known for his passion for and commitment to these bite-size treats. In Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites That Delight Before the Meal Begins
, he shares the art of creating these miniature delights. While most people won't find many occasions to serve amuse-bouche
at home, the recipes are easily adapted to become passed hors d'oeuvres, first courses, or even main courses. From Chilled Fava Bean Soup with Seared Scallops, to Blue Cheese Foam with Port Wine Reduction, to Charred Lamb with Truffled Vinaigrette and Oven-Dried Tomatoes, this book offers something for every taste. Surprisingly, most of the dishes are exceedingly simple to prepare, often consisting of just four or five ingredients. As might be expected, the success of the recipes is dependent not so much on involved cooking techniques or complicated combinations of flavors but rather on the selection of a few high-quality ingredients. Creamy Corn Grits with Butternut Squash and Sweet Corn, for instance, starts with ever-so-humble beginnings to ultimately showcase the bright flavor of corn and the hearty sweetness of butternut squash. With more than a hundred clever and inspiring recipes, Amuse-Bouche
will surely not fail to amuse. --Robin Donovan
From Publishers Weekly
Breaking new ground in a previously untackled area of cuisine, the executive chef of TRU restaurant in Chicago and coauthor with Gale Gand of Just a Bite, Tramonto (who also coauthored Butter, Flour, Sugar, Eggs), has paired up with Goodbody to explore the world of Amuse-Bouche, "Little bites of food to amuse the mouth, invigorate the palate, whet the appetite." To this end, the author has produced recipes designed to create a mouthful of delight, whether a spoonful of salad, an espresso cup of soup or a scoop of savory sorbet. Giving the book greater scope, Tramonto suggests that the dishes, such as the simple, flavorful Warm Onion Tart with Thyme, can be used as hors d'oeuvre, "so elusive is the line between." Many of the portions can be expanded or multiplied to form starters or a light main course. Other recipes given a new look are bean salad, which with the addition of curry oil becomes Curried Three Bean Salad, and Potato Salad, which is spiced with cayenne pepper. The recipes require a variety of skill levels and time, although there are always several suitable for all occasions and aptitudes.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.