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Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home Hardcover – October 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580082505
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580082501
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Now he's really gone and done it! Charlie Trotter, chef and owner of one of America's finest restaurants (of the same name), has already enriched our lives and decorated our coffee tables with volumes of recipes from his famed establishment. Here, in Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home, his signature style shines bright, but in recipes we won't be afraid to try.

The ingredients Trotter calls for are readily available, the techniques he describes are manageable, and the titles of the dishes describe what you'll be eating so well that there aren't any photographs at all. Who needs them to describe Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Asparagus and Roasted Red Onion Vinaigrette, Orange-Blossom Honey-Glazed Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potato Purée, or Cilantro-Crusted Tuna Loin with Bok Choy and Lemon-Sesame Vinaigrette? As you flip the pages, your mouth will water as though there were photos throughout.

"The Basics" chapter starts us off with recipes for stocks and suggestions on how to make and store them so that they are always on hand. The table of contents is really an index, organized by course rather than alphabet, with every single recipe listed. Then there are appetizers like Smoked Salmon Tartare with Horseradish Cream, soups like Sweet Corn and Shrimp Chowder, and salads like Chilled Orzo, Asparagus, Chicken, and Goat Cheese. The entrees are divided into seafood, poultry, meat, and vegetables, and the more than 25 desserts include treats like Molasses Spice Cake with Caramelized Apples, Jasmine Rice Pudding with Lemon-Caramel Sauce, and Warm Bing Cherries with White Chocolate-Bing Cherry Sorbet.

Of the over 125 recipes, only a handful are more than a page long. But every single one of them packs a Trotter punch. They're inventive, fresh, and absolutely beautiful. In his introduction, Trotter acknowledges the home cook's time constraints and limited access to gourmet ingredients, and promises that "with a few basic foodstuffs and a touch of bravado, home cooks can create flavorful dishes that will impress even the most ardent gourmet." He delivers. --Leora Y. Bloom

From Publishers Weekly

Noted for his famous collections of challenging yet incomparably lucid recipes, Chicago chef Trotter (Charlie Trotter's Desserts) offers 150 examples of his restaurant fare made considerably more accessible to the home cook. Starters range from the ultraeasy Smoked Salmon Tartare with Horseradish Cream to the more demanding Lobster and Sweet Corn Ravioli with Sweet Corn Broth. True to form, however, Trotter does not forego his customary style of combining unexpected flavors with finesse. Such recipes as Cantaloupe, Mango and Asian Pear Salad with Key Lime-Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette, and Cardimon Beef Stew with Potatoes, Celery Root and Parsnips exemplify his reach beyond the everyday routine. Along the way, he explains his savvy if uncommon preparation techniques. Slow-Roasted Salmon with Garlic and Thyme Risotto calls for skinned fillets to rest in a 225-degree oven atop aromatics for a longish 35 to 45 minutes. When Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Risotto is on the menu, he suggests how to partially cook the risotto earlier in the day to relieve mealtime pressure. Desserts include the intriguing Fresh Strawberry Tarts with Basil Cr?me Fraiche. Having already established a loyal following with his beautifully photographed, eye-catching volumes, Trotter is sure to attract newcomers with this book of simpler recipes. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

I really enjoyed this latest Charlie Trotter Cookbook.
Sue Jackson
The recipes have been easy to follow, using ingredients that were easy to obtain with results that were outstanding!
Judith Light
This is one of the smartest, best thought out books on home cooking by a chef that I have ever read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Trotter's cookbooks are wonderful to read, but on the insane side for the average home gourmet to attempt, what with all those exotic ingredients and multiple techniques. Most of us save those for that out of the ordinary culinary adventure. Here, however, is one that presents gourmet dishes one won't find just anywhere, but with toned down hard to find ingredients and streamlined steps. I made his Chocholate Praline Bread Pudding as one of four Christmas desserts and the guests just kept marveling over how good it was. Spurred on to others, same experience: not overwhelming prep, wonderful, unique results! Let's have more like this, Charlie, besides all your other fine cooking literary output! Gracie!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was so proud of the meal that I made from this book! My friends said that they felt like they were dining at Charlie Trotter's restaurant! I'm a cookbook junkie, so that also makes me a tough critic. I have 50 or so books that I own, but never cook out of because the recipes are too complex. But Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home was so much fun to cook out of. He really made the recipes easy for the home cook. The photos in this book are very interesting as well. They are not the ordinary food shots of a recipe that you see in every other book. They make you look at food differently, which helps open up your culinary mind as well. This is a great addition to my cookbook collection!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Scott Collard on June 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
So far, this is the best 5-star cookbook that I have found for the home chef. There are plenty of great books that cover the basics of equipment and technique, but let's assume you have all that pretty well wired. At the next level, there are notable chef's cookbooks or famous restaurant collections. These feature spectacular recipes, but often rely on impossible-to-find ingredients or commercial-level equipment, making preparation frustratingly difficult. Though these books are often highly educational and usually wonderful and inspiring to look at (my favorites being Thomas Keller's French Laundry Cookbook and Charlie Trotter's restaurant series), they may only contain a handful of recipes that the home chef can pull off reliably.
"Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home" is different. Here one finds superlative recipes and top-restaurant-quality sensibilities, constrained only by the limits of commonly available ingredients and intermediate to advanced level home chef skills. Last weekend I made the Yellow Squash Soup, the Fennel and Haricot Verts Salad, the Grilled Vegetable `Lasagna' and the Apricot Soup with Vanilla Ice Cream and Almond Shortbread Cookie. I chose the recipes based on the ingredients in my weekly produce box: Yellow Squash, Baby Green Beans, the first cured Garlic and Onions of the season, Yellow Potatoes, and Apricots. (I am a member of a CSA--Community Sponsored Agriculture--I get a box of organic locally grown produce delivered to my home each week from a nearby farm in California called Terra Firma Farm.) The results were simply stunning. Each dish was simple to prepare, yet complex enough in concept to really show off my cooking and the incredible quality of the produce: the hallmarks of fine restaurant cooking.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
He is known for his exquisitely complicated cookbooks. He is known for having the precision of a culinary neurosurgeon in his uber-elegant restaurant in Chicago. He is not known as being a casual home cook, but look! Here's proof that he is as good at doing "simple" as he is at doing "spectacular"! Save your copies of his other cookbooks (Charlie Trotter's, Vegetables, Seafood, Kitchen Sessions) for inspirational dinner party planning and haul this great new book out for fun (and accessible!) everyday cooking. Charlie Trotter's savvy tips and tricks will liven up your dinner routine and get you thinking like a chef!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "gls1972" on March 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
When you think of Charlie Trotter's, you think of multi-course tasting menu using hundreds of ingredients from all over the world to build multiple layers of tastes and flavors. In this book, he focuses on recipes that he would cook at home and hopefully you will too. While many recipes offer a high degree of complexity, the motivated home cook is capable of preparing these meals.
There are two things which I loved about the book. First, he motivated me to make my own stocks (beef and chicken). Why make the effort to prepare a sauce and spoil it with the flavorless, fat-laden broth that comes out of a can? He provides recipes for very good stocks. (I personally recommend freezing stock in Glad freezer ware or making ice cubes of stock and putting it in a freezer bag.) Second, he introduced several interesting cooking techniques such poaching fish in oil and low-temperature slow roasting of salmon. These are interesting techniques to be used to preserve the flavor and texture of the food.
The book also helpfully provides 3 to 4 course menus for your next dinner party with helpful wine pairings. With this book in your kitchen, you can't fail to impress your family and friends at your next dinner party.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The first of Charlie Trotter's books I reviewed was his newest title `Raw'. As it was a potentially misleading title for the readers of one of the most distinguished chef / authors in the country, I gave it a rather cautionary review to be sure no one reading about the book would get false expectations. Since that book did succeed in showing Trotter's brilliance with food, I was anxious to follow up with a review of a much different sort of title from this renowned culinarian. I was not disappointed with what I found in `Charlie Trotter cooks at home'.
This book is one of the very best exemplars of the subgenre of cookbooks by celebrity chefs aimed at the home cook. It equals or surpasses titles like those from Tyler Florence, Sara Moulton, Ming Tsai, Tom Colicchio, and Food Network in several ways.
First, the book is arranged in a very practical manner, by course and, for entrees, by type of protein. This excellent choice of chapters is enhanced by a complete listing of `recipes at a glance' at the beginning of the book plus a listing of recipes by main ingredient at the end of the book. Excellent features for a cook at home resource.
Second, the range of foods used in the dishes is quite familiar to the typical American home cook. There are very few unusual ingredients or unusual flavors. The entrees are divided into a generous number of seafood dishes; fewer but varied poultry (without any exotic game recipes) and a good selection of meat recipes with all being beef, pork, lamb, or veal. There are no exotic game meats here. Entrees finish up with a good selection of pastas and risottos. Similarly, the desserts are neatly divided into sections on soups, sorbets, and granites; tarts, pies, and pastries; and cakes, custards, and puddings.
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