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Jennifer McLagan's Pumpkin and Bacon Soup
Jennifer McLagan is a chef, food stylist, and writer who has worked in London and Paris as well as her native Australia. Her book, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes, won the Best Single Subject Cookbook award, as well as Cookbook of the Year, at the 2009 James Beard Awards. Her first book, Bones, was widely acclaimed, winning the James Beard Award for single-subject food writing. She is a regular contributor to Fine Cooking and Food & Drink. She has lived in Toronto for more than 27 years with her sculptor husband, Haralds Gaikis, with whom she escapes to Paris as often as possible. On both sides of the Atlantic, Jennifer maintains friendly relations with her butchers, who put aside their best fat and bones for her.
(Photo © Rob Fiocca)
Pumpkin and Bacon Soup
Starred Review. Persuasively arguing that the never-ending quest for "health" has gone too far, McLagan's elegant and informed look at this most maligned ingredient is appropriately unctuous. A crucial part of our diets, fat not only provides health benefits but pure pleasure: few ingredients can carry flavor the way fat does. Breaking the topic down into categories (butter, pork, poultry, beef-and-lamb), McLagan carefully chooses recipes that showcase the role of fat in imparting and carrying flavor. Versatile butter adds richness to pastry dough, a sweet nuttiness to Brown Butter Ice Cream, thickens classic sauces and can be used to gently poach scallops. A classic BLT gets a jolt of flavor from bacon-fat mayonnaise, and sliced Yukon Gold potatoes cooked in duck fat are practically ambrosial. While there's a fair number of indulgent dishes (3-inch bone-in ribeyes served with a red wine sauce and roasted bone marrow, a pork-fat laden twist on peanut brittle), McLagan emphasizes flavor and application over decadence. Digressions like those on the history of Crisco, fat as an art medium and a thoughtful look at foie gras are welcome and enlightening. Her mixture of science, cultural anthropology and culinary imagination are intoxicating, making this a crucial work on the topic.
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good exposition of a much maligned food type, but did not give it 5 stars because it neglects to discuss bear lardPublished 15 days ago by Ditch A
One of my favorite cookbooks of all times! Fantastic photography, delicious recipes, great nutrition tips. This is the book I wish I would have written. A must have!Published 1 month ago by Vivica Menegaz
Great book. I really like some recipes as low-temp poach (confit) and other techniques that some professional cook missing, but also some techniques that can be done in home using... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Juan P.
Finally a book about fat, needed for the fat-soluble vitamins. Cut down the carbs, sugars and junk foods, folks. And eat the proper, needed kinds of fat!Published 5 months ago by On the Cape
It is interesting, but the recipes are too eclectic for me.Published 5 months ago by Susan J. Williams
This series is spectacular, both informative and great recipes. Every time I think that one is my favorite, I pick up another and it is an instant case of "Love The One You're... Read morePublished 6 months ago by CMuzz