In no other period of our country's history has the food scene changed so rapidly. Exciting new ingredients are available everywhere, expanding our culinary horizons. Even casual meals have globe-trotting flavors. We want memorable dishes, and we want them to be healthy for our families and our planet. And with our busy schedules, we want them on the table faster than ever. A new culinary world calls for a new cookbook. Gourmet Today
responds to our changing foodscape with more vegetarian recipes, more recipes for popular dishes from every corner of the world, more recipes for stunning meals ready in 30 minutes or less, more simple ways to prepare all the vegetables in the farmers' market, advice on choosing sustainable fish, chicken, and beef, tips on throwing an easy cocktail party, more recipes for flavorful techniques like grilling, and more recipes for the new ingredients flooding our market.
Each of the over 1,000 recipes was selected by editor in chief Ruth Reichl, a best-selling author in her own right, who wrote the introductions to each chapter. Every recipe has been tested and cross-tested in the Gourmet
test kitchen so every cook, whether a first-timer or a veteran, gets impeccable results. With menus for holidays and other seasonal occasions, an authoritative glossary of ingredients (plus mail-order sources), and hundreds of sidebars on ingredients and handy techniques from the test kitchen, Gourmet Today
is the indispensable book for today's cook.
Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Ruth Reichl
Dear Amazon Reader,
These days you hear a lot of gloom and doom about the state of American food. It's certainly true that if you want to focus on the negative, there's a lot to despair about.
On the other hand, the opposite is also true. I wrote my first cookbook in 1971, and when I see the difference between what was available then and the food that now fills my supermarket, it makes me want to go dancing down the aisles.
Back then things were so different that my editor insisted that I call for ground beef instead of lamb in a classic Greek moussaka; she said not many grocers actually sold lamb. She also worried about the recipe for handmade pasta (too esoteric) and a simple Chinese stir-fry of chicken (what on earth was a wok). She worried when I called for freshly grated Parmesan cheese (most people still used the stuff that came in the green can), fresh garlic (frowned upon in many places) and chiles (too hot, too hot, too hot).
What a difference a few years make! The American supermarket has turned into an international bazaar, offering us all the best flavors of the world. Whether you want to cook the foods of Asia, the Americas, India or Europe, the ingredients are there. And that's only part of the good news; the other is that the era of mindless eating is over. Good cooks everywhere are now aware of the consequences of their choices, and when they walk through the aisles, they think about sustainability.
It's a wonderful time for people who care about food. But it requires a new kind of cookbook, one that takes advantage of the great modern marketplace. Gourmet
's twelve test cooks spent five years exploring all the new ingredients available in the supermarkets--from frozen pizza dough to Thai chili pastes and eggroll wrappers--figuring out the best ways to use them. They haunted farmers markets too, so we could offer advice on cooking everything from ramps to celery root. They spent time in fish markets, snapping up new offerings like Arctic char and tilapia. Then they cooked each dish again and again and again, taking out unnecessary steps and ensuring that each was absolutely foolproof. The result is more than a thousand recipes that are absolutely guaranteed to work. I couldn't live without this book. I love cooking from it. I hope you will too.
Best wishes, Ruth Reichl
(Photo © Brigitte Lacombe)
Recipe Excerpts from Gourmet Today
• Raspberry Lime Rickey
• Grilled Ceasar Salad
• Grilled Cumin Chicken Breasts with Avocado Salsa
• Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
Starred Review. In this follow-up to The Gourmet Cookbook
, editor Reichl amasses one of the most comprehensive cooking resources available. She offers a diverse range of recipes that reflect the ever-changing American palate and the many cultures that have influenced it. Alongside Stilton cheese puff are recipes for babaghanouj, bangers and mash, Armenian lamb pizza, arepas with black beans and feta, and Vietnamese fried spring rolls. Informative sidebars provide details on a huge array of topics, from what salt to use when to preserving fish. Line drawings demonstrate folding techniques for dumplings and spanakopita and show how to trim and stuff artichokes. Cook's notes throughout provide valuable advice on how to store food, how long food will last and which steps can be done ahead of time. Most recipes are geared toward time-pressed cooks and can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. In addition to the usual categories of soups, fish, poultry, beef and desserts, Reichl includes substantial chapters on vegetarian main courses and grilled dishes. Highlights include eggplant soufflé, grilled lemon-lime chicken legs and sticky spicy ribs. Comprehensive, appetizing and thoroughly tested, this mammoth collection is the book no kitchen should be without. (Sept.)
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