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Lidia's Family Table: More Than 200 Fabulous Recipes to Enjoy Every Day-With Wonderful Ideas for Variations and Improvisations Hardcover – November 23, 2004
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But the teaching doesn't stop there. Bastianich's discussions of risotto and polenta are particularly good (when preparing risotto, for example, the liquid must simmer for the dish to become properly toothsome), while a section on quick skillet sauces, like one made with sausage, onions, and fennel, will get many readers to the kitchen pronto. Bastianich also offers advice for preparing lesser-known yet attractive meat cuts like shoulder and butt, as well as quick-take recipes for the likes of whole corn cooked in tomato sauce and eggplant with scrambled eggs. The Bastianich approach also applies to the dessert section, which offers simple fruit-based sweets like Fig Focaccia, and Crostata with Poached Apricots and Pignolala. (Included, too, are a number of simple strudel recipes, a bow to the cooking of Istria, Bastianich's birthplace.) Color photos make succinct technical points as well as showing Lidia's extended family at table and very much in action. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
The first part of the answer is that the book follows in the footsteps of Jacques Pepin's latest book where a prominent culinary writer / educator is writing about what they cook at home. And, they write about it in a way that makes it exceptionally useful for the amateur home cook. This means the book may be more useful to us than the first, a study of the cooking heritage of northeastern Italy based in Bastianich' homeland of Istria, near Trieste and Venice. Or the second, which is Lidia's survey of Italian cooking in general, or her third, which is her survey of `Italian-American' cuisine. Since reviewing this third book, I have read and reviewed several other books on `Italian-American' cuisine and I find Bastianich' work to easily lead the pack in overall quality of recipes.
Our current subject does not bill itself as `easy' or `fast' cooking, only as 'everyday cooking at home'. This seems to be a much more satisfying and realistic target for an author of good recipes. Since the fast cooking cookbook field is so crowded and so well dominated by Rachael Ray, why not do what you know best rather than trying to buy into a trend. This book is also not billed as being authentic anything. While a really excellent implementation of Italian cooking principles, there is no claim that these recipes come from anywhere but Ms. Bastianich' own imagination.Read more ›
For a book that is still the "bible" of Italian cooking, I would refer you to Marcella Hazan's "Essentials of Italian Cooking", a combination of two earlier books (The Classic Italian Cook Book and More Classic Itallian Cooking)where she gives you details and insights that Lidia often leaves out. This comes from her Old-World style cooking, which she employed for decades in her intimate master classes taught in her own kitchen in Venice and New York City.
For example, Marcella never adds olive oil to her pasta; eggs and flour only. She would never place fried eggplant directly on paper towels; fried things must be drained on a rack. And when making bechamel sauce, or salsa balsamella, Marcella tells you to add the flour to the butter off heat to avoid lumping and to add the hot milk no more than 2 tablespoons at a time until it is smooth. Little things like that.Read more ›
I am Italian, and grew up in an Italian home. But unfortunately my mom died fairly young from cancer ( as did my aunts as well) so many family recipes were lost. But I find when I make many of these recipes the flavors, textures and ingredients are all very similar to what I remember. So this cookbook has been a blessing, to try and retrieve a little piece of my sweet mom and the beautiful culture she gave us!
If you get anything from this review! No matter how young you or your mom/or even grandma (nonna) WRITE DOWN THE FAMILY RECIPES NOW! Even the ones you think you don't like now. You will later, I promise! They will be a treasure to you and your children some day!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These are wonderful recipes with practical tips on preparation, substitutions, with descriptions on how a recipe should look and taste. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ososanna