"I have always thought of Mustards as a cross between a roadside rib joint and a French country restaurant," writes chef-owner Cindy Pawlcyn, neatly characterizing the culinary pedigree of her famed Napa Valley, California, dining spot. Pawlcyn's Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook
, written with Brigid Callinan, offers 150 popular recipes from the restaurant, treats like Slow-Smoked BBQ Pork Sandwiches with Ooo-Eee! Sauce, Wild Mushroom "Burgers" with Apple-Jicama Slaw, and Artichokes with James Beard's Beer Batter and Tarragon Aioli. The recipes can entail a kitchen workout, but they are easy enough to do once the commitment is made. Readers wanting to treat family or guests to sophisticated down-home eating will welcome Pawlcyn's unique repertoire.
In chapters that cover appetizers, soups, and salads, Pawlcyn presents standout recipes like Crab Cakes with Red Beet and Horseradish Rémoulade; Tomato, Basil, and Tortilla Soup; and Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Noodles and Rice Vinegar Cucumbers. Smoker- and grill-derived specialties, including Half-Slab BBQ Baby Back Ribs with Crispy Yams and Coleslaw and Tea-Smoked Duck with 100-Almond Sauce and Ginger Pickled Mango, receive their own seductive space, as do pan and sandwich delights like Louise's Bouillabaisse with Rouille and Ahi Tuna and Shiitake Mini Burgers. Desserts such as Lemon-Lime Meringue Pie and Red Raspberry, White Peach, and Blueberry Cobbler follow in the deluxe-diner spirit of the place and should prove an irresistible finale to any meal. They're further tribute to Pawlcyn's one-of-a kind restaurant and its instantly seductive cooking. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
Chef Pawlcyn (Fog City Diner Cookbook) reveals the secrets behind the cuisine of wine country restaurant Mustards Grill in this latest cookbook. A Napa Valley institution, Mustards is noted for its fabulous California food and innovative wine list. The cookbook echoes this theme. Starting with the tasty Morel Mushroom and Goat Cheese Toasts through the grilled Halibut with Tomato Vinaigrette and ending with the easy Cinnamon-Oatmeal Strawberry Shortcakes, the dishes have a light, simple touch. But simple is not the same thing as easy. Many recipes, like the Wild Mushroom Burgers with Apple-Jicama Slaw, rely on previously prepared ingredients found elsewhere in the book. The food ranges from appetizers and soups through main courses to desserts, and also includes chapters on sandwiches, sides and condiments. Pawlcyn often uses smokers and grills, and devotes a separate chapter to recipes involving those methods. Many recipes in other chapters also require smoking or grilling, like the Smoked Trout with Warm Sweet Potato Salad and Horseradish Cream and the Ahi Tuna Sandwiches. The dishes even something as simple as the Roasted Potatoes, prepared with garlic and thyme are uniformly fresh and innovative. Alongside each of the recipes are enjoyable descriptions, hints, tips and anecdotes that enhance readers' know-how. However, the often lengthy lists of ingredients may put off the beginner, gearing this book toward more experienced cooks.
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