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144 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cookbook For Our Times, Par Excellence
If I had to live with only one cookbook, or were recommending a single volume for any contemporary cook, it would be this. While it does not cover in detail beginning cooking technique such as knife skills, basic cuts, and identification of tools, it provides substantive information and such an intelligent point of view that even a modestly-experienced cook could utilize...
Published on November 13, 2001 by disco75

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80 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For experienced cooks with a large pantry
I agree with many of the previous reviewers comments: beautiful book, a "new" approach to cooking that doesn't totally eschew butter, cream, sugar, but uses them in moderation. I will also be honest and say upfront that I have not cooked any of the recipes in the book. One of the reasons I have not felt inspired or compelled to do so is the complexity of some...
Published on March 14, 2002


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144 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cookbook For Our Times, Par Excellence, November 13, 2001
By 
disco75 "disco75" (State College, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A New Way to Cook (Hardcover)
If I had to live with only one cookbook, or were recommending a single volume for any contemporary cook, it would be this. While it does not cover in detail beginning cooking technique such as knife skills, basic cuts, and identification of tools, it provides substantive information and such an intelligent point of view that even a modestly-experienced cook could utilize it. Schneider's approach, not really new to readers familiar with the also wonderful Martha Rose Shulman and Rozanne Gold, among others, is nevertheless a practical way of eating healthy in delicious, sophisticated dishes.
Schneider endorses the practice of replacing heavy and often unhealthy fats with herbs and spices. By using wholesome fats judiciously, by highlighting intrinsic flavors, and by using taste rather than slavish adherence to tradition, she presents a mighty range of wonderful recipes. The recipes also turn out fantastically. Her straight forward, first person writing reveals her love of food and is devoid of pretentions. The recipes include informative introductions, exceptionally helpful notes about ingredients, variations and extensions, and guidelines for advance preparation. The book is gorgeous looking, with a beautiful lay out and user-friendly format. The index is complete and detailed, and each section of the book lists its recipes for the convenience of a cook looking for, say, ideas for tonight's soup.
The sections of the book include a great Vegetables chapter, Beans/Legumes, a wonderful Pasta chapter, Grains, Seafood, Meat/Poultry, Breads, a fantastic Soups section, Salads, Desserts, Flavor Essences, Broths, Oils, and Sauces. An appendix provides nutritional analyses of the ingredients and each dish (including calories, protein, carbs, fat, fiber, and sodium for dieters.) Large and weighty, the book would make a great gift and addition to any cook's library.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Thought Out New Way of Cooking Tasteful Food, December 18, 2001
By 
rodboomboom (St. Louis, Missouri United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A New Way to Cook (Hardcover)
Schneider has spent the time many of us would like to: experiementing with various ingredients and techniques to maintain all the richness of the food we love to cook and eat and write reviews on.
She achieves this not so much by abstinence from certain taboo foods or ingredients (e.g. sugar, fat, etc.) but with techniques such as pre-emulsification, glazing, etc.
This book is mammoth, over 600 recipes. I look forward to delving more into her approach. What has been attempted to date has delivered what promised: rich food that is healthy: Seared Lamb with Moroccan Spices and Tomato Jam, Country Terrine with Pistachios, Risotto with Red Wine, Rosemary, and Champagne Grapes, Upside-Down Red Wine-Pear Tart, Chocolate Mousee Cake.
Broad is the scope of this work, laced with Charts (e.g. one of the best detailed I've seen on rice and grains) and Sections on Rubs and Essences and Marinades. It is exhaustive and well laid out, with pleasing type font that is easy to read and pleasant to the eye. Also covered are techniques, glossary, index, and sources listing.
A resource that will be used repeatedly to try out this new flavorful way to cook. Recommended for all levels of cooks.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cookbook that fills an existing need, January 24, 2002
By 
This review is from: A New Way to Cook (Hardcover)
There have always been 2 different things, when it comes to cookbooks: on the one hand, cookbooks that focus on getting the maximum taste out of food. This usually means cooking rich, high in calories food, that tastes good because of the use of butter, lots of unrefined sugar, cream, etc. My cookbook shelf contains quite a few books focusing on this type of food, & they surely have a place in every cookbook collection. On the other hand, there have always been books focusing on "light" cooking, containing recipes that tend to use "light" ingredients & many vegetables & fruit. There's always been a need for a book that addresses the gap between these 2 types of cooking, & attempts to bridge this gap. "A new way to cook" is exactly this long-awaited book!
Sally Schneider has put taste above everything else: she wants her food to look good & taste good. She also realises, though, that this cannot realistically be achieved through the use of lots of oil or butter or whatever else, since most people have health & weight considerations to take into account. So what she has done is this: she's experimented with lots of different cooking methods, trying to get the best possible taste out of a certain food, using the least possible calories. She does not exclude any ingredients: she just uses everything in moderation & proposes lots of inventive methods.
Something that is important is that her book never gets anywhere near boring, "light-cooking" recipes. She has a whole chapter on colorful, indulgent desserts, where you can find everything from lighter desserts using fruits to decadent chocolate cakes & tarts. Schneider's basic premise is that moderation, the use of good ingredients, & inventive, creative cooking methods are the key to good, healthy & yes- in the end, light eating.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New techniques, fun ingredients, March 28, 2002
By 
Veronica Rusnak (Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A New Way to Cook (Hardcover)
I love this book. I have to admit, it contains ingredients not normally found in the average low-fat person's pantry, and some ingredients not easily found in a standard grocery, but part of the point is that perhaps we haven't used these types of ingredients enough to get the flavor, instead of cheaper, fattier, more easily obtainable ingredients. In the meantime, I like her use (very much like Julia Child's "Master Recipies") of guides to improvising many of the basic recipies, techniques, etc. This is another book that focuses on technique, it teaches one how to cook as opposed to how to follow a recipe. I've found myself cooking from it often, substituting and making do when I can't find anchovy paste. (Although when I follow the ingredients to the letter, the food sparkles with flavors). Deceptively easy recipies such as "Red Lentil Stew with Carmelized Onions" are incredibly complex tasting, and filling to boot. Curry crusted shrimp, easy, delicious, nutritious. I've recommended this book to many friends, all have raved.
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80 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For experienced cooks with a large pantry, March 14, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: A New Way to Cook (Hardcover)
I agree with many of the previous reviewers comments: beautiful book, a "new" approach to cooking that doesn't totally eschew butter, cream, sugar, but uses them in moderation. I will also be honest and say upfront that I have not cooked any of the recipes in the book. One of the reasons I have not felt inspired or compelled to do so is the complexity of some of the recipes and the types of ingredients you need to have on hand. For example, the Rice Pudding recipe calls for 4 1/2 cups of low fat milk, plus 3 to 5 tablespoons of whole milk. In our household, we don't drink whole milk so it just doesn't make any sense for me to buy a quart of whole milk and use only a few tablespoons. This sort of thing is repeated in other recipes where a few teaspoons of heavy cream, etc. is needed. I think I understand why the author has included these small amounts, but if you're a low-fat household, you usually don't have these items lying around.
In another example for Chocolate Mousse Cake, you need to have unsweetened chestnut puree, cognac, superfine sugar, unflavored gelatin, and vanilla bean. In order to make the cake, you need to make a cooked meringue, "which is a little trickier", according to the author. I suppose if I had a lot of time I might be more apt to consider some of these recipes, but as a mother of two toddlers, I find Joy of Cooking sufficient :-)!
Also, I don't really consider this a low-fat cookbook. If you look at the calories from fat for many of the dishes, they constitute 30% or more of the total calories. BTW, the calorie count and nutritional analyses is located in the back of the book. I would have preferred to have them listed at the end of each recipe for easier reference. To sum up, I think this book is great for the right cook. For myself, the recipes are too involved and require too many ingredients that I do not care to stock in my pantry, plus the "low-fat" marketing angle did not fit my bill.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, but not for people who don't actually want to learn how to cook, March 13, 2006
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This review is from: A New Way to Cook (Paperback)
Have you ever sat down to a really fresh delicious meal with nuanced flavor, and then realized that you've been eating bland processed food all week? Has it made you swear to seek better quality food for yourself? If so, this book is for you.

I love this cookbook, but I have to agree with the reviewer who wrote that this is not necessarily the best cookbook for the very busy person. Nonetheless, I still give it 5 stars, because the author isn't making a super-speedy meal claim, and with practice her recipes can get a lot quicker. Also, some of the less time-friendly recipes can easily be adapted. For example, I subsituted chicken breasts for the whole chicken in the FANTASTIC garlic & herb roasted chicken. For me, this cut down on prep time and the problems of trying to get anyone to eat dark meat, plus I have chicken for salad toppings and sandwiches. Memorizing some of the simpler recipes also speeds things up. The first time I made 'warm spilling fruit' I was very slow. Now that I know it's fairly simple, I can throw everything into a pot and have it done in 5 minutes, in time to spoon on top of plain oatmeal. I have learned that cooking certain fruit (such as blackberries) makes me much more likely to eat things that I don't normally like.

Also, a person can get around the issue of grocery shopping by doing some planning for the week. Buying a few frozen items is a small compromise (in my opinion).

Some readers may just be having problems with the lost art of cooking in this country. When was the last time someone you knew planned their meals ahead or focused on using herbs and spices and avoided 'pre-prepared' items? These things used to be common though.

I would rate this book on par with any other book that encourages proper sit-down meals. There's nothing "boil-in-bag" about it, but you can get high quality meals in a reasonable amount of time. Yes, there are some more elaborate recipes, but there are other recipes that are pretty reasonable. Also, if you think of ways to use left-overs, it's possible to cook once every few days, but have the fantastic flavor for a while longer. Normally, I *hate* left-overs, but then normally left-overs are bland and tasteless. I have to fight with my significant other over leftovers when I cook from this book. Left-over chicken can go on a salad, and on a soup -- into which a few left-over vegetables are tossed. True, the author doesn't give you guidance on how to eat left-overs, but I think this is also because her cookbook seems fairly family oriented (as opposed to a single person living alone). Portion sizes are very reasonable and can suit 2 people fine, but cooking for 1 occasionally requires adjustment (ex. chicken breast instead of a whole bird). For the first time ever, I made salad dressing and had zero left-over.

This cookbook is great at encouraging improvisation by providing a palette of skills and options centered around basic recipes, as well as the standard recipes. For example, there is a fruit tart recipe that enourages the reader to choose their own type of fruit and their own flavor and mix to preference. It's rare that you can find a cookbook that will give you a 'general' recipe that you can play with to preference. I have made the fruit tarts multiple times (admittedly with store bought pastry) and each time used a different combination. The same goes for the fruit & nut salad (not the exact title) -- which gives you a list of possible types of fruit and possible nuts to use, depending on what's on hand. The salad recipe is particularly handy for when you don't want a boring salad, but haven't got time to buy new ingredients. One time I used left over clementines, dry cranberries, and walnuts bits -- post-holidays.

American readers may find there are slightly more recipes for rabbit etc than we are used to. I also wish there was slightly more information about vegetatian meals, but her chapters on legumes and grains are implicitly pretty helpful.

I did not find any of her techniques particularly difficult (she has a good glossary of instructions in the back); but I imagine that for many people who are used to 'heat and serve' cooking, it may seem like a lot. You do have to get used to keeping certain things (like lemons) on hand, and getting comfortable with a new recipe. My grandmother was a great cook, so a lot of this stuff slowly is coming back to me. I can't pretend I love spending time in the kitchen, but I appreciate food that isn't boring and for me that means doing more than just 'heat and serve'.

The best thing about this cookbook is that you can have a 5 star meal and feel totally indulged without eating anything bad for you. The quality of the flavor in her meals is fantastic. The garlic roasted chicken in particular has won me tons of compliments (to the point where more than one person has said a meal at my house was better than most of the restuarants in the area). Getting something with flavor, breaks the monotony of the usual american diet, and thus cures the tendency to mindlessly munch on things that taste 'good' (chips, chocolate etc).

I would recommend this book in conjunction with the "Frenchwomen don't get fat book" because it really does make a person feel indulged rather than deprived. I actually find cooking from these recipes relaxing because I know I'll really enjoy the meal, wihout having to worry about calories.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dust Jacket Says It All!, July 7, 2002
By 
"mromeo183" (Bend, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A New Way to Cook (Hardcover)
The text on the back of the (unique) dust jacket for this wonderful cookbook says it all. "A new way to cook is a redefinition of healthy eating, where no food is taboo, great taste rules, and the concept of self denial just doesn't exist."
I note that some readers who have reviewed the book on this site appear to be disappointed because it didn't meet their "low fat" cooking expectations. When disappointment sets in, it is often because expectations and reality are out of synch, so buyers should not expect this to be a another "low fat cooking" tome. This book focuses on whole foods, wholesomely and creatively prepared while keeping an eye on using healthy fat sources in moderate amounts. It also has a wealth of instructional text for those who may be unfamiliar with the products or techniques referenced.
I've been cooking since my childhood, nearly 40 years, and this is one of the best cooking references I have ever used. The recipes are simple to follow for all but the very inexperienced cook and very reliable. The range of recipes is also excellent...from seared Lamb with Morrocan spices and tomato jam to roasted vegetable soup.
If you like this cookbook, you may also want to investigate Nancy Harmon Jenkins' "The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook" which, although not as extensive as this book, is also wonderful.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home Gourmet, February 23, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: A New Way to Cook (Hardcover)
I love this book and if you like to cook with fresh foods I think you'll love this book too. It's not a no or low fat cookbook. The author instead tries to eliminate as much fat as she can without sacrificing flavor. She uses highly flavorful fresh herbs and spices to boost taste and then uses just enough fat to achieve the desired results. The recipes do call for several ingredients but they go together quickly and I've found the substitutes she often recommends lead to delicious results as well.
I've been cooking from this book almost exclusively for the past couple of weeks and everything has been great - the fish section has been my favorite with the tuna steak with coconut-cilantro chutney to the fish baked with fennel and served with orange sauce - I find with this book I welcome the addition of more fish to my diet.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent cookbook that happens to be healthy, February 25, 2002
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A New Way to Cook (Hardcover)
This is just an outstanding contemporary cookbook that happens to have an emphasis on healthful eating. And it that vein it is far superior to other "low fat" cookbooks because Schneider eschews use of low or no fat substitute ingedients and instead manages to use real butter, real cream, olive oil, bacon, etc. to enhance her dishes. Some of her techniques are pretty inventive and I haven't seen them elsewhere. This is a comprehensive cookbook with great explanations of various techniques and dishes, and it includes complete nutritional information on each recipe. Some of the calorie counts are hard to believe because the dishes seem so rich!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cookbook, every recipe is wonderful!, January 28, 2005
This review is from: A New Way to Cook (Hardcover)
Every recipe I've tried from this book has been great. The author's philosophy really appeals to me, since I want to eat healthier but wouldn't be caught dead buying reduced-fat cheese or light margarine. The photos are absolutely gorgeous, and the whole book has a luxurious, elegant feel. I especially like the desserts chapter, but my favorite recipe overall has to be the Macaroni and Cheese--she's right, you'd never know it wasn't the high-calorie original. If you're just starting out as a cook, or tired of "diet" cookbooks that use all sorts of chemical-laden "low-fat" or sugar-substitute filled ingredients, get this book and use it often.
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A New Way to Cook
A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider (Paperback - October 15, 2003)
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