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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Silver Palate Cookbook
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97 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2001
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is cookbook is as fresh and relevant today as it was when it was first published in the early 80s. It truly revolutionized home cooking in America with its emphasis on fresh ingredients and basic cooking techniques. It isn't a particularly long cookbook, but it still manages to be incredibly comprehensive. You'll find everything from elegant appetizers to comfort food desserts. Any time you're interested in trying something new or wanting to revitalize an old classic, this is the place to start. The authors went on to write other cookbooks which also contain lots of great recipes, but even "Basics" is not as comprehensive as this one. I can honestly say that I've cooked just about every recipe in this book and that each one has been a success. Not only are the recipes consistently good, but this book also makes great reading. In very practical terms the authors share truly useful tips on cooking techniques, kitchens gadgets and how to select produce. The book is particularly well organized so it's easy to find the recipe you're looking for.
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I've had this cookbook for 25 years, and while the recipes are the same, there is some new commentary, and the pix are now photos instead of the original drawings. While not altogether more helpful in that respect, my old and beloved version is tattered, stained, and really deserves to retire from almost daily use. I have met more interesting people over Chicken Marbella all over the world than any other recipe I "do." It has been a family fixture every July 4th at Lake Almanor for 25 years. I've had it at Passover at friends' homes; and bcs of it renewed relationships with women who really would have preferred to avoid me forever. Sounds weird? Well, there is little in life that crosses all political, religious and emotional borders like food; and there is even less like Chicken Marbella, which can even spark conversations in Urdu (which I do not speak, yet we managed to communicate to each other our passion about CM). If you try nothing else, and believe me, you will try a lot else, do the CM. The ingredient list appears long, but it is very easy. In fact, there is nothing in this whole book that is difficult, yet the results are deeply complex and pleasurable. Rosso and Lukins make me look like a chef instead of a cook and I will bless them forever for it. If you don't have a copy of Silver Palate, try it. If you do have one, you already know what I'm talking about, and you NEED a replacement just as I did.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
THE SILVER PALATE COOKBOOK was one of the first cookbooks to introduce new American cuisine into the kitchens of ordinary homes. With its emphasis on fresh ingredients and innovative dishes, it freed many cooks from mundane meals. Now, of course, two decades after its first printing, many of the recipes no longer seem inventive. Goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes are no longer exotic ingredients, and balsamic vinaigrette can be found at almost every restaurant. Now, instead of surprising cooks, THE SILVER PALATE COOKBOOK supplies them with a wonderful array of recipes that can liven up meal time.
Most of the recipes contained in this volume are relatively easy to prepare, with some requiring more time and effort than others. The techniques do not require any special knowledge, and the recipes are logically laid out, with numbered steps and clear English. You'll find easily assembled dishes such as "Tomato, Montrachet, and Basil Salad" as well as the much more complicated "Layered Vegetable Terrine." My favorite recipes are "Marinated Beef Salad," "Curried Butternut Squash Soup," "Tarragon Chicken Salad," "Skewer Shrimp and Proscuitto," "Salmon Mousse," and "Coconut Macaroons." I can't come close to listing all the successful recipes I've prepared from this cookbook, although I occasionally find one that I don't like. Because most of the ingredients are now readily available in a good supermarket, you can assemble what you need without hassle.
Anyone with a minimal amount of cooking experience should be able to succeed with these recipes. They are especially great for company since you can select impressive recipes that don't require long hours in the kitchen.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2005
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I am on my third copy of this brilliant, all-inclusive, food lover's cookbook. My first copy took me through my late twenties and well into my thirties, while learning the basics in Northern California.

My second copy traveled the world with me through my adventuring forties. Now, as I approach fifty, I have a brand-spanking-new copy of The Silver Palate in my kitchen here in England. Thousands of meals later, this book is as fresh to me as I was when I first spied it at my local bookstore. Those were the days. Remember when we actually went outdoors and bought books at independent bookstores?

The Silver Palate is always the first cookbook I reach for when I want to check out a gingerbread recipe, prepare a Thanksgiving feast for 12, or whip up an insanely romantic spread for two. It is an invaluable resource for nearly everything to do with making a wonderful meal. If you have only one cookbook in your kitchen, this is the one to have. Promise.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
"The Silver Palate Cookbook" is a joy to read as well as from which to cook. The drawings and quotes add a whimsical and creative touch. The notes and suggestions are valuable and helpful, and the menus provide creative ways to combine several recipes from throughout the book. The emphasis here is on fresh ingredients-not necessarily expensive, exotic, or hard-to-find, but always fresh ingredients. Both the recipes and the menus range from the simple to the exotic and creative, but always fun and flavorful, never ordinary. Even the simple recipes, however, possess a certain richness that makes them special.
"The Silver Palate's" organizational approach makes it a reference to which I've returned frequently over the past decade. "To Begin a Great Evening" is broken down into "Fancy Finger Food," "Fresh From the Sea," "The Crudités Connection," "The Charcuterie Board," and "Dazzlers," all of which cover a wide range of hors d'oeuvres for varied occasions. The recipes range from casual to elegant and involved. I found the Aioli Platter particularly fun, a "lusty community" Provencal meal in which poached fish (cod), cooked vegetables (cauliflower, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, beets, and garlic), hard-boiled eggs, and garlicky Aioli sauce held by a hollowed-out artichoke are the main components.
"Soup's On" is broken down into "Soups to Start," "Soups of the Sea," "Summer Soups," and "Sunday Night Soups." The Bouillabaisse is wonderful, with an interesting side note about making "authentic Bouillabaisse" and wine and side accompaniments. The Summer Soups include a great recipe for gazpacho as well as Greek Lemon Soup (avgolemono). The Sunday Night Soups include a hearty as well as tasty Potato-Cheese Soup, Beef and Red Wine Broth, Basque Rice and Pepper Soup, and Peasant Vegetable Soup.
"Pasta Perfect" is broken down into "Piping Hot Pasta" and "Summer Pasta." The authors provide a helpful pasta glossary and include such simple recipes as Spaghetti with Oil and Garlic. The Pasta Sauce Raphael, a spicy tomato-and-artichoke sauce, is tasty, as is Pasta with Sausage and Peppers. The Pasta Puttanesca with garlic, capers, olives and anchovies is excellent. Also included is traditional Linguine with White Clam Sauce and an unusual Green Lasagna, a combination of soft, fresh goat cheese; fresh basil; and spinach pasta. The Summer Pasta includes a delicious and easy Linguine with Tomatoes and Basil and a fantastic Pesto recipe.
In "The Main Course," the authors cover "Chicken Every Way," "Sweet and Savory Meats," "Game," "Catch of the Day," "Baking in Foil," and "The Stew Pot." The chicken recipes are particularly versatile and delicious. Chicken Marbella is a winner and Raspberry Chicken is fun. The authors provide a Summer Chicken recipe that takes advantage of mustard and basil. The Lemon Chicken is great on picnics. Recipes are also included for Fruit-Stuffed Rock Cornish Hens and Our Favorite Way to Roast a Turkey.
"Sweet and Savory Meats" includes diverse recipes for Filet of Beef, Glazed Corned Beef, Pork Chops with Black Currant Preserves, Baked Ham with Glazed Apricots, Roast Lamb with Peppercorn Crust, Oriental Lamb Chops, Veal Chops with Sherry and Lemon Marmalade, Roast Shoulder of Veal, Veal Scallops in Mustard-Cream Sauce, and an intriguing Roast Suckling Pig. The authors also include three "fork suppers" of Flank Steak Mosaic, Fruit-Stuffed Loin of Pork, and Veal Roll. The game recipes include Ragout of Rabbit Forestiere, Pheasant with Leek and Pecan Stuffing, and Venison Stew.
"The Stew Pot" is a particularly tasty section. The authors include recipes for Beef Stew with Cuminseed, Beef Carbonnade, Pot Roast, Beef Stroganoff, Braised Short Ribs of Beef, Chili for a Crowd, Sausage Ragout, Winter Pork and Fruit Ragout, Choucroute Garnie, Dilled Blanquette de Veau, Navarin of Lamb, Osso Buco, and Oxtail Stew.
Each vegetable has its own section-artichokes, asparagus, beans (with great recipes for Cassoulet and White Bean and Sausage Soup with Peppers), carrots (Raspberry-Marinated Carrots), eggplant (Ratatouille and Eggplant Parmigiana), mushrooms (Creamed Mushrooms, which are superb in omelets), potatoes (wonderful Stuffed Potatoes recipes), scallions/leeks/garlic/shallots/onions (Six-Onion Soup), tomatoes--which is particularly useful as each vegetable comes into season. There is also a section on vegetable purees, all of which were a welcome deviation from standard mashed potatoes. "Salads" is divided into "Significant Salads" (with a wonderful Duck and Pear Salad with Mango Chutney Dressing, Greek Lamb and Eggplant Salad, and Balsamic Vinaigrette), "Summer Salads," "All-American Salads," "Salads of the Sea," and "Salads on the Green." This last section includes a Green Sampler (a guide to salad greens) and primers on olive oil and vinegar. The Raspberry Vinaigrette, Green Peppercorn Vinaigrette, Garlic-Mustard Dressing, Champagne Dressing, Sherry Vinaigrette, Walnut Oil Vinaigrette, and Basil-Walnut Vinaigrette are all delicious.
"Cheeses and Breads" contains a valuable primer on cheeses and a wide variety of "Best Breads" recipes. The "Sweets" chapter includes "The Cookie Basket," and a great section on apples ("American as Apple ..."), particularly valuable in the fall with a useful apple chart and a wonderful recipe for applesauce. "It's the Berries," on the other hand, is particularly useful in Summer, with numerous strawberry recipes (including good ones for Strawberry Ice Cream and Strawberry Shortcake) as well as recipes for other berries, including traditional blueberries and raspberries. "Sweets" also includes sections on "Mousse Magic" and "Essentially Chocolate." "Hot From the Oven" includes pie and cake recipes, and "Comforting Conclusions" includes comfort desserts such as Gingerbread.
"The Brunch Bunch" has a useful section on making omelets with suggestions for an Apple and Cheddar Omelet, Creamed Mushroom Omelet, and Ratatouille Omelet. There is also a section on Brunch Drinks.
Finally, the "Basics" chapter includes useful recipes for homemade mayonnaise; pie crusts; crème fraiche; beef, chicken, and fish stocks; quick tomato sauce; and parsleyed and nutted wild rice, among recipes.
"The Silver Palate Cookbook" is one of only a handful of cookbooks that I own and to which I turn again and again. Definitely a keeper and one that will broaden and enrich your culinary adventures.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 1997
Format: Paperback
As an American living in the UK for the past 3 years I often yearn for some good American cooking...this book always comes in handy. Several years ago I was given this book as a gift by a friends whom I considered to be an accomplished cook. I have used it so often and feel so confident that anytime I try a recipe in it, it will come out great! The compliments I get whenever I make something from the Silver Palate are wonderful but I have to confess and tell everyone about this cookbook. Both Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso's cookbooks line my kitchen shelves and I refer to them always.....but their first edition is my favorite. Try "Our Favorite Vinigrette", "Gratin Potatoes", "Lemon Chicken" and "Chicken Monteray" these are a few of my favorites.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2000
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I own dozens of cookbooks, but this is the most used. I originally thought that most of the recipes were too "fancy", but several (chicken monterrey, lemon chicken, etc.) seem to make pretty regular appearances in our "not-so-fancy" house. I admit that even as a regular user of this cookbook, I rarely have everything on hand to make a dish as most require fresh ingredients. On a whiny day, I'd also complain that a number of the recipes involve a little more chopping and preparation than I'd like. Having said that, the recipes are easy to follow -- you're pretty safe trying one for the first time even when you have company coming. I think that this should be a staple in every kitchen!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've enjoyed using my updated "Silver Palate Cookbook". Believe it, or not, up until just recently, I had ALL the cookbooks by Rosso and Lukins EXCEPT for the "Silver Palate". I had heard from my friends how great it was and had even tasted the results, but I just hadn't picked it up. Not until my husband went ahead and bought this edition for me, a couple of weeks ago, did I finally get in on the act. I have MANY cookbooks in my collection, but lately this has been the first one I pick-up. I haven't any plans to purchase anymore cookbooks. I think my collection is now complete!!!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I don't know why, but some cookbooks become the one you reach for for everyday things, and others are the "I'm giving a party" book. While there isn't any reason not to make the Pasta Puttanesca or Lemon Chicken any old time, this book has recipes that seem to work really well for parties, including small dinner parties.
The desserts are especially sumptuous (carrot cake is always a hit, I like the apple tart with cider glaze) and the chicken dishes are especially fine. I like chicken for party dishes as it gets around the "no red meat" problem, can be as elegant as you wish (Cornish hen recipe here, for example) or can hold in the oven without damage.
In short, if you want to give an elegant party and are tired of your usual recipes, this book is really great.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This, always paired with "The Silver Palate: Good Times Cookbook", is one of my favorites. I originally bought this book when in search of a good cookbook to use for a family gourmet night. We did an entire supper out of the two books, including a lovely salmon mousse spread, zucchini-watercress soup, chicken with raspberries, and poached pears with chocolate glaze. Ever since, I use the books often.
When a bottle of olive oil exploded in my cupboard and leaked onto the counter, soaking my Silver Palate that had been recently used (I think it weighed about 10 pounds after that incident) I rushed immediately out and bought a new copy. I love the commentary down the sides of the pages, and the sections are well thought out and nicely done.
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