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The Bon Appetit Cookbook Hardcover – August 21, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (August 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764596861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764596865
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 8.2 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's high time that Bon Appétit, one of our longest-running cooking magazines, published a collection of its recipes. The Bon Appétit Cookbook offers over 1,200 formulas--a vast selection that includes dishes for every menu stop and occasion, with sections on bread, burgers, pizza and sandwiches. Characteristically, the majority of the formulas--like Chinese-Flavored Fried Chicken with Green Onion Ginger Dipping Sauce, and Spicy Steak with Corn Soft Tacos--reflect an inventive, cross-cultural approach. A wide selection of sweets, such as Chocolate Chunk, Orange and Hazelnut Cookies, and Lemon Blueberry Shortcakes, is also offered; there's even a chapter on drinks.

Though most of the dishes invite good eating, and all are approachable, a surprising number, like Blue and Red Flannel Hash (with potatoes, hot sausage, pickled beets, and blue cheese) are overwrought or of questionable taste. Herbs are sometimes used excessively (a seafood-cake recipe for six calls for 1-1/3 cups of chopped cilantro), or in dubious combination, like rosemary and tarragon. Readers should also know that ingredients are sometimes not named in the methods, but are called for by number--for example, "add the first five ingredients"--obliging cooks to stop, search and count. In addition, recipe yields in a given chapter can vary by four servings or more. Though some of the larger-yield recipes, like that for cassoulet, are obviously meant for groups, others, like Greek Orzo and Shrimp Salad, which yields twenty servings, could be offered as appropriately for a family meal.

These things said, the book, which is photo-illustrated, will make a welcome addition to many cooking libraries, and should be especially handy when guests must be fed. Readers who have long loved and relied on the magazine will be particularly happy to have so many of its recipes in one place. --Arthur Boehm


Your purchase of The Bon Appétit Cookbook also includes a one-year subscription to Bon Appétit magazine!

Amazon.com Exclusives

Read a letter from Barbara Fairchild

Test Kitchen Tips


Listen to Audio Clips of Barbara Fairchild Discussing:
How We Cook Today
Changes in the Food World
The Approachable, Relevant, and Fun Bon Appétit Cookbook
Last-Minute Party Planning
Recipe Development and Testing
A Great Holiday Meal



Exclusive Recipe Excerpts from The Bon Appétit Cookbook


Grilled Asian-Style Scallop and Asparagus Salad; Pomegranate, Beet, and Blood Orange Salad


Herb- and Garlic-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Red and Yellow Bell Pepper Relish

Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust



From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Mirroring the magazine on which it is based, this collection of 1,200 recipes is accessible, applicable to most home cooks' lives and a pleasure to cook from. Editor-in-chief Fairchild, who started at the magazine in 1978, sums up the classic Bon Appétit recipe as "a sophisticated twist on a beloved classic, and it's easy to make"—qualities illustrated in such dishes as Upscale Macaroni and Cheese, which uses blue cheese, red peppers and celery, and a lighter Chicken Paprikás, which omits sour cream in the sauce but uses both hot and sweet Hungarian paprikas. There's a nice range of dishes, from American to Chinese, Latin American to French, and the introductions to the recipes helpfully offer serving recommendations, notes on ingredients and possible substitutions. Refreshingly, recipes for suggested sides appear alongside recipes for main courses (e.g., Pan-Seared Chicken with Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes). Novice cooks will feel comfortable using the book; "Notes from the Test Kitchen" detail all manner of culinary tools, key pantry items, cooking terminology and techniques like rolling out pie dough. Although the book's approach is more plebeian than, say, that of The Gourmet Cookbook, fans of Bon Appétit will relish this invigorating compilation of greatest hits. 32 pages of color photos, 59 illus. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Barbara Fairchild is Editor in Chief of Bon Appetit magazine. She joined the magazine's staff in 1978 as an editorial assistant, and spent almost fifteen years as the executive Editor before being promoted to Editor in Chief in 2000. She is a frequent guest on radio and television programs about food, restaurants, travel, and popular culture, and has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation's 'Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America.' She is also the author of the bestselling Bon Appetit Cookbook.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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A must for any kitchen cookbook library.
Rick in Los Angeles
Because the included recipes are all relatively simple and many are easy enough to cook for a weeknight meal, I'm really looking forward to trying them all.
Always Reading
I got this book as a gift and have been absolutely thrilled with it.
Jana Silva

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Michael Friedberg on September 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
First the superficial: I got my copy in the mail a couple of weeks ago and was immediately taken by how striking the book is. The luminescent orange popping out of the cardboard box really was like a sun coming from behind the clouds. It brightened my day. And now the substance: Over the past ten days or so, it has filled my family and friends' stomachs. I've always loved the magazine, so I knew the type of recipes I would be getting--easy to follow, interesting, varied, and, most importantly, delicious. The breadth of the book is staggering. This weekend I was at a farmer's market and saw some beautiful cherry tomatoes (orange, yum, and red). I didn't hesitate to buy them because I knew that there would be a delicious recipe using them in the book. Of course I was right. There were four different recipes calling specifically for cherry tomatoes. The recipe I ended up making was Spicy Roast Chicken with Tomatoes and Marjoram (though I replaced the marjoram with thyme...still was amazing). It was so easy to make and so good. It will certainly be a new summer staple for me. I could have just as easily picked up any other ingredient at the market and found similarly interesting recipes. I've made 6 or so recipes from the book so far and haven't been disappointed yet. Some of the things have been idiot-proof, like the BLT & G(uacamole), and some more involved, like the the Grilled Baby Back Pork Ribs with Mustard-Bourbon Sauce (which was perfect for an end-of-summer bbq). With both recipes, the ingredients and instruction were precise and the flavors flawless.

Look, I've always loved the magazine, so I'm not exactly unbiased, but to have all of the amazing recipes in one place (don't even compare this to the annuals...
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Format: Hardcover
The categories are vast, the suggestions enormous --- pizza for days, soups for years, salads for decades, burgers and dips for eons. Most have fewer than a dozen ingredients, and although the recipes have an international flair, few call for trips to specialty markets. Preparation times aren't offered, but nothing I saw looked as if it would take more than half an hour of preparation.

There are smart suggestions along the way. Grate garlic or ginger into your vinaigrette dressing; for a new sensation, warm your salsa in the microwave. And, happily, the editors have not been locked in test kitchens with no input from the world; among their many smart suggestions is to avoid buying out-of-season produce. It may taste fine, but it's traveled so far that its carbon footprint should make you gag.

I was particularly impressed by the All-American recipes --- there's a lot of comfort food here to help you through the slog of weeknight dinners. For example: a recipe for iceberg lettuce wedges, topped with warm bacon and blue cheese. And chili that cries out for a mug of beer.
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133 of 144 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on September 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
`The Bon Appetit Cookbook', with `Bon Appetit' editor in chief, Barbara Fairchild credited as author, is about as predictable as night following day, given the publishing of the `The Gourmet Cookbook' about two years ago, edited by a star of culinary journalism, Ruth Reichl. Not only do the two magazines have almost identical readerships, they are both owned by Conde Nast. They even share a common web site for access to their recipes online. So, we are waiting to hear which of these two great tomes is better.

For starters, both reflect the style of the respective magazines. `Gourmet' aims for more high-end recipes, meaning there is more use of basic rather than prepared ingredients. `Bon Appetit' claims to aim for easier recipes, of course `easier' is a highly relative term. They do NOT mean they are the model for Rachael Ray's '30 Minute Meal' mantra. Rather, they cover the widest range of recipes, but tend to go for the easier recipe with a few `prepared' ingredients.

A comparison of the recipes for New England Clam chowder in the two books is a perfect example. While `Gourmet' calls for live clams and includes in the recipe the steps required to steam the clams, retrieve the clam juice, and shell the clams. In `Bon Appetit's otherwise very similar recipe, we use bottled clam juice and canned clams. On the other side of the coin, where the pork of choice in the traditional recipe is salt pork (See Jasper White, '50 Chowders'), both recipes call for the much more common everyday bacon.

A second example on this same theme is a comparison of the two recipes for Gazpacho. While `Bon Appetit' asks us to use canned tomato juice, canned salsa, and prepared croutons, `Gourmet' starts with fresh tomatoes and a loaf of country bread.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Tara on December 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a really great book for anyone who wants a good tasting, not-prepackaged, relatively healthy meal - FAST. I've made quite a few of these dishes and they are really wonderful. Even my children (6 and 8) enjoy them and can help prepare the meals. Nearly every recipe can be made in less than 30-45 minutes. Those that take longer do so only because they need to be baked. The book reads to me like how I imagine actual chefs cook for themselves at home. Quick, fresh, tasty food in innovative combinations. The ingredients aren't obscure and often utilize time-saving ingredients like store roasted chicken and boneless/skinless chicken strips. I really enjoy and use this book and would highly recommend it to anyone.
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