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The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes Hardcover – September 22, 2006


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The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes + Gourmet Today: More than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen + The Bon Appetit Cookbook
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; HAR/DVD edition (September 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061880692X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618806928
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.2 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When Gourmet magazine opened shop in 1941, it addressed a small epicurean audience. In those days, fine dining was French, seafood specialties always seemed to include cream and sherry, and game made the meal--or so the magazine preached. The bill of fare has changed since then, and fine dining now includes dishes from the world's four corners, commanded by a broad, food-aware audience. Over the years, Gourmet has chronicled all this, changing to reflect a wider, more democratized food scene that has also, paradoxically, raised the bar on what's expected of the average, too-busy cook. The Gourmet Cookbook is the most comprehensive of the magazine's recipe anthologies--a mega-tome offering more than 1,000 formulas drawn from Gourmet since its birth.

The statistics are indeed impressive: more than 100 hors d'oeuvre recipes; an equal number of vegetable dishes; 200 desserts--21 chapters in all, touching all courses and including stops at breakfast and brunch specialties; breads and crackers; plus sauces, salsas, and preserves. Included are recipes from Gourmet contributors like James Beard and Jean-Georges Vongericten, and hundreds of sidebars like "Salad Greens Primer" and "Blind Baking," all useful and informative. There are classic dishes like onion soup gratiné, gefilte fish, corn fritters, and peanut butter cookies; "new classics" such as fried calamari and spaghetti alla carbonara; and the "modern," including oatmeal brûlée with macerated berries and grilled lobster with orange chipotle vinaigrette--"every recipe you'd ever want," says the text, something of an understatement.

Cooks should know, however, that this is not a basic cookbook, despite its Noah's ark of formulas. Rather, it's a Gourmet cookbook, which means that, notwithstanding some rudimentary recipes, the focus is on the stylishly up-to-date (which is not to deny the excellence of the formulas), resulting, often, in refinements. Thus its recipe for mac and cheese calls for dijon mustard and panko; its beef stroganoff requires cremini mushrooms; its grilled chicken calls for brining; and so on. Recipes can also run to over 450 words, and require unusual ingredients. (A list of sources is provided.) Of all its chapters, those for sweets are the most immediately attractive.

For all the praise, though, there's one major goof. The recipe titles are printed in a light butter-yellow color, making them almost illegible. For many readers, this will be a deal-breaker; others will find it merely annoying. Should you own the book? For dedicated cooks and foodies the answer will be, How can I not? --Arthur Boehm --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The monthly magazine Gourmet played no small part in the birth of America's gastronomic renaissance of the late twentieth century. Through pictures and intelligent articles by noted food and travel writers, Gourmet made its readership aware of refined food traditions that made everyday American fare seem narrow. Editor Reichl and staff have painstakingly compacted Gourmet's vast reserve of recipes into an anthology of just 1,000 recipes sure to inspire cooks to get to work in their kitchens. The book's coverage of world cuisine is breathtaking, but it has a few omissions, most notably the cooking of sub-Saharan Africa and South America. An exhaustive index serves admirably to guide the reader through the recipes' complexities, analytically referencing recipes by major or unique ingredients. (One of its rare missteps is its conflation of Georgia the nation and Georgia the state.) Both recipes and their instructions are clearly laid out and easy to follow for the knowledgeable cook. A few line drawings illustrate special techniques, but recipes such as that for individual b'stillas could use illustration to give the cook an image of the finished product. The only serious triumph of aesthetics over practicality, the low-contrast pale yellow type of recipe titles burdens anyone with even minor vision impairment. A glossary and a directory of specialty food and equipment distributors round out the volume. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Not only is it a wonderful compilation of recipes from Gourmet Magazine (everything I've tried so far is wonderful!!)
Jodi M. Lewis
Actual reading is difficult because recipe titles are printed in yellow and the yellow print is sometimes so light as to be unreadable.
South Park Chef
I highly reccomend this book - it is an instant classic that will be an integral part of anyone's cookbook collection.
Amy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

263 of 285 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on October 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`The Gourmet Cookbook' edited by Ruth Reichl of `Gourmet' magazine is a major effort by the leading culinary magazine in the country, edited by arguably the most important active culinary journalist in the country. At over 1000 pages and 1000 recipes collected by one of the best culinary writing staffs in the country, it is not easy to come to a decision on the value of this book. The fact that it is not easy after reading a few pages is a sure sign that the book is neither excellent nor terrible, but somewhere in between.

For starters, let me identify that this book is not a new `Joy of Cooking' or `James Beard's American Cookery' or Mark Bittman's `How to Cook Everything'. These three very large recipe collections are systematic teaching texts. Every chapter includes notes on the primary raw material and the primary cooking method. `The Gourmet Cookbook' is primarily a collection of recipes claimed to be the 1000 best, selected from 60 years of publishing over 10,000 recipes. The most famous similar cookbook is Craig Claiborne's `The New York Times Cookbook'. Reichl has improved a bit on Claiborne by adding some features appearing in the `Joy of Cooking' style of book such as sidebars on ingredients, tips, and techniques. I will approach evaluating this very big book by evaluating individual aspects and adding up the score at the end.

Selection of Topics: Comprehensive, but just a bit oddly organized. The chapter titles represent either a type of ingredient such as poultry, vegetables, and shellfish; a type of dish such as soup, salad, bread, and pie; or meal such as breakfast and brunch and first courses. I had a hard time finding the sticky bun recipe Reichl touted on the `Today' show because it was in `Breakfast and Brunch' and not in `Breads'.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Ethnic food enthusiast on October 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I think the reader should be willing to look beyond the yellow typeface and see all the wonderful features of this book. First, I've tried at least ten of the recipes and they all have been easy to follow and delicious. These recipes have been tested, and tested, and tested. The editors did their due diligence. Second, the tips and techniques section has all the little stuff you should know to make cooking easier...it's only four pages. Read it and remember and know it is there as a reference later. Third, the glossary, despite what grouchy reviewers have said, is thorough AND the glossary ingredients are included in the index. Fourth, the index is one of the most comprehensive indexes I have seen. Has anyone remarked on the fact that you can look up an ethnic cuisine and find EVERY RECIPE in the book that falls under that particular cuisine? In a mood for an Indian recipe? There are fourteen of them in the book...just look up "Indian dishes" in the index. Scandinavian? Thai? Vietnamese? Just look in the index to quickly see the list of all of them. What other cookbook index bothers to do this? And despite what other people have said, the index IS thorough, well-organized, and in a sufficiently large font (a New York Times review of the book praised the index). The famous "sticky buns" recipe is actually named "Pecan Currant Sticky Buns" and can be found in the index under "pecans", "currants", and "breads (under subentry "buns"). If one looked under "buns" or "rolls" to find this recipe, the index has anticipated this and given you a reference "buns and rolls. See breads" with the same reference if you look up rolls. The index is great about indexing minor ingredients. Just bought some saffron and want to use it before it loses it's freshness? Look up saffron and there are NINE recipes in the book that use saffron...all listed right there.

I think this is one of the most user-friendly large cookbooks I have come across in a long time.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Evans on July 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I recently moved to Mexico, and as weight and customs tariffs limited my importation of books, I chose this cookbook to be my overall basic resource. I have been glad ever since that I left my "Joy" behind, along with my "Best of Cooks Illustrated" and the Childs volumes. Unlike B. Marold, I have not been disappointed by any of the recipes I've tried, and I've been delighted to find so many of them to be Latin or Caribbean themed, so that I can use the products most readily available here yet branch out from the usual Mexican fare. To complain that the omelet-making or brioche-making techniques are not what they would be in a teaching volume is to ask more of this compendium than what it is: the best recipes published in Gourmet Magazine, period. I find the sidebars useful and the unfortunate yellow titles a minor irritant. The index is excellent, which is not often the case with cookbooks. Everything for which I've needed a recipe I've found in one way or another through it. Try the Cuban Roast Pork Loin; the Avocado, Orange, and Jicama Salad; the Beets with Lime Butter! My only complaint is that several times I've proceeded with a recipe and added all of an ingredient only to discover that some of that ingredient was to be saved for a later step. I've since learned to read more carefully through a recipe before plunging in.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Flynn on December 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I hate to echo what so many others have noted, but yes, I find the *light* yellow recipe titles essentially impossible to read outside of direct sunlight. To be honest - sorry fellow reviewers - I assumed before purchasing the book that this was just oversensitivity to perfectly legible text....wow, it's not oversensitivity, I promise.

The recipes, however, have been wonderful. I've purchased a number of cookbooks where flawed recipes present themselves quickly (beware of The Bread Bible's foccacia, e.g.), but I've found only winners in this cookbook so far. The flourless chocolate cake (p. 739) is much simpler to prepare than its taste suggests, and people at work raved about it for some time after I brought it in. Pumpkin apple bread (p.599), Banana, coconut, and macadamia nut bread (p.599-600), and rice pudding (p.827) have all been definite winners as well. I consider The New Joy of Cooking to set the benchmark for reliable-workhorse cookbooks, and so far I'm much more pleased with this cookbook than that old favorite! Enthusiastic 5+ stars for content; 3 stars for layout.
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