The track record of the Elegant but Easy Cookbook
speaks for itself. Almost 40 years and 500,000 copies in print is the figure of best-selling novels, not cookbooks. Yet co-authors Marian Burros and Lois Levine have endured, and The New Elegant but Easy Cookbook
is destined to continue the tradition. The concept for the book hasn't changed: it's filled with recipes that can be prepared ahead of time so the cook can enjoy the party instead of hovering over the stove. However, the old book had become dated, often relying on canned and prepared ingredients that--while perfectly acceptable in 1960--did nothing to reflect more modern tastes. The New Elegant but Easy Cookbook
manages to maintain the integrity of the original while taking a new culinary approach with more emphasis on fresh ingredients and world cuisine. Only 50 favorite recipes are included from the original volume (including Lois's Original Plum Torte, the most requested recipe reprinted in the New York Times
, ever), while the rest are a dynamic new approach to simple and easy cooking. Dishes like Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese or Couscous are elegant, yet still sturdy enough to be prepared in advance. Burros and Levine have done their homework, and it shows. None of the recipes are to be underestimated because they are simple or can live in a refrigerator until mealtime. The authors have also provided ten foolproof menus, planning guides for large dinner parties, and ingredients lists with mail-order sources. In an age where time has become a precious commodity, The New Elegant but Easy Cookbook
provides a resource to help free the chef from the kitchen to enjoy the ritual of the meal. --Mark O. Howerton
From Publishers Weekly
With this update of her popular 1960 Elegant But Easy Cookbook, Burros adds her contribution to a lengthening list of revised cookbook classics. Faithful readers will recall that the original featured make-ahead party fare; the same is true in the new edition. Here, however, the hors d'oeuvres, the fish, meat and vegetarian entrees, as well as side dish, salad and dessert recipes have all been "en-lightened" with fresh produce, low-fat dairy products and flavorful multiethnic ingredients. Calorie-laden Chicken Divan, for example, has given way to Marinated Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa; grape jelly and chili-sauced cocktail meatballs cede their space to piquant Pickled Shrimp. Toasted Mushroom Rolls made with crustless slices of white bread rolled thin are minimally modified (calling for exotic mushrooms if available). Where once there were instant mashed-potato flakes, canned vegetables and Jello, there is now Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Parmesan Braised Fennel and fresh Strawberry Sorbet. Two souffles, which can be prepared in advance and baked at the last minute, are standouts. Burros provides useful tips (e.g., how to pasteurize egg yolks), offers several knockout short-cut pie crusts, lists mail-order sources and includes a chapter with 10 menus plus "game plans." Above all, this collection once again encourages home cooks to be guests at their own parties.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.