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The NEW ELEGANT BUT EASY COOKBOOK Hardcover – April 8, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Revised edition (April 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684832445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684832449
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am a personal caterer, which means I cook in clients' homes, enough for 2 weeks or a month, and then package the entrees in the refrigerator or freezer. This cookbook is one of the staples of my trade. I highly recommend buying it and trying the jambalaya and Mustard Pork Tenderloin.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must for anyone who ever has planned or is planning to entertain. I would even recommend it to restauranteurs. Ms. Burros instructions are clear and concise. The recipes I have tried work well, and best of all they have won raves from my guests. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Cookbook authors Marion Burros and Lois Levine, who co-authored the original Elegant But Easy cookbook in 1960, team up once again, adapting some of their most popular recipes from the past to today's changing tastes. Fifty recipes from the earlier edition are included here, though all these recipes have been purged of MSG, canned soups, and most convenience foods. Butter, cream, eggs, and cheese are used in reduced quantities, and wherever the authors have been able to substitute low fat for high fat, they do so. This cookbook, however, is not about low-calorie or low-fat cooking. The goal is "pure, simple, fresh-tasting" food, and that sometimes means lots of eggs and fat-based dairy products.

Two of the most appealing sections are Appetizers and Hors d'oeuvres, but these are also sections where those on low-fat diets need to pay attention. Sour cream, Roquefort and cream cheeses, and phyllo dough (brushed with 1 - 3 sticks of melted butter) are heavily featured in the appetizers. In the Hors D'Oeuvres section, however, Hummus, Black Bean Dip, Pickled Shrimp, and Caponata (served on bruschetta) offer great low-fat alternatives to cheese and cream-based spreads.

Imaginative chicken recipes--Chicken Gloriosa (with pineapple, cranberries, and tangerines), Grilled Chicken with Black Bean and Mango Salsa, and Curried Chicken and Apples are delicious and relatively low-fat, with turkey or chicken sausage replacing pork sausage in several recipes. Meat recipes, once the biggest section of Elegant But Easy, have been reduced to fifteen recipes, with a delectable Lasagna calling for turkey sausage, lowfat ricotta, a sauce of red wine and tomatoes, and baked eggplant.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
It is hard to find a cookbook with elegant, low-fat comfort food. This is it. There are many recipes that please and relax yet offer a surprising new twist. Like the jambayla with spicy turkey sausage and shrimp. Superb, like the book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Global Citizen on May 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Last night sit down dinner party for 13 people was so stress free and everyone loved the food. I have just started to enjoy entertaining because of this book.

This book gives me a lot of confidence to entertain because

1) The food recipes are delicious - guaranteed to impress

2) It's easy to make.

3) I don't get stressed on the day of the party because the book gives me the indication on what do 1 day, 2 days, 3 days in advance. What I do on the day is the final step whether to put the food in the oven, heat in the microwave, mix/add the last ingredients.

My all times favorites are Lasange (with eggplants), Chicken Gloriosa, Grilled Salmon, Tabouleh Salad and Brie& Pesto.

My only reservation is that for someone who lives overseas, some ingredients are hard to find. I also think that there are a few too many phylos recipes in the book hor.

I still give it 5 star because of the value it has given me. Everybody who thinks that they're afraid to entertain should definitely buy this book and start entertaining next week!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Liz60035 on February 11, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I LOVE this cookbook! My mother purchased the first edition of this book, many, many years ago (1960's???), and has been using it ever since -- both for entertaining large groups and for special family occasions (the Lasagna, stuffed mushrooms, and Beef Burgundy are always impressive, and are just some of our favorites...) The recipes are easy (never compromising the "elegance") and full of flavor to impress anyone. I've recently moved out of state, and borrowing Mom's book is no longer an option... At age 46, I'm purchasing the new edition, and starting a "new" tradition of "Elegant" entertaining, with my own family and special guests.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Now, THIS is what a cookbook is all about: great food that can be prepared ahead--and guides for timing things so you don't burn one dish while trying to prepare another. And a lot of these recipes really are easy. Take it from one who has the joy of eating, but doesn't get the same thrill from the cooking part. 'The New Elegant But Easy Cookbook' is now part of my permanent reference library in the kitchen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alex McCusker on December 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've found the recipes here generally simple and easy to make ahead. Mrs. Burros is very clear in her instructions (although I had some problems with a chocolate roll)and the taste combinations are very good. As this book is an update of her original there are a number of amusing asides on changes in food ingredients and cooking styles between the two editions. Not quite a "must-have" but useful.
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