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The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco's Beloved Resturant Hardcover – September 17, 2002
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While firmly anchored in the food sentiments of California, Rodgers explores the honest cuisine généreuse of France, Tuscany, Umbria, Sicily, Catalonia, and Greece. Her chapter "Small Dishes to Start a Meal" runs to 65 pages! Look for her Lentil-Sweet Red Pepper Soup with Cumin and Black Pepper, her Citrus Risotto, and her Tomato Summer Pudding. Be sure to try Short Ribs Braised in Chimay Ale, and Rabbit with Marsala and Prune-Plums. Chapters are devoted to eggs, starchy dishes, sausage and charcuterie, and the cheese course; you'll also find all the basic chapters one might expect. Throughout, Gerald Asher provides insight into matching wines with foods.
Rodgers's natural instinct is to share and to teach, and the instructional material in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook is like a deep-tissue massage, improving any cook's posture and performance. Rodgers's fine book invites both the novice and the experienced cook to delve deep into the heart of real food and real cooking. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Judy Rodgers is well known in San Francisco, but she hasn't published much before. I don't recall any articles by her in food magazines, but I could have missed them. She is simply the best food writer that has emerged in a long, long time. She seems to have absorbed cooking knowledge the way the rest of us breathe, and in her book, she puts it all down. Open any page, I mean ANY page, and you will get a piece of information, an idea, a tip, or tidbit that will make you rethink the way you cook. Her recipes are written with the same loving detail that she puts into her restaurant cooking. She writes a recipe like she might simmer a complex and utterly delicious stock--slowly, gently, without shortcuts.
Cooks who are looking for the fast and easy should pass this book by. I do have a few criticisms, which are totally immaterial when you think of the vast amount of gold to be mined. Nonetheless, they are worth mentioning for those who calculate the amount of recipes they might use from a book. The dessert section reflects Judy's simple tastes in this area, and it could have been balanced with a few more cake-like pastries. There are plenty of recipes that mere mortals will not make, unless you dedicate the auxilary refrigerator in your garage to hold the odiferous masterpiece (salted anchovies, salted cod), but at least she is frank about the problems you face in making them.Read more ›
It would also help to be a committed foodie. Some key ingredients are hard to find, and usually available only to professional chefs. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I shop in the food mecca of Berkeley, and even I would have trouble finding some of the ingredients.
There are reasons why this is restaurant food that people spend big bucks for to go out and eat.
If you have skill in fine cooking, if you love to cook for recreation and for art, and if you like this kind of California Mediterranean food, you would probably enjoy this cookbook. It is extremely well-written and thought out. So far I've tried 16 recipes from this cookbook, with excellent results. (Note: I've taken many cooking classes over the years and I've worked as a prep assistant for some great local chefs, so that's my skill level.) Judy Rodgers and her editor have made every effort to convey her signature recipes and deserve applause for that. I think this a great cookbook, a classic cookbook, but not for everyone.
The book is organized by course and the introductions to each recipe offer tips on ingredients or technique, suggestions for leftovers and sometimes the dish's history in her repertoire, which is French and Italian-influenced. Some dishes are simple - her signature Roast Chicken with Bread Salad is a snap as long as you remember to salt the chicken the day before (it does make a difference). Several soups (Asparagus & Rice with Pancetta & Black Pepper) are quick and easy, as long as you've got the stock on hand - canned stock is beneath mention - and several pickles, condiments and sauces (Preserved Lemons, Roasted Pepper Relish, Sage Pesto) are simple enough to keep on hand, but basically, Rodgers is not about quick and easy. The hamburger that the pickles are served with starts with grinding your own chuck - twice. Pasta with Sardines & Tomato Sauce begins with cleaning, broiling, then filleting the sardines, although the roasted tomato sauce is quick, easy and different. Pot Roast begins with reducing a bottle of red wine to a half cup and four cups of beef stock to two.Read more ›
All the recipes I have made from her book have become standards in my repertoire. They are the sort of things that you want to make again and again -- like the rosemary grilled chicken livers with bacon, just the thought of them makes me want to rush home and start cooking.
I have only just begun working my way through this book, but the results are so great that I have told my friends: "We will be eating well all year long at my house!"
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book does not need yet another positive review! It is not a beautiful cookbook, if you purchase cookbooks to look at food pictures. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kristie Lynn
I am so excited to have this book. I've made the chicken and bread salad many times. Outstanding. The book arrived in near-perfect condition, even though it's used.Published 1 month ago by L. Henderson
Awards this cookbook has earned:
James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year-IACP Cookbook Award-James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Award-James Beard Foundation... Read more
The roast chicken is like no other roast chicken! The book is full of novel ways to use fresh ingredients.Published 5 months ago by nancy the navigator
Classic, wonderfully written with great and passionate details. If you love cooking, you should but this book! Judy Rodgers is a great chef!Published 6 months ago by Allison Addicott