79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2001
Point number one: As a Seattlite, Tom Douglas' three fabulous restaurants have always been among my favorites. I'm thrilled to have the recipes for all my favorite dishes - Lobster Potstickers, Tuscan Bread Salad and Cornbread Pudding, just to name a few. And then there is the world's most amazing dessert: Triple Coconut Cream Pie. I don't particularly care for coconut, but I'd walk miles for a bite of this marvel. Whenever visitors come to town, we inevitably take them to the Dahlia Lounge and insist, no matter how loud their protests, that they at least try a bite. Without fail, they, too, become converts. Trust me on this. Douglas' recipes are well-written and adapted for the home cook. He does a great job of explaining off-beat ingredients and preparations. Where appropriate, he even includes photos of how to tackle some of the more unusual preparations that make his recipes even easier to follow.
Point number two: Not only does Douglas give you his best recipes in this book, but he has also written what should be considered a mandatory guidebook to visitors and newcomers to Seattle. Douglas generously mentions most of the other great restaurants in town and tells you when to go and what to order. His description of the local markets is so comprehensive, it should be mandatory reading for every new cook who comes to town. Clearly, this man loves Seattle, and he wants to share all the best of it with his readers.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2001
Amazon featured Thanksgiving recipes from Tom Douglas' book last week, and the three I tried made me and my family believers in this man's genius! His Red Bliss Mashers were my sister's fave dish of the day, even though she usually won't eat mashed potatoes made with anything more complex than butter and salt. The Cranberry Chutney with Dried Apricots and Currants was a tangy delight, even for a die-hard jellied cranberry sauce lover like myself. But the star of the meal was the Spice-Rubbed Turkey -- Tom's delectable spice rub that married brown sugar and cinnamon with paprika and cayenne pepper guaranteed that there wasn't much leftover turkey! Excellent recipes with explanations that even newbie cooks like me can follow -- now I'm going to buy the book! Outstanding!
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2001
As a huge fan of Etta's & the Dahlia Lounge, I couldn't have imagined being able to create meals as wonderful as the ones they serve. Yet, every meal I have prepared from this book has been incredible and I continue to receive compliments from those I've made them for. The book is chock-full of great preparation, shopping, and other cooking tips. It includes the simple timing and other how-to's lacking in many cookbooks. Further, it manages to fuse various ethnic styles in a way that is actually do-able if you are not a culinary expert.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
It has taken me awhile to write a review for this book due to the fact that I have been testing as many recipes as possible and while in Seattle compared the restaurant version with the home version. The verdict is: Get the book.
The recipes are very easily done in a standard home kitchen and they are the recipes of the restaurants in question. If there is a flavor difference it is easily explained by the author such as, the restaurant version of the salmon rub uses smoked paprike (very hard to get) while the home uses the sweet variety.
The book reflects a deep love of Seattle and is informative in a chatty way. I think though, for the Asian food information sections you may want a little more depth with Bruce Cost's book on Asian ingredients. For the experienced cook this is a great book to have on the shelf showing a fusion of traditional and international influences in the menu.
For those looking for soemthing in between a beginner's and a hardcore pro level this book is excellent. People at my various parties and catering gigs have loved the food prepared from this book and it has achieved the status of favorite on the shelf. It is approachable in tone, style and technique. It is also helpful that he provides a supplier section for those hard to get items like kazu.
The fish section maybe a no go for some people due to freshness issues but the section on grilling/barbecuing is nice and the dry brine method for roast chicken was very reliable. All the side dishes were easily done as well with a standard grocery store available.
Recommended highly and I look forward to his next work.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2001
I first experienced Tom's cooking at the Dahlia Lounge about 3 years ago, and I was completely blown away. Visit after visit, meal after meal, his dishes always suprise and amaze me. His imagination with regards to food is incredible. The menu changes constantly and I think it just keeps getting better. But this is a review of his book... All of the recipes that have made all three of his restaurants famous are here. The thing that suprised me is that he is completely open with his "trade secrets". He's like a magician that can't wait to explain to you how to perform his trick, because he loves the magic that much: he wants everyone to be able to do it. And all the recipes work, too! I've made about 20 different thing from this book, and not one of them hasn't turned out perfectly. His style of writing is very accessable. And for the seattle resident, there is the bonus of a complete list of where to find all the best ingredients. A priceless book.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2005
I have owned my copy of Seattle Kitchen for over a year now, as do two of the other families on our block. We regularly get together for dinner parties and inevitably, one of Tom Douglas' dishes shows up on the menu. Although many if not most of the recipes are time-consuming (much chopping, sauteeing, carmelizing, etc. is involved) they are all worth it in the end as long as you are a patient person who enjoys cooking. This is not a good beginner's cookbook! The sweet butternut soup with thyme creme fraiche is beyond compare and I make it all fall and winter long. The lobster and shrimp potstickers with sake sauce take a long time to make but are simply divine (I have learned to make huge batches and freeze them for later when I need an appetizer.) Pair them with the sweet-and-sour red cabbage for an impressive presentation. I just made Etta's cornbread pudding last night for the first time after visiting Seattle and eating it at the restaurant a few weeks ago, and I have to say mine was just as good if not better since it was fresh out of the oven. It was inhaled at the dinner party and it prompted me to get online now to order Tom's other cookbook. I find that sometimes the ingredients are difficult to hunt down here in Montana, but I usually find most of what I need, or at least an acceptable substitute. I just wish there were more photographs of the beautiful food. I look forward to trying many more of Tom's recipes.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2003
Now I may be biased because I live in Seattle but there is not a recipe in this book which is not simply perfect. I have tried about 10 recipes including the crab cakes, blueberry coffee cake, Short Ribs with Rosemary white beans and the Lobster and Shiitake Potstickers and not had a bad one yet.
All the recipies are pretty easy to make, use simple fresh ingredients and usually recommend a wine to pair with it. These are not always the types of recipes that you want to whip up in 10 mins when you get home from work but for a weekend dinner where you have 1/2 hr or more to cook, you will be well rewarded. There is definitely a seafood bias for this which is fine with me. In the middle of the book are about 10 pages of pictures of many of the dishes.
I have lots of cookbooks with several good recipes but never one with so many winners and absolutely no losers. I have been to 2 of Tom's restaurants in Seattle but this makes me want to cook at home.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2000
I first read Tom Douglas' cookbook while dining at his Etta's Restaurant near Pike Place Market. I was savoring his Roasted Salmon with Etta's Rub while reading the recipe in the book and became more inspired with every bite. It was also good to see recipes for other dishes on the menu. Now I'm ready to recreate Etta's at home. Fabulous pictures of Seattle and a wonderful read overall.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2001
Being a Seattle ex-patriot, I feel like I know Mr. D well. I've had the privledge, over the years, not only to dine at all three restaurants but to meet the man as well, (I once begged him to let me live in the basement of the Dahlia and let me eat the crumbs from the table). In the chapter titled "Starters", my wife and I were among the 12,000 devouring Flash-fried Squid at "The Bite" (Side note: Tom, we're sorry it became a pain, but we just couldn't stop from stuffing our faces).
Tom is not only a genius in his restaurants, but this book as well. Even if you have never had the chance to eat at one of his restaurants, this book will introduce you to you to one of the true greats of American cooking. Having eaten at all of the restaurants AND tried the recipes, he is right-on in telling you how to make these favorites.
I never thought I would actually hold in my hands the "secrets" to Tuscan Bread Salad, but yet, here it is. (But Tom, how about the Tamales from Etta's?)
Oh, and by the way, this book is not just about Tom's restaurants. Listen to his advice about visiting Seattle. Any world-class chef that will recommend Dick's for a late-night burger has his finger on the true pulse of the city!
I may now live a thousand miles away, but Tom is here now, in my kitchen, guiding me as I make most of my favorites from his world. It will never be the same as a wonderful, romantic evening spent at the Dahlia or a rainy afternoon at Etta's, but at least it fills the void.
Some of us remember the Blues 'n' BBQ events that Tom did for Food Lifeline. These events, not held at the restaurants but at a local park, spoke not only of the true giving spirit of Mr. D, but also give credibility to the chapter, "Mo'Poke Dadu". Is there anything the man cannot do?
I do wish the recipe for Gingerbread that we enjoyed one dark miserable fall afternoon at Etta's was here, but hey, if enough of us buy this book, perhaps Tom will take requests for the next one....
Tom, we miss you. Thank you for making the journey, via your first cookbook, to the culinary wasteland of Southern California.
(P.S. I'm available for "R & D" anytime you're in the neighborhood!)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2001
Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen is an entertaining trip through the heart and soul of Seattle. Whether you cook or not, this book will provide a glimpse of the elements that make Seattle what it is; trips to the International District, Safeco Field, Pike Place Market and some of the unique shops that provide the fresh ingredients for Tom's recipes. My father in law is obsessed with Tom's creme caramel at Etta's and after finding the recipe in the book pronounced, "I may take up cooking." There are loads of helpful tips, too. Skills such as "How To Clean A Squid" and "How To Cook Perfect Roast Beef" are explained in an easy to understand format. If you feel that you might like to do more cooking but are searching for inspiration, look no further. Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen, a cold Redhook IPA and a sense of adventure are all you need!