Williams-Sonoma, purveyor of choice gourmet products and kitchenware, has also created a collection of succinct yet comprehensive cookbooks. Part of the series, Thanksgiving offers 40 recipes that reflect the company's signature good taste. From traditional and "new" holiday starters like Butternut Squash Soup and Mixed Greens with Bacon-Wrapped Figs to desserts including Creamy Pumpkin Pie and Ginger-Pear Torte, the book offers delicious options for a hearty, homemade feast. Main-course birds, dressings, breads, and other accompaniments are represented with the likes of classic roast turkey and Hickory-Smoked Roast Turkey with Horseradish-Apple Sauce; Cornbread Dressing with Oysters and Ham; and Cranberry Sauce with Cider and Vinegar, while a chapter entirely devoted to potatoes provides exemplary "mashed" formulas as well as Candied Yams and a knockout Two-Potato Gratin with Cheese.
Accompanied by color photos that show the dishes in all their glory, the recipes are completely doable, and will appeal to a wide range of cooks. Throughout, sidebars (like "Biscuit Savvy") offer useful information on techniques and ingredients; a glossary and basics section are also helpful. Though small in size, the book provides an inclusive store of superior recipes and instruction. --Arthur Boehm
About the Author
Michael McLaughlin was the author or coauthor of more than 25 books during his long career, including The Southwestern Grill, Great Books for Cooks, the widely acclaimed Silver Palate Cookbook, and Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Grilling. He was also a regular contributor to such publications as Bon Appétit and Food & Wine and worked as a book-buying consultant, recipe developer, and product spokesman for a variety of clients. McLaughlin died in 2002.