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The 150 Best American Recipes: Indispensable Dishes from Legendary Chefs and Undiscovered Cooks (150 Best Recipes) Hardcover – September 27, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Daunted by the task of selecting the year's best recipes, James Beard Award–winners McCullough (Low-Carb Cookbook) and Stevens (All About Braising) realized that "our fellow home cooks were confronted with the same hopeless task" and decided to create the cookbook they themselves would want to have. The result: a well-written compendium of standout recipes from culinary stars (Jamie Oliver, Alice Waters), newspapers, magazines and lesser-known chefs and Web sites. Rick Bayless's foreword includes a recipe for Black Pepper French Toast that exemplifies the book's goal: to suggest new twists on classics, unexpected flavor combinations and dishes that work at a party or on a traditional Thanksgiving table. Highlights include Pasta with Asparagus and Lemon Sauce (Gourmet), Mussels with Smoky Bacon, Lime, and Cilantro (Food & Wine) and Bitter Orange Ice Cream (Nigella Bites). Each recipe has a brief introduction, and "notes from our test kitchen" offer savvy advice. This book will please a range of palates, and suit every skill level. It's a resource to keep near at hand, whether for special events or daily meals. 60 color photos. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Fran McCullough has been an editor at Harper and Row, Dial Press, and Bantam, where she discovered such major cookbook authors as Deborah Madison, Diana Kennedy, Paula Wolfert, Martha Rose Shulman, and Colman Andrews. She is a coauthor of Great Food Without Fuss, which won a James Beard Award, and the author of the best-selling Low-Carb Cookbook, The Good Fat Cookbook, and Living Low-Carb.

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Product Details

  • Series: 150 Best Recipes
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (September 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618718656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618718658
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Best American Recipes series of cookbooks is my favorite set of cookbooks. I own every volume from 1999 to the 2005-2006 volume. Every fall I prowl book stores waiting for the new version - but this year I saw "The 150 Best American Recipes" instead of the 2006-2007 edition I was expecting. Well, a junkie has to have her fix, so I bought the book, even though it is a collection of what the authors, Fran McCollough and Molly Stevens, think is the best of the best of the books in the series. I mean, I own all of these recipes already. But I've had the book less than a week, and have discovered Santa Rosa Plum Gallete, missed from the 2001-2002 volume. We agree that Amazing Overnight Waffles (2003-2004) is the best waffle recipe ever, but my favorite salad, Shepherd's Salad with Bulgarian Feta (2003-2004), missed the cut. If you don't own any of these books, this is a great one to start with. I only hope there is a new book on the horizon.
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Format: Hardcover
So many cookbooks claim to be the "Best of the best", and so many of them fall so short. I picked up this book thinking it would be yet another one of the "Best of the best" cookbooks that had unimpressive recipes. I was really surprised when I picked up this book by Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens. The recipes are truly unique, and are very tasty.

You may wonder what makes this book stand out from most cookbooks. They have wonderful photography. The photos make the food not only look tasty, but will have you going to your pantry ready to prepare the dish for yourself. Recipes are noted with notes from the kitchen, and their experiences with cooking the dish. I like that they offer suggestions of other variations, other ingredients you can add, and so much more. They also offer tips about cooking techniques, ingredients, and cooking equipment.

You take away that the editors of this book really care about cooking. You can see it in the way the recipes are presented. They add so much text to the recipe than just leaving you with the plain recipe. These are the cookbooks that I enjoy the most, as you can take away so much with these tips, insight, and general information. I feel by reading this book has made my overall cooking better.
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By dag556 on October 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Every recipe I have made out of this cookbook has been a winner -- and I have made several of them, from the Kona Inn banana muffins to the chicken with lemon, sage, rosemary and thyme. The chocolate layer cake, originally printed in Gourmet, truly is the best chocolate cake of all time. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not a Joy of Cooking or Cook's big binder cookbook. If you want to learn to make blanc mange or boil eggs or de-bone a chicken, this is not the cookbook for that. But if you want a whole array of mostly fail proof recipes that often are simple (but not always)and generally absolutely wonderful--this is your cookbook. I have bought more than a dozen copies to give as gifts--and one to replace my first one that came apart at the seams.

I simply don't understand people saying that the recipes require strange or hard to find things--other than fresh crab, I can't think of anything I couldn't buy in any major grocery store chain (and I do not mean Trader Joe's or Whole Foods). I live in a not wealthy metro area of under one million (two hours from a bigger metro area) and I can't think of any other ingredient I couldn't easily find.

Not all the recipes are wonderful--the mac and cheese with tortilla chips sort of tastes like corn tortillas--the flavor overwhelms everything. And one or two of the cookie recipes didn't impress me.

But overall I have never bought a cookbook that had more stunning recipes than this one (and I have hundreds of cookbooks). The roast duck is a knock-out, the recipe for sticky toffee pudding should be illegal,the soups are amazing--this is worth the tiny sum being charged for used copies (because it's out of print).
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Format: Hardcover
`The 150 Best American Recipes' edited by Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens, the editors of the annual `The Best American Recipes' series is, like others in this series, introduced by a leading American `celebrity' chef. In this issue, the honor falls to Chicago Mexican cooking guru, Rick Bayless.

I've reviewed at least two earlier volumes in this series and gave each four stars, often crediting the author of the introduction, especially the one by Tony Bourdain, with much of the credit for making it to a second best rating. This volume appears to me to be better than any of the earlier editions, and yet it may not be perfect. (I give it five stars anyway to honor the improvement).

By chance, I happen to have just reviewed the cookbook Tyler Florence's `Tyler's Ultimate ` recipes, which, like this volume, presumes to present a `best in class'. And, as in Tyler's book, I sense that what this volume does is really the best variations on common recipe archetypes. In the case of so many of these recipes, the basic idea has been around since the year of the flood. The thing which makes this particular treatment stand out is usually a relatively simple addition which is not necessarily beyond the imagination of a reasonably talented amateur chef.

One favorite case in point is Tom Valenti's version of squash soup where our favorite New York City comfort food specialist roasts the squash topped with bacon rather than simply boiling it to soften before whizzing up with the wand blender. The editors make the excellent case that this concentrates and intensifies the flavor, as well as adding a smoky overtone from the bacon.
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