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The Bon Appetit Cookbook Hardcover – August 21, 2006
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It's high time that Bon Appétit, one of our longest-running cooking magazines, published a collection of its recipes. The Bon Appétit Cookbook offers over 1,200 formulas--a vast selection that includes dishes for every menu stop and occasion, with sections on bread, burgers, pizza and sandwiches. Characteristically, the majority of the formulas--like Chinese-Flavored Fried Chicken with Green Onion Ginger Dipping Sauce, and Spicy Steak with Corn Soft Tacos--reflect an inventive, cross-cultural approach. A wide selection of sweets, such as Chocolate Chunk, Orange and Hazelnut Cookies, and Lemon Blueberry Shortcakes, is also offered; there's even a chapter on drinks.
Though most of the dishes invite good eating, and all are approachable, a surprising number, like Blue and Red Flannel Hash (with potatoes, hot sausage, pickled beets, and blue cheese) are overwrought or of questionable taste. Herbs are sometimes used excessively (a seafood-cake recipe for six calls for 1-1/3 cups of chopped cilantro), or in dubious combination, like rosemary and tarragon. Readers should also know that ingredients are sometimes not named in the methods, but are called for by number--for example, "add the first five ingredients"--obliging cooks to stop, search and count. In addition, recipe yields in a given chapter can vary by four servings or more. Though some of the larger-yield recipes, like that for cassoulet, are obviously meant for groups, others, like Greek Orzo and Shrimp Salad, which yields twenty servings, could be offered as appropriately for a family meal.
These things said, the book, which is photo-illustrated, will make a welcome addition to many cooking libraries, and should be especially handy when guests must be fed. Readers who have long loved and relied on the magazine will be particularly happy to have so many of its recipes in one place. --Arthur Boehm
Listen to Audio Clips of Barbara Fairchild Discussing:
How We Cook Today
Changes in the Food World
The Approachable, Relevant, and Fun Bon Appétit Cookbook
Last-Minute Party Planning
Recipe Development and Testing
A Great Holiday Meal
Exclusive Recipe Excerpts from The Bon Appétit Cookbook
Herb- and Garlic-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Red and Yellow Bell Pepper Relish
Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust