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The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook: 500 Vibrant, Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Living and Eating Well Every Day Paperback – December 27, 2016
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America’s Test Kitchen is well-known across its top-rated television shows with more than 4 million weekly PBS viewers, bestselling cookbooks, magazines, and cooking schools. The highly reputable and recognizable brands of America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country, and Cook’s Science are the work of over 60 passionate chefs based in Boston, Massachusetts who put ingredients, cookware, equipment and recipes through objective, rigorous testing to identify the very best. Discover, learn, and expand your cooking repertoire with Julia Collin Davison, Bridget Lancaster, Dan Souza, Lisa McManus, and our fabulous team of test cooks!
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The book is divided up into the usual sections like soups, poultry, salads, etc. but with some additions like rice and grains, breads, flatbreads, pizzas, etc. The table of contents in each section lists special indicators (little colored squares) after dishes which are either fast (45 minutes or less) or vegetarian. Within each section, the recipes are varied. Each recipe starts with an explanation of why the dish is made the way it is, such as why the potatoes are boiled instead of microwaved, why this dish is blended by hand instead of a food processor, etc. This will save you tons of time when you are thinking of taking a shortcut and find that it doesn't turn out right. Then the recipe shows photos of steps that might be unfamiliar. And then there are little "notes" inserted every few pages which go into a specific ingredient, what to look for, how it's used...things like sardines, pancetta, bay leaves...or else methods, like how to properly wash and dry a salad, or how to salt-soak beans. Many of the recipes also list further variations, such as pan roasted cauliflower...which then shows how to add capers and pine nuts, or spices and pistachios. My only minor complaint is that the nutritional info for each recipe is listed...but it's all listed in an index in the back of the book rather than with each recipe. But don't let that stop you...the fact that it's there at all is one up on most other cook books!
It's a good cookbook, but if you're looking for manageable weeknight recipes and cook alone (no help in the kitchen) or work for a living, you may want to consider a different book...although I'm not sure what book that would be. It's also possible that kitchen wiz types will do great with this book. I'm no slouch (neither is my husband) in the kitchen, but four hours is a bit much...but it sure was yummy. :)