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Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes Hardcover – April 5, 2011
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For Andrea Reusing—an award-winning chef, a leader in the sustainable agriculture movement, and a working mother—“cooking in the moment” simply means focusing on one meal at a time. Tender spring broccoli given a smoky char on the grill, a summer berry pudding with cold cream, or a cider-braised pork shoulder served with pan-fried apples on a frosty night—cooking and eating this way allows food in season to become the foundation of a full life. Cooking in the Moment is a rich, absorbing journey through a year in Reusing’s home kitchen as she cooks for family and friends using ingredients grown nearby.
When seasonality is reimagined as a grocery list rather than a limitation, everyday meals become cause for celebration—a whole week of fresh sweet corn; a blue moon autumn asparagus harvest; a rich, spicy soup made with the last few sweet potatoes of winter. Reusing seamlessly blends down-to-earth kitchen advice with delicious, doable recipes, including childhood favorites (chicken and dumplings), simple one-pot dinners (shrimp, pea, and rice stew), as well as feasts to satisfy a crowd (roast fresh ham with cracklings). And while the action takes place in North Carolina, the kinds of producers and places that animate these pages—farmers, ranchers, cheesemakers, butchers, bakers, orchards, backyard henhouses, and fishing holes—can be found all over, producing the flavors that we crave.
With gorgeous photography throughout and more than 130 recipes, Cooking in the Moment will inspire cooks everywhere to embrace the flavors and bounty of each season.
“I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying many fine meals at Lantern. Andrea Reusing’s food is always fresh, seasonal, and as local as possible. Her recipes are creative and downright delicious.”
“I love Andrea Reusing’s Lantern in Chapel Hill. And her recipes in Cooking in the Moment are so approachable and her stories so insightful that they blaze a path toward great home cooking.”
Featured Recipe: Strawberry Ice Cream
1 quart ripe fresh strawberries
¾ cup sugar, or more to taste
Pinch of kosher salt
1½ cups buttermilk, preferably full-fat
1½ cups heavy cream Instructions
Hull the strawberries, place them in a large bowl, and add the sugar and salt. With a potato masher, coarsely crush the fruit, combining it with the sugar. Stir in the buttermilk and cream, and combine well. Freeze in an ice cream maker.
"I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying many fine meals at Lantern. Andrea Reusing’s food is always fresh, seasonal, and as local as possible. Her recipes are creative and downright delicious."
"I love Andrea Reusing’s Lantern in Chapel Hill. And her recipes in Cooking in the Moment are so approachable and her stories so insightful that they blaze a path towards great home cooking."
"Chef and James Beard nominee Reusing's outstanding, beautifully photographed debut is a seasonally driven collection of 130 recipes... [A] book that's just as sit-down-and-read as open-and-use... [A] must-have title for both new and experienced cooks."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[A]n intimate, accessible take on seasonality, and the author's enthusiasm for such a way of life is infectious."
"Cooking in the Moment can change the color of your time in the kitchen from gray to rainbow....(Reusing)'s either the best-writing cook or the best-cooking writer around."
--Garden & Gun
“The carrot soup with toasted curry was a knockout… The soup itself keeps the bright taste of the carrots, adding for ballast, onion, cayenne, dry white wine, and some homemade curry powder that I cannot now be parted with… The real triumph for me, here, were the spareribs with crushed fennel and red chiles. This was outrageously simple... People are still talking about these ribs in my house, and I am still thinking of them.”
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Top Customer Reviews
Andrea Ruesing's book is breathtakingly beautiful with brilliantly bright and mouthwatering photos of FRESH fruits, vegetables and meats. But it is the finished meal photos that really make this a wonderful and truly approachable book. They look like meals we can serve at home! They look like real food made by real people that might not be "styled" but is still really delicious. I found the photos of dozens of types of tomatoes, apples, grains and other foods not only beautiful but very informative and a great help in identifying what I was seeing in the market.
The recipes range from real basics like meat stock or fried chicken to more exotic fare like squab with onions and cherries or pickled figs. Recipes and stories are arranged by season to take the greatest advantage of all the fresh, local foods you can find. They are accompanied with charming vignettes of her family's experiences around food as well as clear explanations and stories about the science and practicality of food items -- like how to tell a good fat from a bad fat, how to do overnight and clay pot cooking, how to select heirloom apples or "schlepp" your food home.
This is a wonderful, well rounded cookbook that is not only beautiful but practical, educational and inspiring all at the same time. A joy to read, use and have or to give to the cooks and food lovers in your life.
This book is absolutely amazing. My review copy was in b&w, im such a fan of this book, I'm thinking about getting in color. I've made 3 dishes and one drink so far. It impressed the foodies I had over. They were all simple and straight-forward.
I need to mention these caviats: Some recipes look simple at first but will have an additional step in there for the sauce or some such, make sure you carefully read over what you want to make the night before. Some of the ingredients are expensive and can be difficult to locate. I'm lucky enough to live in LA with plenty of high end grocery stores and have been able to find everything so far. Lastly this is definitely a gourmet cookbook, this wont be useful for someone in college or with limited fun, this definitely isnt an essential book, but is a great add on to your collection for those times you want to impress.
My first attempt was the recipe for shrimp and rice stew. I liked the idea of the ground rice, to make almost a porridge, and ignored the somewhat smug "we can get wild shrimp and you can't" attitude, and went ahead with farmed shrimp (and I know the issues here. They're there for wild shrimp too). The dish was bland, wet, and just an out and out problem. It was made redeemable by adding more vegetables, and more spice. The next time around, I cut the liquid quantities in half, and used a stock rather than the water the author recommends. Much better, but isn't that the author's job?
Next recipe: rhubarb ginger sorbet. Take a look at the recipe: it says (I do not make this up): makes 1.5 cups. HUH? Who's going to make sorbet when the yield is 12 ounces?
In fact, it probably should say 1.5 QUARTS, because the very first ingredient you use is 3 pounds of rhubarb to get "about 4 cups of puree". There's some magic involved in going from 4 cups to 1.5 cups, and it isn't in my kitchen. Her instructions to put the puree through a sieve, but not too fine a sieve are vague and not necessary, nor is it necessary to cook rhubarb for fifteen minutes as she tells one to.
The shrimp dish has inherent problems in the recipe, and while the sorbet turned out well, shouldn't someone have caught the error in quantity? I also agree with the comments of some who point out that there's an awful lot of eggs, bacon and other fats in these recipes. Also, as with others, I am leery of the tomato LEAF salad. Putting aside the issue of toxins, tomato leaves are in fact irritants, just like nettles. Eat them raw, your throat WILL scratch.
I would like to give more praise to the book, but as of now, I'm reluctant to delve into it further.
Some of my favorite recipes in this book are the marinated beets, beets with a touch of Indian spice were just so good. I also enjoyed the crab and garlic fried rice. Her hard cider braised pork roast is going to be served up as soon as my Green Egg is delivered. I can hardly wait! If you are looking for a book that is going to cover the basics, this book isn't your best choice, but if you are looking for creative and unique recipes this book will satisfy you for many years to come.