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Fresh Every Day: More Great Recipes from Foster's Market Hardcover – May 24, 2005
"Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm" by Molly Yeh
Enjoy chronicles of the author's life on a farm, through photos, more than 100 new recipes, and hilarious stories from life in the city and on the farm Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
While it took a fair amount of careful reading before I gave Sara's first book my five stars, my visceral pleasure with this book kicked in almost immediately, which is a sure sign that this is a quality cookbook. Very good and very bad books usually show their colors in the first few pages. When you have to look for the good stuff, it is surely an average book.
The book has just a slightly different focus than the first book, in that it covers a lot of things Ms. Foster cooks at home for her family and dishes she demonstrates when she is doing book tours and cooking classes.
For starters, I always give high marks to books with good breakfast recipes. For every decent book on breakfast dishes, there are fifty or more on desserts, so, we are always in need of more and better breakfast dishes. None of the recipes are really unusual, but that isn't what you want from a rural milieu caterer. You can get the fancy breakfasts from The Plaza and the Hiltons. The scrambled egg recipe(s) are a fine sample of what Ms. Foster and company do so well in this book. She gives the basic technique that is effective, but simple. No James Beard water bath cooking for 40 minutes here. Then, she gives us six different variations plus the courage to throw in most different kinds of odds and ends leftovers from the fridge.
I thought the following page with breakfast tortilla recipes goes a long way to showing how far Mexican cuisine has influenced our cooking in that Ms. Foster uses the terms chipotle, burrito, quesadilla, and enchilada with no explanation of what they mean and really assumes the reader will have no problems following an instruction to `fold it like a burrito'. Later in this chapter, chipotle finds its way into several different recipes. The chapter also covers such essential subjects as grits, smoothies, biscuits, muffins, and granola.
The next chapter is `Simple Soups' which opens with a sidebar on soup making which has almost as many spiffy soup suggestions as several soup books I have reviewed. Like the breakfast dishes, most soups are pretty standard and pretty hearty, with a heavy emphasis on roasted ingredients and pureed preparations. There are some interesting surprises such as the golden gazpacho soup, but the big value is in teaching us to use soup toppings and garnishes.
The third chapter is on `seasonal salads and salad meals'. The content which impressed me most was the number of different vinaigrette recipes, including summer herb, sweet basil, balsamic, blue cheese, tarragon, sweet and spicy, sesame ginger, red wine with chives, tangy Italian, black olive, and pad thai vinaigrettes. And that just the vinaigrettes!
The fourth chapter is `seasonal sides' with lots of stuff on using fruits and root vegetables. The most interesting section is the general suggestion plus several recipes on mashing vegetables OTHER than potatoes. This notion, plus the variations on doing corn on the cob are worth the price of the chapter.
The fifth chapter is `quick and tasty meat main dishes' which throws lots of Southern, Italian, Greek, and Mexican ideas into a pot and comes up with great nouveau Carolina cuisine. The featured sidebar is on grilling. The best `extras' are recipes for `fridge pickles and pan seared duck breasts.
The sixth chapter is `fast and fresh fish, pasta, and risotto meals'. This chapter is heavy on the shrimp and scallops plus halibut, snapper, sea bass, and lots of condiments such as lemon chive oil, Cajun aioli, and green goddess dressing. The sidebar on fish cookery is excellent.
The seventh chapter is `meals that cook themselves' which, of course, is not literally true. It is a collection of recipes that cook for a long time with little or no fuss or attention. Lots of classics appear here, many with the addition of Sara's favorite ingredient, chipotle.
The last chapter is `a little something sweet' which tend to be quick assemblies rather than elaborate cakes and pies, although there is a pretty standard recipe for a piecrust and a blueberry pie. The recipe uses all vegetable shortening, and I am partial to pastry crusts done with butter. I don't thing Sara will mind if you use a classic French pate brisee in place of `Judy's Flaky PieCrust. Her sidebar on making piecrusts may not have every little detail, but it's very good if this is the only book you have.
Ms. Foster's pair of books is the perfect example for those of you who don't want a lot of cookbooks, but you want interesting recipes. Getting these two books will give you great value with no risk of recipe overlap. I certainly recommend these over books from Ms. Deen and Ms. Garten, although both of these ladies have done some very nice volumes.
We've had the book less than a week and we've made the Icebox Pickles, the Chipotle Mustard Sauce, the Chicken Salad with Apples, Grapes, And Spicy Pecans, and the Dark Chocolate Soufflé Cake. It's all so, so good!
Sara Foster, I am your devoted fan and I will probably buy any cookbook you write. However, the layout on this one is terrible: small print and not much white space. For example, the "WHAT TO SERVE WHEN" section should have been separated from the intro paragraph, instead of just changing ink color. The binding should allow the page to lie flat - after all, it's a cookbook. The book is just plain hard to read and use.
That said, I'm already waiting for the next Sara Foster cookbook!
The most important thing I can say about my experience with Ms. Foster's cookbooks is this - I e-mailed her at Foster's Market with a question, and I received a personal reply with a plausible answer. For that fact alone, I'll buy whatever she writes. I recommend both her books.
After Fresh arrived in the mail, I spent my spare hours browsing the pages, becoming acquainted with Foster's home cooking with a sophisticated twist. Plenty of large, yummy photos capture the taste and texture of the recipes: fried green tomatoes coated with crunchy cornmeal; slivers of parmesan and proscuitto glistening with homemade vinaigrette; a chunk of glazed pork sliced from a baby back rib; roasted pears resting in a golden sea of syrup.
Fresh Every Day passed my shopping simplicity test. Once I chose several recipes and created my grocery list, I had no problem finding the simple, fresh ingredients at just one store, and thankfully the recipes required no new culinary equipment. Foster uses plenty of fresh herbs so I'd suggest planting pots filled with rosemary, basil, sage, and mint to avoid paying several dollars each for the small packages found in grocery stores.
Blue Heaven Smoothie, packed with fruit, a hint of cinnamon plus a tablespoon of honey, is refreshing and tart. Pickled Shrimp are perfect appetizers for picnics and tailgating. My daughter begged for the leftovers. Roasted plum tomatoes, garlic cloves, and quartered onions give Roasted Tomato Sauce with Basil its distinctly rich flavor. I froze the sauce for a meal I'm planning in a few weeks. Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder was my pick from the chapter, Meals That Cook Themselves. Before serving it, I couldn't resist munching several crispy outer cuts. Apple and Avocado Salad with Fresh Mint and Lime is a delightfully tart contrast to the pork. I substituted slices of my favorite Asiago cheese for the feta and it worked well with the tangy dressing. Eastern peaches are abundant and cheap right now so I rounded out the meal with Roasted Peach Halves with Crumb Topping. Remember to pick up the vanilla ice cream. I didn't.
Fresh Every Day makes a lovely gift. My only quibble is the delicate dust jacket. Please give me a sturdy one so I can protect this nouveau Southern cooking treasure!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Fresh and Everyday"...not complicated.