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Kitchen of Light: The New Scandinavian Cooking Hardcover – May 6, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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My Halal Kitchen: Global Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Lifestyle Inspiration by Yvonne Maffei
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Scandinavia, where the land stretches far enough north that half the year can be bathed in constant light or constant darkness, the notion of a "kitchen of light" has special meaning. In the case of Kitchen of Light, the cookbook by Norway's best known food writer, Andreas Viestad, and companion book to the TV cooking show of the same name, it means the shedding of light on a long-overlooked cuisine and culinary tradition. There is more going on in the Land of the Midnight Sun than smorgasbord.

Fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients need not always be a notion married to temperate agriculture and culinary zones. The seasons of fecundity can be compressed; the nature of local can truly be wild. Such are the lessons in Kitchen of Light. There is an underlying joy throughout this book: the long winter has been beaten back and great food once again weighs down the table. Viestad takes the reader into the country and into the lives of the people who have made something of a celebration of food and cooking.

Duck Soup with Madeira ought to wake up the sleepiest palate. In centuries past, Maderia was bartered in Norway for dried salt cod. Porcini Consommé gives honor to the brief but glorious wild mushroom season. An entire chapter is given over to gravlaks, cured salmon you can do at home with spice and Aquavit. In a land where cod and potatoes are no joke, Viestad proves that a contemporary touch can be both relevant and exciting. Yellow and Red Cod with Pomegranate-Mango Salad, anyone? Feasting is well-represented, and seafood lies at its heart--salmon, halibut, mackerel, pollock, shellfish. And just when you are falling into step, Viestad turn the corner and presents the likes of Glazed Leg of Lamb with Roasted Root Vegetables.

In the end, after reading and admiring this beautifully photographed and designed book where travel meets food meets joy, you'll have a much better insight into the people of Scandinavia, and probably a deep and unresolved desire to travel and dine there. Kitchen of Light is not only enlightening, you can bring it home. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

This compendium of modern Scandinavian recipes is a perfect marriage of fresh recipes, most of which aren't too difficult, and clean layout and design. Author Viestad finds a nice balance between seriousness and fun in his brief texts about everything from Hulda Garborg (a feminist and the author of one of the first-ever Norwegian cookbooks in 1898) to an ode to crayfish under the subtitle There Is Something Crawling in My Bathtub. Modern Scandinavian cooking, at least as represented here, is ideally suited to the way we eat now, with a healthy dose of fish and respect for ingredients that lets their flavors shine. In fact, about half of the book is dedicated to fish dishes. There are two recipes for transforming salmon into the Scandinavian classic Gravlaks and more innovative treatment of seafood in the form of Grilled Mackerel with Sweet Chili Glaze and Charred Sage, and Thyme-and-Garlic Steamed Mussels with a Hint of Cinnamon. An entire chapter on the staples cod and potatoes includes Truffled Cod with Garlic-Veal Glace and rustic Potatoes with Goose Fat and Lemon. Vegetable, meat and poultry dishes are less central than the trove of seafood recipes, but they hardly seem like afterthoughts in recipes such as Lamb Chops with Mushrooms, Zucchini, and Yogurt-Mint Sauce, and Onion Pie with Jarlsberg and Thyme. Desserts are often stunningly simple and fruit-based: Strawberry Snow is a simple berry mousse, while The Devil's Rhubarb consists of raw stalks dipped in sugar and nibbled between sips of vodka.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan; 1st edition (May 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579652166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579652166
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. The author has cooked up a book of food and recipes from Norway that is very personal and beautiful. The recipes are a superb selection that vary from traditional fish recipes that are as old as Odin and the Norwegian Sea to recent introductions of culinary delights and the twists that trade has conjured in modern Norwegian kitchens. The book is not just a list of recipes, and this is what sets this book apart. The author has given background information about the recipes and includes quite a bit of history and personal stories that bring the reader right into Andreas Viestad's kitchen. The photography by Mette Randem is amazingly beautiful, giving the book an added experience to the reader/cook. To be short, this is the book you are looking for if you are reading this sentence.
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Format: Hardcover
Kitchen Of Light is the official companion book to the public television series "New Scandinavian Cooking with Andreas Viestad". Excellent color photographs, mouth-watering recipes, and vignettes of the lives and culture that embrace these taste-tested dishes abound. From Salt-Baked Salmon; to Mussels with Aquavit; Wild Blueberry Parfait; and Juniper-Spiced Venison, each individual, mouth-watering dish is wonderfully presented with painstaking attention to detail combined with easy-to-follow instructions. Especially commended and recommended for aspiring chefs and kitchen cooks interested in delving into Scandinavian cuisine (particularly the seafood dishes), Kitchen Of Light is an invaluable addition to any personal or professional cookbook collection!
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Format: Paperback
I've been cooking through this book for the past two months, and have yet to find a recipe that disappoints. What I love is that it uses simple ingredients, but combines them in ways I hadn't thought of before. His broccoli dish with capers and anchovies is a new standard preparation for broccoli in our household now, and the seared fish with carmelized onions is spectacular, as is his roast chicken with leeks recipe.

What I particularly love is that almost all of his dishes can be thought of as week-day dinner meals, but their flavor and visual appeal make me feel like a much better cook than I really am!

Plus, the abundance of fish recipes has been terrific, since we've been trying to incorporate more of that into our daily meals of late. All around a terrific book!
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Format: Hardcover
Friends of mine asked for this book, originally, and so I bought myself a copy out of curiosity, having also enjoyed the TV show the author hosted. I was definitely beyond pleasantly surprised, because he adds to his easygoing teaching style some history, personal memories and feelings, to really add flavor to the content. But you could get a lot from this book without reading a word, just from looking at the excellent presentation each dish is given, as well as glimpses of the environment that inspired them.

There are cookbooks that are just books of instructions. They can be complicated, even fussy, but that's what they are. Then there are books about cuisine, that give you example recipes, and the hunger to try them and create your own with the new flavors you have learned. This definitely is of the latter type. I not only want to cook these dishes, I want to visit the lands where they originated. It's a shame that this book has fallen out of print, because I have other friends I want to share it with. If you find a copy, treasure it.
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By A Customer on August 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Highly recommended: "Kitchen of Light, New Scandinavian Cooking" by Andreas Viestad
I bought this book on a hunch and unseen from Amazon.com to use it as "housewarming gifts" while staying with friends in New England this August, mostly because I always enjoy his weekly column in a major Norwegian newspaper.
Two of my friends received the book prior to our arrival, and below is what they wrote me:
"Your wonderful book arrived and it is stunning. The only thing that could be better would be to be in those photographs enjoying all that food with you! I am going to show it to a friend as she loves fish too, and we will try some of the recipes together. Thank you, Thank you. Thank you!
I will let you know of my culinary adventures!
Thanks again for the spectacular book."
"Good morning, your gift arrived! You won't believe it, but I read an article about Andreas Viestad in the paper a couple of weeks ago, and told my husband I was going to order his book, so imagine my surprise when your gift arrived! I can't wait to try out some of the recipes. Thank you so much and we're looking forward to your visit."
Of course, I was more than a little curious as to what I had gotten myself into, so upon arrival in the US I checked out a major bookstore, found a copy there and bought it to see for myself. And I was really, really pleased about what he accomplished.
A couple of other friends received a copy also, and they enthusiastically called it "a book within a cookbook since it also offers a lot of information about the country of Norway and the landscape photos are great as well", and that describes it pretty accurately I think.
So, why don't you go ahead and see for yourselves!!!
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