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The New Basics Cookbook Paperback – January 10, 1989
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While it won't tell you how to boil an egg, Lukins and Rosso's The New Basics has proved itself a modern classic, fit to reside on your shelves next to The Joy of Cooking and The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Aspiring chefs can use this 850-page tome to plan their next cocktail party (try the Raspberry Dip with Crudites), make brunch for the in-laws (how about Smoked Salmon and Leek Frittata and a Chicory and Bacon Salad?), or even bake up a batch of Pinwheel Cookies for the office. The "basics" include tips for entertaining, a glossary of cooking and wine terms, suggestions for a well- stocked pantry, and instructions on how to pick the best seasonal ingredients. Menus and delightful culinary quotes are sprinkled throughout the book, and the chatty tone will inspire confidence in every kitchen.
From Library Journal
Since they have sold the store, Rosso and Lukins could hardly call their new book The New Silver Palate Cookbook , but that, in essence, is what this is. It's a huge cookbook/reference work, filled with information on new ingredients and styles of cooking, practical advice on such subjects as entertaining and choosing wine, and more than 900 recipes. There are all sorts of dishes here, family favorites as well as company food, recipes that seem fresh and new but not, in general, overly trendy. An essential purchase, sure to be in demand.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The New Basics Cookbook is heavy at 849 pages. A rough overview of chapters includes: amusements; at table; beautiful soup; pizza pizzaz; prime time pasta; risotto rage; salad daze;vegetable magic; grains and beans; achool of fish; seashore shellfish; chicken, game hen, tukey, and duck; the elegant eggg; hot off the grill; meat know-how; beef; chili, burgers; meatloaves, and hash; south of France; the pig; herbs and spices; lamb; bravo Italia; taming game; a fresh loaf; the cheese course; chocolate; cake and coffee; the fruit orchard; island fruits; desert fruits; all-American pie; nuts about nuts; cookies and milk; creme brulee; soda fountain; microwave miracles; basics; panic proof kitchen; basic pantry; cooking terms; and conversion charts.
You probably found the list exhausting, right? That's the point. The book is a nearly exhaustive compendium of food information. I think of it as a culinary education in one volume for those of us without the cash for a professional education in cooking. Imagine crossing the basic information about whole ingredients with delicious, imaginative recipes and that is what you get in this volume. You will find loads of information covering fruits, veggies, meats, etc. including how to buy, store, prepare, and cook them. There are numerous charts littering the pages to help you select herbs and spices to season the aforementioned ingedient or a wine to complement it. You will read whole page asides on preparing roasted turkeys or the perfect omelet. In my opinion, the recipes are just icing on the cake.
The book is full of simple but charming black and white sketches and food related quotes. You won't find any flashy photography here.
I was afraid with a publication date of 1989 that the book wouldn't be relevant anymore or the food would seem dated. Flip through a copy of Bon Appetit or any other entertaining magazine and you'll see that recipes in here have managed to hold their own over time. There are still unique flavor combinations in there after all this time. The book manages to stay front and center for me. I recently joined a CSA and couldn't find great squash recipes for some of the lesser known varieties. The New Basics covered it for me. I am still a little surpised.
The binding could stand to be a little more durable. The book will wear out quickly with moderate usage. I would like to see a revised addition with some of our newer varieties of fruits, for example, included.
I really enjoy this book and will always own a copy to guide me in the kitchen.
Now, on to the book as a whole: I have enjoyed cooking for a number of years, and consider myself to be pretty good at it. This book was purchased for me by a family member who also enjoyed it, and I have to say it is probably the only one on my shelf that gets any use. Some of the recipes are simple, others complex. Good info on fruits, veggies, meats, etc. Good suggestions on wines to serve with your food, and other great serving tips! This book has seen its day in my kitchen, it's gotten so much use that i'll probably need to buy another soon.
Best cookbook on my shelf!
I received this a long time ago when I got married and have learned so much from it over the years. When one of my cats peed on that copy, I bought a replacement for it since I missed it so much.
Some of the recipes can be intimidating for a brand new cook but there is a lot of good basic information in there from how long to cook different cuts of meat to info about different types of fruits and veggies and when their peak seasons are. They cover everything; appetizers, salads, meats, poultry, fish, desserts and more. Once you get more comfortable using the basic techniques and recipes, you can start to tackle the more complicated recipes and not feel so overwhelmed.
Whenever I want to try something new or want to learn about a food and how to prepare it, I grab this book first and hit the index. It's a must-have for newbies and seasoned cooks alike.