- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Page Street Publishing (October 13, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1624141773
- ISBN-13: 978-1624141775
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#847,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #165 in New England Cooking, Food & Wine
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The New New England Cookbook: 125 Traditional Dishes Hardcover – October 13, 2015
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About the Author
Stacy Cogswell is executive chef at Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar. She was previously the executive chef of The Regal Beagle in Brookline, Massachusetts. She has also worked in and around Boston as chef de cuisine and executive sous chef at Upstairs on the Square and as sous chef at Market by Jean Georges, Atlantic Fish Company and Cafe Trevi. She was a contestant on Season 12 of Top Chef and a 2014 nominee for Eater Boston's Chef of the Year award. Stacy grew up in Wareham, a small coastal New England town in Massachusetts, near Cape Cod. She currently lives in Boston.
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This book stirs the imagination, but unless a professional or a devoted foodie with a lot of time, it will probably be used infrequently by most home cooks, not because they aren’t interested but because of life’s constraints.
If you wish to recreate a remarkable restaurant meal this is a great resource, but if the idea of creating almost every single element of a meal from scratch is impractical this book will be used in a limited way.
Not negative or positive, the book just needs to be in the right hands or incorporated as time and inclination permits. And, if anything it is a refreshing departure from cookbooks that are rehashed compilations with little new contained in the pages.
The recipes are grouped by season and organized in a menu format. In practical application home cooks are looking for recipes by ingredient – how can I prepare these pork chops? Or by dish – a salad sounds really good for lunch. The book’s organization is designed for someone creating an entire meal of well-matched dishes and it also allows us a glimpse into the author’s creative process.
Since this book is not pretending to be a basic day-to-day guide where a meal can quickly be thrown together within an hour after work, the format is not as crucial – rather than a run, this is more of a stroll through the park.
I selected a couple of recipes to test – the Tomato Bisque with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil along with the Coconut Biscotti. Both recipes turned out perfectly and are delicious. I admit I did not use heavy cream in the soup but instead substituted half and half. I also used half butter and half olive oil to sauté the onions. Both moves were an attempt to make the bisque a little healthier. I am certain the full fat version is amazing but the small alterations I made still resulted in an excellent soup although I could not locate the brand of canned tomatoes the author suggested, but I will keep searching..
The Coconut Biscotti recipe resulted in a new favorite variety of the cookie. I did add some toasted almond slices and next time I might include some mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, but this is a very good cookie recipe.
Observations about the construction of the book. Quality paper is used. I performed my usual test and splashed some coffee on one page and promptly wiped it up. There was residual damage.
This hardback book has a strong binding. I bent the book open, almost backwards, trying to relax the tightness to see if the book would lay open flat and it responded well. With a little use it will easily remain open on a counter top, so using a cookbook holder is not a necessity.
Lush color photographs accompany most of the recipes providing both instructional and seductive information. User-friendly features include a solid index in the back of the book that does cross reference by ingredient so a particular recipe can be located quickly.
Black ink is used throughout which is makes reading it possible as compared with some pretty but light colored inks that almost disappear on the page and are decidedly not user-friendly.
For readers with vision limitations, the font size for the directions is small – approximately 9 point – a challenge even for those with excellent eyesight. The ingredient list is the same small size but is done in bold black so it is easier to read.
When it comes to cookbooks tiny font size is the rule rather than exception. And, I understand that design consistency appears to dictate the same font-size be used throughout the recipes, but where space on the page permits it would be helpful to increase the print size so reading from the distance of a counter top would be easier.
There is no dust jacket – the color cover is glued right to the hard back – from a practical standpoint this is a much sturdier design choice. Separate dust jackets on cookbooks always seems to end up torn or otherwise damaged from use in the kitchen.
Measurements for ingredients are presented in both US and metric, and as is usually the case, there is no nutritional information provided. Recipes for stock to be used in recipes throughout the book are located in the back of the book. The corn stock was new to me and I will never thoughtlessly dispose of corn cobs, again
Although I am not a professional chef by any stretch of the imagination I am an experienced home cook with a decent-sized cookbook library and I still had to stop reading periodically to search for the definition of one term or technique or ingredient or pan type. For example the use of rondeau is a word I am familiar with in the context of poetry not cooking. In reading the book, I learned a lot.
There is a small problem with the instructions for the Candied Pecans recipe. It lists all ingredients starting with pecans. The first direction is to place all ingredients in saucepan – but it isn’t until later in the recipe, when the syrup is to be poured over the pecans that it is clear that the pecans are not to be placed in the saucepan.
An experienced cook will probably catch the small flub, but if a novice or simply in a hurry it is easy to make what could be a pricey error (pecans are not inexpensive). In this book this appears to be an exception but served as a reminder to me to thoroughly read a recipe before making the dish.
The cookbook is not marketed as anything but the author’s (a professional chef from the region) fresh take on New England cuisine, and within that context the cookbook is a success.