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One Potato, Two Potato Hardcover – October 18, 2001
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One Potato Two Potato excels in the breadth and richness of its recipes, as well as its fine and immensely readable attention to its subject. Precise yet relaxed, it offers over 300 potato dishes--simple to elegant, everyday to special occasion. You'll find appetizers like Potato Porcini Frittata; main dishes and sides, such as Young Chicken Stuffed with Potatoes and Shiitakes, and Potato, Leek, and Bacon Pan Fry; even breads and desserts, like Potato-Cheddar Bread with Chives and the irresistible Farmhouse Chocolate Cake (potatoes in the batter help ensure moistness).
The book also "discovers" sweet potatoes, offering recipes for this oft-neglected treat that not only include stellar versions of standbys like Baked Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows, but also Orange Semifreddo and a luscious chocolate sauce. Readers will also find formulas for such international specialties as Samosas Filled with Potatoes and Peas; Columbian Potato and Chicken Stew; and Surbiic, delicate French potato croquettes. With a detailed, up-to-date investigation of available potato types (sensibly approached in terms of starch content) and with color photos throughout, One Potato Two Potato is a definitive exploration of one of nature's most humble yet most delicious foods. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
If there were any doubt an ingredient as basic as the potato could result in exciting cooking, this tribute to the humble spud should dispel it. Cookbook editor Finamore and Fine Cooking magazine's Stevens have paired up to produce an impressive, wide-ranging potato Bible which covers everything one could hope to know about Solanum Tuberosum. The authors do a heroic job of categorizing the thousands of potato varieties, from waxy vs. starchy to news, blues, yellows and sweets. The 300-plus recipes are organized by different cooking techniques soups, gratins, baked, roasted, fried (29 recipes for mashed alone!); each begins with a brisk run-through of potato science and chemistry. Ambitious home cooks will delight in fussy offerings like "Venison and Potato Stew Cooked in a Pumpkin" and the infamously tricky Pommes Souffls (aptly subtitled "Heartbreak Disguised as a Potato"). But even simple recipes (Basic Mashed Potatoes, Classic French Fries) have been carefully tested and scaled to yield consistent results. Traditional potato recipes from around the world Vichyssoise, pierogi, samosas, shepherd's pie, red flannel hash, gnocchi, and latkes all make an appearance. The authors have also secured recipes for signature dishes by such celebrities as Martha Stewart, Tom Colicchio, Julie Sahni and Diana Kennedy. Although this is not the first potato cookbook on the market, it is certainly the most comprehensive; written with heart and humor and as versatile as the potato itself, this delightful volume should be at home on almost any cook's bookshelf.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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How difficult are the recipes? They vary, but I can tell you that you can get some spectacular results even with some of the easiest. The Gratin Dauphinoise, for example, is a simple dish of sliced potatoes, cream, milk and cheese, but the look and taste of it suggests that it took you hours to prepare. And there really is nothing quite so good as cold gratin the morning after.
Unless you're a potato fanatic, I don't know that you'll use the majority of the recipes here, but I do think that unless you hate potatoes (In which case why even read this review?) you'll find at least a few new recipes that you and your family really enjoy. Give it a try.
Author Roy Finamore and Contributor Molly Stevens start the book with 15 pages of "Potato Principles." This introduction to the humble potato is wonderful for both the beginner and the experienced chef. Think of it as a Potato ABCs. You will learn how to choose 'em, buy 'em, peel 'em, boil 'em, bake 'em, garnish 'em, etc.
My favorite part of the book, besides the luscious pictures, is the homey touch Roy and Molly have given the recipes. Each recipe begins with an anecdote or a helpful tip or a bit of trivia. We learn alot about the Authors' families and cooking habits in these elegant intros!
Even though some recipes look difficult at first, Roy and Molly put you at ease with their confidence and their attention to detail, especially about alternate ingredients. All the recipes I tried came out looking great and tasting better; no doubt this book will be one of my kitchen's most smudged and stained inhabitants, right up next to Uta Hagen's "The Love For Cooking" and Margaret and Franco Romagnoli's "The Romagnoli's Table."
The most important things are: have fun reading the book and do try some of the more interesting recipes, such as Potato & Chorizo Stew, Potatoes in Wine, Colcannon (make sure you try this delicious Irish recipe) or, our favorite, Farmhouse Chocolate Cake. (I won't tell you how the potatoes figure in, you will have to read the book!)
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