- Hardcover: 380 pages
- Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 25, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618132694
- ISBN-13: 978-0618132690
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.9 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Perfect Recipe Hardcover – April 25, 2001
"The Dream Daughter: A Novel" by Diane Chamberlain
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Other reviewers have mentioned that "Perfect Recipe" is practically a remake of CI's "The Best Recipe", but has far fewer recipes and represents a lesser value for the reader (although it also costs less). The criticism has merit, but I think this book still has a place if the libraries of some cooks. I am thinking here of novice and middling cooks who find the dense, cluttered potpourri layout of the CI books unappealing or intimidating. There are also cooks who couldn't care less about ingredient and appliance brand reviews that pad out every variation of CI/ATK books. For these reader, "The Perfect Recipe" offers a contrasting format with a much simpler and easier-to-follow style - even the typeset and margins are larger and any given page is usually only devoted to one variation of a recipe.
A good example of the cookbook's value is Anderson's chapter on roasting chicken. She shows how to "butterfly" a chicken for quicker/easier roasting, and gives several variations of the recipe, any one which will yield excellent results. I was basically afraid to try this method before reading this chapter (even after seeing Alton Brown's excellent show on the subject) , but Anderson's detailed instructions removed those qualms and left me raring and eager to try it. If a cookbook empowers me to try one new thing, I consider it worth the purchase price...so I am happy with "The Perfect Recipe". I am confident that other readers may well find that Anderson's style is just the ticket to help them get past their fear of other basic topics in food prep.
Weaknesses: For my taste, the chapter on "Special Occasion" foods (crown roast, Thanksgiving turkey, etc) was both too long and too short. Most of these recipes are of little use for a single bachelor - but if you are going to have them, you need more than just a few standards). But I understand that Anderson was making a judgement call on how to structure her book, and that other people will regard the chapter as a Godsend.
So if you are a hardcore cook with 200-300 volumes in your library (including some or all of the "Best Recipe" volumes) you probably won't need (or want) "The Perfect Recipe". But if you are a newer cook trying to upgrade your recipes to the next level, Anderson may provide you the entry you are looking for.
Sorry ...no glossy photos...don't be put off by that...it is wonderful, concise, and easy reading.
Ok Let's get serious: Chicken Soup, Clam Chowder, Beef Soup, Stir Fry, Macaroni and Cheese,Pizza, Chicken, Fried Chicken, Chicken Pot Pie, Hamburger*, Meat Loaf*, Beef Stew**, Special Dinners: Roast Turkey, Cornish Hen, Prime Rib, Pork Roast, Lobster. Side Dishes: Cole Slaw, Greens, Corn-on-the-cob, Potato Salad, Mashed Potatoes. Breads: Bread, Corn Bread, Muffins, Pancakes. Desserts: Various Cobblers, Strawberry Shortcake, Apple Pie, Lemon Meringue, Cream Pie, Cheese Cake (various textures), Brownies, Rolled Cookies. That's It. She has done her homework and you will be a better cook for having bought the book. I have not read "Cook's Illustrated" so I can't comment.
P.S. For 5 stars, you got to have those glossy photos. Am I right?
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But for when he entertains...a lifesaver!!