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The Sustainable Kitchen: Passionate Cooking Inspired by Farms, Forests and Oceans Paperback – May 1, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stein and Hinds's Peerless Restaurant in Oregon's Rogue Valley is becoming one of the compulsory stops for foodies making West Coast pilgrimages to places like Chez Panisse and French Laundry. Now the restaurant's executive chefs present the philosophy and recipes that inform their cooking from seasonal Northwest ingredients. Eating is political for the authors, and they make a strong case for home cooks as well as restaurant chefs to support local farmers and purveyors to "encourage a regional food supply and a strong local economy, maintain a sense of community, encourage earth stewardship, and protect the future of small to medium-size family farms." Sprinkled between elegant recipes for Sweet Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Custard and Pan-Seared Alaskan Sablefish with Green Garlic, Fiddlehead Ferns and Soft Polenta are profiles of farmers and fishermen, as well as concise, non-preachy explanations of the environmental consequences of different production methods, in order to help readers make responsible and sustainable choices. The emphasis is firmly on Pacific Northwest products, especially fish and seafood, but each recipe offers substitutions to encourage cooks to use sources from close to home. The first step to a good meal is quality ingredients, and for Stein and Hinds that starts with knowing where your food comes from. 30 color and b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Stu Stein is an Executive Chef at The Peerless Restaurant in Ashland, Oregon which he owns with his partner Mary Hinds. An award-winning chef whose history includes work in France, Atlanta, Kansas City and Washington D.C., he has been a featured chef on the nationally syndicated cooking series "New American Cuisine" and a Chief Instructor at the California Culinary Academy. He has contributed to several cookbooks.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 086571505X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865715059
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,438,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Deland on June 14, 2004
OK, let's get the disclosures out of the way: my husband and I are fortunate to live near Ashland, OR and we are huge fans of the Peerless Restaurant. I was also fortunate to be one of the recipe testers while they were writing their book. That said, this is a great cookbook with very do-able recipes that any home cook with a little bit of experience should be able to do. I tried 6 of the recipes during the testing phase and a couple of others since the book just came out and they were all winners.
I might not be able to duplicate the beautiful presentations that Stu and Mary offer at Peerless but the flavors of the home-cooked versions as compared to the restaurant versions are right on. The recipes give clear instructions, advice regarding advance preparations, ideas for substitutions, and wine recommendations.
Interspersed with the recipes are essays on how to make food choices that are good for our planet, eating seasonally, and interviews with artisanal food producers which give the reader an appreciation for the foods we eat and an understanding of how they are grown and produced.
This is an excellent, fun-to-read introduction to sustainable and seasonable cooking that tastes great too!
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Stu Stein and Mary Hinds are acclaimed chefs and co-owners of The Peerless Restaurant in southern Oregon. Together with Judith H. Dern, they have collaborated in The Sustainable Kitchen: Passionate Cooking Inspired By Farms, Forests And Oceans, a compilation of fresh, seasonal, flavorful, original, and thoroughly "kitchen cook friendly" recipes. Enhanced with 75 color and b/w photos, these delicious recipes range from Asparagus Custard; Three Oyster Stew; Heirloom Tomato Salad with Grilled Red Torpedo Onions and Pesto Vinaigrette; and Slow Roasted Ivory King Salmon with a Ragout of Mushrooms, Spinach and Fingerling Potatoes; to Sage Rubbed Leg of Pork with Apple-Fennel Pan Sauce; Root Vegetable and Onion Marmalade Pave; Chocolate Peppermint Brownie; and Honey Tangerine-Meringue Tartlet with Grand Marnier Pastry Cream and Berry Coulis. The Sustainable Kitchen will prove to be a welcome and appreciated addition to any kitchen cookbook collection!
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The intent of most vegetable gardeners extends beyond the carefully nurtured ecosystem to the plate. An early entry into the gardening cookbook category, The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash (Knopf, 1982), has long been a favorite of mine, with its delicious recipes side-by-side with planting and cultivating suggestions and the sometimes too-precious stories about the famous made-for-PBS garden. But that book stops short of integration into the wider food equation, the systems that feed us. Enter The Sustainable Kitchen.

A cookbook, this collection of scrumptious recipes is interspersed with theory. Though this isn't a large volume it is amazingly comprehensive, carrying you through from appetizers to nuts with seasonal dessert recipes that range from the crunch of Sun-Dried Cherry Biscotti to the liquid -- Chilled Syrah Poached Rhubarb Soup. Recipe ingredients include fish, shellfish, poultry, beef, pork, game, eggs, cheeses, and wild mushrooms, as well as fruits and vegetables, and a section on wine selection offers a splendid short course on a complex subject.

Whether you are a vegetarian (with the enormous ecologic benefits that inhere) or an omnivore, the authors want you to consider the source and the season when you choose your diets. Local and fresh are best -- not only because local is fresher, but because dollars stay in the local economy. They explain why most fish farming is a source of environmental degradation, how to tell the difference, and which methods of catching fish are most sustainable (as well as which fish are now managed most sustainably). Distinctions in meat production are made clear as well, with specific guidelines about humane treatment, organic feedstock (and no animal byproducts or waste), no use of hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics and growing the animals on land that is treated as a sustainable resource.
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I give this fascinating book four stars, only, because there are a few noteworthy discrepancies in information found therein, I believe.
This may be due to it being published several years ago. "Sustainable" usually leads today's foodies toward a few certainties in preparation techniques and ingredients. Sea Salt is always superior to "iodized salt", for example. Choice of flours and sweeteners are also important to add the most nutrition to foods, even desserts! There seems to be a lot omitted here, that could be expected to be included in a cookbook with these stated goals. However, there are some exquisite recipes and other worthy information packed into this book, which, with some healthful tinkering could be very valuable, indeed. Therefore, with these noted reservations, I recommend The Sustainable Kitchen to serious students of healthful, delicious food!
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