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Wine Country Cooking Paperback – August 1, 2008
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Let Joanne Weir take you to the thirty-eighth parallel--heaven on earth--with her incredible wine country recipes. There is no healthier, more delicious way to eat and live, and Joanne makes it easy.
--Andrea Robinson, host of Local Flavor and author of Andrea Robinson s Wine Buying Guide for Everyone
Joanne Weir invites you into the kitchen and makes cooking as much fun as eating. Her passion is compelling, and her techniques are both classic and clever.
--Gina Gallo, winemaker, Gallo Family Vineyards
Joanne Weir s bubbly personality and wit come through in every recipe of Wine Country Cooking. Her food sparkles with flavor, there is a sensibility in the products chosen, and the preparation is simple and fun. A great book to cook from.
--Lidia Bastianich, host of Lidia s Italy and Lidia s Family Table and author of the companion cookbooks
From the Publisher
Nationally known chef and PBS television personality Joanne Weir shares her favorite Mediterranean-influenced recipes from California wine country. * Recipes span soups, salads, first courses, main courses, and desserts, each with wine pairings. * Joanne Weir's Cooking Class airs regularly on public television nationwide.
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For example, in the recipe for "Pears and figs with pecorino, walnuts and honey", the first instruction is to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. It then continues with the preparation of the fruit and cheese - slicing, coring and shaving. It goes from there to "to serve, place fig leaves on a platter. Top with the pears. Disperse the figs between the pears. Top with the shaved pecorino. Drizzle warmed honey over the top, and scatter the walnuts before serving.
At no point does it mention when it should be put in the oven, or for how long. Do you use a roasting pan, or a rack set inside the pan? Do you roast just the fruit, or roast the walnuts as well?
I have found similar errors and omissions in other recipes in the book, so I do not recommend it for beginning cooks. An experienced cook who has some knowledge of how and why things "work" in food preparation might find the concepts interesting. This is a book for inspiration rather than practical advice for food preparation.
"My new cookbook focuses on the fabulous ingredients found in the California wine country and uses some of my most favorite ingredients: olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, figs, lemons and herbs. My first TV companion book, Weir Cooking: Recipes from the Wine Country has been out of print for years, and this book includes those original recipes plus 50 brand new recipes, new headnotes, cooking tips, and of course fantastic wine pairings. Even the beautiful photos have taken on a new life! You will absolutely love cooking from this book!"
Beyond that ...
The book's content is superb, and there are some terrific, mouth watering food images inside, so it's a bit of surprise that they chose such a dowdy, washed out photo for the cover (it looks like a boring photo from the 1960s/1970s). They probably chose it because it includes wine and so goes with the title, but any number of colorful, impressive food images found inside the book would have been better than the one they chose -- so don't judge a book by its cover, as they say.
I really like that I can go through the book, find several recipes for the week, and make a grocery list with lots of overlapping ingredients. I use up the food I buy easily instead of trying to find a way to avoid waste. I love the use of fresh herbs in her recipes. And based on what we normally eat I can generally find several recipes that don't require a run to the store. I have also been able to cut the recipes in half with no problem (there are just 2 of us). Just enough for dinner plus leftovers for DH's lunch the next day.
I have started buying this book as an "add-on" wedding gift for our friends.
If you're kind of on the fence and like fresh ingredients that give big flavor, please give this book a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed!