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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Once again, the very dependable Pam Anderson has spent countless hours in the kitchen, developing by trial and error the very best way to a recipe so you can get it right from the beginning.
How do you get a great Caesar salad without adding raw eggs, or peanut butter cookies that don't fall apart before baking? Anderson has tested her way through each recipe -- often up to 75 times. She even went through 80 pounds of sweet potatoes on the way to eight different recipes for holiday sweet potato dishes. Now, that's a perfectionist at work.
These 100-plus recipes are the great everyday dishes you (and your family) would be thrilled to get really right: tender pot roast, spaghetti with meatballs, great fajitas, 14 variations on pasta salad, and the truly perfect chocolate chip cookie. Some recipes work well for holidays or weekend entertaining -- poached or grilled salmon for a crowd, vegetable lasagna, and grilled butterflied leg of lamb.
I confess that I love this genre of cookbook, where the author details the trials and errors en route to perfection -- the different doughs for cinnamon rolls, for examples, made variously with two yolks, then four yolks, then two whole eggs and two extra yolks. (The latter produced the best results for Anderson.) These books read like little culinary thrillers. If you like to cook more than a little, you could spend a fine Saturday afternoon shuttling among The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook, David Rosengarten's Taste, and Pam Anderson's CookSmart and The Perfect Recipe, having mini competitions for which book has the best fried chicken, barbecued ribs, gazpacho, or chocolate chip cookie. Your friends and family would enjoy it, too. (Ginger Curwen)