The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century

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Overview

Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation Award in General Cooking: All the best recipes from 150 years of distinguished food journalism-a volume to take its place in America's kitchens alongside Mastering the Art of French Cooking and How to Cook Everything.
Amanda Hesser, the well-known New York Times food columnist, brings her signature voice and expertise to this compendium of influential and delicious recipes from chefs, home cooks, and food writers. Devoted Times ...

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Overview

Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation Award in General Cooking: All the best recipes from 150 years of distinguished food journalism-a volume to take its place in America's kitchens alongside Mastering the Art of French Cooking and How to Cook Everything.
Amanda Hesser, the well-known New York Times food columnist, brings her signature voice and expertise to this compendium of influential and delicious recipes from chefs, home cooks, and food writers. Devoted Times subscribers will find the many treasured recipes they have cooked for years—Plum Torte, David Eyre's Pancake, Pamela Sherrid's Summer Pasta—as well as favorites from the early Craig Claiborne New York Times Cookbook and a host of other classics—from 1940s Caesar salad and 1960s flourless chocolate cake to today's fava bean salad and no-knead bread.
Hesser has cooked and updated every one of the 1,000-plus recipes here. Her chapter introductions showcase the history of American cooking, and her witty and fascinating headnotes share what makes each recipe special. The Essential New York Times Cookbook is for people who grew up in the kitchen with Claiborne, for curious cooks who want to serve a nineteenth-century raspberry granita to their friends, and for the new cook who needs a book that explains everything from how to roll out dough to how to slow-roast fish—a volume that will serve as a lifelong companion.

Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation Award for General Cooking

Winner of the 2011 IACP Cookbook Award for Compilations

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hesser, a food columnist for the New York Times, offers a superb compilation of the most noteworthy recipes published by the paper since it started covering food in the 1850s. What she has produced is no less a chronicle of American culinary history--an evolutionary progression that marks the notable and sometimes regrettable changes in our approach to food--than a cookbook. Recipe originators are a hodgepodge of talent, including noted chefs and the kitchens of famed restaurants such as Le Bernardin as well as Times writers, most notably Craig Claiborne, whose culinary mastery is evidenced throughout. Every category of food is covered, and each recipe is accompanied by serving suggestions for complementary dishes within the book. From 1877's tomato soup and 1907's roast quail with sage dressing to Eisenhower's steak in the fire and 1968's sour cream coffee cake, Hesser showcases the best of the best. Each recipe is dated, and many include cooking notes. Hesser, whose witty bent permeates every page, does a more than admirable job with this stellar collection of more than 1,400 recipes, which should grace the shelves of every food-lover. (Oct.)
Library Journal
[star]New York Times food editor and writer Hesser (Cooking for Mr. Latte) spent six years combing the Times's vast recipe archive, cooking her way through more than 1000 recipes to assemble this indispensible tome culled from 150 years of the paper's food columns. This daunting compendium features both noteworthy classics (Osso Buco) and modern recipes (Smoked Mashed Potatoes) that have been tested and, in some cases, updated for the contemporary cook. Chapters begin with a time line and are arranged by type of food (e.g., soups, vegetables, cakes) then chronologically within the chapter, making for a fascinating historic overview of the interests of American cooks. Recipes contain informative, entertaining, and unaffected introductions by Hesser coupled with cooking notes and serving suggestions. Citations for the original articles are included, should one wish to read the recipe in its original context.Verdict Intended as an "eclectic panorama" of recipes rather than an encyclopedic cookbook, this is an excellent addition for home chefs of all abilities. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/10; six-city tour.]—Pauline Baughman, Multnomah Cty. Lib., Portland, OR

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

The Barnes & Noble Review

While many of its recipes are laden with heavy cream and butter, the richest ingredient in Amanda Hesser's wonderful new compendium -- culled from 150 years of New York Times food columns -- is her delightfully personable voice, which readers have come to love in her previous books, Cooking for Mr. Latte and The Cook and the Gardener, her food stories for The Times, and her blog, Food52.com. "Did I mention that it would not be an update of Claiborne's book?" she writes in her introduction, referring to the cookbook on which many of us cut our culinary teeth, Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Cookbook, first published in 1961 and still in print.

The Essential New York Times Cookbook is a rarity among cookbooks, both useful and entertaining -- "a kind of 150-year flip book of American cooking," as Hesser puts it, complete with fascinating timelines of culinary trends. "Poring through the archives reminded me that food is like fashion, a business of recycling and tweaking," she comments. Her entry for soups in the 1880s reads, "If you are a clam or a lobster, there is a strong chance you'll end up in chowder or bisque."

Hesser is wonderfully opinionated. You may not always agree with her, but you'll know where she stands. She declares the first 40 years of the 20th century "a culinary abyss" and remarks of the 1940s and '50s,"if you could taste some of the recipes I made from this era, you would see that I am saving you from a world of hurt." Defending her decision to exclude postwar recipes like bacon and peanut butter canapés, she reminds us, "This is a cookbook, not Madame Tussaud's."

What does make the cut, after Hesser's marathon testing, are more than 1,000 recipes, both basics and "whoppingly time-consuming" projects, arranged chronologically within each category (cocktails, soups, salads, chicken, etc., through desserts). What you won't find are luscious photographs: no food porn here, just tried-and-true recipes placed in historical context with witty commentary. Yet a commitment to quality ingredients is on display as well. The headnote to a 2001 recipe for Pork Braised in Milk and Cream (a sort of Kosher nightmare), reads, "Commercial pork loin has become so lean that it's not worth your time cooking it. Only make this dish if you can get your hands on a pork loin from a small farm raising nice plump heritage pigs." As for that milk and cream, don't even think of substituting reduced fat versions.

Old favorites include Mary Lincoln's Horseradish Sauce from 1897, "presumably conceived before she lost her mind," Claiborne's blender Salmon Mousse from 1961, James Beard's Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic from 1997, and an easy, eggless, butterless cocoa Amazon Cake from 2002, about which Hesser comments, "Will it be the best cake ever? No. But it will be very good and it will be homemade."

We've had a spectacularly gluttonous couple of weeks chez McAlpin digging into several of the dozens of recipes I've flagged, including Watermelon Gazpacho whipped up in a blender; a Sausage, Bean and Corn Stew perfect for late summer or early fall; Chicken with Sour Cream, Lemon Juice and Mango Chutney, which Hesser's husband made on an early date; Pierre Hermé's amazing Chocolate Sablés; and the Purple Plum Torte that's both the most requested and most often published recipe in the Times archives. They're all keepers -- as is this utterly delectable book.

--Heller McAlpin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393061031
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/25/2010
  • Pages: 960
  • Sales rank: 136,100
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Amanda Hesser has been a food columnist and editor at the New York Times for more than a decade. She is the author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook, the award-winning Cooking for Mr. Latte and The Cook and the Gardener, and editor of the essay collection Eat, Memory. Hesser is also the co-founder of food52.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Tad Friend, and their two children.

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Recipe

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. 1. Drinks, Cocktails, Punches, and Glögg
2. 2. Hors d'Oeuvres, Snacks, and Small Dishes
3. 3. Soups
4. 4. Salads
5. 5. Vegetables
6. 6. Potatoes, Corn, and Legumes
7. 7. Pasta, Rice, Grains, and Stuffings
8. 8. Sandwiches, Pizza, and Savory Pies
9. 9. Fish and Shellfish
10. 10. Poultry and Game
11. 11. Beef, Veal, Lamb, and Pork
12. 12. Sauces, Dressings, Condiments, Rubs, and Preserves
13. 13. Breakfast and Brunch
14. 14. Breads and Baking
15. 15. Cookies and Candy
16. 16. Frozen Desserts
17. 17. Cakes
18. 18. Pies, Tarts, and Other Desserts
Menus
Sources
Credits
Photo Credits
Index
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 102 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 102 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2012

    I have a ton of cookbooks and was severely disappointed with thi

    I have a ton of cookbooks and was severely disappointed with this one. The recipes just aren't appealing enough to actually MAKE.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2011

    Waste of Money

    I have a collection of the New York Times Cookbooks dating back to 1961.
    This author has not included any of the best. Disappointed and gave the book away. Not one recipe worth trying.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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