From the Ground Up

From the Ground Up

4.5 2
by James Villas
     
 

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A world tour of beloved ground meat recipes from award-winning author James Villas

Ground meats are easily affordable and amazingly versatile—and common in almost every cuisine. Ground beef, pork, poultry, and seafood are staple ingredients across continents and cultures, but they've rarely been given the respect they deserve.

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Overview

A world tour of beloved ground meat recipes from award-winning author James Villas

Ground meats are easily affordable and amazingly versatile—and common in almost every cuisine. Ground beef, pork, poultry, and seafood are staple ingredients across continents and cultures, but they've rarely been given the respect they deserve.

With favorites like the classic American hamburger and steak tartare, croquettes and crab cakes, From the Ground Up collects 200 recipes that span the globe, all presented with the passion and style that make James Villas one of the world's most admired food writers. Here, he pays loving tribute to this underappreciated culinary wonder, letting it take its rightful seat at the head of the table. With delectable dishes from far and wide, this fantastic collection is stuffed with inspiration.

  • James Villas was the food and wine editor for Town & Country magazine for 27 years and is the author of Pig, The Bacon Cookbook, and The Glory of Southern Cooking
  • Features 200 ground meat recipes from all over the world, including British meat pies, Jamaican patties, and American meatloafs and chilis
  • The perfect cookbook for families, with affordable, tasty comfort foods galore

For home cooks looking for quick and delicious dinner solutions, From the Ground Up offers classic dishes the whole family will love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As any homemaker knows, Villas, the former food and wine editor for Town & Country magazine, drives home the point that once a food substance is ground up, there is very little that cannot be done with it. Here is a sweeping survey of 200 recipes, covering the highs and lows of minced chicken, beef, pork, and seafood. Villas employs dips, loaves, patties, casseroles, and sausages to create a multicultural mosaic that includes everything from gefilte fish to Scottish deviled kidney spread, from Russian salmon croquettes to Cincinnati chili. Along the way, some lost history is also unearthed. It turns out that the original Coney Island dog was actually a bun filled with chopped frankfurter, pickle, eggs, bacon, and sauerkraut, and that a truly authentic croques monsieur calls for the ham to be coarsely ground. Each two-page recipe starts off with a brief paragraph in which the author conveys some historical notes or serving suggestions. This is followed by a succinct ingredients list, and then the preparation instructions, which rarely consist of more than four or five steps. Like a fine batch of hamburger, the book itself is of uniform simplicity and composition throughout. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
As any homemaker knows, Villas, the former food and wine editor for Town & Country magazine, drives home the point that once a food substance is ground up, there is very little that cannot be done with it. Here is a sweeping survey of 200 recipes, covering the highs and lows of minced chicken, beef, pork, and seafood. Villas employs dips, loaves, patties, casseroles, and sausages to create a multicultural mosaic that includes everything from gefilte fish to Scottish deviled kidney spread, from Russian salmon croquettes to Cincinnati chili. Along the way, some lost history is also unearthed. It turns out that the original Coney Island dog was actually a bun filled with chopped frankfurter, pickle, eggs, bacon, and sauerkraut, and that a truly authentic croques monsieur calls for the ham to be coarsely ground. Each two-page recipe starts off with a brief paragraph in which the author conveys some historical notes or serving suggestions. This is followed by a succinct ingredients list, and then the preparation instructions, which rarely consist of more than four or five steps. Like a fine batch of hamburger, the book itself is of uniform simplicity and composition throughout. (Oct.) (Publishers Weekly, June 2011)
Library Journal
This cookbook is a bible of economical ground-protein recipes for canapés, loaves, croquettes, patties, forcemeats, hashes, and more. After introducing the meats (beef, pork, fish, shellfish, poultry, and offal), Villas (Pig: King of the Southern Table) shares practical tips on equipment, shopping, and food safety. The recipes are intended for beginners, who will find it helpful to own a food processor and a meat grinder. Without photos, it's hard to imagine the visual appeal of a recipe like Scandinavian Jellied Veal Loaf; however, there are plenty of other choices that will please meat enthusiasts.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470571651
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/11/2011
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

JAMES VILLAS’s work has appeared in Esquire, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appétit , and the New York Times . He won James Beard Awards for Journalism in 2003 and for Pig: King of the Southern Table .

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From the Ground Up 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
From the Ground Up by James Villas features recipes using all kinds of ground or minced meats. If you are thinking this is a cookbook full of burgers and meatloaf think again! There are literally recipes from around the world including dumplings, turnovers, quiches and croquettes with a few comfortable favorites like chilis and meatballs through in. I was surprised by the number of fish and seafood recipes included. There are no pictures and the soft cover cookbook is pretty plain, but the recipes are easy to follow and he mentions substitutions making finding ingredients simpler. Below are the recipes I tried and what I thought of them. Spanish Chorizo- Stuffed Mushrooms - This is the best stuffed mushroom recipe I've tried! The salty, meaty sausage combined with the mushrooms make for an unami delight. This will become a regular appetizer at my parties. Greek Lamb, Raisin, and Pine Nut Spanakopitas - I liked the idea of this dish better than I liked the reality. The flavors didn't seem to go together very well and the phyllo was messy to work with. This is the one recipe I tried that I likely won't repeat. Maryland Deviled Crab - Very rich and not too spicy. This was a decadent way to start a fancy meal. I won't make this often, but when a need something rich and fancy to start, maybe New Years Eve, I'll make this again. Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes - Easy, healthier and tastier than average sloppy joes. I made these for kids and they were gobbled up. This recipe is perfect for a weeknight supper. Italian Proscuitto and Spinach Frittata - This was my favorite recipe from this cookbook. Delicious flavor combination, quick and easy to make, and I would be happy to eat it breakfast, lunch or dinner! This is a good cookbook for spicing up your regular routine!
CuteEverything More than 1 year ago
Ground meats are about the most flexible foods around. There's just one problem: What do I do with it for dinner tonight? Actually, that's no longer a problem, with From the Ground Up. Author, James Villas -- a Food & Wine editor, renowned cookbook author and James Beard Award winner -- takes us around the world with ever-versatile ground meats, including beef, pork, chicken, turkey, veal, lamb, and even seafood (ceviche, anyone?). And when I say, "around the world", I mean it; the book really is a culinary voyage across the globe, in its 400 pages of mouth-watering recipes. For instance, in the first of eleven chapters, on Appetizers, Canapes, and Dips, the thirty two recipes range from Boston Clam Dip, to Greek Lamb, Raisin and Pine Nut Spanakopitas, back to Key West for Conch Fritters (yum!) to a Japanese Shrimp Spread with Sake, a French Country Pate, or Singapore Crabmeat and Peanut Toasts. Other chapters in From the Ground Up include Soups and Salads, Sandwiches and Turnovers, Patties, Balls and Dumplings, Pies, Quiches, and Souffles, Casseroles and Pastas, Hashes and Chilies, Sausage, Sauces and many more. I think you probably get the idea: without exaggeration, From the Ground Up is THE authoritative work on ground meat dishes of all kinds. Any recipe you've ever had -- or wanted to have -- with any type of ground meat is likely to be found here. And what's more, the recipes are the kind you will actually make, over and over again, with many sure to become family favorites. Now to get busy making Meatballs Stroganoff with that ground round in the fridge... My family is going to love it!