In Pursuit of Flavor

In Pursuit of Flavor

by Edna Lewis
     
 

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Edna Lewis, whose name has become synonymous with honest American food, simply and lovingly prepared, gives us the secrets of a lifetime in pursuit of flavor. With almost 200 delicious recipes, plus notes and special boxes on important ingredients (from black-eyed peas and Virginia hams to Peking ducks and oysters) and personally developed cooking techniques (making

Overview

Edna Lewis, whose name has become synonymous with honest American food, simply and lovingly prepared, gives us the secrets of a lifetime in pursuit of flavor. With almost 200 delicious recipes, plus notes and special boxes on important ingredients (from black-eyed peas and Virginia hams to Peking ducks and oysters) and personally developed cooking techniques (making your own jelly bags, peeling chestnuts), Mrs. Lewis shows us how to get the best flavor from the foods we buy today in supermarkets and farmers’ markets.
 
Examples…
·  She puts together lovely combinations of vegetables—tomatoes and cymling squash, green peas and Vidalia onions
·  She seals in the subtle aromas of fish fillets or chicken breasts by baking them in parchment.
·  She boils fresh corn in its husk for added flavor.
·  She roasts browned bones and meats with just a little water to make a deep, rich, savory stock.
·  She braises a game bird in a clay pot with aromatic vegetables to keep it succulent.
·  She shows us how to use cut fresh herbs and when to add them.
·  She shares her secret of mixing one’s own non-chemical-tasting baking powder.
·  She persuades us to listen for signs of when a cake is done.
 
…and much more.
 
Following the seasons, Edna Lewis leads us through the chapters of this book—From the Gardens and Orchards, From the Farmyard, From the Lakes, Streams, and Oceans, For the Cupboard, From the Bread Oven and Griddle, and The Good Taste of Old-fashioned Desserts—and drawing on her childhood in Freetown, Virginia, a farming community founded by her grandfather and his friends after emancipation, she recreates some of the simple good dishes she grew up on. In addition to these “old friends” she has peppered the book with “new discoveries,” in that wonderful mingling of old and new that has made her food so sought-after at Fearrington House in North Carolina, Middleton Place in South Carolina, Uncle Sam’s in Manhattan, and other kitchens she has presided over.
 
Above all, every recipe—from Oyster Stew with Salsify to Damson Plum Pie—is illuminated with Edna Lewis’s remarkable cooking insights, which help the home cook to prepare a dish just as she has done it. And the whole book—with its charming illustrations—is flavored with the kind of personal warmth that makes it a joy to cook with Edna Lewis at your side.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Here Lewis forages into the past for the beloved foods of her Virginia childhood, cooked indoors with produce grown in the family garden``a pampered piece of soil outside the kitchen window.'' Good food, the author argues, must be ``honestly cooked'': made from produce in season that was raised organically, and prepared simply, with one's feet on the ground. Her repertoire includes distinctly Southern dishes, such as cooked greens and catfish stew, as well as many with a rural accent, requiring squirrels, she-crabs or rabbits. The down-home emphasis is occasionally varied by Nigerian and Ethiopian fare. However, Lewis's best recipes stay close to home (Vidalia onion pickles, Brunswick stew, potato cakes, peach cobber with nutmeg sauce). Admittedly fond of heavy cream, lard and other animal fats, she suggests low-fat alternatives for those who aren't. Though some of the author's deliciously old-fashioned assertions``good cooks always put up their own food''are impractical, anyone pining for food that tastes of farm and family will not be left hungry. BOMC Cooking and Crafts Club main selection. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Well-known caterer, chef, restaurant consultant, teacher, and cookbook author Lewis has developed her own style of cooking, based on Southern country dishes but influenced by her curiosity about all sorts of foods. Above all, a dish should taste good and be true to its ingredients. Many of her recipes are for old-fashioned, traditional favorites such as Chicken Soup with Dumplings; some are for unfairly forgotten dishes like Brunswick Stew. Others are African and Caribbean in origin; and manysuch as Eels and Scallopsare purely her own invention. For all collections. BOMC Main selection. JS
John Martin Taylor

As the voice of one of the first communities of freed African Americans, Edna Lewis captures the elegance of palate of Virginia with both aplomb and grace. Her recipes reflect a genuine knowledge of, and passion for, the region; their subtleties of flavor are indicative of the sure hand of an accomplished cook. Simple directions, and deeply rooted ingredients and techniques power this important voice of the twentieth-century south, and hence, the country.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385350822
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/20/2013
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
334
File size:
13 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

What People are saying about this

"As the voice of one of the first communities of freed African Americans, Edna Lewis captures the elegance of palate of Virginia with both aplomb and grace. Her recipes reflect a genuine knowledge of, and passion for, the region; their subtleties of flavor are indicative of the sure hand of an accomplished cook. Simple directions, and deeply rooted ingredients and techniques power this important voice of the twentieth-century south, and hence, the country." -- John Martin Taylor, author of Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking

John Martin Taylor

As the voice of one of the first communities of freed African Americans, Edna Lewis captures the elegance of palate of Virginia with both aplomb and grace. Her recipes reflect a genuine knowledge of, and passion for, the region; their subtleties of flavor are indicative of the sure hand of an accomplished cook. Simple directions, and deeply rooted ingredients and techniques power this important voice of the twentieth-century south, and hence, the country.

Meet the Author

Born in Freetown, Virginia, Edna Lewis now lives in New York City. In the 1940s she ran a restaurant (Café Nicholson, with John Nicholson) on Manhattan’s East Side, and she has since taught cooking classes and worked as a caterer and visiting restaurant chef. She has been featured in Gourmet, Food & Wine, Cook’s, Connoisseur, House & Garden, House Beautiful, New York, Essence, and Redbook magazines. Mrs. Lewis is the author of The Edna Lewis Cookbook and The Taste of Country Cooking.

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