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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
You might think that Jody Adams, one of Boston's brightest young chefs, would want you to spend more time in restaurants -- her restaurant, in particular -- but in fact, she wants to seduce you into spending more time in your own kitchen. "Make it your business to cook just a little beyond your abilities," she urges.
For Adams, the immediacy of mincing garlic, chopping vegetables, or stripping kale is its own satisfaction. She is a great advocate for so-called artisanal home food -- the art of taking high-quality raw ingredients through a series of steps to a finished state. Adams cooks from a European culinary mind-set, using regional recipes, but often with ingredients from Rhode Island or Maine. The resulting dishes are sophisticated and inventive -- Clam and White Bean Soup with Fennel, Anchovy, and Lemon, for example, or Tagliatelle with Shad Roe, Pancetta, and Spinach.
Adams worked at many great Boston restaurants (Seasons, Hammersley's Bistro, Michela's) before starting her own. Although this is not a restaurant cookbook, In the Hands of a Chef contains a chapter with such signature Rialto dishes as Roasted Marinated Long Island Duck with Green Olive and Balsamic Vinegar Sauce and a Soupe de Poisson that made Jacques Pépin drool.
Adams is particularly helpful on technique. She has tips on pitting a lot of olives at once, peeling cooked beets (use plastic surgical gloves), working with squid and octopus, and preparing fava beans (the short blanch vs. the long blanch). All the recipes are adapted for the home kitchen but call for ingredients that you may not commonly use. (Ginger Curwen)