Simple Fare: Rediscovering the Pleasures of Humble Food

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``As inflation shrinks the dollar,'' laments Johnson, ``honest, frugal feasts are hard come by.'' The San Francisco restaurateur, caterer, poet ( Ark ) and cookbook writer ( The American Table ) offers hearty international and regional cuisine, from ``poor man's'' cassoulet to ``real right'' scrambled eggs, Amish ``washday dinner'' and pasta with ``harlot's sauce'' (garlic, herbs, tomatoes, olives). Beginners will learn how to ``partner'' sausages with cabbages, sauerkraut, green peppers or potatoes--and will, Johnson promises, eventually master the souffle--while few sophisticates will have reason to sneer at Johnson's versions of such classics as breast of lamb Provencal, onion soup and apple dumplings. Dieters may object to the author's use of salt, butter, cream and, occasionally, lard; devotees of yup-scale specialties may find the lack of culinary froufrou (e.g., truffles) distressing. But Johnson's robust, budget-conscious meals are resoundly satisfying. Illustrations not seen by PW. (July)
Library Journal
Poet, caterer, and chef, Johnson is also author of the classic The American Table ( LJ 8/84) and two Southwest cookbooks. This book is the result of his quest for the ``best simple dishes,'' those that will feed family and friends ``at least expense, with most joy.'' Here he celebrates such homey dishes as scrambled eggs, poached mackerel, and others that may not be stylish but are always good food. Johnson's musings on culinary history and food philosophy, an integral part of the book, are reminiscent of M.F.K. Fisher's writings or John Thorne's Simple Cooking ( LJ 9/15/87), but just as surely his own.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671665852
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/15/1989
  • Pages: 363

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