The Best American Recipes 2000

Overview

In its first year, THE BEST AMERICAN RECIPES established itself as a runaway success and a newsmaker in the food world and was hailed as one of the top cookbooks by the NEW YORK TIMES, the BOSTON GLOBE, HARPER'S BAZAAR, and many other major publications. For this volume, editors Fran McCullough and Suzanne Hamlin have assembled an even larger collection of the year’s best recipes from an even wider array of sources. The result is a dazzlingly diverse collection. There are weekday dinners: a skillet supper that no...

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Overview

In its first year, THE BEST AMERICAN RECIPES established itself as a runaway success and a newsmaker in the food world and was hailed as one of the top cookbooks by the NEW YORK TIMES, the BOSTON GLOBE, HARPER'S BAZAAR, and many other major publications. For this volume, editors Fran McCullough and Suzanne Hamlin have assembled an even larger collection of the year’s best recipes from an even wider array of sources. The result is a dazzlingly diverse collection. There are weekday dinners: a skillet supper that no family cook should be without, a huge vegetarian feast in a single bowl, a winter salad that won the hearts of a top food magazine’s editors. There are recipes to satisfy our latest cultural cravings: the lamb shanks that knowledgeable New Yorkers consider the best, an easy Indonesian chicken that Lauren Bacall reportedly adores, a slow-roasted salmon from the country’s most fashionable Irish chef. There are great grilling recipes, cutting-edge dishes, best-ever holiday classics, and for dessert, everything from simple cookies to a show-stopping chocolate cake.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Throw out all those clippings—here’s what’s worth saving from every magazine article, book, church newsletter, Internet chat room, and newsgroup from the past year.”

The New York Times

"A great compendium of recipes."—House Beautiful

"This eclectic, clever collection reminds me of the first SILVER PALATE COOKBOOK. . .full of interesting but not complex recipes that work."

The San Francisco Chronicle

"A well-rounded everyman's cookbook."

Harper's Bazaar

"A perfect gift for the busy (and perhaps less experienced) cook." - Food & Wine

"If Mr. Ducasse wants to get a handle on what is really happening in this country, foodwise, he should take a look at The Best American Recipes 2000, edited by Fran McCullough and Suzanne Hamlin. The range should be eye-opening, as well as the ingenuity: from Steven Raichlen's version of beer-can chicken to dessert chef Francois Payards rhubarb soup. " The Wall Street Journal

From the Publisher

“Throw out all those clippings—here’s what’s worth saving from every magazine article, book, church newsletter, Internet chat room, and newsgroup from the past year.”

The New York Times

"A great compendium of recipes."—House Beautiful

"This eclectic, clever collection reminds me of the first SILVER PALATE COOKBOOK. . .full of interesting but not complex recipes that work."

The San Francisco Chronicle

"A well-rounded everyman's cookbook."

Harper's Bazaar

"A perfect gift for the busy (and perhaps less experienced) cook." - Food & Wine

"If Mr. Ducasse wants to get a handle on what is really happening in this country, foodwise, he should take a look at The Best American Recipes 2000, edited by Fran McCullough and Suzanne Hamlin. The range should be eye-opening, as well as the ingenuity: from Steven Raichlen's version of beer-can chicken to dessert chef Francois Payards rhubarb soup. " The Wall Street Journal

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The second volume in this new series starts out with a snappy list of the year's trends in food that names the potato "Vegetable of the Year" and slow roasting the hottest technique. Recipes, drawn from a variety of sources, are often so simple that it's a surprise to see them here (e.g., Garlicky Baked Chicken from Sara Moulton's Web site is just thighs or breasts coated with bread crumbs and cheese, then baked to a crisp). And the editors clearly have never met a gimmick they didn't like: they coo over Beer Can Chicken (the diner rests the chicken on the can) and delight in Grilled Duck in a Jar (the duck is marinated in the jar, so that it is "ready to be admired by those who will soon enjoy it"). Recipes with an ethnic bent, such as Tunisian Chickpea Stew and Kashmiri-Style Leg of Lamb, are among the most appealing. Each recipe credits the chef and the source and is accompanied by notes and serving suggestions, such as pairing the Twelve-Hour Roast Pork from Suzanne Somers' Get Skinny on Fabulous Food with Creamy Mashed Potatoes from Gourmet. this book is a fun read and will most likely sell well, but it is not the definitive source its editors envision it to be. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618009961
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Series: Best American Recipes Series
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 7.13 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Fran McCullough has been an editor at Harper and Row, Dial Press, and Bantam, where she discovered such major cookbook authors as Deborah Madison, Diana Kennedy, Paula Wolfert, Martha Rose Shulman, and Colman Andrews. She is a coauthor of Great Food Without Fuss, which won a James Beard Award, and the author of the best-selling Low-Carb Cookbook, The Good Fat Cookbook, and Living Low-Carb.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction PEOPLE ALWAYS ASK US how we choose the recipes that make up the annual Best American collections. And although we do have some criteria - taste first and foremost, recipes that solve problems, dishes we get excited about and can’t wait to make again - the fact is that we’ve developed a kind of radar for these distinctive recipes. It’s as though a little bell goes off in our heads when we first read them, and then we have to go back and see why.
To a reader, it may seem odd to have a fancy recipe such as chef Thomas Keller’s elegant cheese crisps molded in an egg carton in the same book with an unabashedly down-home recipe such as Beer Can Chicken. But to our taste, the barriers between haute and earthy have all but disappeared. You wouldn’t necessarily serve these radically different dishes in the same meal, but one can be dressed up and the other dressed down so that they definitely belong in the same kitchen and fall into the category of favorite recipes you make over and over again. They’re both unusual, and they both deliver exciting food for a minimum of effort.
Most of all, we love smart recipes that maximize flavor. They may be smart because they’re fast (or for that matter, slow, the better to develop flavor), or because they’re foolproof, or because they give a classic dish a new life. Or they may just be a best-ever version of a beloved American classic, or an exotic dish we could scarcely imagine ourselves making even five years ago.
We’re also mindful of what’s really useful to our readers. We know you need a quick potato dish that tastes brand-new and goes with everything (that’s Roasted Potato Crisps with Fresh Herbs); we know there are never enough delicious Christmas cookies (and that you’ll love Christmas Casserole Cookies); we know you need a big salad that can go to a picnic or sit on a buffet table for hours (Cauliflower, Broccoflower, and Frisée Salad with Olives). All of us need a delectable dinner we can make in nothing flat, like Green Chile Cheese Puff. And we have to admit that we also love to have fun in the kitchen, which is why we couldn’t resist the completely outrageous Texas Lemon Bombe, with its me-ringue topping swirled in the unmistakable style of former Texas governor Ann Richards’s coiffure. It seems almost incredible that we’re still discovering new kitchen tricks for dealing with standard ingredients, but fortunately that’s the case. This year we hope to entice you to change the way you cook potatoes as well as salmon fillets, not to mention the simplest possible way to cook mussels.
What about magical ingredients? Our vote this year goes to two Asian spice blends: Chinese five-spice powder and Japanese seven-spice powder. These fragrant blends do wonders for grilled food and vegetables. As we become more familiar with Asian dishes casually produced in our own kitchens, Asian spice blends will become as common as chili powder.
And we’re also rediscovering old tricks: after roasting several standing rib roasts last year in a fruitless search for the perfect roast beef, we feel our prayers have been answered this year with the republication of a long-lost high-temperature roast beef, which was developed by kitchen wizard Ann Seranne. For us, this is the all-time best roast beef, the one that defies all the fancy high-tech thermometers to produce a sensational rare roast beef so easy you can practically cook it in your sleep. And the oven stays free for last-minute side dishes.

AS ALWAYS, OUR SOURCES are virtually endless: the perhaps 600 cookbooks published each year, the many food magazines and the recipe sections of general magazines, the food sections of newspapers everywhere, newsletters, handouts, press releases, the back of the box - and most mind-boggling of all, the Internet. In cyberspace, millions of cooks work day and night, contributing a steady stream of hundreds of thousands of recipes - and in the process create a lively community of passionate cooks. Have we looked at every single recipe? Of course not. Have we found some great food on the Internet? Absolutely, and many of the best recipes made our list this year.
In short, we’ve looked at thousands of recipes, cooked hundreds of them, and come up with this carefully considered collection of what are, for us, the essential recipes of the year. So here they are, with notes to the cook, serving suggestions, wine choices, and variations. The proof of the pudding will be, as always, in your kitchen. Let us know what you think, and let us know (in care of our publisher) when you find a truly superb recipe you think we ought to consider, especially if it’s from a source outside the mainstream world of food. If we haven’t seen it before and we decide to use it, we’ll not only credit you with discovering it, we’ll send you a copy of the collection it appears in. So cook up a storm, and may you eat as well this year as we have.

Fran Mccullough

Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company Introduction and text copyright © 2000 by Fran McCullough Text copyright © 2000 by Suzanne Hamlin

Cinnamon Buns from Heaven

Cook : Nicki Cross Source : Oregonian, Portland, Oregon

Somewhere in the back of most Americans’ minds, there’s a vivid memory of an archetypal cinnamon bun, against which all others must be measured and found wanting. Nicki Cross had such a memory from her eastern Oregon childhood, and she knew the source: a school lunchroom worker in Prairie City. Although she never found the exact recipe for those buns, she worked out this version, which gathers so many raves it’s been reprinted four times in the Oregonian.
We were determined to find a great cinnamon bun this year and baked our way through a number of disappointments before we found Cross’s. This is the real thing: rich, sweet, and huge. We preferred making slightly smaller rolls (18 instead of 12) and skipping the glaze (see note, page 74).

serves 12 to 18

Dough 1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees) 2 envelopes active dry yeast 1 teaspoon plus 2/3 cup sugar 1 cup milk, heated to lukewarm 2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) butter, softened 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 2 teaspoons salt 7-8 cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed Filling 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted 1 3/4 cups sugar 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional) 1 1/2 cups raisins (optional)

Creamy Glaze 2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) butter, melted 4 cups confectioners’ sugar 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/4-1/2 cup hot water

For the dough Combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a cup and stir; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, butter, eggs, and salt. Stir well and add the yeast mixture. Add 3 1/2 cups flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until the dough is slightly stiff - it will be sticky. Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, adding just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking. Place in a well-buttered glass or plastic bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough and let it rest for 5 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 15-by-20-inch rectangle.

For the filling Spread 1/2 cup of the melted butter on the dough. In a small bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle over the dough, then sprinkle with the walnuts and raisins, if desired. Roll up like a jellyroll and pinch the edges together to seal. Cut the roll into 12 or 18 slices.
If making 12 buns, use the remaining 1/2 cup melted butter to coat the bottoms of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and an 8-inch square baking pan; if making 18 buns, use two 13-by-9-inch pans. Sprinkle the pans with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place the cinnamon bun slices close together in the pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough is doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the buns are nicely browned. Let cool slightly before glazing.

For the glaze In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. Add the hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a spreadable glaze. Spread the glaze over the buns and serve.

Tip To save time in the morning, make the rolls a day ahead up to the final rise, then let them rise slowly overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Cook’s notes A simple dusting of confectioners’ sugar is a great topping for the buns, which are already so over the top that the glaze is almost too much.
You can play with the filling ingredients: try golden raisins or currants, use pecans instead of walnuts, add some nutmeg or mace and a little grated lemon zest.

Cinnamon Buns from Heaven recipe by Nicki Cross, article by staff of the Portland Oregonian, November 2, 1999. Copyright © 1999 by Nicki Cross.

Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company Introduction and text copyright © 2000 by Fran McCullough Text copyright © 2000 by Suzanne Hamlin

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Table of Contents

Contents Foreword by Paul Theroux vii Introduction by Fran McCullough xi The Year in Food xiii Starters 1 Soups 23 Salads 49 Breakfast and Brunch 71 Main Dishes 97 Side Dishes 194 Breads 243 Desserts 258 Drinks 321 Credits 328 Index 335

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