Unplugged Kitchen: A Return to the Simple, Authentic Joys of Cooking

Overview

In Unplugged Kitchen, sliced peaches become a filling for a country sandwich, Sweet Rum Ricotta becomes an afternoon snack, and the steaming juice of leafy greens becomes "The Verdura Cure." This is no ordinary cookbook. Not only do the recipes have the power to change our perceptions about food but Unplugged Kitchen offers us a map through the landscape of food, with its rituals and its particular pleasures. In the sensory world of Unplugged Kitchen, your nose pressed to a tomato tells you how freshness smells ...
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1996 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

In Unplugged Kitchen, sliced peaches become a filling for a country sandwich, Sweet Rum Ricotta becomes an afternoon snack, and the steaming juice of leafy greens becomes "The Verdura Cure." This is no ordinary cookbook. Not only do the recipes have the power to change our perceptions about food but Unplugged Kitchen offers us a map through the landscape of food, with its rituals and its particular pleasures. In the sensory world of Unplugged Kitchen, your nose pressed to a tomato tells you how freshness smells and your eyes measure olive oil in puddles. You crush walnuts in a beautiful mortar and press soup through a food mill to create more interesting textures. Viana goes wherever food delights and brings us along to taste asparagus in Rome, radishes and butter in a Parisian cafe, and green almonds under a tree in a Sicilian garden. Along the way she reacquaints us with core ingredients. The verdant scent of lustrous white spring onions, prepared in a Fava and Spring Onion Pasta, is a welcome to spring. Viana reveals the tomato in all its absolute glory, whether it's served pure as nature in a tangy Tomato Cocktail, 1930s style, or as a perfumed dip fragrant with lavish green coriander.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
LaPlace (Verdura) extols the sensual rewards of cookingand eatingsimple Italian fare. In her utopian kitchen, produce from roadside markets shares space on well-worn countertops with hand-driven tools. Slicing, chopping, grinding a pestle in a mortar or turning the handle of a food mill or cheese grater are physical acts that bring the cook close to her ingredients and preclude the need for kitchen machines. Some 200 meatless recipes rely on established tradition and embrace the current vogue for simplicity. Most call for surprisingly few ingredients and preparation steps, allowing cooks to attend closely to selecting the best ingredients, to engage fully in the processes of preparation (one of which is the oft-forgotten step of tasting) and presentation. Recipes include such earthy fare as Persian Herb Pie; Red Squash and Bread Soup; Refined Artichoke and Potato Stew; Green Tomato Risotto; and Fresh Figs with Almond and Chocolate Stuffing. LaPlace's focus on simplicity revives such elementary satisfactions as a Tomato Cocktail, a Peach Sandwich or tangerines eaten with a cup of espresso. Chapter headings and brief essays scattered throughout recall how a food or dining custom transformed a routine moment into a lasting, redolent memory. This is a purist's book that is likely to reawaken for many modern cooks the essential pleasures of the basic acts of cooking. (Oct.)
Library Journal
La Place is the author of Verdura (LJ 3/15/91), a charming collection of vegetable dishes, and Panini, Bruschetta, Crostini (LJ 5/15/94). Her recipes have always been uncomplicated and fresh, highlighting the flavors of a few carefully chosen ingredients, and her intensely personal new book can be seen as a somewhat more stripped-down version of her characteristic approach. Get rid of measuring spoons and abhor the food processor, she cautions, and say good-bye to paper towels and plastic wrap. Often recipes have no more than two, perhaps three ingredientsdemanding, obviously, only perfect raw materials. Grouped into short chapters such as Living Salads, Real Soup, or Pasta per Tutti, the recipes are accompanied by food memories and meditations: Tasting Olive Oil in Puglia, for example, or Shell Peas, Live Longer. Some will be enchanted by La Place's back-to-basics musings; others may be put off by her rarified visions; still others will wish for more of her lovely recipes and less introspection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688113131
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Pages: 341
  • Product dimensions: 8.14 (w) x 10.34 (h) x 1.47 (d)

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