Yes, these recipes are simple, very simple, and that is the charm of this book. Printed on a nice, heavy matte paper in two colors (black type, red recipe titles), it feels approachable and straightforward. How about Romano Beans with Marjoram, Moroccan Carrot Salad, Spaghettini with Oil and Garlic, and Grilled Chicken Breast? This is not restaurant food, or at least, not fancy New York-style menu items. Of course, the magic is in the ingredients and the experience of the cook, but I like this book since I love everyday food. The writing is uncomplicated with an emphasis on kitchen technique and just the right number of asides regarding sustainability. It's a cookbook in the grand tradition of American cookery. Thank you, Alice.
Founder and Editor, America's Test Kitchen
The delicious dishes described in the latest cookbook from Chez Panisse founder Waters, such as a four-ingredient Soda Bread and Cauliflower Salad with Olives and Capers, are simple indeed, though the book's structure is complex, if intuitive. After a useful discussion of ingredients and equipment come chapters on techniques, such as making broth and soup. Each of these includes three or four recipes that rely on the technique described, which can lead to repetition (still preferable to a lack of guidance): a chapter on roasting contains two pages of instructions on roasting a chicken (including a hint to salt it a day in advance for juicy results), followed by a recipe for Roast Chicken that is simply an abbreviated version of those two pages. The final third of the book divides many more recipes traditionally into salads, pasta and so forth. Waters taps an almost endless supply of ideas for appealing and fresh yet low-stress dishes: Zucchini Ragout with Bacon and Tomato, Onion Custard Pie, Chocolate Crackle Cookies with almonds and a little brandy. Whether explaining why salting food properly is key or describing the steps to creating the ideal Grilled Cheese Sandwich, she continues to prove herself one of our best modern-day food writers. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information