The proprietor of "that awesome mac and cheese place" in Seattle's Pike Place market has created a cookbook that also serves as a "who's who" in Seattle artisanal food production. As the subtitle suggests, the recipes showcase Pacific Northwest superstars such as salmon, crab, mushrooms and cherries, and the purveyors who make and sell the very best of all of them. Many of the recipes suggest particular brands, and the back of the book includes a list of Seattle markets, food shops and restaurants. In this way, the book can feel a bit like a cross-pollinating marketing brainchild, with many shoulders being patted. The book will likely be most helpful as a culinary guidebook for Seattle residents and frequent visitors. Many of the recipes tread some familiar boards, but several stand out as fresh and original: fresh tomato and cheese curd salad, and Dungeness crab mac and cheese. The title refers to Dammeier's practice of using only the freshest of ingredients, ones that "reflect the natural rhythm of the seasons." Though there are some nods throughout to the seasonality of certain ingredients, the book could go further toward helping the home chef navigate the increasingly murky waters of food origin. (July)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Pure Flavor: 125 Fresh All-American Recipes from the Pacific Northwestby Kurt Beecher Dammeier
The creator of the award-winning Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle, Kurt Beecher Dammeier knows that great food begins with the highestquality ingredients prepared simply,so their natural, intense flavors shine through. In this, his first cookbook, you’ll discover that meals based on great raw materials require fewer ingredients,take less time to prepare, are healthier for you and your family, and taste phenomenal.In Pure Flavor,Kurt shares more than 125 favorite recipes from his popular gourmet food shops and restaurant. This is fresh food that celebrates the quintessentially American flavors of the Pacific Northwest region that Kurt calls home. He shows you how pan-searing locally grown broccoli brings out its unique flavor, how an outstanding aged American Cheddar turns a bowl of tomato soup into ameal to remember, how a simple marmalade sauce can effortlessly enliven pork chops, and how asplash of light vinaigrette punctuated with lemon and basil makes any fresh fish shine. Here are recipes for everything from a winning weekend breakfast dish of Apple-Hazelnut Waffles with Northwest Berry Syrup to hearty dinners like Dungeness Crab Mac & Cheese.Kurt knows where to find plump Washington cherries, crunchy Oregon hazelnuts,and fresh Puget Sound salmon and encourages home cooks to explore the culinary bounties of their area. He even includes helpful sidebars that demystify food terms, explaining the difference between Dungeness and peekytoe crabs,farmed and wild salmon, and “natural”and “organic.” Whether it’s the sweet-tart bite of a juicy blackberryor the pungent tang of awonderful blue cheese, natural and fresh flavors can be discovered anywhere. With stunning photography and irresistible recipes, Pure Flavor will inspire you to seek out America’s pure flavors, wherever you live.
From the Hardcover edition.
Dammeier loves good food, especially good cheese. In 2003, he opened Beecher's Handmade Cheese, the first fine artisan cheese shop in Seattle's famed Pike Place Market. Since then, he has acquired Pasta & Co and four neighborhood shops selling all-natural, gourmet prepared food and opened Bennett's Pure Food Bistro just outside of Seattle. Here, he provides 125 simple but mouth-watering recipes featuring the bounty of the Pacific Northwest, from Dungeness Crab Mac and Cheese to Summer Berry Parfait. There are detailed boxes on ingredients and techniques, sidebars on local "food icons," and full-page color photographs throughout. For most collections.
--Laura Werlin, author of The All American Cheese and Wine Book
"Here are bright and modern ideas from the Pacific Northwest for home cooks, with lots of background info on one of America's most exciting regions for fresh, real, artisanal foods."
"It wasn't too many years ago that we were hard-pressed to come up with a definition of "Pacific Northwest cuisine." Shunned by the national media, we wrung our collective hands and suffered through a period of intense debate and indecision. Although we were blessed with an abundance of apples and berries, and the sweet meat of Dungeness crab and fresh salmon could be brought to the table with ease, we weren't quite certain if the roots of our culinary heritage were deep enough. If only we had been privy to a copy of Pure Flavor: 125 Fresh All-American Recipes from the Pacific Northwest by Kurt Beecher Dammeier with Laura Holmes Haddad, the debate would have been clearly won by local advocates… [Pure Flavor is] the sort of book that cooks will reach for when entertaining special guests or simply putting dinner on the table. The recipes are easy to prepare, taste sensational and are visually beautiful…The lovely photography captures the beauty and spirit of the Northwest, and of the recipes presented in the book. It's a visual pleasure."
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Read an Excerpt
golden beet salad
Serves 4 to 6
Salads need not focus on the lettuce. Here the greens take a back seat to vibrant golden beets. The salty, creamy blue cheese and the crunchy walnuts complement the sweet beets. Roasting the beets in water prevents them from drying out.
• 1 1/4 pounds golden beets, trimmed and rinsed
• 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/4 teaspoon whole-grain or Dijon mustard
• 1 ounce spinach leaves or baby spinach, sliced (about 1 cup)
• 3 tablespoons toasted walnuts
• 1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled (1/4 cup)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place the beets in a roasting pan and add water to a depth of ½ inch. Cover the pan with foil and bake until the beets are easily pierced with a fork, about 1 ½ hours. Set the beets aside until they are cool enough to handle. Peel and rinse off any pieces of skin. Slice the beets into ½-inch-thick rounds, and then cut them into ¼-inch-thick sticks. Let the beets cool to room temperature.
Toss the beets with the rice vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil and mustard and toss with the spinach. Garnish with the toasted walnuts and crumbled blue cheese.
Make Ahead: You can roast the beets up to 3 days in advance; toss them just before serving.
From the Hardcover edition.
Meet the Author
Kurt Beecher Dammeier is an entrepreneur and self-taught cook. Since opening Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle in 2003, Dammeier has quickly become known as an American cheese industry expert. In addition to Beecher’s, he owns four Pasta & Co gourmet retail shops and Bennett’s Pure Food Bistro on Mercer Island, Washington, where he lives with his wife and their three sons. Visit these establishments online at www. beechershandmadecheese.com,www.pastaco.com, and www.bennettsbistro.com. Laura Holmes Haddad a former caterer and cookbook editor, is a freelance food and wine writer. You can visit her at www.gourmetgrrl.com.
From the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The recipes are easy to follow and taste delicious! My friends always ask where I get my recipes from- this is the book. The Artichoke Spread is always a hit at get-togethers, and the Lemon Risotto is my go-to recipe to freshen up our dinner menu.
This is such a great book. I've made many of the recipes and have had many people request that I make some over and over again; the Breakfast Strata is one of them. It is easily adaptable to many other ingredients. I especially like the Cheese section, which is very informative and helps in making substitutions to many recipes not just in this book.
I have made several recipes from this book. All have been excellent!!