Cooking New American : How to Cook the Food You Love to Eat

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Taunton Press

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Cooking New American offers today's cooks everything they need to know to cook fresh, contemporary, and great-tasting food for family and friends. With Fine Cooking's most popular recipes by many of America's greatest chefs that include Bruce Aidells, Gale Gand, Caprial Pence, Alice Waters, and Joanne Weir, the book features fresh, delicious ingredients simply prepared, with all the tips and techniques to successfully prepare today's favorite foods. The 200 recipes selected by the editors of Fine Cooking deliver the fresh and bold flavors that have powered the American culinary revolution, yet all the ingredients are readily attainable at the supermarket. The range of recipes is exciting, but every dish is decidedly easy-to-prepare. With almost 400 step-by-step color photographs, an assortment of techniques, ingredients, tips from the pros, essays, preparation and serving tips, optional ingredients, shortcuts, recipe variations, and timesaving tips as well as ideas for cooking ahead and serving suggestions, Cooking New American is a private tutorial in preparing the kind of food that Americans truly love to eat.


Fine Cooking Magazine
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Taunton Press
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Taunton Press
Cooking New American : How to Cook the Food You Love to Eat
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If you ask most cooks to run down a short list of their favorite cooking magazines, chances are you would hear “Fine Cooking†more than a few times.  I am no exception to that statement.   For many years I referenced Chef Greg Atkinson's Thanksgiving meal from Issue #35 as my instruction manual for getting through the holiday year after year.   Now, after 10 years of publishing Fine Cooking the magazine, the editors have brought forth their first cookbook, Cooking New American.

Fine Cooking has made a living writing “For People Who Love to Cookâ€.  In my experience I have always found their recipes to produce solid and reliable results.  This book is no exception.  Can you find a cookbook that would be considered finer cuisine, absolutely.  But this book is aimed at the home cook that wants simpler and uncomplicated food they can reproduce nightly, without comprising taste.  It is 220 pages of a very nice selection and variety of impressive looking and tasting meals.  

The one thing I did find a little odd about the book was the angle it tries to take as a “technique†book.  The book is described in the introduction as a collection of recipes and “tricks and techniques that make a difference between a good dish and a great one.† I found the book as a technique book to be a little weak.  At times the techniques shown were useful and appropriate, like “Braiseâ€, Roast†and “Sauté†but at other times they seemed a little silly, like “Addâ€, “Scatterâ€, “Swirlâ€, and “Freezeâ€.  As an experienced cook I found it hard to understand why the technique of scatter or swirl would make the difference between a good or great dish.  Or why scatter is considered a technique or a tip at all.  As a technique book I found it to be formatted for a young inexperienced cook, but as a recipe book I found the dishes to be for the more experienced home cook. 

In summary, if you have moderate cooking experience and are buying this book for recipes you can easily make at home, then it is a nice book.  If you are buying it to learn more about cooking instruction, I think there are better choices.  If you are a novice or young cook, this book would be a good place to start.  But regardless of what I think, this book is definitely in line with what Fine Cooking Magazine has been doing for many years, writing “For People Who Love to Cookâ€. 


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