by Sybil PrattNovember, 2004
Ina goes Gallic
Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, has always loved French food not so much the elaborate, formal dishes found in elaborate, formal restaurants, but simple French country food found in French homes and neighborhood bistros. Now that she has a pied-à-terre in the City of Light, she's collected many of the French favorites that are part of her Parisian repertoire in Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home. The frankly Francophile Ina is as warm and helpful as ever, and she's determined to show how easy it is to cook the delicious French food that wows her friends and family and will wow yours. From an easy, yet elegant Salad with Warm Goat Cheese, classic Celery Root Remoulade, Boeuf Bourguignon and Chicken with Morels to sumptuous Chocolate Orange Mousse, you'll be serving non-fuss French meals in a flash.
Patrick O'Connell, celebrated chef and co-creator of the famed, multi-starred Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, feels that we now deserve our own term for "haute cuisine," and that term is "refined American cuisine." As he points out, our restaurants are among the finest anywhere and we've become a sophisticated, food-savvy nation. So, O'Connell chose a title for his gloriously illustrated new cookbook that reflects this happy state of our culinary culture, Patrick O'Connell's Refined American Cuisine. He's been refining the more than 150 recipes for many years, elevating fine, earthy ingredients to produce dazzling versions of traditional dishes he and we grew up with and adding some superb innovations. To join the ranks of the refined, try his emerald-green Watercress Soup, Pan-roasted Maine Lobster with Rosemary Cream, richly reincarnated Macaroni and Cheese with Virginia Country Ham and Warm Plum Torte with Sweet Corn Ice Cream. A snazzy gift.
EVERY DAY JAMIE'S WAY
Jamie Oliver, the Naked Chef, dons his dinner duds for this book. He's not in a tux, he's in jeans, as usual, but this time he's feeding his family and ours. Jamie's Dinners: The Essential Family Cookbook is not about the "posh stuff," it is about making tasty, nutritious meals that are affordable, easy and time-efficient. Charming, chatty, unpretentious, Jamie's aim here is to get everyone to enjoy the joys of home-cooked family meals. To that end, we get "The Top Ten," his favorite dishes, eight "Five Minute Wonders," and "Family Tree," a collection of "parent" recipes that lead to generations of "offspring" variations, before we hit the fabulous family fare in the "normal" chapters, like soup, pasta, meat and dessert. Ultra-accessible, imaginative and fun!