Feb 20, 2011

New York Times Essential Cookbook


A good friend of mine, Mark Magleby, who is an excellent cook in his own right, brought this terrific cookbook to my attention at the end of last year. He brought it to one of our monthly dinner groups and was browsing through it for pure enjoyment. Mark said that even if one didn't try any of the recipes, the recipe notes, the food history, and the quality of the writing make for fascinating reading. And he's right.

Here is how Amazon describes the book:
"All the best recipes from 150 years of distinguished food journalism--a volume to take its place in America's kitchens alongside Mastering the Art of French Cooking and How to Cook Everything. Amanda Hesser, the well-known New York Times food columnist, brings her signature voice and expertise to this compendium of influential and delicious recipes from chefs, home cooks, and food writers. Hesser has cooked and updated every one of the 1,000-plus recipes here. Her chapter introductions showcase the history of American cooking, and her witty and fascinating headnotes share what makes each recipe special."

To be honest, I haven't done much cooking out of the book yet, though it does have the no-knead bread recipe I love and make on a regular basis. Nevertheless, I am fascinated by the interesting little notes about each recipe. I am also intrigued by the historical introductions and timelines that begin begin each chapter. They give you kind of a quick overview of food history in the United States.

I have a lot more to read and even more to cook, but this cookbook is a keeper!