Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Book Review - Gourmet Today, Ruth Reichl, ed.

Kepler's own Kathleen Little reviews the book and some great recipes:

The title Gourmet Today truly sums up what this book is about: how today’s Americans have incorporated new food choices into their everyday meals. As Ruth Reichl puts it, “…we are relying more on powerfully flavorful ingredients that now come from all around the world.”

Two other very important realities are addressed, as well. As any hostess will note, we have many more vegetarians than ever before. Also, with our very busy schedules, we often need dinner on the table much faster than a luxurious recipe will allow.

With all this in mind, I decided to test some of these recipes before I wrote this review. So, I came up with a plan, (not quite like Julie in Julie & Julia, but I admit I was influenced.)

I invited friends, as well as my husband and teenage son (a span of 17-70 years of age), to choose a few recipes from the book so that we could all prepare a meal. In the chosen group, there were two vegetarians, one lactose intolerant gentleman and a lovely lady from the east coast who did not eat garlic in any way, shape, or form.

On two separate evenings we prepared:

Peach and Tomato Gazpacho (Served with champagne.)
Baby Artichokes & Shallots (with pasta in pesto sauce)(The best baby artichokes come from a local farmer at Giusti Farms in Half Moon Bay)

Mango Frozen Daiquiris (I made this recipe for the Kepler’s staff one late afternoon)
Lobster Salad Cucumber Canapés (substituted crab)
Sweet & Spicy Chilled Carrot Soup
Tri-Tip Roast with Parsley-Cherry Tomato Sauce

Since the cooks varied in their abilities, we had a few mishaps but, for the most part, the recipes were accessible to one and all. For the items that require a more experienced chef, reading the instructions and ingredients - carefully - always helps the lesser cook; we found this out the hard way. Oh, and, more than one book is advisable, since everyone seems to need to refer to their recipe at the same time.

I must say, the dinner parties were great fun for all and I highly recommend Gourmet Today. As you leaf through this book, be sure to check the menus at the end. They list meals for each of the seasons, winter through fall, including Holiday fare.

I am saddened by the news that Gourmet magazine has ceased publication. It makes this book all the more precious for the excellent work of Ruth Reichl and her incredible staff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.