Graham Kerr's Minimax Cookbook

Graham Kerr, Author
Graham Kerr, Author Broadway Books $29.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-42488-2
Paperback - 978-0-385-42683-1
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Like some other gourmets, television's Kerr ( Eating Smart ) has curbed overindulgent tastes in food and modified his dangerously rich cooking techniques in response to a near tragedy: his wife had a heart attack and stroke. At the cornerstone of Kerr's quest for the healthful culinary grail is a method he describes as a way of ``minimizing known health risks'' by ``maximizing eating enjoyment.'' Unfortunately, good intentions don't always make good cookbooks. Confusingly organized by acronyms and cooking methods, this work is apt to frustrate even astute chefs. Substitutions are haphazardly included; some entrees and side dishes are combined in the same recipe; and while a nutritional analysis is included for each dish, no portion sizes are listed, so this analysis is impractical. Moreover, for each recipe, Kerr has created an absurd nutritional comparison between the ``MiniMax'' dish and a so-called ``classic.'' Accordingly, a chicken pilaf (chicken with rice) is compared with a chicken fricassee (an altogether different dish) and a ``MiniMax'' soup called a ``sooke'' (the namesake is a British Columbian town, Sooke Harboursic ) is compared with what Kerr calls a ``classic'' cream of winter kale with apple soup. Among the best recipes are those for veal risotto, a halibut dinner in one pot, and sea bass baked in parchment. However, fewer recipes, more consistent directions, more accurate comparisons and a more carefully conceived nutritional analysis would have given this volume added credibility. Author tour . (Nov.)
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