The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century

Amanda Hesser, Norton, $40 (1,056p) ISBN 978-0-393-06103-1
Hesser, a food columnist for the New York Times, offers a superb compilation of the most noteworthy recipes published by the paper since it started covering food in the 1850s. What she has produced is no less a chronicle of American culinary history—an evolutionary progression that marks the notable and sometimes regrettable changes in our approach to food—than a cookbook. Recipe originators are a hodgepodge of talent, including noted chefs and the kitchens of famed restaurants such as Le Bernardin as well as Times writers, most notably Craig Claiborne, whose culinary mastery is evidenced throughout. Every category of food is covered, and each recipe is accompanied by serving suggestions for complementary dishes within the book. From 1877's tomato soup and 1907's roast quail with sage dressing to Eisenhower's steak in the fire and 1968's sour cream coffee cake, Hesser showcases the best of the best. Each recipe is dated, and many include cooking notes. Hesser, whose witty bent permeates every page, does a more than admirable job with this stellar collection of more than 1,400 recipes, which should grace the shelves of every food-lover. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/06/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
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