Essential Flavors: 8the Simple Art of Cooking with Infused Oils, Flavored Vinegars, Essences, a

Leslie Brenner, Author, Katherine Kinsolving, Author, Katharine Kinsolving, With
Leslie Brenner, Author, Katherine Kinsolving, Author, Katharine Kinsolving, With Viking Books $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-670-85523-0
Reviewed on: 08/29/1994
Release date: 09/01/1994
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This first effort by food writer Brenner and public relations specialist Kinsolving is a welcome and timely addition to the cookbook shelf. They offer comprehensive, easily followed instructions for infusing oils and vinegars with herbs, spices and fruits (rosemary oil, mint oil, opal basil vinegar, blackberry vinegar) and preparing intensely flavored essences-``thick concentrations''-mainly of vegetables, and the alcohol-or water-based infusions called elixirs. Sound advice on storage and shelf life and suggestions for containers are also covered; methods are simple and generally quick. While the appeal of these intensely flavored concoctions is clear, the authors wisely include about 100 recipes to demonstrate their use. Sixteen vinaigrettes are given, along with the reminder that they can enhance the flavor of grilled meats, fish and vegetables, as well as salad greens. The flavorings are particularly well-suited to pasta dishes, fish and poultry (e.g., chicken with leek elixir and shallots). Less expected uses also intrigue, as in such desserts as pear fans baked in vanilla-rum elixir. Recipes are accompanied by sidebars that repeat the instructions for making the key flavoring infusion. Illustrated. Author tour. (Sept.)
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