Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient

Jeff Smith, Author, Brenda Smith, Author
Jeff Smith, Author, Brenda Smith, Author William Morrow & Company $22 (525p) ISBN 978-0-688-07589-7
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Having tackled cooking with wine ( The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine ) and American food ( The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American ), TV chef and Methodist minister Smith now cheerfully brings ancient Chinese, Greek and Roman cookery down to earth. Much of his Herculean effort, however, turns up fare that appears relatively modern. And though the ``Frug'' enthusiastically talks history (``Caligula and Cleopatra used to drink expensive pearls crushed and dissolved in vinegar''), his view is unfailingly vernacular (``Those Romans must have had wild dinner parties!''). Characteristically, Smith goes out of his way to make food accessible, sometimes too much so: crushed potato chips garnish a Chinese fish salad, and MSG is an optional ingredient in many Hong Kong dishes. Unusual ingredients, cooking terms and techniques are ably covered, and the recipes themselves make entertaining reading, rollicking with such Smithisms as ``cut a chicken wing into 3 logical pieces'' and ``the end result will just blow your socks off!'' But cooking instructions can be sketchy: in a chicken stock recipe, straining and defatting techniques go unmentioned. Illustrations not seen by PW. First serial to Redbook; BOMC HomeStyle and Better Homes & Gardens Book Club main selections. (Sept.)
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