Cooking Secrets of the CIA: Favorite Recipes from the Culinary Institute

Culinary Institute of America, Author, Chronicle Books, Author, Pavlina Eccless, Photographer Chronicle Books $16.95 (131p) ISBN 978-0-8118-1163-7
No threat to national security, this companion volume to an upcoming PBS series featuring the highly regarded culinary teaching institution is instead quite reassuring. Selected by C.I.A.-trained chefs, its 60-odd, solid recipes highlight inventive, rather complex dishes that reflect the way we eat now, or the way we would eat if we had lots of time to spend in the kitchen. The organization is serviceable, if unexpected. Appetizers (Cajun-Style Crab Cakes with Creole Honey-Mustard Sauce) and soups (Parsnip and Parsley Soup) are grouped together in ``Starters.'' The second chapter presents menus for various holidays (e.g., for Hanukkah: Atlantic Salmon in a Potato Crust with Chive Oil and Leek Puree, Braised Brisket with Red Wine and Potato Latkes). The final chapter contains desserts, many of which, for example, Chocolate Cheesecake with Poached Figs and Passion Fruit and Cherry Sauces, suggest decadence but employ such ingredients as low-fat cottage cheese and require minimal amounts of sugar. The recipes come with brief introductions by their respective creators, who reminisce about their early careers or such events as creating Fall Peanut Soup for the Carter administration. Instructions on techniques are scrupulous. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1995
Release date: 10/01/1995
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