Seductions of Rice: A Cookbook

Jeffrey Alford, Author, Naomi Duguid, Author, Naomi Duguid, Joint Author Artisan $35 (454p) ISBN 978-1-57965-113-8
In their debut cookbook, the IACP and James Beard Award-winning Flatbreads & Flavors (1995), Alford and Duguid explored a wide range of ethnic cuisines using the traditional flatbreads of each as a springboard. Here the authors, who are married, do the same with rice, yielding similarly terrific results. As is explained in the introduction, there are two kinds of rice dishes represented here: dishes that incorporate rice (Grilled Sticky Rice Balls; Central Asian Rice and Bean Stew) and those that are served atop or with rice (Spicy Simmered Tofu; Savory Chicken Finely Chopped). Recipes are organized in chapters by country and region (e.g., China, India, the Mediterranean, North America) and they overflow with the information gleaned by the authors who traveled far in their research, their two young sons in tow. The chapter on India recounts the days they spent observing workers in a rice stall at an open-air market, as well as recipes for Ripe Mango Chutney, Banana Salad and various pachadis (yogurt sauces differentiated from raitas because the yogurt is heated). The chapter, ""Gohan, Sushi, Mochi: The Japanese Way,"" describes the making of miso along with a Salad of Grilled Mushroom and Fried Tofu and Soothing Tea Rice. Unexpected flavor combinations (risotto with beer, Rhubarb-Lamb Stew from Persia) add extra spark to this comprehensive exploration, illustrated by more than 200 photos, which gains depth from Alford and Duguid's personal accounts and their infectious interest in the growing of rice as well as its use (Alford and Duguid are real agricultural geeks, and they love to share facts). This is a must-have compendium for any serious cook. 35,000 first printing; 12-city author tour. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1998
Release date: 10/01/1998
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