Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest

Cory Schreiber, Author, Cory Schrieber, Author
Cory Schreiber, Author, Cory Schrieber, Author Ten Speed Press $39.95 (248p) ISBN 978-1-58008-142-9
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""The quality of ingredients that you select will determine, long before you begin cooking the meal, how the flavors, textures, and overall appeal of a dish will be achieved."" This is the premise of Wildwood, the restaurant located in trendy Northwest Portland, Ore. Hazelnuts, salmon, quail, wild mushrooms, Dungeness crab in winter and blackberries in summer make the Pacific Northwest a cook's paradise. And Schreiber uses this bounty to its full advantage, showcasing dishes such as Salad of Field Greens with Crispy Fried Oysters, and Aioli and Smoky Bacon on an Herbed Crepe. Still, there are few pitfalls. Some recipes overprepare: Chanterelle Soup with Dried Apples, Hazelnuts and Apple Brandy calls for fennel seeds, apple cider and a leek, none of which rescue this flavorless puree (the dried apples and hazelnuts are merely a garnish). Some dishes, including Blackberry Cobbler with Cornmeal-Biscuit Topping, are loaded with sugar and heavy cream. Local produce sometimes gets lost among such nouveau cuisine embellishments as parsnip puree. However, one can easily skip the parsnips and savor the rich entr es. Shoulder of Lamb Braised with Pinot Noir and Raisins is complemented by a curried Carrot Puree described thus: ""Stir in the curry and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the flavor to bloom."" (Why bother cooking when one can drool over directions like this?) Schreiber's helpful tips, homey desserts (Apple Apricot Ginger Buckle, Warm Bartlett Pear Brown Betty, etc.) and unusual combinations are coupled with gorgeous photographs to make his book a mouthwatering addition to any cook's library. (June)
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