Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux

Paul Virant. Ten Speed, $29.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-6077-4100-8
Virant, noted chef of Vie restaurant, on the outskirts of Chicago, offers a vibrant and inviting introduction to the world of preserving. After deciding to serve local produce in his restaurant year-round, Virant started preserving summer staples to extend the seasons. As a result, he experimented with canning and pickling everything from snow peas to watermelon rind and cherry tomatoes. The fruits of his experimentation are shared in this quirky yet useful collection. Virant devotes the first half of the book to the art of preserving, how to do it safely, and the various ingredients he utilizes for his year-round bounty. In addition to pickling, canning, and preserving, he covers the art of making aigre-doux, a French sweet-sour condiment that may be unfamiliar to many. He also includes numerous unusual but appealing jams such as beer, peach saffron, and raspberry chocolate. The second half of the book focuses on recipes that use these preserved ingredients including braised chicken legs in pearl pasta with Swiss chard and pickled stems, rainbow trout with creamed ramps and morels, and raspberry brown butter cake with yogurt ice cream and elderflowers. Those interested in making the foray into extending summer’s bounty through the cold winter months could have no better guide that Virant. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2012
Release date: 04/03/2012
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