Michael's Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat

Michael Schwartz and JoAnn Cianciulli, Clarkson Potter, $35 (256p) ISBN 978-0-307-59137-1
James Beard Award–winner Schwartz serves up a stellar mix of meticulously planned recipes that focus on local ingredients and fresh, seasonal flavors. Sensible and simple, Schwartz is determined to make his audience comfortable in their own kitchens. To the delight of home cooks, he guides them through the rigors of tricky food prep while introducing them to trendy ingredients like Italian fregola, nutty Spanish romesco sauce, and fiery-hot North African harissa. However, readers may unknowingly miss the "basics" section, curiously placed at the end of the book, which is actually paramount to the execution of so many recipes. These include kimchi, easily incorporated into burger toppings and quesadillas, and fresh homemade ricotta, which finishes off a mind-blowing pappardelle with beef sugo. Other flavor-packed essentials like roasted garlic and maple-cured bacon make sporadic appearances throughout the book. Schwartz encourages home cooks to improvise where needed, and provides alternatives when facing more challenging steps. Schwartz effortlessly weaves the same ingredients throughout (page cross-references included), without becoming tired; for instance, he reminds readers that they can use habanero hot sauce in a bloody mary as well as buffalo style spices. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 258 pages - 978-0-307-95216-5
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