Alfred Portale's Twelve Seasons Cookbook: A Month-By-Month Guide to the Best There Is to Eat

Alfred Portale, Author, Andrew Friedman, With Broadway Books $45 (448p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0606-7
Three years after his IACP Julia Child Award-winning Alfred Portale's Gotham Bar and Grill Cookbook, the influential New York chef offers a winning, personal take on seasonal cooking from a Northeastern perspective. Mirroring his restaurant menu's monthly changes, Portale presents recipes that pay close heed to what's fresh throughout the year as well as bring together bold flavors in unexpected ways, as in Seared Foie Gras with Poached Quince, Tangerine and Pomegranate Juice. While this restaurant cuisine can intimidate - many recipes require multiple building blocks - it is not beyond the reach of enthusiastic cooks. The directions are clearly presented, even for such challenging fare as Soupe de Poisson and Trout Wrapped in Bacon with Braised Escarole, Green Lentils, Sage and Sherry Vinaigrette. In addition, many recipes are simple, yet sublimely accented, such as Grilled Chicken Marinated in Cumin, Lemon and Garlic, Cauliflower Vichyssoise and Mango Sorbet. In addition, Portale indicates which components can be prepared ahead of time. Many steps involved in Brandade with Radish, Red Onion and Olive Salad, for example, can be completed well in advance of the final baking. Then there are such uncomplicated savories as Bruschetta of Cherry Tomatoes, Fava Beans and Pecorino Toscano; and Prosciutto, Pear, Arugula and Honey Mustard Sandwich. Expectedly, luxury is celebrated lustily with frequent appearances by lobsters, caviar and truffles, and there's a cameo role of an expensive condiment in Bosc Pear Carpaccio with Microgreens, Pecorino Romano and 25-Year-Old Balsamico Tradizionale. Portale's upscale inspiration is alluring throughout. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
Genre: Nonfiction
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