Off the Top of My Stove

Maggie Monahan, Author, Helen Roberts, Illustrator Taylor Publishing Company (TX) $14.95 (173p) ISBN 978-0-87833-618-0
Monahan offers a serviceable variety of dishes designed to be concocted on gas or electric burners. Hired as ``chief cook-and-bottlewasher'' for a video postproduction house whose kitchen was oven-less, she learned to improvise, and these recipes are the result. The meals, ranging from ``no-risk'' minute steaks to a selection of lobster dishes, are well within the abilities of most cooks. Meat dishes include braised pork tenderloin and snow peas; lamb paprikash; Cornish game hens and rice; and ``beefy'' black-bean short ribs. Pasta appears as fusilli with broccoli, vermicelli with mushrooms and prosciutto, and conchiglie Bolognese. Fish and shellfish dishes feature poached haddock in mustard sauce, oriental crab cakes and fried clams. Bean and burgundy stew, ``corny'' chicken soup, hunter's stew (with Polish sausage, sauerkraut, bacon, apple and canned tomatoes) and veal and lentil soup are eminently appropriate for stove-top preparation. Most of the supporting material here is weak; there is hardly any need to define ``grate'' as ``rub on a grater to produce small particles.'' Also, the self-described ``undiscovered playwright and lyricist'' lards her text with quotes from Aesop to Isak Dinesen that are superfluous rather than erudite. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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