Globe-trotting gourmand Gayler (A Passion for Vegetables, The Gourmet Burger, Hot! Hot! Hot!: Cooking With Fire and Spice) has compiled a terrific collection of small dishes in this voluminous, mouthwatering guide to appetizers from around the world. Organized by region (Americas, Spain, North Africa and the Middle East, etc.), Gayler offers something for every palate and occasion. Diners will recognize regional American favorites like Cajun Popcorn (breaded, fried crawfish tails) and Crab Nachos, though Grayson's take on guacamole, which includes wasabi, ginger and creme fraiche, is a distinct deviation from the norm. He offers multiple winning takes on ceviche, a dish in which seafood is ""cooked"" in an acidic sauce, with variations calling for scallops, mackerel, oysters and halibut. Fans of the classic fried croquette will find versions ranging from the doughy Coxinha of Brazil and Stilton Fritters from Great Britain to an Italian version employing porcini mushrooms, and Crispy Pork Rillettes (a breaded, fried terrine of shredded pork) from France. Those pressed for time will find Gayler's simple yet impressive preparations for Razor Clams with Romesco Sauce, Chilled Oysters with Cava Granita and the whimsical Inside-Out Sushi easy to prepare. Once they get their hands on it, adventurous entertainers will find this book indispensable.
Reviewed on: 03/03/2008 Release date: 03/01/2008 Genre: Nonfiction