cover image Morton’s: The Cookbook

Morton’s: The Cookbook

Klaus Fritsch. Clarkson Potter, $32.50 (239pp) ISBN 978-0-307-40946-1

What is perhaps most striking about this collection of 100 recipes, drawn by Morton’s cofounder Fritsch from the menu of Morton’s Steakhouse in Chicago, is that the majority of the entries do not involve steak. It’s a mixed blessing: steamed mussels and the mixed green salad are wallflowers, but tuna sashimi burgers and five-onion soup shine bright. Chicken salad, at least, is given a boost with Granny Smith apples and dried cranberries. Fritsch, also executive chef of Morton’s, also has a special place in his heart for veal served with spaetzle, french fries topped with blue cheese and sautéed duck breasts with port and garlic. Of course, when the focus turns to proper preparation of a mature cow, it is hard not to fall in love. Assuming access to a good, neighborhood butcher, the herb-encrusted double porterhouse rules the herd, though the rib eye, the strip, the tenderloin and the filet mignon all get their due as well as their salt and garlic. For something spicy, there is a Bloody Mary London broil or a sirloin served with three-peppercorn sauce. And leftovers need not go to the dog when they can be used for breakfast the next day in dishes like steak Benedict or Klaus’s corned beef hash. (May)