cover image The Dean and DeLuca Cookbook

The Dean and DeLuca Cookbook

David Rosengarten, Giorgio DeLuca. Random House, $27.95 (576pp) ISBN 978-0-679-77003-9

Dean and DeLuca, famous proprietors of the New York City gourmet-food store that bears their names, present themselves as the Thomas Jefferson of what they call the American Gastronomic Revolution, as if it were they who declared our independence from a diet of Mrs. Paul's Fishsticks. But the attitude is largely forgivable, because it's packaged with what is, in fact, a terrific and exhaustive cookbook. Developed by TV's Food Network host Rosengarten, the collection begins with a somewhat self-serving intro that is followed by such chapters as Salads; Soups; Rice, Beans, and Grains; Fish and Shellfish; Meats. There is no dessert section. Chapter introductions offer generalized tips on purchasing, preparing and cooking ingredients. The authors are purists in all things, regardless of the cost in money, time or labor: whole fish is better than fillets; lump charcoal is better than briquettes, but you should really use hardwood, preferably mesquite. Concerning the preparation of steaks, they have contempt for home broilers (not hot enough) but offer a good word for pan-frying in a bit of butter and olive oil. Many of the 400 recipes draw on Asian (Grilled Japanese Eggplant with Orange-Sesame Miso Sauce), Mexican (Ancho- and Chipotle-Rubbed Pork Loin, roasted in a clay pot) and regional American influences (Rack of Cervena with Texas Barbecue Sauce), as well as standard French (Bouillabaisse in Three Courses) and Italian (Roasted Tomato Sauce with Pancetta and Herbs) cooking. Obsessive foodies can follow the recipes to a tee. But even cooks who have not, from childhood, dreamed of raising quail and growing Belgian endive in their backyards will find inspiration for their own experiments. Good Cook main selection; author tour. (Oct.)