cover image Bridgehampton Weekends: Easy Menus for Casual Entertaining

Bridgehampton Weekends: Easy Menus for Casual Entertaining

Ellen Wright. William Morrow Cookbooks, $30 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-688-17091-2

It's no surprise to discover that Wright was friends with James Beard, since the recipes in this book are examples of just the kind of straight American food Beard loved and promoted--dishes like Broiled Tomatoes and Iceberg Wedges with Blue Cheese Dressing. They're also quite dated, including a Mud Pie that first appeared in House & Garden in 1967 and Onion Puffs made by spreading mayonnaise on packaged sandwich bread slices, topping them with onion, then broiling them. Wright waxes about the relaxing times she's spent in Bridgehampton since she first visited in 1971, subsequently buying a house there. Dishes are organized into menus for occasions like a dinner with Wright's ex-husband, which calls for Deviled Eggs for a Nosh and pan-grilled Banged Chicken; Mexican Buffet After Tennis (Wright, who drops nearly as many names as recipes here, lets slip that her husband used to play with George Bush when he was vice-president) calls for Guacamole and Chicken Enchiladas Verdes with cream cheese, heavy cream and monterey jack cheese. This food may strike a nostalgic chord in some, but others many prefer to go without White House Saltines--made by soaking crackers in water, brushing them with butter, then baking them--and Golden Bundt Cake with Chocolate Leaves made from mix. (June)