cover image BISTRO COOKING AT HOME: More Than 150 Classic and Contemporary Dishes

BISTRO COOKING AT HOME: More Than 150 Classic and Contemporary Dishes

Gordon Hamersley, with Joanne McAllister Smart. . Broadway, $35 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-7679-1276-1

Serving Bostonians some of the best French fare in the city at Hamersley's Bistro, James Beard Award winner Hamersley presents his hearty yet simple dishes for all occasions, like Walk-Away Roast Chicken with Onions and Potatoes or the elegant Pot-Roasted Pork with Prunes, Armagnac, and Walnuts. Instructions are succinct and helpful, for example how to test for doneness in Fiona's Easy Halibut with White Whine, Shallots, and Basil (when the fish is cooked, the bones can easily be picked). Bistro staples like Onion Soup Au Gratin, Mushroom Duxelles, and Tian of Summer Vegetables Provencal are familiar to most serious home cooks (thanks to Hamersley's teacher, Wolfgang Puck) and are classics that, like a good trench coat or pair of black slacks, never go out of style. Home cooks can't go wrong with Mixed Greens with Fried Walnut–Coated Goat Cheese and Sherry Vinaigrette, followed by Grilled Salmon with Peas, Potatoes, and Mint. There is an especially pleasing chapter on Savory Tarts, Gratins, and Galettes and plenty of vegetarian options like Autumn Vegetable Stew with Cheddar-Garlic Crumble Crust and Creamy Gratin of Celery Root, Onions, and Black Truffles. Hamersley and Smart (an editor at Fine Cooking magazine) include a generous dessert chapter with an assortment of tarts, such as Apple Tarte Tatin, cakes, like Chocolate Mousse Cake and others, like Profiteroles. While there's little new here, this volume—with its bold photos and bistro menu–inspired design—makes a fine, comprehensive bistro cookbook. (Oct.)