cover image Basic Gourmet

Basic Gourmet

Diane Morgan, Chronicle Books, Sally Morgan. Chronicle Books, $16.95 (168pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-0476-9

Four experienced cooking instructors with an irresistible love of their subject go far toward teaching beginners in the kitchen to learn to cook and to learn to love cooking. Starting off with a brief, lucid run-through of essential equipment, ingredients, terms and techniques (including how to read a recipe), they ease into recipes--for ``basic American'' dishes--that are gracefully written, succinct and easy-to-follow. Covered are classics, e.g., roast leg of lamb, poached salmon and strawberry shortcake; modern standbys like lasagna, burritos and stir-frys; such comfort food as mashed potatoes and ``Golden Raisin Bread Pudding.'' Throughout, ``Cook's Notes'' offer explanations and variations, while concise essays (``Buying Fresh Fish and Shellfish,'' ``Tips on Making Green Salads'') amplify further with advice on cleaning and storage, etc. Appealing photos, an engaging format and the right amount (never too much) of information tempt new cooks to become good cooks who will likely enjoy both the product and process of their efforts. (Apr.)