cover image MATTHEW KENNEY'S BIG CITY COOKING: Recipes for a Fast-paced World

MATTHEW KENNEY'S BIG CITY COOKING: Recipes for a Fast-paced World

Matthew Kenney, Joan Schwartz, , photos by William Meppem. . Chronicle, $24.95 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-3222-9

Named one of the "10 Best New Chefs in America" by Food & Wine magazine, Kenney (Matthew Kenney's Mediterranean Cooking) is known for innovative cuisine at his four restaurants—Mezze, Monzu, Canteen and Commune. Bringing the same principles that govern his work in these restaurants to this latest volume, he produces simple yet effective recipes that take the best foods from the growing markets and specialty stores in today's big cities to produce dishes suitable for the home cook. He emphasizes that the "quality of the ingredients is everything in cooking." While starting with a chapter on setting up and stocking the kitchen (which contains a complete ingredient source list), he then divides and categorizes the subsequent dishes by cooking method rather than the customary major ingredients, resulting in such sections as "Simply Raw to Barely Cooked" and "Simmering Stews and Hot Pots." Interspersed with mouth-watering photographs, the dishes are lovingly described and fully explained to help achieve delectable results whether it's the simple yet effective Raw Mushroom Salad with Fennel and Parmesan or the fresh, clean-tasting Halibut Baked in Parchment with Tomatoes, Lime and Cilantro. Many recipes are well within the capabilities of even the most kitchen-phobic cook—Braised and Caramelized Fennel, for example, and the Seared Tuna with Ginger Glaze—allowing them impressive results and encouraging them into further forays into the kitchen. (Apr.)