cover image Sun-Drenched Cuis C

Sun-Drenched Cuis C

Marlena Spieler, Spieler. Jeremy P. Tarcher, $17.95 (234pp) ISBN 978-0-87477-403-0

Spieler's earlier volume Hot and Spicy displays her talent for selecting savory recipes that stimulate the palate without overpowering the tastebuds, and this cookbook is even more accomplished in that delicate balancing act. These recipes are a riot of textures and flavors that will delight the adventurous eater: Cameroon Curry, an African-Indian stew of meat, tomatoes and peanut butter; iced triple-garlic soup, a French blend of three types of garlic that the author warns should be enjoyed only with others who are equally fond of the aromatic bulb; poulet le Midi, a French-Italian roast-chicken dish with garlic, artichokes, olives and sun-dried tomatoes; and Lone Star mussels, a Texas recipe for poaching shellfish in a spicy beer broth. Many of the recipes are accompanied by menu and serving suggestions, advance preparation instructions and, sometimes, by one or more possible variations. And Spieler's enthusiasm for the dishes is a great part of the book's appeal. An especially helpful feature is her descriptive table of contents: each recipe is briefly explained so that the reader is not left to ponder for long what x-nipek (a Mexican salsa with orange, lime and cilantro) or yemista me lahano (a Greek version of stuffed cabbage, in lemon sauce with mint and cinnamon) may be. Mail-order sources are included. Illustrations not seen by PW. (November 3)