cover image Down Home Cooking

Down Home Cooking

Brenda Jackson, Ronald L. McDonald, Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest Association, $30 (382pp) ISBN 978-0-89577-646-4

Nostalgia not nouvelle is the rule in this handsome, comprehensive assemblage of recipes for traditional American family fare. Most of the 450 recipes are updated with reduced-fat ingredients: the dressing for Waldorf Salad uses reduced-fat versions of mayonnaise and sour cream and 1% milk. With a slight nod toward modern-day mall tastes (recipes for ``All-American Pizza'' and ``Buffalo Chicken Fingers''), old-fashioned, home style dishes comprise the majority of this collection that covers the country, equitably sampling regional specialties with recipes for Yankee Pot Roast, a ``Down East Clambake,'' Lady Baltimore Cake, Deep-Dish Chicken Pot Pie and Southern Fried Steak. The recipes, which don't call for food processors, are clearly written and generally complete, although instructions for making the roux requisite for the gumbo recipes inadequately advise of the close attention required to brown without burning. Illustrations include 160 tantalizing photographs and the drawings in the ``Back to Basics'' section on techniques. (Apr.)