cover image MUSTARDS GRILL: Napa Valley Cookbook

MUSTARDS GRILL: Napa Valley Cookbook

Cindy Pawlcyn, with Brigid Callinan. . Ten Speed, $35 (276pp) ISBN 978-1-58008-045-3

Chef Pawlcyn (Fog City Diner Cookbook) reveals the secrets behind the cuisine of wine country restaurant Mustards Grill in this latest cookbook. A Napa Valley institution, Mustards is noted for its fabulous California food and innovative wine list. The cookbook echoes this theme. Starting with the tasty Morel Mushroom and Goat Cheese Toasts through the grilled Halibut with Tomato Vinaigrette and ending with the easy Cinnamon-Oatmeal Strawberry Shortcakes, the dishes have a light, simple touch. But simple is not the same thing as easy. Many recipes, like the Wild Mushroom Burgers with Apple-Jicama Slaw, rely on previously prepared ingredients found elsewhere in the book. The food ranges from appetizers and soups through main courses to desserts, and also includes chapters on sandwiches, sides and condiments. Pawlcyn often uses smokers and grills, and devotes a separate chapter to recipes involving those methods. Many recipes in other chapters also require smoking or grilling, like the Smoked Trout with Warm Sweet Potato Salad and Horseradish Cream and the Ahi Tuna Sandwiches. The dishes—even something as simple as the Roasted Potatoes, prepared with garlic and thyme—are uniformly fresh and innovative. Alongside each of the recipes are enjoyable descriptions, hints, tips and anecdotes that enhance readers' know-how. However, the often lengthy lists of ingredients may put off the beginner, gearing this book toward more experienced cooks. (Dec.)