Modern Country Cooking: Kitchen Skills and Seasonal Recipes from Salt Water Farm

Annemarie Ahern. Roost, $35 (264p) ISBN 978-1-61180-654-0
Following up Full Moon Suppers at Salt Water Farm, Ahern, who runs a culinary school in Maine, takes a seasonal approach to cooking in this accessible volume. Ahern’s month-by-month program includes a handful of recipes using ingredients that are at their peak, resulting in a mix of familiar comfort food classics such as pasta carbonara, corned beef and cabbage, and a rustic cast iron frittata, as well some hearty surprises (Indian dahl; Sardinian ditalini with sardines, tomato, fennel and bread crumbs). A handful of recipes are painfully specific, such as a salad of strawberries, baby spinach, Japanese turnips, and chive blossom vinegar (which details how to destem and cut the strawberries and turnips), but they’re outnumbered by easily sourced hits such as sour cherry clafoutis and a warming tortilla soup. Readers may tire of Ahern’s poetic passages on, say, melting snow or on fireflies (that “light up the field below, the purest form of summer entertainment”), and they may flip past the photos of artfully arranged baskets and rustic cookware, but they will appreciate the sound advice on kitchen basics, such as how to properly hold and use a knife, the art of seasoning to taste, methods for thickening sauces, and the difference between sweating and sautéing. Ahern’s collection succeeds in its presentation of hearty, simply country cooking and entertaining. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 11/25/2019
Release date: 04/21/2020
Genre: Lifestyle
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