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The Best Of Gourmet 2000: Featuring The Flavors Of Thailand

by Gourmet Magazine Editors
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Random House
  • Publishing date: 25/04/2000
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780375504310
  • ISBN: 0375504311


Nowadays, everyone who entertains is looking for outstanding casual fare that will allow them to spend more time with their guests. Dishes must be quick and easy to prepare (or able to be made ahead) and filled with the purest ingredients for optimum flavor. The Best of Gourmet, Featuring the Flavors of Thailand is filled with twenty-eight such menus-most are very relaxed, all are absolutely delicious.

For example, after a chilly day on the slopes, you may want to treat your houseguests to A Ski House Dinner. Begin the evening around the fire with champagne and a large platter of ever-so-tender smoked salmon with cilantro cream. Later, roasted veal chops with shallots, tomatoes, and olive jus nestled on pillows of soft polenta make a rich, indulgent entrée. And before everyone retires, a heavenly warm chocolate raspberry pudding cake, made the day before and reheated, is served with a glass of cognac.

When the summer heats up, why not spend A Weekend at the Shore with friends? You'll have three clever menus in hand that take advantage of the season's abundant fresh produce, include plenty of make-ahead dishes, and satisfy hearty seaside appetites. On Saturday morning you can serve Breakfast on the Beach with buttery-rich baked blueberry-pecan French toast. Lunch Indoors includes a serve-yourself composed salad of classic favorites and a lovely rhubarb rice pudding. Then, after a long day in the sun, Dinner on the Deck promises a seafood meal to remember with curry-marinated mussels, followed by grilled lobster with Southeast Asian dipping sauce.

Or perhaps a last-minute Beyond Backyard Basics dinner is closer to what you had in mind? This little gem of a menu features ratatouille with penne-a heavenly jumble of roasted eggplants, onions, yellow squash, and red bell peppers, with plum tomatoes, garlic, thyme, parsley, and basil. For dessert, multicolored grapes perched atop pastry cream in puff pastry shells make a scrumptious and ever-so-pretty choice.

So which menu will you try first? You'll find more than eighty pages of exquisite full-color photographs to help you decide. Altogether, this volume holds more than 350 recipes-including the very best recipes that appeared in Gourmet's food columns during 1999. There are hundreds of dishes that can be made in forty-five minutes or less (look for the clock symbol ð); plenty of leaner and lighter selections (look for the feather symbol F); seasonal ideas for everything from apples to zucchini; and an impressive array of tempting sweets and snacks.

This year's Cuisines of the World section turns to the intriguing flavors of Thailand with a traditional dinner for eight and a collection of Thai snacks. Dishes such as steamed red snapper with ginger, grilled beef salad, fish cakes, and coconut ice cream demonstrate the sweet, sour, hot, and salty tastes of this fascinating country. Informative primers and exquisite full-color photos add further insight.

Twenty-four more brand-new recipes appear in a special section featuring Unusual Pastas and Grains. From fresh rice noodles to Israeli couscous to wheat berries, and much more, these unique pantry items will undoubtedly expand your palette of flavors.

Just when you thought you had tasted it all, along comes a cookbook that opens up a world of new possibilities-The Best of Gourmet

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  • Easy Gourmet!
    From Amazon

    I love this book for several reasons.

    First, the menu suggestions are great. They range from two servings to around fifty, there are meals suitable for each season (some are grill-oriented, some are Thanksgiving feasts, etc.), and you can choose from light and healthy to downright sinful meals.

    Second, the recipes require a great variety of skill levels. A novice can start with the easier recipes and work up to the more difficult ones without needing to buy a new book! This is also great because even those who are experienced and passionate cooks (who, like myself, would usually revel in the four-hour mushroom lasagne prep time) have days when they want a simple, toned-down meal. It's all here.

    The recipes are also very easy to follow. They list at the outset any special equipment you will need, and the preparation instructions are clear and concise.

    Those without access to specialty grocery stores might have trouble coming up with some ingredients (creme fraiche, figs, radish sprouts, or Israeli couscous come to mind), but there are many recipes whose ingredients are easily found at the most common of groceries.

    I have to say that I dislike the way the "Unusual Pastas and Grains" section is separated from the "Pastas and Grains" section. It's also disappointing that Thai recipes are stuck in their own "Cuisines of the World" section without references in other more specific sections (for example, Ai-Teem Ga-Ti, aka Coconut Ice Cream, is not mentioned in the "Desserts" section earlier - so if you choose to page through the desserts section, you will not be aware that there are other dessert recipes elsewhere in the book).

    All in all, I'd say that this book offers great recipes and menu suggestions for cooks at all levels, but it could be organized more efficiently.

  • Best of Gourmet 2000
    From Amazon

    I loved the look of the food in this book. I really felt inspired. The freshness of the menus appealed to me, also. The photography was wonderful! It made you want to pick up a fork and begin to do a taste test on every page. The grilled pineapple with vanilla ice cream was simple to make and a treat for unexpected guests on Sunday afternoon. It is good of Gourmet to study so closly the food culture of another country. It really gave the reader a good sense of what Thai cooking is all about. It is a good addition to the other Gourmet books and something to look forward to every year. A GREAT GIFT for cooks of all levels.

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