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Saturday, 10 June 2017 21:29

Grilled Cheese & Beer

Griled Cheese Beer cover

By Kevin Vanblarcum & James Edward Davis

Photography by Dylan Tucker

 

2016 Hatherleigh Press, Ltd.

Hobart, NY

ISBN: 978-1-57826-653-1

Soft cover, 150 pages $16.95

Tuesday, 26 May 2015 11:55

quick & easy chicken

Quick Easy Chicken cover Picmonkey

By Linda Gassenheimer

 

2015 American Diabetes Association

ISBN: 978-1-58040-563-8

Soft Cover, 140 pages  $9.95

 

Quick & easy chicken is subtitled “Diabetes-Friendly Recipes Everyone Will Love.”  This reviewer has little familiarity with the nutritional needs of diabetics, but will assume that a book endorsed—and actually published by—the American Diabetes Association will contain recipes appropriate for people dealing with diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions.

We do see quite a lot of cookbooks, however, and can judge quick & easy chicken by the same standards we’d apply to any of them. This is not a beautiful, coffee table book with gorgeous photography of the dishes. In fact, other than the cover shot, it contains no photos at all. To succeed it must rely on the recipes and their presentation. In that regard it’s a hit.

If most supermarket chickens are not as flavorful as those that went on American tables a generation or two ago, these days they are reliable and a great source of inexpensive protein. And there’s nothing to stop the shopper from moving up to pricier and possibly tastier versions of this ubiquitous bird. Author Linda Gassenheimer has presented a myriad of ways to treat this most versatile of main course meats. She also has included some lighter soup, salad and sandwich options. No matter how eloquent the prose introducing the recipes or how famous the chef whose name is on the cover, a cookbook is more trouble than it’s worth if it’s not easy to use. Fortunately, this is not a problem with quick & easy chicken.

After a few pages of introduction, Gassenheimer takes the reader to chapters segmented mostly by style of food. If not all the 21 recipes in All American Classics  are the ones your mother might have served you, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worthy. Some, like Devil’s Chicken with Sautéed Garlic Potatoes, seemed a bit exotic, but we were intrigued by Oven-Fried Chicken with Creamed Corn and Lima Beans. Now that sounds like a solid and satisfying meal of the sort that Mom—or Grandma—used to put on the table. From the Asian/India  recipes, Curry-Kissed Chicken with Rice and Carrots also appealed. On page 72 we saw the Gorgonzola Chicken with Fresh Linguine and Sweet Pimentos—one of the Mediterranean  suggestions. The recipe does not include instructions on how to make fresh linguine, which admittedly is a lot of work. It’s a stretch to think most home cooks have easy access to a store selling fresh pasta, but different boiling times are included for both fresh and dried pasta. Following the directions faithfuly should yield good results. This recipe and all the others are presented with the typical instructions for cooking method following the ingredient list.

What’s unusual, though, are the ancillary instructions. Preparation and timing are critical for any cooking endeavor and highlights listed in the Countdown  give simple, yet invaluable sequencing help. Two other additions are Shopping List  and Staples, detailing what you’re likely to already have on hand (flour, olive oil, etc.) and ingredients specific to the preparation of each recipe. Helpful Hints  follow each recipe. These look like they would be useful for the novice and might even include a few tips that would benefit the experienced cook.

Nearly all the recipes call for using boneless and skinless chicken. Some might wonder if such instructions might mean stinting on flavor, but after all, the title does say “quick & easy.” And avoiding all the fat in the skin probably speaks to the “Diabetes-Friendly” theme. That these recipes are helpful for those with diabetes and pre-diabetes conditions—a significant part of the population—is laudable, but they all look healthful for a general audience, as well. Most of these dishes really sound tasty and likely will inspire the reader to conclude, “I can make that.”

  --reviewed by Dan Clarke

by Dan Clarke

Robert T and Plate of ducks PicmonkeyRobert's ducks, ready for the grill.

Robert Tabarez' project of the year was the construction of a covered backyard kitchen at his home in Davis. He did most of the work himself and on completion invited a few friends over to celebrate. We had talked food and wine often enough for me to know that Robert knew his way around a kitchen—be it indoors or outdoors. Barbecued ribs and duck? I'm in! That our friend Les Lederer was bringing wines from his cellar made the invitation even more appealing.

Open-air, but with a roof for sun (and, occasionally, rain) protection, the outdoor kitchen might even be called a pavilion or something grander as it includes room for seating upwards of a dozen guests. Two overhead fans help cool the environment and create enough air circulation to deter flies and mosquitoes. A Mirage 6-Burner Built-In BBQ Grill provides 95,000 BTUs of cooking power. Adjacent is a separate single burner sometimes used for boiling water for pasta or melting butter for sauces. Of course, there's a sink and running water and a refrigerator, too. In short, it is a complete kitchen.

Robert is a life-long outdoorsman—the kind of guy who bags his own game and even makes his own venison sausage. Growing up in Yolo County northwest of Sacramento, he has the ability and connections to source food locally. The pork ribs he would serve on this evening were purchased from his cousin Fred, who operates Manas Meat Market in nearby Esparto. Our second main course item, the duck breasts, came from birds he had shot on Sacramento Valley refuges last season (Mallards, Gadwalls and Teal).

Robert treats his ribs in a straight-forward manner, first applying a dry rub and letting the pork rest for 4-5 hours. He cooks the ribs over direct heat, turning every 15-minutes or so, during the 45-minutes to one hour cooking time (no par-boiling or pre-cooking before they go on the grill). He brushes on Bulls Eye barbecue sauce just before serving.

Over the years, my friend has prepared duck many ways, but tonight's treatment is one of his favorites. The recipe is from American Game Cookery by John Ashe and Sid Goldstein. For this dinner we are having wild duck, but Robert has used this same method for the more generally available domestic duck breasts. Either way, he assures us, this recipe is a winner.

 

Grilled Duck Breast

with Raspberry-Sweet Onion Relish

 

Ingredients

4-6 duck breasts

Relish

2 cups chopped raspberries

3/4 cup chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion

4 teaspoons raspberry vinegar

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1/2 tablespoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons Crème de Cassis or more to taste

Marinade

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon ground sage

 

Method

Robt T at Grill PicmonkeyTime to pay attention.In a nonreactive bowl, combine all ingredients for relish and mix thoroughly. In a separate nonreactive bowl, mix all ingredients fo marinade together; add 1/3 cup of the relish and stir well. Place duck in marinade for 2 to 4 hours, refrigerated, turning occasionally. Refrigerate remaining relish.

Prepare grill. Grill duck breast, skin down over hot temperature for 5 to 7 minutes. Turn and continue grilling until done, 3 to 4 minutes. Duck should be medium-rare. To serve, slick duck breast on bias and arrange on individual serving plates. Garnish each serving with 2 raspberries and a sprig of mint. Dollop relish over the duck.

Served with the duck were green beans and a wild rice mixture, which had been augmented by crimini mushrooms, celery and red onions sautéed in butter and a little soy sauce.

All the wines Les brought were well-received. With appetizers before dinner, our options included Six Hands Viognier from the Sacramento River Delta just south of us and Walter Hansel Carneros Chardonnay, both good wines, but most elected to try the André Vatan Sancerre. For those of us used to California and New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, it was a treat to revisit what this grape can produce in France's Loire Valley.Robt T plated duck PicmonkeyGarnished with relish, raspberries and mint.

The dinner itself called for red wine and we had a selection from which to choose; vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs from Marimar Estate and a Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Pinot, Côtes du Rhônes Villages from Féraud-Brunel, and a Zinfandel. As it happened we didn't get around to drinking the Zin, which likely would have been good with the ribs. Pinot Noir was an excellent match with the duck, given its raspberry treatment. The Rhône was surprisingly well-suited to the duck, also, and its Grenache and Syrah characteristics worked well with the ribs.

Leza Cobbler PicmonkeyFresh peach cobbler, a perfect ending.While Robert did a great job with the preparation and grilling of our main course, he had a little help with the rest of the meal. His wife Leza and daughter Hailey prepared a beautiful salad of arugula, beets, glazed walnuts and goat cheese and Leza made a fresh peach cobbler for the dessert (with the peaches coming from the fruit and vegetable stand at cousin Fred Manas' ranch.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012 18:15

Cooking with the California Cajun

Cooking with the California Cajun

By Lanny Kilchrist

 

Morris Press Cookbooks, 2006125 pages, $19.95

 Cookinng with the California Cajun

Lanny Kilchrist has lived in California for quite a few years, but he’s still Cajun.

A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Kilchrist graduated from The University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette). He settled in Sacramento after being exposed to the area while teaching at nearby Mather Air Force Base. The man knows food in the many definitions exhibited in his adopted state. He’s also a talented home winemaker.

His book is subtitled “A Collection of Recipes by Lanny Kilchrist,” and while there are recipes attributable to him, there are also many from relatives and friends. His book is really an homage to his Cajun heritage. References to his parents, Frank and Rubie Kilchrist, and grandparents, Eunice and Edger Kilchrist and Dalton and Gladys Guidroz are here, as well as recipes from their kitchens. Included in the Lagniappe section is a salute to “The Ladies That Help Make A House A Home.” Kilchrist calls these African American women “the very backbone of our families” and calls their culinary expertise “unquestionable!” He says his respect for these women and the family and friends he grew up around inspired him to publish the recipes, lest they be lost over time. A portion of each sale is donated to people of Louisiana still suffering the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

The author did graduate study in art at Cal State University, Sacramento and that experience led to his founding a business dealing with glass temperature monitors. His wife Sally, also a native of Lafayette and a graduate of Louisiana State, teaches junior high school in Sacramento and is the source of some of the recipes.

The word Cajun has been subjected to many more lengthy and scholarly explanations, but briefly explained, the term refers to people who emigrated from France to eastern Canada (Acadia) and eventually pushed southward to settle in Louisiana. Along the way these Acadians became known as Cajuns as language evolved or corrupted.

The recipes in California Cajun are put forward in straight forward and easy-to-understand English. Kilchrist is never far from his southern Louisiana roots, though, and can segue to reminiscences in dialect when the mood strikes. Included one page before a Wine Tasting Glossary is a list of malaprops compiled by Betty Vigorito. These include (First: as spoken by at least one Cajun and Second: standard English in parentheses):

Hears Hard (Hard of Hearing)

Dementia Republic (Dominican Republic)

Decliner (Recliner)

Allergy on the River (Algae)

Very Close Veins (Varicose Veins)

Creative users of the English language, Cajuns are also creative in their preparation of food. Their Louisiana pantry included cultivated crops, but also the bounty of the diverse wild plants and animals available to people living in rural areas. Couple those conditions with the food consciousness of their French ancestors and you have the elements for an innovative and very tasty cuisine.

A few of the 150 recipes are typical of an era when not every ingredient was freshly sourced. Lanny’s Asparagus Casserole, for instance, includes canned asparagus, crushed Ritz crackers and a can of mushroom soup. However this might sound to trendy Californians, the Cajun transplant insists the dish is not only simple to prepare, but that it really does taste good. Though other recipes are more sophisticated, the techniques are fairly simple and most of the components are available in parts of the country outside Louisiana. A roux, for instance, requires only two ingredients; flour and oil, but being a cornerstone of Cajun cooking, merits preparation instructions and commentary taking all of page 105.

Among the recipes that caught the reviewer’s eye were these two:

Duck Gumbo

3 lbs duck, (3 to 4 large ducks like Mallard or 5 small ducks like Teal or Woodduck)2 stalks celery, rough chopped1 bay leaf2 tsp. Saltwater

Place ducks and rest of ingredients in a large pot and cover ducks with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until tender. Remove ducks and set aside to cool. Discard liquid. When ducks have cooled remove skin and debone.

Gumbo

¾ to 1 cup roux1 lg. onion, chopped1 lg. green bell pepper, chopped3 lg. cloves of garlic, minced1 lb. smoked pork link sausage6 cups chicken broth or water2 tsp. salt1 tsp. ground black pepper1 tsp. Cajun seasoning½ tsp. cayenne pepper1 tsp. garlic powder green onion, chopped

Make roux according to recipe in This and That section. When roux reaches desired color, add chopped vegetables and cook until they start to wilt. Add broth or water and bring to boil, stirring frequently. Add seasonings and simmer for 20 minutes. Add duck meat and sliced sausage. Cook on low heat for 40 to 50 minutes. Adjust seasonings according to taste.

Recipe Note: Serve over rice and garnish with chopped green onions. Some areas of Southern Louisiana serve potato salad with this gumbo.

--Ellin Busch--Sally Kilchrist

Gus’ Oyster Stew

2 green bell peppers, grated2 onions, grated2 cups water

Grate bell pepper and onions and place in pot with the water and boil until wilted. Remove and drain, save water.

Oyster Stew

5 qts. half and half1 gal. milk1 T. garlic powder1 tsp. black pepper1 T. salt11/2 gal. oysters1 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet1 tsp. cornstarch, dissolved in water that was used to wilt onions and bell peppergreen onion tops and parsley, chopped for garnish

Bring half and half and milk to simmer; be careful not to boil. Add vegetables and seasonings and cook for 5 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and Kitchen Bouquet and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Add drained oysters and cook until they curl. Adjust seasoning, if needed. Remove from heat and serve with green onion tops and parsley.

Recipe Note: This will feed several people. If desired, the recipe can be reduced proportionally for smaller quantity.

--Gustavia McZeal

Cooking with the California Cajun, 125 pages, is printed in hard cover/loose leaf format and priced at $19.95. Published by Morris Press Cookbooks, it is available from L K Enterprises ($23.75 including tax and shipping), 5643 Camellia Avenue, Sacramento, Ca 95819, (916) 451-0211.

 

--reviewed by Dan Clarke

Cooking With Cajun Women: Recipes & Remembrances From South Louisiana Kitchens

by Nicole Denée

 

Fontenot Hippocrene Books, October, 2002

ISBN 978-0781809320

Hard cover, 330 pages. $24.95

 cooking-with-cajun-women

Cooking with Cajun Women is a wonderful book. I am extremely proud of my Cajun background; our food is becoming recognized around the country in a very positive light, as it should be. This cookbook gives a short history of our plight and background which is so necessary to the reader’s understanding of the evolution of our kitchen.

I am also a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL). The author of this cookbook is one of many people associated with ULL who is working hard to promote and preserve our heritage. Food is always the window to a group of people, in this case hot and spicy food!

The Cajun people are descendents of French immigrants originally from the northwestern part of France. They left their home country due to political and religious pressures. They are European in all senses of the word and French as much as French can be. The recipes that are in this cookbook accurately show this French/European thinking. You will find that certain dishes are given different interpretations. For example, recipes for etouffe or gumbo are similar, but different for each individual who prepares them. This to me is one of the exciting and interesting things about our Cajun kitchen.

I especially enjoy the quotes that accompany the recipes. They give an insight to the person and show the color of our way of life. The tight knit family unit is still alive and well in South Louisiana. I will never forget our family’s mandatory Sunday dinner at grandma’s house on the farm. I was not especially receptive to this mandatory family get together, but I can tell you now that I would give anything to sit at that wonderful oak table and enjoy the magnificent meal that this old and wonderful woman could put together. Grandpa was no slouch in the kitchen, either. In fact, he could prepare Cajun food as well as his wife and he was very responsible for teaching me to cook.

Cooking with Cajun Women tends to let the reader feel that the women were more responsible for the meals than the men. Well, this not entirely correct. The Cajun men that I grew up with certainly could cook and did quite well. Cajun men are more into cooking today than ever before and certainly share the duties in the kitchen and are proud of their fixins!

The depiction of the Cajun has often suffered in accuracy, but this cookbook does a great job of helping folks understand and appreciate what we have in South Louisiana. You will enjoy this book. These words were common to hear while around our Cajun tables, “manger, manger, manger”(eat, eat, eat).

 

--Reviewer Lanny Kilchrist has resided in Sacramento, California, since he was assigned to teaching duties at Mather AFB at the conclusion of an Air Force career which included 210 combat missions in a B-52. After completing a master’s degree in glass art at California State University Sacramento, he founded L K Enterprises, a company which manufactures computerized temperature controllers for glass.

Lanny recommends readers visit the Cajun land of Louisiana to experience the wonderful food and hospitality firsthand, but cautions that a trip in the spring or fall will avoid also experiencing the summer’s very hot, sticky, and humid climate.

The Dancing Gourmet, Recipes to Keep You on Your Toes!by Linda Hymes photography by Derek Gaffney

 

Lindergaff Books

ISBN 0971978204www.dancinggourmet.com

157 pages $26.

the dancing-gourmet 

There are a few good cookbooks that provide most of what any aspiring home chef would need to know.

And you could get by on just a basic red wine and a basic white for your table. But wouldn’t life be so much more boring if we didn’t celebrate diversity? With all the cookbooks already in print, does the world need more? Yes, I think so.

Linda Hymes spent a good part of her adult life as a professional ballerina. That’s a world that I know less than nothing about. Yet I found fascinating the background and anecdotes that preface many of her recipes in “The Dancing Gourmet.” Obviously, dancers travel in their work and Hymes was exposed to different cultures. Her exposure to many cuisines gives her inspiration and her education at Le Cordon Bleu in London gives her a credibility that perhaps no other former ballerinas—and few world travelers of any profession—have.

The premise inherent in the title at first seemed a stretch to me and I was poised to dismiss “The Dancing Gourmet” as frivolous and probably targeting way too narrow an audience. That would have been shortsighted. This is not a “diet” cookbook, but the recipes seem both healthy and substantial. They make sense and the photography of many of these dishes (done by husband Derek Gaffney) encourages me to try the recipes.

Pizza Marguerita with capers and red onion is a classic recipe, yet seldom published. Its inclusion is worthwhile on that basis alone, but Hymes’ recollection of encountering pizza-making when performing a Balanchine ballet in Spoleto gives understanding of the dish beyond the usual “ingredients and method.” Insights such as the preface to sea bass wrapped in pancetta, “In ballet, often less is more. Too much effort and the whole picture looks forced, overdone. . . . A dancer must remember equally what not to do. The same is true with fish—keep it simple and don’t overcook it and you’ll never go wrong. . . . ” probably is fair analysis of ballet. It certainly is apt commentary on cooking fish.

“The Dancing Gourmet” is a little offbeat, but it’s worthwhile.

 

--reviewed by Dan Clarke

The Food of Fisherman's Wharf: Cooking and Feasting from San Francisco to Montereyby A.K. Crump

 

TCB-Café Publishing

ISBN: 0-9674898-9-XSoft cover, 192 pages $19.95http://www.cafeandre.com/

 

The Food of Fishermans Wharf

To this third-generation San Franciscan, the name Fisherman’s Wharf conjures just a limited strip of that city that borders the Bay. That’s a parochial view, though, and limiting. Countless settlements on the water must have their own fisherman’s wharves and Monterey, some 115 miles south of San Francisco on the Pacific, would be one of them. Many of the restaurants profiled by A. K. Crump would be on or near the fisherman’s wharves of these two cities. Others in the book are not, but are near water and would certainly be encompassed by the subtitle “Cooking and Feasting from San Francisco to Monterey.”

Over 300 color photographs give the reader a good feel for the restaurants featured and for the 24 recipes that are included. “The Food of Fisherman’s Wharf” might be a worthy souvenir for tourists who have visited the area or dined at any of the restaurants featured. It might also whet the appetites of out of state residents contemplating a visit.

Recipes included concentrate on—but aren’t limited to—fish and seafood themes. They seem fairly straightforward and are all credited to restaurants in the area, if not always to their specific chefs. Such references provide the home chef with opportunity to try signature dishes—or adaptations of them—from some very popular restaurants.

 

--reviewed by Dan Clarke

Wednesday, 25 July 2012 15:37

At Mesa’s Edge

At Mesa’s Edgeby Eugenia Bone

 

Houghton Mifflin Company

ISBN 0-618-22126-3Hard Cover, 330 pages, $24.

 At Mesas Edge

Eugenia Bone is a New York writer with heavyweight credentials (Saveur, Food & Wine, Gourmet, etc.). In At Mesa’s Edge she has created an intriguing memoir and cookbook.

When her architect husband decides that there’s room in their urban life for a part-time existence in Colorado’s North Fork Valley, Eugenia packs kids and cooking supplies to spend a summer in the West. Ranch property has been purchased, but it needs work. The theme may seem familiar, but who of us hasn’t daydreamed of moving—at least on a temporary basis—to someplace completely different? Crawford, Colorado isn’t Italy or southern France, but it might be as different from New York City as those locales.

In addition to tending sick children and rehabbing the long-abandoned ranch house, she must deal with snakes, skunks, feral cats and neighboring cattle wandering through her vegetable garden. As the newcomer ingratiates herself with the locals, she finds a substantial number who’re deeply food-conscious. The area has long been famed for its fruit production and seems to have a significant number of latter day specialty food producers.

Her recipes acknowledge shared experiences with newly-found Colorado friends and acquaintances, as well as the contributions of family and friends in New York who shaped her love for food and her cooking style. Marilee Gillman’s Tortilla Soup includes broth from her own pheasants, but chicken broth will suffice, says Bone. Asparagus Vinaigrette is a treatment of this basic vegetable dish as prepared by French-born Yvon Gros, who with his wife Joanna, runs the Leroux Creek Inn in Hotchkiss. Bone uses purchased asparagus stalks as well as wild examples found growing in area ditches. The recipe for Fettucine with Wild Mushrooms is from the author’s brother, Cham Giobbi, who discovered Porcinis growing wild in the nearby West Elk Mountains. Leek and Cilantro Pesto Tart is a recipe the author says she took to “a potluck winetasting at Ela Family Farms on Rogers Mesa.”

Bone’s intimate introductions to the recipes makes them seem all the more appealing. Anecdotes from the preceding narrative are in a style similarly personal. Bone’s recollection of little details when old Greek men barbecued lamb at the home of the uncle of her friend painted a vivid picture. Her story of taking a hunter safety class with 12-year old boys to qualify for a Colorado license was funny—and provided a window to a western ethos untroubled by political correctness.

 

--reviewed by Dan Clarke

Wednesday, 25 July 2012 14:47

The San Diego Restaurant Cookbook

The San Diego Restaurant CookbookRecipes from America’s Finest CityBy Ingrid Croce

Avalanche Records and Books, 2005

ISBN 978-0976680147

271 pages including index $29.95

 sandiegorestcookbook

The author dedicated this book to the daring restaurateurs who have placed their hearts and fortunes on the line to build their city’s exciting and vibrant dining scene.

I like to cook, share meals with others and look at cookbooks for new recipes. Once or twice I have read a cookbook entirely. In recent years San Diego has been the home of my daughter, son-in-law and grandson so I visit there often. The editor/publisher said, “I have a cookbook that you might enjoy reading and reviewing.” “OK let me see it” was my reply. Maybe the book would help us find a good restaurant or specialty food shop? Might it have a recipe from a restaurant dish we had enjoyed?

What should a cookbook do? The book should provide good recipes explained well. Drawings or photos or the ingredients, utensils, process and the finished product are helpful. It helps that the book presents a style of food or regional specialties. Sometimes a good one features the cooking of a famous chef or school of cooking.

Good and interesting cookbooks might be printed and sold for a good cause or a charity. I search for a copy of the Ida Grove Farmers and Swineherds Auxiliary cookbook frequently but unrequitedly. You know the kind produced on a mimeo machine by one of the members and assembled on one of those snap rings that opens for the holes in the pages. Who could refuse a chance to see real Iowan farmers’ wives’ recipes? Pork chops, summer sausage, pound cake or head cheese anyone? How about a book of the recipes of the various home cafes or eats places that graced small town America before major leagues expanded?

This book is organized by appetizers, first course, soup, salad, pasta, fish, crustaceans, poultry, meat, dessert, breakfast and brunch, growers and vendors. The author informs us of the background of the chef or the restaurant which is the source of the recipe. The recipes are the restaurants and Ms. Croce tells us so that we make the adjustments in amounts for the home kitchen. Many of the recipes are rather appealing. Their scope across many ethnic and American styles of food illustrates the variety that one finds and enjoys in San Diego’s restaurants.

Unfortunately, this volume, which gives the hope for much, delivers less. This book has many recipes and some of them read well and might be good to make and eat. There is a dearth of photos that matter in a cookbook -- pictures of ingredients or what the finished product should look like when completed. The book is replete with photos. There are photos of restaurant front doors, dining rooms, tables, staff, chefs and even a stove with pots and pans on it. However, few of them are of the food that using the recipes would produce. There are good photos of outside scenes of San Diego and nice shots of view from restaurants. Of the more than 100 photos in the book less than two dozen of them show any food or product cooked or raw. When photos of them are in the book they most often introduce one of the sections: poultry, pasta, meat, dessert, etc. Why are not the photos of the foods those for which you have printed the recipes?

The San Diego Restaurant Cookbook is a good looking volume, which provides insights into what is available in San Diego’s restaurants.

www.sandiegorestaurantcookbook.com

 

--review by Mike Petersen

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