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The Good Enough to Eat Breakfast Cookbook

By Carrie Levin with William Perley (Warner Books)

The Good Enough to Eat Breakfast Cookbook



Breakfast in bed? Good. Breakfast at Good Enough to Eat? Better. That's been the consensus of thousands of New Yorkers for more than two decades as they munch on BLT omelets, peach-mango muffins, challah hole-in-the-bread with Grand Marnier bananas and other specialties at Good Enough to Eat, Carrie Levin's popular uptown eatery.

Levin and collaborator William Perley deserve ample tips for serving up the best of Levin's tantalizing recipes in this reasonably priced paperback. Photographs will not be joining you at the breakfast table, but Levin's descriptions alone often do the trick.

"Seppi Renggli, the chef I apprenticed under at the Four Seasons, taught me to impart a subtle ginger flavor to certain fruits and vegetables by poaching them in ginger ale," Levin writes of her Ginger Ale-Pear Turnovers, which also deliciously include infusions of brown sugar and cinnamon.

"You get a nice intense flavor from mushrooms by pressing them with a wooden spoon or spatula while they are sautéing to squeeze the water out of them. To clean the surface of mushrooms before slicing and cooking, rub them with a paper towel dipped in water containing a few drops of lemon juice," she advises regarding her Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms and Parmesan.

Hundreds of helpful tips like that accompany Levin's summaries of her beautiful breakfasts. But don't think Levin's been chained to the stove all these years. She includes lots of gossip and memories from her lively New York City life, especially about her romantic courtship with husband Bill, whose aphrodisiacal breakfasts are all in attendance.

Recipes throughout the book are proof of why the Belgium-born, classically culinary trained Levin is so popular—and why repeat customers never tire of the rich menu. One french toast is made with homemade pumpkin bread and crowned with pear-cranberry topping. A cinnamon-swirl french toast has a marmalade sauce created from dried blueberries, apricots and cherries—and English breakfast tea. The aforementioned Challah Hole-in-the-Bread with Grand Marnier Bananas is a french toast-inspired showstopper in which custard and bananas fill the hole. (Anyone who has had even plain french toast made with challah, knows the soft egg bread is a superlative choice.)

Recipes are challenging, but highly doable. You will undoubtedly pick up some valuable pointers and may just find yourself, as Levin did, with a morning riot on your hands if you alter the menu once your own breakfast crowd gets hooked on it.

BLT Omelet
Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

(Updated: 02/17/09 KR)

The Good Enough to Eat Breakfast Cookbook

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