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Charlie Palmer's Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen

Splatterproof, Waterproof, Sauceproof Durabook

by Charlie Palmer

Charlie Palmer's Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen

Creating a gourmet home-cooked meal can seem like a Herculean task—even without all the spills and splatters that are part of the cooking experience. With Charlie Palmer’s latest effort, you can drip and drizzle all you want, as the entire book is made of synthetic paper that is tear-resistant, stain-proof and easily cleanable. The pages of Charlie Palmer’s Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen are thick and durable, thanks to Melcher Media’s patented Durabook technology.

We also applaud Palmer’s return to taking into account how we actually cook, how we want to cook and what we need to get there. (His The Art of Aureole was utterly unreadable.) Here, he starts at the beginning by prepping home chefs with sections on the necessary cookware, ingredients and techniques one should know before the cooking starts.

The 135 recipes are organized into categories. “Cathartic Cooking” is for those who want to spend time in the kitchen, lost in the task of making Garlic-Studded Pot Roast with Fondant Fingerlings. “The Lazy Gourmand” seeks to satisfy people who want to enjoy a good meal at the end of the day that doesn’t take too much energy such as Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Thyme-Roasted Apples and Sautéed Spinach. “Home Dates” appeals to those who want to wine and dine in an intimate setting with the Balsamic Marinated Hanger Steak with Sweet-and-Sour Endives and Potato Purée.

A gourmet meal would not be complete without a choice wine selection and Palmer offers appropriate wines for every meal. For dessert, Palmer believes that serving jazzed-up classics like Croissant French Toast with Vanilla-Maple Apples is the best way to make a lasting impression. And when it’s time to clean-up, the book can be washed off with water and air dried—a task anyone can complete.

Reviewed by Eliza Gano

(Updated: 11/06/08 SB)

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