Deliciously Simple Three-Ingredient Recipes
By Rozanne Gold
(Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
did Rozanne Gold know that her pantry was a dynasty
waiting to happen.
I first met her almost a decade ago, she told me how
she and husband Michael Whiteman spent lazy Sunday
afternoons in their Manhattan apartment trying to
one-up each other coming up with the most spectacular
dishes possible based on the last scraps of food they
had left in their pantry.
that time, Gold certainly had made a culinary splash---but
not yet so much in the cookbook world. She had been
New York mayor Ed Koch's personal chef and was chef-director
(still her title today) of the company owned by Whiteman
and Joseph Baum, which was behind the creation of
the famous Rainbow Room and Windows on the World (demolished
September 11). She just had written Little Meals,
her first cookbook about a lifestyle of glamorous
those Sunday pantry raids were to become her real
bread-and-butter in cookbook publishing. Since then,
she has taken that philosophy and turned into the
queen of three-ingredient chic cuisine. Desserts 1-2-3
is her latest effort, on the heels of Recipes 1-2-3,
Recipes 1-2-3 Menu Cookbook, Entertaining
1-2-3 and Healthy 1-2-3.
good reason that most of the other authors who had
one-, two- or three-ingredient books during the rush-to-print
of such fare about the time Gold's first such book
was published are now down to zero---not in the form
of ingredients, but in their cookbook output due to
little interest in what were mostly uninspired, insipid
though, is just the term that best fits Gold.
simply will not believe what you can prepare quickly
and easily with three ingredients. Unlike many of
the other such authors who conveyed that working with
a small number of ingredients is a handicap, Gold---like
the world's greatest chefs in locales such as Italy
and Hong Kong---does just the opposite: proves that
this is the way superb cooking is supposed to be,
unencumbered and uncluttered.
in the tradition of her earlier books, "Desserts
1-2-3" is vivid proof of that. Here are some
of the wonders of Gold's world: Nectarine Tower with
Honey-Glazed Wontons; Warm Plums in Ruby Syrup with
Whipped Mascarpone; Eggnog Flan with Sun-Dried Cherries;
Meringue Nests with Lime Custard; Marzipan Raisin
Cookies; and Pineapple Carpaccio with Roasted Grapes
and Cinnamon Jus.
achieves her goals with ingenuity that probably will
inspire you to think outside the breadbox when it
comes to creating culinary shortcuts.
create her heavenly Hazelnut Angel Cake, for instance,
Gold uses finely ground hazelnuts in place of flour
and then needs only powdered sugar and eggs to complete
the feat. In Glazed Pear and Lychee Tarts and a number
of other dishes, she uses the syrup with canned fruit
(in this case lychees) as the foundation for her glaze.
The bittersweet chocolate sorbet that accompanies
her Warm Chocolate Souffle is created solely from
a portion of the bittersweet chocolate the recipe
calls for and vanilla-flavored sugar. The coconut
sorbet that is served with her Coconut Rum Custard
utilizes part of the cream of coconut and rum extract
needed for the overall dish (like in the aforementioned
chocolate souffle, eggs are the only other ingredient).
before has so little equaled so much, and, as if that
wasn't enough, Gold packs the chapters with pages
of additional tips.
if this can be a one-complaint column, mine would
be that the price of the book, too, equals so much.
You probably will feel you got your money's worth
as you stare at these glossy pages filled with many
full-color photographs of Gold's gorgeous grabbers.
However, I can't help feeling that many potential
readers of "three-ingredient" books might
be as economical with their cookbook budgets as they
are with the use of ingredients. The design-savvy
Stewart, Tabori & Chang upscale boutique publishing
house in some ways seems an odd choice (earlier books
in the series cost less from Viking Press and Little,
Brown & Co.) for a book that price- and design-wise
might have been more appreciated by its target audience
in a somewhat scaled-down form.