Network Kitchens Cookbook
A little more than ten years ago The Food Network broke new
ground with a channel devoted entirely to all things food.
Subscribers got face-time with culinary icons like Wolfgang
Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.
The repertoire quickly expanded to embrace equally talented
folks like Sara Moulton, Bobby Flay and Mario Batali. Soon,
Iron Chef chatter could be heard from the water cooler to
the boardroom. Food was a spectator sport and chefs were
celebrities. Of course, we are forever grateful to Julia
Child and the Galloping Gourmet, our pre-cable teachers,
but The Food Network introduced food as lifestyle... and
with a vengeance.
million households and one giant website later, The Food
Network has turned out their first cookbookThe
Food Network Kitchens Cookbook. And there's a nice surprise
in that, this time, you'll be learning from the hardworking
professionals behind the scenesthe talented Food Network
cooks, chefs, tasters and stylists, and the many more food
experts who work in the kitchens and studios with the on-air
food is called Modern American
"inspired by the
techniques and flavors of world cuisines," and the
authors promise that you'll be able to find the ingredients
in your local market. The recipes are a compelling assortment
of foods from breakfast through dessertand everything
in-between including a generous bakery sampler of muffins,
biscuits and breads. Recipes are clearly detailed with plenty
of cook's notes, shopping hints, style suggestions and mini-lessons
on technique. Photographs are rich, plentiful and wisely
first chapter, Morning Foods, should get everyone eating
breakfast again, even if it's just a handful of Maple Granola-To-Go
or a clever Breakfast Crostini of pumpernickel bread topped
with mascarpone cheese and oven-dried plums. The chapter
entitled Bites is by no means exhaustive, but includes enough
to pull off a good party, from Shrimp Toast with Thai Basil,
and Ginger and Cajun Chicken Lollipops, to Corn Fritters
with Charred Tomato Salsa.
a respectable lineup of soups, salads and sandwiches contained
in the like-named chapter including a rustic White Bean
and Escarole Soup and an exotic Watermelon Curry with Grilled
Shrimp (start thinking about summer now). The perennial
comfort food gets a friendly makeover in Macaroni and Cheese
with Red Peppers and Tomatoes, as do polenta and chilaquiles.
chapter includes some worldly choices, but even the most
exotic dishes are restrained enough for tamer palates. For
example, the Hoisin-Glazed Beef Tenderloin with Shiitake
Mushrooms incorporates plenty of Chinese ingredients, but
the dish will satisfy both the die-hard meat-eater and Chinese
is fairly quick and easy to make, even an elegant Braised
Lamb Shanks with Herbs. Side dishes are fun, like they should
be. Try Sicilian Sweet and Sour Butternut Squash, and Spicy
Carrot Sambal, or how about Drunken Beans treated to Mexican
lager. Desserts include a bunch of familiar favorites, from
a revived Pineapple Upside-Down Cake to Snickerdoodles and
a basic Flan.
Food Network Kitchens Cookbook contains nearly 300
pages of recipes (including master recipes), instruction,
notes and photos. It condenses the collective experience
of a lot of hardworking talent. The result is worthwhile.
The authors encourage you to get your book "butter-stained
and dog-eared in your kitchen." I'm getting there quickly.
There's a splash of hoisin sauce on page 161 and surely
the Coconut-Ginger Layer Cake will leave a mark during its
by Kevin Schoeler
TOAST WITH THAI BASIL AND GINGER