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Morton's Steak Bible

The Meat and Potatoes of It All
by Klaus Fritsch with Mary Goodbody

Morton's Steak Bible: The Meat and Potatoes of It All

According to food historians, steakhouses originated in New York City at the turn of the twentieth century and were frequented and popularized by the city’s well-to-do. Their customer’s affluent lifestyles permitted them to spend money, dine lavishly and demand the finest cuts of beef, thus establishing steakhouses as synonymous with wealth and prosperity. This category of cuisine grew into an American tradition and today, nothing spells dinner like steak, starch and vegetables. Designed to help at-home chefs create restaurant style fare from their own kitchen, Morton’s Steak Bible comprises more than 100 recipes from the Morton’s Steakhouse restaurant chain, along with anecdotes about famous clientele.

Characteristically masculine in décor, steakhouses offer an à la carte menu which requires diners to select individual items that are separately priced. The cookbook follows the same cuisine-scheme. Appetizers, salads, soups and side dishes are divided into separate sections just as you would find them on a typical steakhouse menu and include staples such as shrimp cocktail, New England clam chowder, Morton’s Caesar salad, and sautéed spinach and mushrooms. “Steak: Our Feature Presentation,” is a chapter dedicated solely to the preparation of the steak (filet mignon, porterhouse, t-bone and steak au poivre), just as a cut would be served in a restaurant. Wine recommendations are included with each listing as well as guidelines for testing the “doneness” of the meat. Additional chapters include “Other Steakhouse Favorites” which offers a selection of sea-friendly recipes such as Salmon with Beurre Blanc or Swordfish with Béarnaise Sauce and “Desserts” with recipes for Morton’s legendary hot chocolate cake and lemon soufflé.

Reviewed by Liz Brown

(Updated: 12/11/08 SB)

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