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Off the Eaten Path

Inspired Recipes for Adventurous Cooks
by Bob Blumer (Ballantine)

Off the Eaten Path: Inspired Recipes for Adventurous Cooks




Bob Blumer is the court jester of cooking. He's also a darn good cook. Some people may not realize this since he bills himself as "the surreal gourmet" (his other two books are The Surreal Gourmet and The Surreal Gourmet Entertains) and is an illustrator and "conceptualist" who poses Barbie dolls eating his shrimp platters and favors recipes a la grapefruits filled with vodka.

But the man also makes a mean seared ahi tuna taco with avocado salsa, pepper-crusted maple-glazed salmon and pan-seared duck breast with cassis compote. Somewhere, somehow someone taught this genius—in between dreaming up countless schemes involving food—how to do a lot more than flip an omelet. Therefore, even if you're not in the mood for a surreal supper, you won't go hungry.

Blumer's growing throng of "surreal" fans certainly will find lots to keep them awe-inspired, too. Lovingly photographed in living color is his bed of polenta (a mattress, in fact, of polenta draped with a sheet of fresh pasta and adorned with two ravioli pillows). Or there is the "diced" fish (squares of shark that look exactly like dice when they are adorned with black peppercorns). Or the poundcake fries with raspberry catsup (poundcake cut into strips to look just like french fries that have been slathered in catsup).

There is a whole chapter on food that gets set on fire (ignited apple crisps and blazing bananas) and dishes made with a clothes iron (using it as a steaming or grilling device). But, I'm sorry Mr. Blumer, it's us who get the last laugh. Whether we make your salmon with piquant dill sauce in our dishwasher or lemon-herb–roasted rock Cornish hens in nothing more exotic than our oven, it's all outstanding.

"Diced" Fish
Poundcake "Fries" with Raspberry "Catsup"

Previously featured:

The Wine Sense Diet

Old-Time Brand-Name Desserts: Recipes, Illustrations, and Advice from the Recipe Pamphlets of America's Most Trusted Food Makers

Pot Pies: Comfort Food Under Cover

The Big Book of Casseroles: 250 Recipes for Serious Comfort Food

Tracy Porter's Inspired Gatherings

The El Paso Chile Company Rum & Tiki Cookbook

The Mediterranean Herb Cookbook

Anne Willan: From My Château Kitchen

Plenty: A Collection of Sarah McLachlan's Favourite Recipes

Simple French Desserts

American Home Cooking: Over 300 Recipes Celebrating Our Rich Tradition of Home Cooking

Stacks: The Art of Vertical Food

Asian Wraps: Deliciously Easy Hand Held Bundles to Stuff, Wrap & Relish

Great Kitchens: At Home With America's Top Chefs

Essentials of Cooking

City Tavern Cookbook: 200 Years of Classic Recipes From America's First Gourmet Restaurant

The Cake Mix Doctor


(Updated: 12/16/08 SB)
Cookbook Book Reviews Recipes Gayot

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