The Best of Gourmet : 1993 Edition

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9780679423645: The Best of Gourmet : 1993 Edition
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Nowadays, everyone who entertains is looking for outstanding casual fare that will allow them to spend more time with their guests. Dishes must be quick and easy to prepare (or able to be made ahead) and filled with the purest ingredients for optimum flavor. The Best of Gourmet, Featuring the Flavors of Thailand is filled with twenty-eight such menus-most are very relaxed, all are absolutely delicious.

For example, after a chilly day on the slopes, you may want to treat your houseguests to A Ski House Dinner. Begin the evening around the fire with champagne and a large platter of ever-so-tender smoked salmon with cilantro cream. Later, roasted veal chops with shallots, tomatoes, and olive jus nestled on pillows of soft polenta make a rich, indulgent entrée. And before everyone retires, a heavenly warm chocolate raspberry pudding cake, made the day before and reheated, is served with a glass of cognac.

When the summer heats up, why not spend A Weekend at the Shore with friends? You'll have three clever menus in hand that take advantage of the season's abundant fresh produce, include plenty of make-ahead dishes, and satisfy hearty seaside appetites. On Saturday morning you can serve Breakfast on the Beach with buttery-rich baked blueberry-pecan French toast. Lunch Indoors includes a serve-yourself composed salad of classic favorites and a lovely rhubarb rice pudding. Then, after a long day in the sun, Dinner on the Deck promises a seafood meal to remember with curry-marinated mussels, followed by grilled lobster with Southeast Asian dipping sauce.

Or perhaps a last-minute Beyond Backyard Basics dinner is closer to what you had in mind? This little gem of a menu features ratatouille with penne-a heavenly jumble of roasted eggplants, onions, yellow squash, and red bell peppers, with plum tomatoes, garlic, thyme, parsley, and basil. For dessert, multicolored grapes perched atop pastry cream in puff pastry shells make a scrumptious and ever-so-pretty choice.

So which menu will you try first? You'll find more than eighty pages of exquisite full-color photographs to help you decide. Altogether, this volume holds more than 350 recipes-including the very best recipes that appeared in Gourmet's food columns during 1999. There are hundreds of dishes that can be made in forty-five minutes or less (look for the clock symbol ð); plenty of leaner and lighter selections (look for the feather symbol F); seasonal ideas for everything from apples to zucchini; and an impressive array of tempting sweets and snacks.

This year's Cuisines of the World section turns to the intriguing flavors of Thailand with a traditional dinner for eight and a collection of Thai snacks. Dishes such as steamed red snapper with ginger, grilled beef salad, fish cakes, and coconut ice cream demonstrate the sweet, sour, hot, and salty tastes of this fascinating country. Informative primers and exquisite full-color photos add further insight.

Twenty-four more brand-new recipes appear in a special section featuring Unusual Pastas and Grains. From fresh rice noodles to Israeli couscous to wheat berries, and much more, these unique pantry items will undoubtedly expand your palette of flavors.

Just when you thought you had tasted it all, along comes a cookbook that opens up a world of new possibilities-The Best of Gourmet

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Insalata Di Arance e Finocchio
Citrus Salad with Sweet Fennel

5 juice oranges
1 large fennel bulb
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Cut a slice from top and bottom of each orange to expose pulp and cut peel and pith from oranges, working from top to bottom. Cut oranges crosswise into ¼ inch thick slices and transfer to a bowl with any juice.

Trim off fennel stalks flush with bulb and halve bulb lengthwise. Remove most of core from bulb by making an inverted “v” shape, leaving enough core to keep layers intact. Thinly slice bulb lengthwise with a mandoline or other manual slicer and toss with oranges, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Let salad stand, stirring occasionally, until fennel is slightly wilted, about 20 minutes. Drizzle with oil.
Tonno Con Menta e Mandorle
Grilled Tuna with Mint-Almond Sauce

For Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled

2 1/2 lb. (1-inch-thick) tuna steaks

Make Sauce
Heat oil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook garlic and vinegar, stirring, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in mint and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in almonds just before serving.
Prepare grill for cooking.
Brush tuna lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on a rack set over glowing coals until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Serve tuna with sauce.



Pasta alla Norma
Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato Sauce

2 lb. Eggplant
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 lb. plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 lb. spaghetti
1 cup freshly grated ricotta salata cheese or pecorino (2 ½ oz.)

Cut eggplant lengthwise into ½—inch-thick slices and layer in a colander, sprinkling each layer generously with salt. Let stand 1 hour.
Cook garlic in 1 tbsp. oil in a 5 to 6 quart heavy saucepan over moderate hear until pale golden. Add tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 30 to 40 minutes. Force mixture through food mill into a bowl. Return sauce to pan and stir in basil and salt and pepper to taste.
Rinse eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Heat remaining cup oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook eggplant in 3 or 4 batches, turning once, until browned and tender, 5 to 6 minutes. (If eggplant begins to brown too quickly, lower heat to moderate.) Transfer to paper towels to drain. Cool and cut crosswise into ¼ inch strips.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain well. Toss pasta with half of sauce, half of eggplant, and ¾ cup cheese.
Serve pasta topped with remaining sauce, eggplant, and cheese.
Biscotti All’Anice
Anise Biscotti

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. anise seeds
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2tsp. vanilla

Coarsely crush anise seeds with edge of a heavy plate or by pulsing in an electric spice/coffee grinder.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt into a bowl. Beat together eggs and sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until batter ribbons with beater is lifted, 8 to 10 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture until combined well, then fold in anise seeds.
Spoon half to batter into pastry bag, then pipe batter onto 1 baking sheet to form 3 by 2 inch rectangles about 1 inch apart. Pipe remaining batter onto second baking sheet in same manner. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until pale golden, 15 to 20 minutes total.
Reduce oven to 325F.
Cool rectangles on sheets on racks just until they can be handled, about 5 minutes, then cut diagonally into ¾ inch-thick slices. (There will be end pieces.)
Bake slices, a cut side down, on ungreased baking sheets in upper and lower thirds of oven, turning biscotti over and switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to racks to cool.

Review:

Grilling has come a long way in America over the past decade, and now Gourmet shows you how to fire up your grill in style with a Sizzle in the City dinner that applauds Latin flavors. Yuca chips, avocado jicama salsa, and pink daiquiris are a colorful beginning, then it’s on to grilled matambre (spinach-and-carrot-stuffed flank steak). Coconut tuile cones with passion-fruit ice cream add a final touch of chic to a very fashionable party. This is just one of the dozens of remarkable menus you’ll find in this volume of The Best of Gourmet.

And speaking of sophistication, this year’s Cuisines of the World section turns to San Francisco, a city that blends global cuisines for a taste all its own. Here you’ll find a celebration feast inspired by the vibrant Italian community of North Beach, a glamorous Food Noir dinner, a handful of local favorites like crab Louis and Hangtown fry (fried-oyster omelet), and several dishes featuring the irresistible artichoke.

Indoors or out–let The Best of Gourmet, Featuring the Flavors of San Francisco make a stylish difference in your entertaining.

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