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Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Traditionby Barbara Lynch
This is my latest favorite cookbook. Besides good recipes, a good cookbook needs three things: great pictures, a story to tell, and it needs to teach you more about cooking than you already know. Stir has inspired me to make my own ricotta cheese (it's easier than you might think), and it's refreshing to find a notable chef who enjoys the humble iceberg lettuce. These thoughtfully presented recipes range from simple to fancy-pants.
Synopses & Reviews
"How a working-class Irish girl from South Boston became a chef with a national reputation is one of those virtually unanswerable questions. But to watch Barbara Lynch as she mixes dough with her hands . . . is to see a young woman with the soul of an Italian grandmother." --Mark Bittman, New York Times
Critics count Chef Barbara Lynch's food as some of the best in the country. Her handmade pasta is shamelessly silky, rivaling --some would say surpassing-- Italy's finest, melding effortlessly with her sauces. Some of her creations are more or less traditional, like the creamy Butcher Shop Bolognese (in this book, she reveals the secret ingredient that gives it special depth). Others are spectacularly original, like her Prune-Stuffed Gnocchi with Foie Gras Sauce, a dish so luxuriously light that it must be tasted to be believed.
For all Lynch's culinary prowess, her roots are not in Italy but in her childhood in South Boston, one of the poorest, toughest enclaves of the nation, where she was raised by a single mother with seven children. She never went to cooking school. But in the unlikely environs of a high school home ec class, she "got high on that thing that drives all good cooks: the desire to please others by making them the food they love to eat."
In Stir, Lynch's eagerly awaited first cookbook, you'll find plenty of food that you too will love to make and eat. The 150 recipes combine practical simplicity with charming sophistication, as in the easy finger-food appetizer Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Bites with Honey Mustard or the comforting pantry-staple dinner Rigatoni with Spicy Sausages and Cannellini Beans. Some break the rules when necessary to achieve deliciousness: pizza made with buttery-tender brioche dough, a spicy fresh clam sauce defying Italian custom with a dash of Parmesan.
Every single one, from Baked Cheese and Tomatoes with Black Olive Crisps to the fanciful Winter Citrus with Cumin Meringue and Whipped Crème Fraîche, will make you and your guests lean back and sigh, "This is so good."
"James Beard Award-winning Lynch, chef-owner of Boston's famed No. 9 Park and several other notable restaurants, delivers her much-anticipated first cookbook. An unlikely cook raised in the projects of South Boston, where she subsisted solely on processed foods, Lynch was introduced to cooking by her high school home economics teacher and was smitten. Since then, she's mastered her art, and the results are evident in this gorgeous, mouth-watering book, which includes her restaurants' signature dishes, such as prune-stuffed gnocchi with foie gras sauce and Butcher Shop Bolognese. She offers an ample selection of starters including quick chicken liver pâté, gorgonzola fondue, and brioche pizza dough. She also includes hearty and satisfying soups and salads, a substantial section on pasta, side dishes and desserts. Lynch's fish offerings are plentiful, including pan-fried cod with chorizo and clam ragout, and scallop and pureed celery root gratinée. Poultry dishes range from lemony breaded chicken cutlets to spice-rubbed roast goose. Lynch provides helpful tips throughout on everything from celery leaves to segmenting citrus. Lynch will delight fans who have been waiting patiently for this delectable collection." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Although Lynch hails from South Boston, not Tuscany, many critics believe her food rivals the best of Italy. The 150 recipes in "Stir" combine sophistication with practicality. Full-color photos throughout.
Although Barbara Lynch was born and raised in South Boston, not Tuscany, many critics believe her food rivals the best of Italy. It has been praised by Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Gourmet, and many more.
Lynch’s cuisine is all the more remarkable because it is self-taught. In a story straight out of Good Will Hunting, she grew up in the turbulent projects of “Southie,” where petty crime was the only viable way to make a living. But in a home ec class in high school, she discovered her passion. Through a mix of hunger for knowledge, hard work, and raw smarts, she gradually created her own distinctive style of cooking, mining Italian and French classics for ideas and seasoning them with imagination.
The 150 recipes in Stir combine sophistication with practicality. Appetizers like baked tomatoes and cheese and crisp, buttery brioche pizzas. Dozens of the artful pastas Lynch is famous for, such as little lasagnas with chicken meatballs, and potato gnocchi with peas and mushrooms. Lobster rolls with aïoli. Chicken wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with melting Italian cheese. Creamy vanilla bread pudding with caramel sauce. Accompanied by Lynch’s forthright opinions and stunning four-color photographs, these dishes will create a stir on home tables.
About the Author
Barbara Lynch is the James Beard Award-winning chef-owner of Barbara Lynch Gruppo, which includes seven restaurants and food businesses in Boston: No. Nine Park, B & G Oyster, The Butcher Shop, Sportello, Plum, Drink, and Stir.
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Cooking and Food » Dishes and Meals » Pasta and Pizza » General