Synopses & Reviews
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 entree. 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 featuresratatouille 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 o); 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