Synopses & Reviews
Widely recognized as one of the fathers of New American cuisine, Jonathan Waxman became a mentor to hundreds of chefs on both coasts. Here he shows you how to flex your culinary muscles while having fun in the kitchen.
A Great American Cook presents Waxman's finest dishes the way he makes them at home. They include the Red Pepper Pancakes with Corn and Caviar that he created when he ran the kitchen of Alice Waters's Chez Panisse, his famous Grilled Chicken with JW Fries, and a homey Pizza with Bacon, Scallions, Parmesan, and Tomato that's a family weeknight favorite. His combinations are simple but unexpected, exuberant but down to earth. Many of the dishes juxtapose contrasting flavors and textures, pairing cool beef carpaccio with warm potato salad, soft crab cakes with crunchy slaw, or whole wheat pasta with spicy clams. Other recipes, such as Shrimp BLT, Crispy Chicken and Goat Cheese Burritos, and Gingerbread with Brandied Plums, are free-spirited plays on classics.
Waxman shows how to produce magnificent food from just a few ingredients, roasting eggplants and red peppers for a forcefully flavored soup or tossing asparagus with oranges and hazelnuts for a refreshing first course. He repeatedly demonstrates his philosophy of "less is more" with suppers like flash-seared scallops on caramelized onions and chicken cooked under a brick with a sauce of rosé wine, bacon, and peas. In the best American tradition, his vision is bold but strikingly unpretentious. From a versatile vegetable dish that goes with nearly every main course to handmade pastas with delicate sauces to a foolproof way to cook salmon, Waxman gives you all the techniques and recipes tomake you a great American cook in your own right.
His invigorating message throughout: Let your ingredients do the talking. Lighten up. Enjoy yourself.
"Waxman, hailed as one of the founders of New American cuisine, brought California cookery to the East Coast. After stints in Paris and at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., Waxman went on to found several prominent restaurants, including Manhattan's Jams and Sonoma's West Country Grill. In this handsome cookbook, his first, he offers recipes ranging from simple to complex, a tantalizing mix of rustic, ethnic and regional cooking that includes Wild Mushroom and Leek Soup, Pulled Beef and BBQ Sauce Sandwich, and Pork Tenderloin with Portobello Mushroom Sauce. Recipes are relatively short and easy to prepare, and instructions are clear and concise. Some dishes, such as Perfect Roast Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Spinach, are pleasantly familiar, while others, like Pheasant with Oyster Stuffing, are somewhat beyond the standard fare but still appealing. Waxman also includes a chapter on sandwiches and pizza. Bobby Flay, a Waxman disciple, provides a foreword. More than 50 color photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
For the movers and shakers of the food world, Waxman is a culinary giant who has helped invent contemporary American cooking. The forceful flavors of his dishes are unabashedly rustic and engagingly straightforward. For the first time he presents his greatest recipes to the home cook.
Renowned chef Jonathan Waxman knows that becoming a great American cook starts at homeand#8212;here he shares methods for recipes you can pull together with just a few ingredients.
Widely recognized as one of the fathers of New American cuisine, Jonathan Waxman knows how to make magnificent food from just a few ingredients, roasting eggplants and red peppers for an intensely flavored soup or tossing asparagus with oranges and hazelnuts for a refreshing first course. His vision is bold, but strikingly unpretentious: many of the dishes in A Great American Cookand#8212;like the Shrimp BLT, Crispy Chicken and Goat Cheese Burritos, and Gingerbread with Brandied Plumsand#8212;are free-spirited plays on classics, and his and#8220;less is moreand#8221; philosophy animates suppers like flash-seared scallops on caramelized onions and chicken cooked under a brick with a sauce of rosand#233; wine, bacon, and peas. From a versatile vegetable dish that goes with nearly every main course to handmade pastas with delicate sauces to a foolproof way to cook salmon, Waxman gives you all the techniques and recipes you need for simple, sophisticated cooking at home.