Gourmet Today: More than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen
Edited by Ruth Reichl
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
When the news broke that the magazine Gourmet Today was going kaput I was heartbroken. This was one cooking magazine that I always meant to subscribe, but never got around to it. For 2010, I vowed that I would give myself this relatively inexpensive gift and then, well, Gourmet Today is no more.
However, I was easily consoled that Ruth Reichl, the editor-in-chief, had just put out a 1000+ page cookbook and even at the pricey $40 I thought I would get it and add it to the cookbook collection. The recipes in the magazine never let me down and I doubted the cookbook would, but prior to buying it I was able to preview it thanks to my wonderful local library. As soon as I opened it and went directly to the dessert section, I knew that I had to have this book.
Apart from the sweets section what makes this cookbook so good? Well, if you’re like me at all and wonder why a recipe calls for sea salt, table salt, and kosher salt, Reichl provides a great sidebar about the differences right from the very get-go, and now I have all three. It’s information of this nature that makes reading a cookbook fun, interesting, and, hopefully, makes one a better cook.
Typically, I like to review a cookbook after I try three recipes and then give it my stamp of approval, but so far I’ve tried only one. Here, at chez moi, we’re trying to eat less meat and more vegetables and soy products. The one recipe we’ve tried so far was Grilled Tofu Sauteed with Asian Greens. It’s a simple dish to prepare. The only labor-intensive part of the recipe is making sure that you’ve pressed all the moisture out of the firm tofu (keep a full roll of paper towels on hand, you’ll need at least half a roll).
The first time I made this, I didn’t have enough paper towels and the tofu was a little springy. The second time, I followed the directions to the letter and the tofu seemed to better absorb the marinade’s flavor, plus it had more of a consistency or bulk to it.
What’s next on the menu? Tough question. There are too many recipes and I want to try them all. Maybe sometime this week, we’ll have Wuxi Spareribs, Hunan Scallion Pancakes, and Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls.