Bon Appétit pulls together some favorite recipes
Barbara Fairchild has worked for Bon Appétit for 28 of the magazine's 50 years and has been the editor in chief since 2000. These, of course, are not her recipes; a three-page list of acknowledgments...
The Washington Post
"The Bon Appétit Cookbook"
By Barbara Fairchild
John Wiley & Sons, $34.95, 1,289 recipes
Barbara Fairchild has worked for Bon Appétit for 28 of the magazine's 50 years and has been the editor in chief since 2000. These, of course, are not her recipes; a three-page list of acknowledgments at the front of "The Bon Appétit Cookbook" hints at the dishes' actual origins. Maida Heatter, Ina Garten, Wolfgang Puck and various restaurants in this country and abroad are among those given credit.
This hefty book brings together what the publishers describe as "more than 1,200 of the magazine's all-time best-loved recipes for every meal and occasion." A helpful opening chapter, "Notes From the Test Kitchen," offers realistic lists of basic hardware and kitchen supplies a cook should have on hand.
There are also quick how-to's — instructions on procedures such as pitting olives, deveining shrimp, caramelizing sugar — and a don't-miss page of advice titled "Tips for Getting the Most Out of This Book" (if you ever wondered about the difference between "1 cup of olives, chopped" and "1 cup of chopped olives," here's your answer).
A complete list of recipes at the front of the book is an extra navigational aid, supplementing the usual table of contents and index. The recipes' straightforward layout and boldface ingredients lists are user-friendly. One caution: Just because an ingredients list doesn't include salt or pepper doesn't necessarily mean you won't need them; advice to "season to taste with salt and pepper" tends to appear unexpectedly in the instructions.
Barbara Fairchild joins Seattle Magazine food editor Sara Dickerman in a "culinary conversation," 6 p.m. Oct. 4 at Cafe Campagne, 1600 Post Alley in Pike Place Market. The event will feature hors d'oeuvres and wine for $35. A dinner with Fairchild follows at Campagne, 86 Pine St., in Pike Place Market, for $150 and includes the discussion. Reservations for both events may be made by calling 206-448-7740.
Though this is not intended to be a quick-meals book, many of the dishes come together fast. Recipes reflect diverse regional and cultural influences without relying on exotic ingredients that are difficult to find. Surprisingly for a book that contains so many recipes (and so much attractive food), it includes just 32 color photos.
Sample tip: "To soften ice cream or sorbet for use in ice cream cakes or pies, microwave a one-pint container for 10-second intervals on low power (or the defrost setting) until the ice cream is just soft enough to spread."
Who would use this book: Any home cook (and Bon Appétit fan) with good basic skills who wants to create food that's interesting and flavorful, though not always healthful. Page through this book and you'll find yourself wanting to try this recipe, and that one — and that one. If you're a subscriber to the magazine, you'll undoubtedly recognize some old favorites.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
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