A Fresh Approach To Home-Cooked Meals
by Dave Lieberman
I heard a review of this book on the radio and asked for it for Christmas. Everything I have made has been quite good! Last night I made the Chicken Tikka Masala With Cardamon Basmati Rice, my first try at Indian cooking. It was wonderful! My house was filled with sweet aromas for hours. Probably had more calories than I need right now... but well worth the extra treadmill time. (this is probably why calories and nutritional information are not listed!) I have also tried the Mini Flank Steak Tortillas with Chipotle-Lime Sour Cream twice! This dish has such a depth of flavor that I had to make it twice. Can't wait to try the next dish! The illustrations are beautiful and directions are well organized. Give it a shot!
K. Wooten, North Carolina (Amazon.com)
I like that Dave decided to focus specifically on dinners, because that's really the only time I ever go into the kitchen with the intent on being adventurous and spending time preparing a formal meal.
This book does a nice job of enhancing standards by incorporating the use of fresh herbs and spices, as well as introducing new or more obscure ingredients (fennel, cardamom, mango, gemelli, etc) that make boring dishes more interesting.
I also love that he included a number of soup recipes - I hate buying soup off-the-shelf because it is usually loaded with pasta or rice (cheap filler) or ridiculously high in sodium. Since sodium is added to enhance the flavor of canned soups that is otherwise lost, cooking soups fresh from scratch results in better flavor with less salt.
The book is organized in a way that lets you choose a la carte drinks, entrees and desserts and covers the entire dinner experience. I've already made several of the dishes and all have been hits. If you like entertaining but don't want to be a kitchen slave in order to have a few friends over for a nice meal, this is a good collection of ideas to help you achieve that objective.
PS - the only reason I gave this cookbook 4 stars instead of 5 is that I wish it included some calorie/serving size information as well as more carb-friendly recipes, but those are just ideas for future work and not a huge detraction from this book.
Michael T. Rognlien, Seattle, Washington (Amazon.com)