The Best American Recipes 1999: The Year's Top Picks from Books, Magazine, Newspapers and the Internet

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9780395966471: The Best American Recipes 1999: The Year's Top Picks from Books, Magazine, Newspapers and the Internet

For this ground-breaking collection, two leading food authorities scoured every conceivable printed source for the year's great recipes: cookbooks, magazines of every kind, national and regional newspapers, press releases, newsletters, the Internet -- even the backs of boxes. From literally thousands of possibilities, they narrowed the field to 500 for testing, before choosing 111 of the very best. Many of their discoveries are brilliantly simple, like the delightfully retro meatball appetizer that's making the rounds of Manhattan cocktail parties and the supremely easy Moroccan-inspired weeknight chicken supper that won its creator a million dollars in a cooking contest. The roast chicken recipe that's currently considered by food insiders to be one of the two best in the world is revealed here, as is the recipe for luscious black-bean burgers, a favorite of the food editor of a major women's magazine. And gone public at last is a well-known novelist's provocative spin on linguine with clam sauce, which food lovers have been excitedly e-mailing all over the country, as is the latest update from one of the nation's most talented pastry chefs, a new twist on her definitive hot fudge sauce. You'll find memorable dishes for holidays and other special occasions: a cider-cured turkey, an exceptional wild rice soup from Minnesota that solves the problem of what to do with the leftover bird, a trick to make a cheap supermarket ham taste exceptionally elegant, and the formula for a basic cookie dough that can be easily varied to produce fifty different kinds of cookies. You'll find breakfasts and brunches, starters and drinks (both alcoholic and non-) and salads and side dishes. There's even a recipe for banana biscotti for dogs. Throughout, the editors have added cooking notes, tips, and serving suggestions based on the results of their extensive testing. Whether the source is a virtuoso chef or an obscure home cook, a famous movie star or a fireman in a small town, each dish is perfectly calibrated to produce a single reaction among all those who taste it: "I must have that recipe!"

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Review:

If you have a friend who thinks of Ritz crackers and cheese spread as a meal, you aren't likely to go there for unbelievably delicious recipes, are you? But what if you are pals with Fran McCullough and Suzanne Hamlin, two of the mighty among food editors and food writers? Then you'd be on the receiving end of the best recipes they can find and test, recipes annually culled from every source imaginable--newspapers, magazines, books, e-mail, backs of boxes, advertising inserts, Web sites, word-of-mouth, fortune cookies, subway graffiti.

Figure on two recipes a week for a year with two weeks vacation thrown in: that'd be, oh, 100 recipes, wouldn't it? And that is what you get when you dip into The Best American Recipes 1999. Within you'll find starters and drinks, soups and stews, salads, main dishes, side dishes, breads, and desserts. These aren't your common, everyday, what'll-I-feed-the-kids-for-dinner recipes. That's why you get two a week for a year (albeit, all at once; you divvy them up however you want). And as a bonus, you get the authors' choices for the top 10 whatevers of the year. Comeback of the Year? It's cheese. Condiment of the year? Finally, it's salt. Cooking technique of the year? Only fitting that it's brining.

Be sure to try the Salmon in Sweet Red Curry, one of the top 10 dishes of the year that ran in the Los Angeles Times. Or the Brazilian Seafood Stew, a little something from Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. Nancy Silverton's Definitive Hot Fudge Sauce is here and may be the price-of-admission winner. And so, too, is a delicious Moroccan Tomato Soup from Barbara Kafka's Soup: A Way of Life. But here's the bottom line: any book that publishes a recipe by the Bay Area's fabulous Niloufer Ichaporia King, Parsi Deviled Eggs in this case, is indeed a book you want to use. --Schuyler Ingle

About the Author:

Fran McCullough has been an editor at Harper and Row, Dial Press, and Bantam, where she discovered such major cookbook authors as Deborah Madison, Diana Kennedy, Paula Wolfert, Martha Rose Shulman, and Colman Andrews. She is a coauthor of Great Food Without Fuss, which won a James Beard Award, and the author of the best-selling Low-Carb Cookbook, The Good Fat Cookbook, and Living Low-Carb.

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Fran McCullough (Editor), Suzanne Hamlin (Editor)
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