Lidia’s Family Table: More Than 200 Fabulous Recipes to Enjoy Every Day-With Wonderful Ideas for Variations and Improvisations
From one of America best-loved and most-admired chefs, an instructive and creative collection of over 200 recipes that bring simple, delicious Italian cooking to the family table, with imaginative ideas for variations and improvisations. Lidia’s Family Table features hundreds of fabulous new dishes that will appeal both to Lidia’s loyal following, who have come to rely on
From one of America best-loved and most-admired chefs, an instructive and creative collection of over 200 recipes that bring simple, delicious Italian cooking to the family table, with imaginative ideas for variations and improvisations.
Lidia’s Family Table features hundreds of fabulous new dishes that will appeal both to Lidia’s loyal following, who have come to rely on her wonderfully detailed recipes, and to the more adventurous cook ready to experiment.
• She welcomes us to the table with tasty bites from the sea (including home-cured tuna and mackerel), seasonal salads, and vegetable surprises (Egg-Battered Zucchini Roll-Ups, Sweet Onion Gratinate).
• She reveals the secret of simple make-ahead soup bases, delicious on their own and easy to embellish for a scrumptious soup that can make a meal.
• She opens up the wonderful world of pasta, playing with different shapes, mixing and matching, and creating sauces while the pasta boils; she teaches us to make fresh egg pastas, experimenting with healthful ingredients–whole wheat, chestnut, buckwheat, and barley. And she makes us understand the subtle arts of polenta- and risotto-making as never before.
• She shares her love of vegetables, skillet-cooking some to intensify their flavor, layering some with yesterday’s bread for a lasagna-like gratin, blanketing a scallop of meat with sautéed vegetables, and finishing seasonal greens with the perfect little sauce.
• She introduces us to some lesser-known cuts of meats for main courses (shoulders, butts, and tongue) and underused, delicious fish (skate and monkfish), as well as to her family’s favorite recipes for chicken and a beautiful balsamic-glazed roast turkey.
• And she explores with us the many ways fruits and crusts (pie, strudel, cake, and toasted bread) marry and produce delectable homey desserts to end the meal.
Lidia’s warm presence is felt on every page of this book, explaining the whys and wherefores of what she is doing, and the brilliant photographs take us right into her home, showing her rolling out pasta with her grandchildren, bringing in the summer harvest, and sitting around the food-laden family table. As she makes every meal a celebration, she invites us to do the same, giving us confidence and joy in the act of cooking.Warm and calmly authoritative, Lidia Bastianich has won the trust of many cooks, who also devour her TV shows and books including Lidia’s Italian Table and Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen. Lidia’s Family Table also presents homey Italian fare–savory dishes like Cauliflower Soup with Poached Garlic Purée; Potato, Leek, and Bacon Ravioli; Skillet Green Beans with Gorgonzola; and Grilled Tuna Rollatini Under Tomato-Lemon Marinade–over 200 recipes in all. But Family Table is equally about technique; readers will find it crammed with instructive asides like “Using ‘Pasta Water’ to Make a Quick Sauce” (the water’s starchiness can add body to sauces) and “Reduced Wine Vinegar for Vegetables” (heat-concentrated vinegar makes a deliciously mellow seasoning).
But the teaching doesn’t stop there. Bastianich’s discussions of risotto and polenta are particularly good (when preparing risotto, for example, the liquid must simmer for the dish to become properly toothsome), while a section on quick skillet sauces, like one made with sausage, onions, and fennel, will get many readers to the kitchen pronto. Bastianich also offers advice for preparing lesser-known yet attractive meat cuts like shoulder and butt, as well as quick-take recipes for the likes of whole corn cooked in tomato sauce and eggplant with scrambled eggs. The Bastianich approach also applies to the dessert section, which offers simple fruit-based sweets like Fig Focaccia, and Crostata with Poached Apricots and Pignolala. (Included, too, are a number of simple strudel recipes, a bow to the cooking of Istria, Bastianich’s birthplace.) Color photos make succinct technical points as well as showing Lidia’s extended family at table and very much in action. –Arthur Boehm
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