This book contains 219 gourmet recipes culled from well over 1000 that were collected over 40 years by Michael Burwen, an accomplished amateur chef. All of the recipes are easy to make and most are low cost. Although the recipes have roots in many international cuisines, they will all appeal to the average palate and call for ingredients that are readily available in America.
This book is will appeal to foodies. There are lots of meat dishes, stews, steaks and roasts along with potatoes, rice and pasta recipes. Even the vegetable side dishes tend to be hearty. If you are looking for steamed broccoli, this is not your cookbook.
The recipe collection is international. French, Italian, Indian, Mediterranean, Chinese, Southeast Asian as well as American dishes are included. You will never get bored if you try them all.
The book is divided into chapters in accordance with the dishes' position in a meal: The chapters and some examples of recipes contained in each one are as follows:
Hors d'oeuvres and Finger-Food: BBQ’d Pork Singapore Style, Mushroom Caviar, Prosciutto and Parmagiano Purses, Sausage in Bourbon Sauce
Appetizers, Tapas and First Courses: Stuffed Artichokes, Garlic Shrimp Tapas, Clams Oreganate
Salads: Fennel and Mint, Thai Cucumber, Moroccan Tomato
Soups: Garlic, Belgian Endive, Roasted Red Pepper
Main Courses by featured ingredient including beef, chicken, duck, lamb, pork, seafood, veal and vegetarian: Herbed Roast Beef, Simplified Coq au Vin, Black Cherry Lamb Chops, Szechuan Back Ribs, Scallops in Curry Sauce, Veal Normande, Italian Mac and Cheese
Desserts and Cookies: Apple Far, Pears with Chocolate Sauce, Rum Cake
Breakfast and Brunch: Blintz Quiche, Crème Brulée French Toast
Vegetable Side Dishes: Onion Confit, Braised Cabbage, Fennel and Leeks
Starch Side Dishes: Kurdish Rice, Gnocchi and Mushrooms, Crispy Potato Wedges
Sauces, Marinades and Rubs: Sauce Diane, Word's Best Cocktail Sauce, Asian Spice Rub
Each recipe contains background information, a complete list of ingredients and detailed instructions. The book assumes that the reader has at least a little cooking experience and knows the basics of sautéing, braising, roasting, etc.
Most recipes include suggestions for variations on the theme. The reader is challenged (if he or she wants to be challenged) to exercise his or her personal creative juices and to modify the recipe to make it his or her very own creation.
Information is provided on the subject of equipment and ingredient sources. In this context, an emphasis is placed on where to get the best deals. In addition, recommendations for what the reader should have in the pantry are provided.
One of the criteria for inclusion of a recipe is that it had to be good for cooking both a family meal and for entertaining a crowd. Each recipe tells how many servings it is designed to provide so that the ingredient amounts can be increased or decreased in accordance with the number of people to be fed.