This book contains 217 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 appeals 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 book is divided into nineteen chapters in accordance with the dishes' position in a meal: Examples of recipes contained in some of the chapters are as follows:
Hors d'oeuvres and Finger-Food: Angels on Horseback, International Chips, Onion Apple Bites, Nuts to You, Bagel Chips, Caviar and Cucumbers
Appetizers, Tapas and First Courses: Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto, Grilled Shishito or Padron, Garlic Calamari Rings, Shrimp with Sherry Sauce, Tempura
Salads: Grilled Lettuce, Kicked Up Cole Slaw, Kohlrabi and Carrot, Roasted Fennel and Onion, Moroccan Beet
Soups: Avgolemono, Exotic Mushroom, Pho, Thai Coconut Chicken
Main Courses by featured ingredient including beef, chicken, duck, lamb, pork, seafood, veal and vegetarian: Catalan Beef Stew, La Genovese, Cider-braised Chicken Legs, Asian Quail, Citrus Braised Duck, Pork Adobo, Stinco, Veal Martini, Stuffed Peppers
Desserts and Cookies: French Apple tart, No-bake Cheesecake, St. Clement’s Pie, Home-made Baked Donuts, Chocolate Hazelnut Tart in Filo Cups
Breakfast and Brunch: Blintz Pie with Blueberry Sauce, Cardamom French Toast, Omelet Soufflé, Schnecken, Omelet Stuffed Bread
Vegetable Side Dishes: Fennel Confit, Gin and Orange Juice Braised Endive, Quick Ratatouille, Sweet and Sour Onions, Mushrooms with Red Wine Sauce
Starch Side Dishes: French Potato Casserole, Piadine, Pooris, Potato Kugel for Gourmets, Spaetzle
Sauces, Marinades and Rubs: Cuban Citrus Salsa, Lobel’s Coffee Steak Rub, Honey Balsamic Sauce, White Clam Sauce, Pomegranate Molasses
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.