An oldie but goodie. Others say it more eloquently thanI can.
For those familiar with Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet, this book should be on your cookbook shelf and used often ! For those not familiar with him, get this book and you will get much of the feel of the TV show. Although we have not seen the TV show in quite some time, and believe it is no longer shown in the United States, it was one of the best cooking shows ever done. This book was the first in the series and out of the three we own, it's our favorite. There are sections on the spices and special tools he uses and the recipes are easy to follow and delicious. We especially like the Pan-fried chicken strips and Barbecue Shrimp, which we just had for dinner and inspired this review. If you doubt me, imagine a pound and a half of shrimp baked in a sauce containing bacon, margarine, dijon mustard, chili powder,garlic, thyme, basil, oregano, freshly ground black pepper, tabasco sauce, and crab boil. Served over plain white rice to soak up that sauce... Mmm Mmm...makes me want to go and make another batch right now ! O.K., you don't like shrimp, how about chicken? Boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into pieces, sauteed in olive oil, green onions, garlic, marsala wine and lemon juice with freshly ground black pepper to top it off. You'll swear there's salt in it, but there isn't. There's lots more in there, so get the book !!!
With recipes prepared on the popular public TV (PBS) program, The Frugal Gourmet, this cookbook covers a wide variety of styles, tastes, and meals. I started watching the show when I was still in high school, and began trying out these recipes by the time I was in college. I have had great success with every recipe I've tried from this book (such a small book, yet filled with information that would require more than 10 books combined to compile the gems in this one).
The recipes have a little history or story with each one, and are well-laid out. They are easy to follow, and I would assume, look and taste as good as one would expect Jeff's own results would. You can't go wrong with any of these.
Rosemary chicken, Mexican-style pork, Northern Chinese pork, are but a few main dishes that I've done with ease in my own kitchen.
This is not only a great cookbook, but also a wonderful reference for anyone who has a desire to start cooking or learn more about cooking to complement their skills in the kitchen. It is a shame that the TV program no longer airs (but all good things must come to an end).
Enjoy the recipes, and enjoy elevating your skills to gourmet standards!
Why do I say this is a must-have classic? because this cookbook represents a landmark in the world of home cooking... that is, it brings so much passion and doable recipes of stuff that your basic home cook wouldn't have attempted, that it deserves a share of cookbook history. Any reviewer who says it's mediocre hasn't explored it. This book is the bridge between the Julia Child era... which brought average cooks into the kitchen to do dishes like Chicken Cordon Bleu for the first time... to the Emeril Lagasse/Bobby Flay/Paula Deen era where average home cooks now are unafraid to tackle ANY dish, ANY cuisine. Not only that, but there are dozens of keeper recipes in here, ones that you'll make time and time again. Among my friends, the pasta dishes are all favorites, especially Pasta Carbonara... if you like chicken livers the Chicken Liver Pasta is to die for... the Linguine with Clam Sauce is every bit as wonderful in 2007 as it was in 1977. I could go on and on, but this cookbook has something for everyone, explores countless techniques from Asian to Early American, does lowfat/lowcal 20 years before they were stylish, offers eclectic to comfort food. And unlike a lot of cookbooks, including ones from Rachel Ray or Emeril or Sara Moulton, this one has spot-on recipes from cover to cover... no dogs. This book should be on your cookbook shelf for life.
A complete range of cooking techiniques. All the menus demonstrated on TV. Instructions for cooking high-quality meals economically. Advice on kitchen equipment. Definitions of cooking terms. Dishes that are low in salt, fat and cholesterol. Insights into the history of food. Special hints such as the basic rules for a good omelet and how to cook a week's worth of menus in one day. Methods for cooking in paper and steaming. International dishes. Recipes for outdoor barbecues. New Orleans and Early American menus. Exciting ideas for vegetarian meals. More than 100 illustrations of recipes and techniques.
Very interesting recipes!!!
Interesting and educational, as always.
I always keep a copy of this book around, I love the recipes and the suggestions. Jeff Smith was great, one of a kind!
Jeff Smith's recipes, explanations, instructions, and commentary never fail to impress. I don't often use his recipes but I do turn to his books when I'm doing research or just want to know more about food. His books are important because of his depth of knowledge and the research he put into them.
I'm busily working my way through my second copy of The Frugal Gourmet - thanks PBS for helping me replace my worn-out volume, though I will miss having the book flip open to the stained and disheveled recipes that I've made many times. Jeff Smith may have been discredited in later years for his own personal behavior, but the man can cook (and write about it too). There are stories and anecdotes associated with nearly every recipe, along with admonitions about things one simply must try - dried jellyfish anyone? I'm an adventurous cook and eater, so I've made an effort to find even the most esoteric ingredients that he so eloquently describes. His Asian recipes are spot-on - can't find better ones even in dedicated Asian cookbooks. Try the Bean Curd with Hot Meat Sauce - heaven on a plate!
One of his best cookbooks.
400 international recipes and lots of cooking tips and techniques
Fun, healthful, eclectic recipes, plus the BEST New York Cheesecake in the world! Hardcover.
This cookbook is great for more simple recipes. You are more apt to have the ingredients than some other authors/
Ready to swap since i have smaller meals to cook for.
I love The Frugal Gourmet. I have most of his books. I loved his show. I not only think the recipes are wonderful, I love the history and stories he shares about the recipes and food. I was very saddened to hear about his death. The culinary world has lost a dear friend.
I have had this book and used it often but just figured out I have the hard cover version also