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Oct 2, 2005 08:10 PM

Any thoughts on the Gourmet cookbook?

  • t

I'm thinking of using some recipes for a dinner party and am wondering if it's consistent in terms of the success of recipes. I just tried the rosemary walnuts recipe, which is credited to Laurie Colwin. I wasn't impressed, but I'm wondering if they need to just sit for a bit for the flavors to absorb or maybe it's just not for me. I certainly don't want to judge the huge cookbook on one tiny little recipe so I'm going to cook a couple dishes from it. However, in the meantime, I'd appreciate any experiences with any of the recipes from the cookbook.

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  1. Quick reply here, as company is coming in about 5 minutes. I have been having a very good time with the Gourmet cookbook. I too have tried the Rosemarie walnuts, and have thought "Is that all there is?" Not so great, but not so bad either. I'm going through a bunch of the recipes in no particular order---so far, the slow roasted tomatoes have been fabu, and I whipped up a batch of very tasty Anzac cookies. Can't offhand remember all I've made so far---oh, I just remembered the Lima Bean Humus---very good too.
    There are so many interesting sounding recipes that I am wanting to try, that I haven't even put the book into my bookcase yet---I've had it since June.

    1. With the caveat that I've used the cookbook more for sweet than savory dishes, I've found that it yields consistently good results (if you can get over the danged lemon yellow text). The flourless chocolate cake on page 739 is much simpler to prepare than its taste suggests, and people at work raved about it for some time after I brought it in. The two quickbreads that I've tried: pumpkin apple bread (p.599) and the banana, coconut, and macadamia nut bread (p.599-600) have been killer. Rice pudding (p.827) turned out great as well.


      1. A lot of my favorite epicurious recipes showed up in the book. Other recipes that I've tried have also been terrific. The gingerbread pancakes are rich but really worth the binge (they are made with heaps of sour cream). When someone asked me to make Buffalo wings for a party, I used the Gourmet recipe and they turned out great! The recipe was well written and clear. I'm also a fan of the pimento cheese recipe which was a big hit at a retro food party.

        5 Replies
        1. re: raj1

          There is nothing retro about pimento cheese. It is alive and well in the south and in my house and has been.

          1. re: Candy

            Oh, I agree. I'm originally from Texas where you buy tubs of it at HEB. I just didn't want to get to fussy for the party I went to here in the Northeast where I live now. BTW, Cabot cheddar cheese from here in New England is perfect for a stellar pimento cheese. How do you make yours? I use the grinder attachment on my KitchenAid mixer.

            1. re: raj1

              When I lived in the NE I used Cabot a lot and McAdam cheese too.

              I grate my cheese and I don't use bottled pimentos. I roast ripe red bell peppers on the grill and peel and chop. Adds amazing flavor.A small amount of minced onion and freshly ground black pepper Hellman's mayo of course. I don't have any exact measurements

              For a twist do what my grandmother did and substitute roasted green chiles (Ortegas) for pimento and add a little garlic. People cannot get enough of it. I think she was out of pimentos and just substituted but it was a great substitution.

              1. re: Candy

                It surely is nice to know about substituting green chiles - my wife can't abide sweet peppers of any color, though she likes the spicy ones. I've been substituting green chiles for sweet peppers in all my recipes, but I hadn't thought of subbing them in for pimento cheese. I'll have to try that...thanks!

            2. re: Candy

              Candy, thank you for saying that! Pimento cheese never went out of style. In my fridge there's always are jar of homemade PC in its orange and red sunset-sky glory.

              Recently a cousing of mine visiting from Manhattan was curious enough to try a pimento-cheese sandwich, and she was won over big time. She even asked for an extra sandwich to take on the airplane flight back home!

          2. b
            Becca Porter

            I LOVE this cookbook. Every recipe I've made turns out perfectly. The really unusual thing is the times and yields are actually accurate. Usually I find that the actual timing of steps in recipes to be off, not this one. It seems very well tested.

            I can't remember all the recipes I've loved, but a few are the Viennese Jelly doughnuts and the sugar doughnuts. They are incredible!!

            Also the sweet potato chips with lime salt. The baked cheddar olives, yum. The salad dressings are unbeatable. Especially the herbed buttermilk.

            There are a million more. I can't recommend the cookbook enough. I don't like the magazine either, so I was really surprised.

            1. The dumbest thought they had whilst putting this book together was using yellow print for the headings. These are not highly visible in indoor light. Bugs the heck out of me!