Reviews for Barefoot Contessa Foolproof : Recipes You Can Trust

Booklist Reviews 2012 October #1
How many magazine, newspaper, and book recipes have resulted in major dining disasters, or at least less-than-optimum visual and tasty delights? Not content to rely on titles alone, nationally known cook and TV host Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, carefully counsels reader-chefs on turning out perfect dishes and menus every time. Each page, if not featuring a list of foolproof techniques and tips, includes all the right directions as well as photographs. Just a sampling of the ideas that make her 100 dishes work: freeze cookie dough but not already baked cookies; when a dish specifies fleur de sel, don't use kosher salt; avoid serving appetizers on Thanksgiving, but do cook in abundance, so that guests go home with leftovers. Her treats, as always (and like her packaged mixes), are stomach pleasers: mustard and gruyère batons, lobster mac and cheese, salted caramel brownies, and cinnamon baked donuts, among others. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

BookPage Reviews 2012 December
Great books for cooks

For the gourmets and novices, everyday toilers and weekend super-chefs on your holiday hit list, cookbooks are the answer to the perennially perplexing present problem.

If you or your giftee bake or have baking aspirations, Bouchon Bakery is an absolute must. Written by the extraordinary Thomas Keller, perhaps America’s most important chef, and Sebastien Rouxel, executive pastry chef for the Thomas Keller restaurant group, it’s their homage to the universal appeal of bread and pastry and to the joy of baking, and it’s a knockout. In large format, with 250 color photos, Keller and Co. translate their perfectionist, professional approach to baking into more than 150 recipes that we mere mortals can follow and replicate. From baguettes, boules, brioches and bouchons to cakes, cookies, tarts, turnovers, pâte à choux and pastry cream, you’re baking with the best.

Carnivores get their day and their due in The Great Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells, who’s become the Mr. Meat of the cookbook world. If you care about sustainability; want to learn all about cuts (including the “underappreciated”), cure your own bacon or make sausages, pâtés and rillettes; or if you’re simply looking for new ways to spice up your meat mains, just turn to Bruce. Every recipe is tagged so that you can see at a glance if it’s a dish you’d serve for a family meal or a company dinner, whether it comforts, reheats or freezes and whether it leaves you with lovely leftovers or falls into that much-needed “cheap eats” category. From simple chops to ethnic extravaganzas, you’ll find it all in this hearty, hefty tome.

There can’t be a holiday cookbook roundup without a contribution from the South—and this is a lovely one that comes with the estimable imprimatur of Southern Living magazine. Rebecca Lang, steeped in the gracious traditions of the South, grew up in a small Georgia town where cooking was a way of life. And here, in Around the Southern Table, she invites us to pull up a chair and enjoy 150 cherished, classic recipes, with gorgeous full-color photos, that move from sunup to the ringing of the dinner bell, with ample helpings of breads, biscuits, sides and salads—and, of course, desserts luscious enough to satisfy a Southern sweet tooth.

You can never go wrong with Ina. And, fortunately for givers and getters, Ina Garten serves up her latest, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, just in time. It’s pure Ina: inspiring, totally trustworthy, confidence-building, packed with full-page photos and generously seasoned with tips for getting everything planned, prepped and plated. Oh, did I forget the recipes? There are nearly 100, from cocktails to confections, so elegantly easy that you won’t want to skip a single one. The divine Ina has done it again!

Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 February #2

Already a best seller, Food Network star Garten's latest asserts several known truths: it's hard to get dinner on the table, entertaining is stressful, and recipes can be scary. Seeking to help home cooks bolster their cooking repertoire, Garten offers "foolproof" (i.e., tested, consistent, and clearly explained) recipes like Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons, Parmesan Fennel Gratin, and Raspberry Crumble Bars, alongside tips meant to allay fears and answer frequently asked questions. Note that Garten's "Foolproof Menus" reference recipes from her other cookbooks. VERDICT Practical tips and easy, elegant recipes--Garten's standard--are always popular. Expect demand.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 October #3

A master caterer, TV celebrity, and prolific cookbook author, Garten will delight her legion of fans with this appetizing and welcoming cookbook. Garten focuses on foolproof cooking: recipes that work, are satisfying to eat, and can be made ahead of time. For those who struggle with timing the doneness of multiple dishes, she advises creating a very specific game plan that lists every step, and provides 10 tips to aid in reducing stress and ensuring a well-timed, delicious meal. Recipes cover cocktails and starters, lunch and dinner, and vegetables and desserts. Photos are luscious and mouth-watering, and will drive readers into the kitchen. In addition, she shares her expertise on numerous related topics such as menus, shopping, and table settings, an often-overlooked aspect of entertaining. Recipes are fairly simple but pack big flavor, such as mussels with saffron mayo, balsamic roasted beet salad, penne alla vecchia bettola (penne with vodka), and foolproof ribs with barbecue sauce. Combinations are sometimes unusual but still appeal, like roasted sausages and grapes, and salmon and melting cherry tomatoes. Garten doesn't skimp on desserts, an area where many cookbooks fall down. Her chocolate cassis cake and raspberry crumble bars are drool-inducing. Once again Garten's culinary wizardry will inspire, delight, and empower readers to entertain in true Barefoot Contessa style. (Oct.)

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