Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cookbook: Fresh From The Market

In my never-ending quest to find recipes that are GFCFSF (and a few other "frees") to fit family food sensitivities that all of the majority of our family will eat, combined with an interest in seasonal eating/cooking because it is healthier and may help lessen food sensitivities, I requested one of Wiley's very newest cookbooks to review: Fresh From The Market, Seasonal Cooking With Laurent Tourondel and Charlotte March.

Often, "market" cookbooks focus on whole foods which happen to offer a good number of GFCFSF recipes.

When I opened the package containing Fresh From The Market, Seasonal Cooking With Laurent Tourondel and Charlotte March, ($35.00, hardback) the book automatically flipped open to a recipe for Spicy Crispy Chicken from the Spring section, a gluten-free roasted chicken with eight spices in the recipe list. I wonder if I dare make this one in autumn?

The cookbook is beautiful. Heavy; weighty. The pictures are gorgeous. As Thanksgiving approaches, I peeked at the Roasted Turkey with Chestnut-Sausage Stuffing, Cranberry-Grenadine Relish, and Rosemary Gravy recipe. Makes your mouth water, doesn't it? And with a gluten-free bread in the stuffing, only the gravy needs substitutions for the cream and flour in order for the entire thing to be GFCFSF.

The authors give us a little bit of everything, from drink recipes, to breakfast recipes, salads that I'd consider for lunch, dinner recipes, and holiday recipes. They provide lists of seasonal foods by month and sample holiday menus. The table-of-contents is HERE. Amazon dot com shares a recipe HERE.

It is an education for me; I'm learning new vocabulary. For example, I learned that the ramps used in the cookbook are wild leeks, and I'm pretty sure I've not seen them at our farmer's market. Mache is a kind of lettuce. Burrata and Fiscaliini are cheeses. Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert. There is so much to learn. I did expect it to use more 'ordinary' ingredients from the market and not so many 'unusual' ones.

Laurent Tourondel and Charlotte March use quite a few ingredients that I have not seen at local markets and would likely be challenged to find, including quail eggs, milk-fed veal sweetbreads, rabbit, skate, duck eggs, or wild boar.

My complaint is that the text is much too small for my past-the-midpoint between 40-&-50 year-old eyes, even with reading glasses.

If you're looking for gluten free, or dairy free, or allergen free recipes, there are some sprinkled throughout the book, although the authors use quite a bit of cheese, milk, eggs, nuts. If you're experienced at making your own substitutions for food sensitivities, you'll find more that you can use than people who aren't confident making substitutions in "regular" recipes.

Many of the recipes are what I consider too fancy for everyday, although maybe I need to rethink my perspetive on that one. (We are worth some fancy foods! Pigs in a Blanket "Ritz Carlton" might be a fun place to begin, although the store-bought frozen puff-pastry in the recipe isn't gluten free) Most of the recipes that I will use will be altered in some way (partly because of our food sensitivities and partly because the ingredients are challenging to find); for example, the butternut squash soup sounds delicious, however, I am sure that I will not make the Foie Gras and Wild Mushroom Crostini to accompany it.

Fresh From The Market, Seasonal Cooking With Laurent Tourondel and Charlotte March is a lovely cookbook as I learn more about seasonal buying, cooking, and eating. I'm thrilled to add it to my collection.

Wiley sent me Fresh From The Market, Seasonal Cooking With Laurent Tourondel and Charlotte March in exchange for my review. I am not paid for reviews and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

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