Sunday, August 12, 2012

Comfort Cooking

Martha's American Food
Martha's American Food

Martha's American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation's Most Treasured Dishes, from Coast to Coast by Martha Stewart,
Clarkson Potter (April 24, 2012).

There are many regional cookbooks available with recipes containing specialized ingredients that appeal to curious foodies. Martha's American Food covers regional cooking with a more generalized approach that will appeal to a majority of palates. She explores each region - Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest, and West - by briefly discussing its culinary history and providing the most noted recipes found there. They're basically the comfort foods for each region which I found very intriguing. How many people know that Michigan produces about 75 % of the country's tart cherries, the best type for cherry pies? She covers well-known regional recipes such as Maryland Crab Cakes, and New York-style Cheese Cake, but she also discusses lesser known dishes such as Posole, which I haven't had since I was a child growing up in the Southwest. She also provides traditional recipes such as Mac and Cheese, Green Bean Casserole, and Apple Pie. It reminds me a bit of the well-known Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, but less dense and more modern. I read the eBook version of Stewart's book and found it easy to navigate the contents with my Nook Tablet. The high-quality photos are attractive and will appeal to armchair cooks as well as more serious ones. It's a comforting book to just peruse, a sort of culinary travelogue.

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