Restaurant owner and chef Phillips (Working a Duck, not reviewed) brings together old favorites and newfangled inventions in this very polished and helpful volume. Phillips's organization is a little loose: Although she provides advice for pairing sides with meals in individual recipe headers, an index of which sides go best with meat, which with fish, and so on would have been helpful, and sometimes the division into chapters like ``Grains, Purees, and Other Soothing Sides'' and ``Homey Sides'' seems random. Cooking- wise and eating-wise, however, these recipes are just terrific. Roasted carrots, turnips, and shallots sprinkled with fresh rosemary were browned and tender in just the right amount of time, and corn cakes were packed with just enough scallions to keep them from being either too bland or too strong. The inventive salad selection includes a recipe for a hijiki seaweed salad, but Phillips does not neglect to offer one for a classic coleslaw as well. A chapter on breads and crackers is a surprising inclusion, but it turns out to be a smart move, providing not yeast breads, but quick-baking starches like popovers and biscuits. Although none of the results are plain, recipes like Warm New Potato Salad with Dill are designed to add a maximum of flash with a minimum of fuss. A well-rounded endeavor to help round off meals.
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