Food writer and PBS foodie Mike Kalina has thrown together an assortment of oldies (sauerbrauten), oddities (cold blueberry soup from a Pittsburgh restaurant), and contrivances (a "bright, pert" breast of chicken with tangerines from the International Culinary Academy), most of them from restaurants here and abroad that he has visited as a critic. Included, then, are a minestrone with tortellini, beef broth, wine, and catsup (it won a Heinz Corporation contest); a Kahlua whip (using two cups of Cool Whip) popular at "one of Los Angeles's finest Mexican restaurants;" a drinking man's additive (jalapeno vodka); and a humble side dish (Pennsylvania Dutch sweet-potato patties) that "works surprisingly well with elegant entrees"—perhaps the fancy lamb chops he cooks in thawed frozen puff-pastry. Like Kalina's show, the food comes with little tips, quotes, and patter. But notwithstanding any drawing power as a personality cookbook, the recipes tend to be almost offensively flighty.
Read full book review >