From the reputable Cook's Magazine comes this compilation, their first cookbook, touting the new trends in American cuisine as well as some updated traditionals. Along with a good deal of basic information on food and techniques, there is a diverse collection of recipes, many of which emphasize American eating rituals. One chapter is devoted to cocktail foods, featuring Oyster Fritters and Fried Mushroom Pasta. A section on Barbecuing, Grilling and Smoking offers the usual fare with a twist: Chorizo Tortas in place of frankfurters, and Grilled Beef-Kebabs Caribbean Style add some spice to a shish-kebab. New American cuisine is associated with experimentation, combining different ethnic cuisines and seemingly incompatible ingredients, such as Wild Mushrooms on Fried Grits and Curried Apple and Onion Soup. But the bulk of these recipes are for inventive (though not outlandish) dishes like Fried Catfish with Mustard Sauce, Duck Breasts with Cider Sauce and Sautâ€š of Julienned Tomatoes with Cream and Herbs. As would be expected, instructions are clear and thorough, and are supplemented by step-by-step line drawings. Desserts range from Green-Tomato-Mincemeat Pie to Mississippi Mud Cake and Pumpkin Creme Brulee, as well as an assortment of cookies and ice creams. The collection is eclectic and appealing, targeted at the magazine's readership--i.e., ""people who spend $300 on classes and $500 on ice cream machines."" An ideal cookbook for that group, but perhaps too modish for the average cook.