CUISINE FOR ALL SEASONS: A Menu Cookbook by Helen Hecht


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Hecht is clearly a member of the cooking-to-make-your-guests-keel-over school, and ""innovative cuisine"" is her standard. Pears may well be her signature, for they appear here with pork and fennel in a stew, with pecans in a tea bread, with chocolate in a torte, and also with duck, prosciutto, and several other more or less likely companions. If you want ratatouille the French way, or lamb and couscous as they have it in Morocco, look elsewhere; Hecht adds spiral pasta and feta cheese to the former, sherry to the latter. She also puts bourbon in a ""Lapin à la Moutarde."" One wonders what the British would think of her ham cornucopias with boursin for tea, or what ""our friend Joseph Brodsky [who] likes Chinese food"" made of her chicken Cathay. Curries are created with curry powder and Major Grey's chutney, a frequent ingredient, and an accompanying rice is tatted up with coconut and oranges. There's a veal loin coated with a spinach-cheese mixture, encased in puff pastry, and served with a mushroom gravy; and for a ""fancy dinner party"" comes a veal scaloppine with St. Andre cheese, combined with bread crumbs in filo dough. No pristine seasonal pleasures for Hecht; though her menus are arranged by season, this is for those who equate creative cooking with novelty and fuss.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1983
Publisher: Atheneum