COOKING WITH JACK LIRIO by Jack Lirio
Kirkus Star

COOKING WITH JACK LIRIO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Delightfully fresh and simple recipes selectively drawn from the repertoire Lirio has developed at his San Francisco cooking school. With stylish California eclecticism, experimental zest, and a coherent taste that precludes gratuitous novelties, Lirio draws creatively on his training in France and China; on Italian classics well known here; and on the natural-food tradition that has reacquainted us with whole-wheat breads and pastries and alternative grains. His ""little first courses"" include oysters on saffron bean threads and a ""zucchini alfredo"" in which very thin strips of zucchini substitute for the expected pasta. From the classic saltimbocca he derives a prosciutto-topped scallop of chicken instead of veal, seasoned with cilantro in place of sage. His ""weeknight supper"" of fish with shredded snow peas is described as ""80% French and 20% Chinese""; another main dish is ""a sort of vegetarian chow mein."" The flexibility extends to ingredients, tempering extravagance with reality--so that ""if you are not willing to mortgage your house"" for the roast saddle of lamb with rosemary, you can substitute a boned leg of lamb. Main dishes can be as ""formal"" as the sea bass fillets with salmon mousse baked in a crust or as plain and easy as unadorned roast chicken, or as intriguing as an enthusiastically described lasagna verde. Something new for everyone, presented with an unassuming enthusiasm that's hard to resist.

Pub Date: May 12th, 1982
Publisher: Morrow