SAVORY STEWS by Jacques Burdick


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 Burdick adds to his homey oeuvre (French Cooking en Famille, not reviewed) with this collection of warm, filling meals. Okay, some of them do not exactly qualify as stews per se (Burdick's own definition of a stew as ``any dish in which solids are slowly simmered in liquid until they are tender'' is debatable). But who could argue against the inclusion of Swordfish Steaks Provenáale, which are braised in a mixture that contains almost every imaginable flavor--from capers to red wine to olives--but somehow manages to combine them into an earthy sauce with great depth? Recipes are divided by contents (beef, seafood, etc.), but not all the vegetable stews are vegetarian, since they--and many other dishes--use ham or bacon for seasoning. An exception is the outstanding Greek-style Lima Bean Stew infused with the flavor of sautÇed vegetables. Dishes are international in origin, and Burdick provides healthy-sized headnotes that are full of tips and draw on his own personal eating experiences, from his first visit to the city of Nice to his acquaintance with a former slave named Aunt Harriet. Despite Burdick's claim that he has attempted to reduce the fat in these recipes whenever possible, he occasionally has a heavy hand with butter and cream, as in a delicious stewed fruit compote that is dotted with an entire stick of butter before being baked under a custard. Still, with recipes this inspired, all is forgiven. Sumptuous antidotes to winter, but you'll crave them year- round. (Book-of-the-Month Club selection)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-449-90545-4
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1994