CONTEMPORARY COOKING by Sherri with Charles G. Powell Zitron

CONTEMPORARY COOKING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Those who have followed cooking fashions over the past 20 years will recognize many of the ""company dinners""--from carbonnade of beef to paella to pasta primavera--featured at Zitron's New York cooking school and offered here in a calendar format of 52 menus (200 recipes), with desserts as lavish as the main courses and notable attention to ""presenting"" the dishes. Cornish game hens turn up in a sauce of Dijon mustard and wine (both red and white) and supremes appear in chicken Pavillon (from the late New York restaurant) with dried French morels, champagne, and heavy cream; we have Zitron's version of stuffed leg of lamb (prosciutto is the unexpected ingredient), stuffed red snapper, and chicken cacciatore (an elaborate rendition with prosciutto again, a beef-stock sauce, and a bed of green pasta). New York Times' Mimi Sheraton has described Zitron's fare as traditional dishes with ""original, savory, and simplifying"" touches, and except for an occasional (and unnecessary) canned or frozen ""gourmet"" item, the simplifications don't extend to instant ingredients or violations of the originals. Most hosts and hostesses will find such dishes as Zitron's coulibiac of salmon and cannelloni (crepes, poached chicken breasts, and sauce after sauce) quite complicated and, no doubt, quite rewarding enough. This is neither as innovative nor as ""contemporary"" as the two California entries (above) but its generally ungimmicky and, yes, savory variations on continental dinner-party specialties should satisfy a wide audience of the ""sophisticated"" home cooks Zitron caters to.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1982
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin