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Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes    by Jean-Georges Vongerichten order for
Home Cooking with Jean-Georges
by Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Order:  USA  Can
Clarkson Potter, 2011 (2011)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, accounted one of the world’s greatest chefs, shares in Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes the meals he prepares for and with extended family at his country home in upstate New York. In his introduction to the cookbook, the chef talks about his upbringing in Alsace, France, cooking with his mother and grandmother, about his apprenticeship as a chef and his experience working in restaurants around the world. He tells us that for him, family live has always revolved around the kitchen.

His cookbook filled with delectable color photographs that made me drool, covers Cocktails and Appetizers, Salads, Lunch, Fish and Seafood, Poultry, Meat, Side Dishes, Desserts, Brunch and Basics (from Ginger Syrup to Pizza Dough and Creme Anglaise). A list of Pantry suggestions is also included - check it out as some of the ingredients may be hard to come by, depending on where you live.

As a starter, the Ginger Margarita appeals to me, paired with the Crab Toasts with Sriracha Mayonnaise (sriracha is a hot sauce listed in the Pantry section). I like the look (and know I'd like the taste) of the Gruyere and Tomato Salad, or how about Warm Alsatian Potato Salad on a cold winter's day? I plan to try the Pea Potage with Carrots, Chiles and Mint for lunch over the holidays and maybe the Creamy Onion Tart. Then there's the Herbed Spinach and Three-Cheese Pizza - too many good choices!

For a seafood course, I like the look of Seared Scallops with Roasted Eggplants and Marinated Peppers and definitely the Crab Cakes with Gingered Grapefruit and Avocado. On to Poultry and Crisp Savory Roast Chicken (have wondered about brining). Parmesan-crusted Chicken also looks like one to try as does Soy-Syrup Roasted Duck. In Meat (if I still ate it) I'd go for Cedric's Grilled Beef Tenderloin or the Lamb Chops with Smoked Chile Glaze and Warm Fava Beans. Regarding side dishes, we already make a version of the Herbed New Baby Potatoes and it's a winner. I like the look of Parmesan-Crusted Summer Squash or how about Sesame-Lime Roasted Mushrooms?

Replete but still with room for Dessert? They all sound amazing but I'll pick Fresh Strawberry Tart and Bittersweet Chocolate Chantilly (definitely on my holiday menu!) Need ideas for New Year's brunch? I already make Buttermilk Pancakes (old family recipe) but the Warm Berry Syrup looks like a scrumptious addition and you can't go wrong with Towers of Bagel Toasts, Smoked Salmon, and Herbs.

If you don't have Jean-Georges Vongerichten cooking for you in your own extended family, then his cookbook is probably the next best thing - and it would make a welcomed holiday gift. Bon appétit!

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