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Cooking in the City    by Joanne Weir order for
Cooking in the City
by Joanne Weir
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

'In her new book, Chef and teacher Joanne Weir takes readers and home cooks into our nation's ethnically diverse and vibrant culinary and cultural urban landscape.' So says the flyleaf of this beautiful cookbook, rich with a myriad of wonderful recipes using ingredients available in most cities' ethnic areas.

Living in the country has its advantages – ample lush fruits and vegetables – but Weir feels that what the home cook needs to produce the recipes in her new book is available in cities' ethnic markets. And what recipes they are. Ranging through all the courses of a meal, Cooking in the City brings a touch of the attainably exotic to your dining table. Included is a short course in wines and starting your own wine cellar. Weir encourages the reader to try new dishes, different tastes and new cultures' delicacies. Such as: Rice Paper Shrimp Rolls, Potato Rosemary Flatbread, Crostini with Dried Plum Paste and Goat Cheese. The photos in this book are scrumptious and get the salivary glands shifting into overdrive. Baked Eggs with Summer Vegetables caught my eye, and the simple combination in Celebration Salad of Endive, Crème Fraiche and Caviar is brilliant and a must try.

Two of my favorite vegetables are combined in Gratin of Tomato and Eggplant Soup. Divine! Spice-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Cucumber Lemon Raita sounds intriguing. By the way, appropriate wines are suggested with each recipe. Which is a big help to me. Living in Pennsylvania with our State Stores, it's hard to choose a wine when the sales person isn't allowed to make any suggestions. Not sure enough of my own new choice, I tend to fall back on old reliables. For a pasta dish, (and who doesn't love pasta) how about Oven-Baked Penne with Wild Mushrooms and Fontina? Lead me to it. Salmon in any form is on my menu at least once a week. I must try Silver-Roasted Salmon with Sweet-Hot Relish. And Golden-Sautéed Veal with Arugula and Tomato Salad would grace any table, as would Soy-Marinated Flank Steak with Asian Pesto.

Whatever your tastes, these 125 recipes are sure to put new dishes in your repertoire where they will become favorites.

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