The huge influx of peoples from all over Asia--Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, India--and from the Middle East and Latin America in the past forty years has brought to our kitchens new exotic flavors, little-known herbs and condiments, and novel cooking techniques that make the most of every ingredient. At the same time, health and environmental concerns have dramatically affected how and what we eat. The result: American cooking has never been as exciting as it is today. And Joan Nathan proves it on every page of this wonderfully rewarding book.
Crisscrossing the country, she talks to organic farmers, artisanal bread bakers and cheese makers, a Hmong farmer in Minnesota, a mango grower in Florida, an entrepreneur of Indian frozen foods in New Jersey, home cooks, and new-wave chefs.
Among the many enticing dishes she discovers are a breakfast huevos rancheros casserole; starters such as Ecuadorean shrimp ceviche, Szechuan dumplings, and Malaysian swordfish satays; pea soup with kaffir leaves; gazpacho with sashimi; pasta dressed with pistachio pesto; Iraqi rice-stuffed Vidalia onions; and main courses of Ecuadorean "casuela," chicken" yasa" from Gambia, and couscous from Timbuktu (with dates and lamb). And there are desserts for every taste.
Old American favorites are featured, too, but often Nathan discovers a cook who has a new way with a dish, such as an asparagus salad with blood orange mayonnaise, pancakes made with blue cornmeal and pine nuts, a seafood chowder that includes monkfish, and a chocolate bread pudding with dried cherries.
Because every recipe has a story behind it, "The New American Cooking" is a book that is as much fun to read as it is to cook from--a "must" for every kitchen today.
Home sweet home
Joan Nathan celebrates the global as practiced right here at home in The New American Cooking. Waves of new immigrants have brought their native dishes with them and homegrown Americans are eager to try them. Added to this exciting ethnic mix is our increasing awareness of seasonal, local produce and artisanal products. All of these influences on our cooking culture are reflected in this marvelous melting pot of a cookbook. Nathan explored home kitchens, farms and restaurants across America, and we meet the people she met and share their recipes from Mango Lassies, Malaysian Swordfish Satays, Chilean Empanadas and Hoisin Roasted Chicken to baguettes, bagels and Baklava Ice Cream Cake. She makes old favorites fresh, and new flavors fail-safe and fun.