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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 55.
- Review Date: 2007-09-03
- Reviewer: Staff
The host of TV's Top Chef, Lakshmi (Easy Exotic) puts her own culinary skills to the test in this glossy, cosmopolitan cookbook. Here, in vibrant colors, are her own palate-shaping memories in the form of recipes and short but highly personal essays. Like Nigella Lawson, Lakshmi's sex appeal is part of her draw as a food personality, and this collection obliges with adorable family photos as well as glamour shots of the model/actress nibbling on her creations. The global cuisine runs the gamut from a Southeast Asian–style Warm Peanut Salad with Tomato and Cilantro to Persian Chicken Soup with Omani Lemon and Dill to fried chicken battered with Rice Krispies. Keralan Crab Cakes and Pineapple and Pomegranate Crumble are among the fusion dishes that blend cuisines with intriguing results. Interspersed throughout are plenty of South Indian classics, reflecting Lakshmi's own heritage. Lakshmi has an inventive knack for flavor combination, but some of her recipes, like a Barbecued Shrimp with Chili Honey Butter, don't quite live up to the hype. Nevertheless, this book will certainly be well received by Lakshmi's growing fan base as well as home cooks looking to mix it up in the kitchen. (Oct.)
A model cook
Padma Lakshmi is gorgeous, smart, an actress, model, host of Bravo's popular "Top Chef" and author of a lively, new international cookbook. (Oh, she was married to Salman Rushdie, too). Born in South India, she grew up in New York and California, spent her junior year abroad in Madrid, then lived in Paris, Milan and Rome strutting the fashion runways for Ralph Lauren, Ungaro and others. So, this girl knows the world, the world's flavors and how to mix and match dishes from the cuisines she's come to love. And, Padma points out, in our shrinking global village she's not unique; most of us pick and choose our daily fare from near and farsushi today, Thai tomorrow, Mexican or Italian the day after that. Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet is Padma's paean to this multitude of multiethnic culinary influences, with more than 150 easy, Padma-pizazzed recipes and luscious color photos. There are Keralan Crab Cakes with coconut and green chiles, Curried Butternut Squash Soup, Pan-Seared Flounder in Chipotle Yogurt Sauce, Merguez Sausage with Fennel and Couscous, Braised Spinach Catalana with Raisins and Pine Nuts and smooth Chilled Papaya Mousse.