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Must-Read: Ten


Sheila Lukins, food editor for Parade magazine and author of the The New Basics and The Silver Palate Cookbook, is known for her all-encompassing books, which are packed with reliable recipes for traditional American fare. Her seventh recipe collection, entitled Ten: All the Foods We Love and Ten Recipes For Each ($19.95), combines cooking expertise with an unconventional format: 32 chapters on her favorite foods, with 10 recipes for each. See what I thought of it when you read more.

Pros:

  • The contemporary format is a refreshing departure from the organization of an ordinary cookbook.
  • There's an impressive collection of recipes for each category. Love roasted chicken? You'll find 10 recipes, side by side in the same book, for you to compare and contrast.
  • Each chapter contains a helpful introduction, and Lukins includes a background summary for every single recipe in the book.
  • Much like her other cookbooks, Ten contains a wide repertoire of dishes from cocktails to sorbets.

Cons:

  • Recipes, which range from simple to complex, aren't ideal for the beginner cook.
  • If you're a visual cook, you'll get little help here, as there are few pictures.
  • The book is paperback, which means that it will be subject to lots of wear and tear if you cook with it frequently.


Recipes: The recipes are arranged into 32 categories. Here are some I hope to experiment with:

  • Cocktails: Honeydew Daiquiri, Floradora
  • Spreads, Dips, and Finger Foods: Sugar-and-Spice Nuts, Shrimp Toasts
  • Small Plates: Celeri Rémoulade, Salmon Caviar-Stuffed Eggs
  • Chops: Lamb Loin with Orange Béarnaise, Rack of Veal
  • Chicken — Roasted and Baked: Herb-Roasted Chicken, Zuni Roast Chicken
  • Lobster Anytime: Lobster Fra Diavolo, Creamy Lobster Stew
  • Leafy Salads: Beet and Endive Salad, Frisée and Apple Salad
  • Corn: Summer Corn Chowder, Corn and Crabmeat Salad
  • Ice Cream and Sorbets: Bill Gross's Burnt Orange Ice Cream, Green Apple Sorbet

Imagery: The book is short on images, but the select few in the beginning are enough to inspire.

Overall Rating: If you're a more experienced cook and a fan of Sheila's recipes, you're bound to enjoy this collection of recipes. To get a better preview of the book's format, click on the gallery below.

Each chapter, like this one on corn, contains ten recipes.

Photographs of selected recipes are in the front of the cookbook.

A sample recipe from Ten.
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