Comments: Theoretically, this book is supposed to be our 32 favorite foods with 10 delicious recipes for each. In practice, it is whatever Sheila Lukins wants it to be. Yes, there are 10 recipes for tomatoes, corn, asparagus, shrimp, lobster, and chocolate. But we have never considered "small plates" to be a food category, any more than salads, dips, and finger foods; leafy salads; mixed vegetable salads; or Sunday suppers. And don't even get us started on "Mashed Potatoes and Other Mashes," which includes potato, sweet potato, butternut squash, parsnips, shell peas, and cod! The steaks chapter is all beef, but the roasts are beef, lamb, turkey, pork, ham, and venison. The burgers are beef, lamb, turkey, tuna, salmon, and Portobello mushroom.
Other chapters include cocktails, vegetable soups, large important roasts, chops, barbecued ribs and sauces, chicken, stews, kebabs, big fish, clams, seafood salads, beans, grains, pasta, salsas, fruit desserts, and ice creams and sorbets.
OK, having ripped the veil from any supposed theme, these are 320+ recipes of Ms. Lukins choosing, all created or revised in her own style. You many recognize many dishes by name, but all have been transformed by the addition of unexpected ingredients and flavors. These are not subtle dishes; in general, they are powerful dishes. (And is it just us, or does it seem like every savory dish includes garlic?) The list of ingredients for each dish is surprisingly long, but the instructions are crystal clear, and even an advanced beginner should not have trouble proceeding through the steps of most of these recipes.