Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Canal House Cooking - Pronto!



Authors: Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton
Genre: Cookbook
Type: Kindle e-book Advanced Reading Copy (ARC)
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media
Publication Date: October 2013
First Line: "Welcome to Canal House -- our studio, workshop, dining room, office, kitchen and atelier devoted to good ideas and good work relating to the world of food."

Book Description from GoodReads: 75 Fast, Easy, Fresh, Italian Recipes for All Seasons. The Canal House Cooking seasonal cookbook series is home cooking by home cooks for home cooks.

From James Beard award-winning authors Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, comes the newest volume in the beloved Canal House Cooking series, Pronto!
Pronto! is a handsome, 128-page book with 75 recipes and lush photographs collected in a highly covetable package. It's home cooking at its best; by home cooks, for home cooks and it's pure Canal House.

The delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes celebrate the practice of cooking Italian food, and the enjoyment of eating it. Using the best seasonal ingredients available, their recipes combine the rich tradition of Italian cooking with quick and easy execution. This instant classic includes recipes for dishes such as Pasta with Radicchio; Pancetta, Grilled Pizza with Raw Ripe Tomato Sauce, Chicken Alla Diavola, and Fig Gelato.


Canal House Cooking has previously been featured for its inspiring recipes, friendly and knowledgeable voice, and drop-dead gorgeous photographs in a variety of publications including O, the Oprah Magazine, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Christopher and Melissa's daily blog, Canal House Cooks Lunch, has thousands of daily followers interested in what these two women have cooked up that day. This wide fan base will be pleased to see the release of this dynamic duo's newest cookbook with accessible and easy recipes for home cooks.


Note: My sincere thanks to NetGalley and Open Road Integrated Media for providing me with a portion of this book, in Kindle e-book form, in exchange for my honest review.

My Review: I have to admit that I am new to the Canal House cookbook series.  It seems that I've been living under a rock because these two women are quite well versed in the art of writing a good recipe and their love of good food is evident.

From the beginning of the book you get the feeling that you're sitting down with some girlfriends to chat around the kitchen table.  There's a very casual, homey feel to the writing in the way it describes the simple galley kitchen that they use, the view from the kitchen window and the history of the Canal House.  I honestly expected the authors to be creating their dishes in some rustic Italian villa but quickly came to learn that they're from New Jersey.  But honestly, where Canal House is located isn't an issue because at the heart of all of the recipes is the trinity that makes up a good recipe: fresh produce, good quality staples and keeping the recipe simple to let the fresh flavours play centre stage.

The recipes are accompanied by beautiful colour pictures of these dishes that the authors make for their own families on a regular basis.  The ultimate in 'tried and true' recipe and I love that.  There is also a very useful section on Italian wines which I plan to peruse more in the near future.

While there were quite a few recipes that caught my eye ('Pasta with Olive, Capers and Lemon' as well as the 'Avocados with Lemon Supreme Vinaigrette' to name just a couple) many of the recipes provided to me in the ARC weren't necessarily what I would make for my own (fairly picky) family.  The recipes were intriguing but some of the ingredients, namely the common use of anchovies, wouldn't necessarily be a selling point in our home or pallets.

Overall, this is an interesting read for people looking try their hand at adding some Mediterranean fare to their repertoire.  With its chatty tone it's an easy and interesting read.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

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