I first "met" Christine Cushing on TV.... well, SHE was on TV and I was mesmerized by her style and her delicious, simple-to-make dishes. Naturally I had to rush out and buy a copy of fearless in the kitchen. That was back in 2002 and, admittedly, with lots of new books arriving for me to savor, it's been sitting on the shelf for a while. That was until, flipping through the many TV stations I have access to, I came across her latest show on Viva. She "transforms terrible cooks into savvy, fearless chefs" and it's called... naturally... Fearless in the Kitchen, And just as naturally I headed over to my computer only to discover that I've never written about this gem of a cookbook! So... without further ado...
There is a great intro "breaking free from the recipe" which helps the intimidated cook find her/his fearlessness. I love her guide to substitutions... here's some examples
"Salty -...the list goes on to describe sweet, bitter, spicy, creamy and earthy. Then on to her favorite fearless ingredients, like apple butter, barley malt, chipotle chili, chorizo (the last two being my personal favorites to have on hand at all times)
- soy sauce, fish sauce, seaweed
- capers, anchovies....
- feta, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- prosciutto, pancetta
- lemons, limes, vinegar...
- pickles, capers, sumac
- buttermilk, yoghurt, creme fraiche
- elderberries, ...fhrubarb, currants"
On to "On the Fly" my favorite chapter, I think. Just check out the Saffron Baked Shrimp dish to see what I'm talking about.
The chapter called "Essentials" includes another favorite of mine - Latin Frittata which I tweaked and called Spanish or Portuguese or Latin Frittata. I think it highlights what "essential" is all about.
I could go on and on, but bottom line: I love this book for the passion it provokes. Great for the most fearful or the most fearless.