Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cookbook: Stonewall Kitchen Appetizers by Jonathan King, Jim Stott & Kathy Gunst

One can get blasé. Yet another cookbook, chockfull of brilliantly illustrated recipes. If you love cookbooks -- as I really do -- it’s difficult to not get jaded after a time. But flipping through Stonewall Kitchen Appetizers (Chronicle Books), completely prepared to yawn while turning pages, one recipe after another caught my eye and fired my imagination. The flavors, the textures, the daring blends of unusual materials. And underlying all of these important factors, a sense of ease. Imagine: preparing for a party with a feeling of relaxing: that’s what Stonewall Kitchen Appetizers conveys.

And just imagine this party: Crab Tostadas with Avocado and Lime-Cilantro Cream. Roasted Beet Towers with Toasted Walnuts and Orange-Herb Crème Fraiche. Cheese Balls Redux. Indian-Spice Cauliflower Soup with Spiced Cashews. Chestnuts Wrapped in Bacon. So, so many more.

Jonathan King and Jim Stott are the founders of Stonewall Kitchens, known for their speciality food products. Co-author Kathy Gunst is a food journalist and cookbook author. And the trio are going hard: Stonewall Kitchen Appetizers debuted in January of this year. It follows up Stonewall Kitchen Breakfast, published last autumn, and Stonewall Kitchen Grilling, which came out in March. In my experience, the Stonewall Kitchen books are very good: interesting recipes clearly described and perfectly illustrated. If anything, Stonewall Kitchen Appetizers exceeded expectations. I suspect I'll be cooking from this one for a very long time.

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