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Cookbook Review – Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe


Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe: 160 New Recipes from New York’s Favorite Restaurant

by Danny Meyer & Michael Romano


Review by Carole C. (craftnut)


This is a book that foodies will love.  Beginner cooks may find some of the recipes a bit daunting, but there are still many recipes that are easy enough to gain confidence to try the more challenging ones.


The book begins with a nice introduction detailing the authors’ trip to Italy and gives a behind the scenes look at what goes into the menu selections at the Union Square Café.


There are also some notes on equipment and ingredients that are well worth the read.  The recipes cover every menu category and most contain easily obtained but artesian ingredients like Portobello mushrooms, prosciutto, artichokes, quail, goose, panko bread-crumbs, and artesian breads.


Try the Portobello Crostini, the Pan-Roasted Chicken with Cognac Peppercorn Sauce, or the Spicy Corn Chowder for a real treat.


There are more than 70 pages of vegetable, salad, and side dishes, with some that could easily serve as a vegetarian main course.  The main course section has a number of fish offerings, and this is a separate section from the pasta section.


The final chapter is devoted to basics like making stocks and fresh pasta dough.


Each recipe has an author comment and a wine pairing.  Sprinkled throughout the book are wonderful black and white photos of patrons and restaurant scenes.


One downside is that there are no pictures of the finished dishes.  However, this is still a neat cookbook that anyone who loves to cook will enjoy.

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