Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Maxine Clark's Italian Kitchen

In this definitive book, best-selling author and cookery teacher Maxine Clark offers expert guidance on all the main techniques and ingredients of Italian cooking. Beginning with the basic principles and moving on to more sophisticated recipes, the master classes included cover everyday food and well as more ambitious dishes, with mini step-by-steps throughout to provide professional tips on preparing key Italian ingredients.

Each chapter deals with a different aspect of Italian food and within each you’ll find recipes for familiar classics alongside more contemporary dishes, all written with the home cook in mind. Antipasti features simple recipes for Traditional Peasant Tomato and Garlic Bruschetta and Pear, Pecorino and Pea Crostini. Hearty Soups are a big favorite in Italy and the authentic recipes for the classic Tuscan bean and vegetable soup ‘La Ribollita’ or Creamy Tomato and Bread Soup with Basil Oil will not disappoint.

Techniques for making the best-known of all Italian dishes -- Pasta, Gnocchi and Polenta are shown in clear step-by-steps. Make Little Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter, or Soft Polenta with Sausage Rag├╣. Fool-proof recipes for creamy and comforting Risotto should be cooked with care and patience to be enjoyed at their best and include Saffron Risotto and Wild Mushroom Risotto.

Nothing beats home-made Pizza and Bread and Maxine’s no-fuss recipes for a classic Pizza Margarita and Rosemary Focaccia ensure a good result every time. Fish and Seafood recipes can be easily mastered and include Fish Baked in Salt Crust and Grilled Sardines in Salmoriglio Sauce. A chapter devoted to Meat and Poultry includes Meatballs with Porcini Mushrooms and Pecorino and Grilled Chicken ‘Al Diavolo’.

The Italians excel at creating mouth-watering Sweet Things. With Maxine’s help, you too can make trattoria desserts such as Tiramis├╣ with Raspberries, Lemon Sorbet and Soft Almond Biscotti. The perfect way to round off any Italian meal.

Maxine Clark is a leading food stylist, writer and gifted teacher who specializes in Italian cooking. She learned Italian cooking techniques under three leading Italian chefs in Italy – a Roman, a Venetian and a Tuscan. She has been teaching gourmet cookery holidays for Alistair Little’s Tasting Places for almost 20 years in both Sicily and Tuscany and is a guest chef at the Nick Nairn Cook School in Scotland. Maxine speaks fluent Italian and her work appears regularly in magazines and newspapers, among them BBC Good Food and Food and Travel. Her many books for Ryland Peters & Small include Flavors of Tuscany and Risotto.

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