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    Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking American

    Alfred Portale Simple Pleasures : Home Cooking from the Gotham Bar and Grill's Acclaimed Chef

    Portale, Alfred
    Friedman, Andrew

    Morrow Cookbooks
    Published: November 1, 2004
    ISBN: 0060535024

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    Book Description
    In cooking, says chef Alfred Portale, simple pleasures are "satisfying dishes that are relatively, and often surprisingly, easy to cook." His Alfred Portale Simple Pleasures offers 125 recipes for a wide range of such fare, derived from his acclaimed Manhattan restaurant, Gotham Bar and Grill, with other favorites added to the mix. The dishes, which reflect Portale's ability to meld the sophisticated and earthy, couldn't be more attractive. In wideranging chapters, which include "Small Plates" and "Soups, Sandwiches, and Pizzas," Portale offers the likes of Spicy Shrimp Salad with Mango, Avocado, and Lime Vinaigrette; Pizza with Roasted Chiles, Manchego, and Scallions; Duck Vindaloo; and Roasted Monkfish with Green Peppercorn Sauce. Included also are useful variations, as well as "flavor building" advice--you can amp up that monkfish, for example, with the addition of cremini mushrooms, shallots, and garlic butter. Though the recipes require no special ingredients, many of the formulas are, as Portale hints, best kept for times when the cook isn't hurried. The reward of pursuing Portale's approach also yields desserts like Lime Meringue Tarts, Chocolate Grand Marnier Cake, and Summer Plum Pudding. Simple Pleasures also offers color photos plus a helpfully illustrated ingredient glossary. --Arthur Boehm

    Product Description:

    When you imagine the quintessential New York City restaurant, one name comes to mind: Alfred Portale's Gotham Bar and Grill. The same is true when you think of the top American restaurants:Gotham has been one of our most cherished culinary institutions for two decades.

    Led by executive chef and co-owner Alfred Portale, Gotham has been honored with four consecutive New York Times three-star reviews and has resided among the Zagat Survey's top five New York City restaurants for more than ten years. Known for Portale's defining modern American cooking, impeccable service, and soaring space, Gotham was recently named "Most Outstanding Restaurant" in the nation by the James Beard Foundation.

    But what does Portale cook when he's not working? In Alfred Portale Simple Pleasures, one of our most accomplished chefs invites you to taste the sublime and surprisingly easy-to-prepare, restaurant-quality dishes he serves to friends and family at home.

    The 125 recipes include home versions of Gotham classics as well as new recipes straight from Portale's home kitchen. They're all simple enough for any home cook, and spectacular enough to impress anyone who tastes them.

    At the center of Alfred Portale Simple Pleasures are elemental main courses such as Roast Cod with a New England Chowder Sauce, Filet Mignon with Madeira Sauce, and Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Button Mushrooms and Sage. Pick one, then build a meal by pairing it with recipes from the chapters of salads, starters, and small plates; soups, sandwiches, and pizzas; pasta and risotto; side dishes; and desserts.

    Along with the recipes, Portale offers pairing suggestions for building a menu, variations for adapting recipes according to season and personal taste, and flavor-building instructions on how to accent a dish with extravagant extras such as caviar or everyday additions such as flavored oils. In other words, home cooks will learn how to add a Gotham-inspired twist to their own favorite recipes.

    The supermarket-friendly dishes include modern classics such as Spicy Shrimp Salad with Mango, Avocado, and Lime Vinaigrette; Pumpkin and Caramelized Onion Soup with Gruyère and Sage; and Sautéed Spinach with Garlic, Ginger, and Sesame Oil. Alfred helps you transform everything from ordinary weekday lunches to Saturday night dinner parties into anything but ordinary.

    Of course, no meal is complete without dessert, and Portale delivers sweet and sophisticated send-offs, including Lime Meringue Tarts, a simple Summer Plum Pudding, and an elegant Chocolate-Grand Marnier Cake.

    Alfred Portale Simple Pleasures -- nothing could be simpler or more pleasurable.

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