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February 2000 Issue
Three Selections
by Ronda L. Halpin
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The Recipe Encyclopedia: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking

About the Authors

    The Recipe Encyclopedia was put together by a team of expert home economists, nutritionists and chefs with extensive knowledge, experience and love of food and cooking.

About the Cookbook

    Unlike most cookbooks, The Recipe Encyclopedia takes an unusual approach to organizing its recipes and glossary information. The entire cookbook is alphabetized. In addition to well-organized recipes, the book contains an extensive food dictionary with over 900 entries conveniently located in the far margins of each page. If you want to know more about quenelles, simply look under "Q" between the entries for "Queen of Puddings" and "Quiche". When words just aren't enough for these dictionary entries, color photographs are included. After all, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words! In addition to the helpful information presented in the food dictionary and the tasty morsels presented in the recipes, there are also 26 "how-to" features that cover more interesting ingredients or tricky techniques. For example, one feature that deals with ice creams and sorbets covers everything from how to make a basic vanilla ice cream to making blackberry sorbet.

    The Recipe Encyclopedia presents over 800 recipes ranging from traditional favorites to nuevo cuisine. Its accessible A to Z format makes it especially well-suited to cooks who are looking for recipes using particular ingredients or for dishes influenced by certain cultures. For example, if you wanted to find a recipe that used artichokes as a primary ingredient, you would look under "A" to find the entry on "Artichokes" and discover a recipe for "Penne with Artichoke Hearts". Every recipe includes a wide variety of information including: difficulty, serving information, preparation and cooking times. Few recipes offer variations, but extra notes are often included that offer options for lowering fat content, saving time during preparation and storing leftovers.

    While the unusual format of The Recipe Encyclopedia does take a little time to get used to, it quickly shows its advantages and becomes a helpful reference in the kitchen. For those that aren't sure about where to look to find a certain recipe, the book does include a nice index and it can be used to quickly locate favorite recipes if the A to Z format gets confusing. The wide variety of recipes presented is sure to be a pleasure to both beginning cooks and experienced chefs.

    Since the cookbook is organized in an alphabetical format, here are a few ideas about what kinds of recipes can be found by browsing through its pages:

    • A-B (like Almond Macaroons or Lobster Bisque)
    • C-D (like Braised Celery or Salmon Dip)
    • E-F (like Quick Eggs Florentine or Onion Fritters)
    • G-H (like Spinach Gnocchi or Ham Salad)
    • I-J (like Irish Stew or Sushi Rolls)
    • K-L (like Fish and Cumin Kabobs or Leek Tart)
    • M-N (like Gourmet Meatloaf or Seafood Noodle Hot Pot)
    • O-P (like Chicken with Okra or Gourmet Vegetable Pizza)
    • Q-R (like Vegetable Quiche or Raspberry Jam)
    • S-T (like Mediterranean Salad or Red Pepper Terrine)
    • V-W (like Grilled Vegetables with Garlic Mayonnaise or Walnut Cookies)
    • Y-Z (like Curried Yogurt Chicken or Zucchini Swirls)

    If you like discovering new things about the food you make, you'll probably enjoy The Recipe Encyclopedia. If you wish you could just find all of your apple recipes in one place, then you'll love it!

Where to Buy

    If you are interested in purchasing The Recipe Encyclopedia: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking, you are likely to find it among the general cookbooks at any large bookstore, such as Barnes & Nobel or Borders. You can also buy it online right now and save 20% off the list price by clicking here. The publisher's list price for the cookbook is $25.00.

Editor's Note: None of the cookbooks mentioned in this review are in any way associated with Seasoned Cooking or its publisher.

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