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Roasting-A Simple Art [Hardcover]

Barbara Kafka
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 22 1995

When you're hungry, roast.
When you're in a rush, roast.
When you're in doubt, roast.
When you're entertaining, roast.

Crank up the oven and throw in a chicken; roasting is simply the easiest and best way to concentrate and deepen flavor, to seal in succulence, and make robust, crusty, and sweet all kinds of meats, birds, fish, fruits, and vegetables. Roasting offers more flavor on its own than any other cooking technique. Everything you need for a lifetime of happy roasting can be found here in the pages of Barbara Kafka's ground-breaking new book. Even baby goat, a suckling pig, and loin of buffalo make it into this bible of roasting.

Roasting is absolutely essential, whether you're planning to roast a potato or leg of lamb, a turkey or a tomato, a pepper or a red snapper. Barbara's fussless high-temperature method caramelizes the surface of meat, the skin of birds or fish, or the outside of vegetables, transforming them into such savory sweet dishes as Roast Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze and Fresh Mint, aromatic Garlic Roast Pork Loin, moist and sweet Roasted Striped Bass with Fennel, and Whole Roasted Peaches with Ginger Syrup.

Nearly one hundred stellar recipes for roasted vegetables attest to the fact that Barbara Kafka's new book is not for meat eaters alone. The recipes for roasted vegetables begin where other books leave off. Try the Roasted Sliced Fennel Bulb and the Roasted Chinese Eggplant with Balsamic Marinade, the Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Garlic Marinade, and more.

Roasting is packed with indispensable tips, techniques, and innovative cooking ideas. There are great recipes for marinades, salsas, vinaigrettes, and stuffings. You'll also find an inspiring assortment of simple but original recipes for sauces that will lift your everyday roasts into perfect party fare. You'll discover, too, the many joys of "companion roasting," learning when to add the carrots or the onions so they don't over- or undercook, and guaranteeing everything comes out at the same time.

Never a believer in unnecessary work, Barbara Kafka is a cook's best friend. Barbara never follows; she blazes new trails, challenging the sacred rules of roasting by never trussing a chicken or basting a turkey. She proves you can actually walk away from your oven and enjoy your food and your guests. It's all so quick and easy, most dishes don't need to go into the oven until your guests walk in the door.

Often the best part of the roast is the leftovers, andRoasting is overflowing with possibilities. In Barbara's knowing hands leftover onions become a smoky-flavored Roasted Onion Soup with Cannellini Beans; last night's roasted cod and boiled potatoes are transformed into a scrumptious Best Cod Hash; a deeply flavored Roast Duck Pasta Sauce is a rich reward to the cook for having made last night's duck dinner. Nearly one hundred recipes for leftovers show you how to build them into new meals of soups, salads, pasta sauces, hashes, fritters, fish cakes, and more.

Replete with all the tables, timing charts, and the encyclopedic wisdom that are hallmarks of every Barbara Kafka book,Roasting: A Simple Art is a dream of a cookbook, one that will soon bear the soils, stains, and well-worn pages of constant and creative use.


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Product Description

From Amazon

Kafka believes in "hot ovens, short roasting times, and rare meat," so most recipes in this cookbook start with "heat oven to 500x F." The result is food with profound flavors that is sensible, even primal, yet has the flair you'd expect from an opinionated pro. Despite controversy over her recipe for roast turkey, this book so impressed her peers that they voted it a Julia Child Cookbook Award in 1995. Herbivores rejoice: There are over 100 mouth-watering recipes for vegetables and some fruits, too, along with those for roasted meats, poultry and fish.

From Publishers Weekly

The first hairy hominid who discovered that fire rewarded the successful hunter with sublime pleasures of taste and smell could not have foreseen that that first rack of mammoth's rib might lead to Kafka's King Mackerel with Jalape?o Lime Sauce. Although the fish and vegetable dishes (Roasted Yellow Squash in Mint Bath) are enticing, this book addresses most valuably the often dismissed appetites of meat and fowl lovers. Along with recipes for racks of lamb, rib roasts and holiday turkeys come others for pheasant ("with liver-rich dressing"), bison (best served "unbelievably rare") and wood pigeon (stuffed with grapes). There are recipes for leftovers (Chutney Chicken Salad) and invaluable tips on how roasting enhances a stock, how to deglaze and how to control oven temperature. Kafka (Microwave Gourmet) is big on using every useful bit of a beast: she happily describes, in detail, how to butcher a baby goat and what to do with its head (some stocks are richer than others). Less ambitious cooks might do better to start with Kathy Gunst's Roasting (see below), because Kafka is as serious about her cooking as that hominid was about hunting.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't even ask to borrow it! Jan. 6 2002
Format:Hardcover
When we moved to Asia last fall I had to get rid of half my cookbooks and many of my pans... but there was no way I was going to let go of "Roasting" or my non-stick roaster! I have roasted three Thanksgiving turkeys -- two fresh birds, as Kafka recommends, and one frozen (turkey's hard to come by in Taiwan) -- and all three came out BEAUTIFULLY. What was the brouhaha all about?
When I first bought the book I roasted a lot of meat: pork loin, chickens, lamb shanks--all were excellent. Now I find myself turning more often to the vegetable section; I especially like to roast a pan of mixed veggies (Kafka gives a table for timing them all perfectly) to serve as an appetizer and in my own recipe for a hearty, flavorful soup that even my vegan friends can enjoy. Her recipes for left-overs are so tempting I roast with a week's worth of meals in mind.
I have given this book as a gift, and shared recipes with guests who love the food. I have no complaints about the mess. Maybe it's my non-stick pan--cast-iron works great, too--but I have had no problem with too much smoke (a little is to be expected), encrusted pans, or a filthy oven afterwards.
If you like to cook, and if you like to serve and eat great meals even more, you have to try this one out. Kafka makes it fun & easy, and she makes you laugh -- I love this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A TRUE DEFINITIVE GUIDE! Jan. 9 2001
Format:Hardcover
I wasn't sure about the high heat method at first but I am now a true believer. It is the best way to roast most things. The basic roast chicken, the rosemary pork and the recipes for roasting potatoes are frequently relied upon quick but delicious dinner solutions. My absolute favorite is the New York Steak roast! The Prime-Rib recipe offers an excellent timing guide as well. Yes, you can get smoke in your kitchen and dirty pans. Just make sure you start with a clean oven and a good quality roasting pan of the type recommended in the book. Any smoke and mess is well worth it for the flavor trade-off. The problems can be mostly avoided with a decent kitchen exhaust sytem (or an open window or door), a self-cleaning oven and deglazing the pan properly. Try this method of roasting, you'll love it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Chicken I have ever made! Dec 16 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
A few days ago I made the absolute best roast chicken I have ever had. My family raved about it. The butter-lemon-garlic inside the bird made it great. I made two together since one chicken is never enough if you want leftovers. The bad side is after back breaking scrubbing - my almost new oven is still dirty. A new professional Viking and NO self cleaning! I loved the chicken but don't think I can go through this hard work every time. I still don't know what else to try to clean off what's left in there. She recommends lining the bottom of the oven with foil but the Viking info I have says NOT to do that. Has anyone else lined the bottom of their oven with foil and not had problems with heat distribution? I also made the New York Strip Roast and that too was out of this world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Something you must have in your cooking library! Jan. 28 1998
Format:Hardcover
This cookbook is not for those with a fear of cooking! With average temperatures just shy of inferno and the potential to so utterly destroy your main course that no quantity of scraping and salt is going to ressurect it (regardless of what your mother say's), these recipes are a high risk proposition. However, the rewards are well worth it. Kafka's tarragon chicken will remind you that chicken breast can be moist and flavorful, and her pork loin with onion and rubarb sauce will make your guest think you've been professionally trained. With a well calibrated oven, a good set of Pyrex casserole pans, and a scrubbing sponge with green abrasive, you will have great success with this cookbook: it is absolutely one of the best references in my library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly changed my relationship with the oven Nov. 26 2001
Format:Hardcover
I learned to cook in my teenage years, and learned a lot of things from my parents, my grandmother, and from cookbooks. However, I have never come across a cookbook that changed my outlook on cooking more than this one. After hearing Barbara Kafka on the radio, I bought a copy as an impulse buy. After reading the book and trying out a couple of recipies, I was hooked. It is the only cookbook that I proselytize about, and I have provided copies to several family members and friends. Perfect meats and vegetables - every time. Juicier meat than I ever had been able to cook in the oven before. A profound change in the way I prepare foods.
Try it - you will never look at your oven in the same way again.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Good way to ruin your pans. Jan. 15 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I found this book on a friend's shelf, and picked it up to look for a simple recipe I could try, to find out if the book was worth buying. I was puzzled by references in each recipe to "save the juices for deglazing the pan". Deglazing?
Well. I looked up to the front of the book, and found that, by "deglazing", she meant "softening up the fat and juice burnt onto the pan to the point where you might be able to scrape it off". So, basically, her simple cooking technique means you move your time investment from cooking time to cleaning time. Not a win in my book: cooking is fun; cleaning is dull. :-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great general resource March 2 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I have had nothing but success with every recipe I've tried from Roasting. Moist roasted chicken, a wonderful Thanksgiving turkey (18 lb roasted to perfection in just over 2 hours), a marvelous leg of lamb, and a great assortment of lovely roasted vegetables. This is my single true souce for roasting information. However, this is not a cookbook for folks who want to put something in the oven and forget about it. Roasting at high temperature requires you to pay attention to the temperature of your oven and the time elapsed more carefully. I have yet to actually burn anything, as long as I follow the directions closely.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Roasting - A pleasure best shared.....
There is nothing that compares to the simple visceral joy of a lovely roasting. Whether sharing with friends or colleagues there's nothing I like better, which is why I was so... Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2003 by Kieron
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars no question.....
Really guys this book IS as good as advertised. I always say that her methods of roasting should be taught in high school. No other method is needed... Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Smoke up.
I'll admit to being skeptical about this book. but after reading all the reviews decided to give it a shot. It is in a word....terrific. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2001 by TwoPoodles
5.0 out of 5 stars minute to learn, lifetime to master
I recieved this book about two years ago and it has consistently provided excellent recipes for both meat and vegetables. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth finding an additional 2nd hand oven
I too, even with such delicious results wondered if it was worth the labor intensive cleanup of my oven and the smoke. Read more
Published on July 5 2000 by Dolores R. Neilson
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cookbook ever
All the complaints are bubkus. Yes, you get smoke - I recommend opening a window and turning on a fan. Read more
Published on May 6 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Roasting, a Simple Art, Barbara Kafka
Without doubt one of the best cookbooks I have ever read. And I mean READ. Kafka's writing style is as comforting as the food she teaches you to prepare. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2000 by James J. Skelly
5.0 out of 5 stars simply d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!!!
Every time I have people over to eat turkey, it never fails, they all rave and say they never ate such tender and juicy turkey. And the roasted leg of lamb... Read more
Published on Sept. 29 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Outstanding
I have over 160 years of chefs in my family including myself and this is one of the finest, most useful cooking books on the market. Read more
Published on Sept. 8 1999 by akkoniesr@aol.com
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