Published by Hachette ISBN 978-1-4013-1284-8
Hardcover, $30, 265 pages
One of my favorite contestants on the Food Network's Top Chef is Fabio Viviani. His Italian accent, good looks, charming way and bromance with fellow contestant Richard Blais made him a true fan favorite. Viviani owns several restaurants and his latest cookbook Fabio's American Home Kitchen had me drooling as I was perusing all of the recipes.
As I read the introduction, I could hear Fabio's heavily accented voice in my head. He begins with a page of Kitchen Notes of "assumptions and some common sense", including "Mayonnaise is also always preferably homemade, though nothing will happen to you if you use store-bought." Whew, good to know!
Each chapter starts with a page, like the Appetizers section, which he calls the "first kiss of your meal". I love that description of appetizers. Again, these one page introductions include Fabio's trademark sense of humor.
The recipes are generally one page each, and are geared towards people who have some familiarity in the kitchen. Reading it, I felt like I was in a good friend's kitchen and he was explaining what he was doing as he was cooking. The instructions felt conversational, which I liked.
The Soups and Sandwiches chapter was my favorite, and I've bookmarked many pages there. I'm not a big tomato soup fan, but his Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese, made with Dijon mustard, is one I will be making for lunch for my husband and me on a rainy, cold Sunday.
I also want to try:
- Chilled Corn Soup with Parmesan-Basil Corn Salad
- Fresh Tuna Salad Sandwiches (he says it's time we Americans learn how not to use canned tuna)
- Rare Beef Pasta Salad
- Pasta Salad with Walnuts, Gorgonzola and Mozzarella
- Penne with Creamy Mushroom Medley
Naturally, his Pasta chapter has lots of wonderful recipes, all made with fresh ingredients like his Italian grandma taught him. He has a Quick Chicken Parmigiana recipe where he tells us that we should never serve pasta on the side- no chicken with pasta! I've never heard that before.
He also recommends buying Parmesan cheese with the rind on it and grating the rind because it has very little moisture inside and works well in the oven.
At the end of the book, Fabio has Menus for Special Occasions, like a Winter Holiday Meal, and Elegant Dinner Party and Sunday Family Supper using recipes from the book.
I can't wait to cook from Fabio's American Home Kitchen, I will post the results in a future Weekend Cooking post.
Fabio Viviani's website, with lots of recipes, is here.