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Connie Willis
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China Williams, Greg Bloom, Celeste Brash, Andrew Burke
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Fodor's Travel Publications Inc.
Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table - Suzanne Goin, Shimon & Tammar, Teri Gelber I had never even heard of Lucques before this cookbook made a big splash in the blogosphere a few years ago. I've had my copy for ages now but it's not one I reach for often. Something about this book is a little intimidating, though not all the recipes are complicated. I guess it's the perpetual problem of having too many cookbooks and not enough time to cook. And this is a real entertaining cookbook, not your everyday get-a-meal-on-the-table cookbook.

The book is divided into seasonal menus, each containing an appetizer (often a soup or salad), 2 different entrees (so you can choose between fish or chicken, red meat or white meat, etc., or if you're having a really elaborate meal, you could do both), and a dessert. There are TONS of mouthwatering photos, too, which I always appreciate. If I hosted a lot of dinner parties or cooked for dates more often, this book would get a lot of use, cause it's really perfect for when you want to impress someone. All the recipes in the book are designed to serve six.

A few dishes I've tried:

Jessica's Favorite Meyer Lemon Tart with a Layer of Chocolate: 4.5 stars
What's better than lemon curd? Lemon curd with chocolate. Minus a half star because the crust shrank quite a bit. I would probably make this again with my usual pâte sucrée recipe instead.

Devil's Chicken Thighs with Braised Leeks and Dijon Mustard: 4 stars
I guess the "devil" in this recipe comes from lots of vermouth, mustard, and breadcrumbs. This was quite easy and very flavorful, though I found it a bit on the salty side. I love braised leeks, but I think I like the ones in All about Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking a little better.

Braised Beef Brisket with Horseradish Cream: 4 stars
This particular brisket is braised in balsamic vinegar and dark beer with lots of herbs and the usual mirepoix. It was great, but I have yet to try a bad brisket recipe... it's just good comfort food. The horseradish cream was a nice variation. I also made the suggested side dish of Sautéed Rapini with Garlic and Chile, which was fine but nothing really notable, except for the exorbitant amount of oil it calls for.

Wild Mushroom Tart with Gruyere, Young Onions, and Herb Salad: 3 stars
I love a good savory tart, but unfortunately this one wasn't much more than the sum of its parts.

There are lots more recipes in here I have my eye on, so I'll be sure to update this review.