GIADA AT HOME
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
Giada at Home - Family recipes from Italy and California
(Clarkson Potter) ISBN 978-0307451019 0307451011
In this family cookbook, Giada de Laurentiis shares recipes for Italian family cooking, influenced by the cuisine of California, where she lives.
Home cooks will find recipes for weeknight meals, Sunday brunches and family favorites.
Preparing recipes from Giada at Home is the next best thing to joining Giada de Laurentiis, her husband Todd, their daughter Jade and their relatives for a home cooked meal.
Giada de Laurentiis simplifies classic Italian cooking with quick and easy recipes. Traditional recipes for Italian family cooking, such as rigatoni with creamy mushroom sauce, have orange titles. Modern versions of classic Italian recipes, like honey mustard pork roast with bacon, have green titles.
Each chapter of Giada at Home begins with a list of recipes, followed by an introduction. In the Appetizers chapter, for example, Giada de Laurentiis explains that she likes to use smoked salmon, rather than meat, to make carpaccio.
Cooking Italian food
Italian meal recipes list ingredients with metric and imperial measurements. Giada de Laurentiis describes the ingredients and cooking techniques in each introduction. For example, she suggests barley as a substitute for farro in her cheesy baked farro recipe.
Cook's Notes, at the end of several recipes, feature cooking tips. In her recipe for skewered Greek salad, Giada de Laurentiis says feta packed in water is less likely to crumble and easier to thread on skewers.
Color photos, by Jonelle Weaver, depict Giada de Laurentiis and her family, and delicious home cooked meals, like egg white frittata with lox and arugula.
Differences between bruschetta and crostini
The 239-page family cookbook includes several brunch menu ideas, from drinks and egg dishes to salads and bake goods.
Ingredient sidebars describe Italian ingredients, like olive oil, prosciutto and pancetta. In one, Giada de Laurentiis explains the differences between bruschetta and crostini.
Bruschetta are thick, grilled bread slices, topped with meat, cheese and vegetables, which can be eaten by hand, or cut up on a plate. Crostini are smaller, thinner, toasted bread slices, used as one-bite appetizers, or as croutons on soups and salads.
Giada de Laurentiis recommends ciabatta or pane rustica, for making bruschetta, and baguettes for making crostini.
Sample Italian family recipes
Italian fried olives. Tomato basil tartlets. Smoked salmon and apple carpaccio. Grilled vegetable, herb and goat cheese sandwiches. Chicken burgers with garlic rosemary mayonnaise. Spaghetti with beef, smoked almonds and basil. Brown butter risotto with lobster. Turkey meatloaf with feta and sun-dried tomatoes. Honey balsamic lamb chops. Grilled and stuffed portobello mushrooms with gorgonzola. Vegetable parmesan. Apricot and nut cookies with amaretto icing. Espresso caramel bars. Lemon hazelnut tiramisu. Limoncello and blueberry cooler. Chocolate honey almond tart. Pomegranate and mint sorbet. Caffe latte with vanilla whipped cream. Shaved melon salad with mint sugar.
- Soups & sandwiches
- Pastas & grains
- Meat, poultry & fish
- Vegetables & salads
Giada de Laurentiis is the author of five cookbooks and the host of several Food Network cooking shows.