The A.O.C. Cookbook

Suzanne Goin, Author
Suzanne Goin, with wine notes by Caroline Styne. Knopf, $35 (448p) ISBN 978-0-307-95823-5
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Goin, James Beard winner and chef/owner of four Los Angeles restaurants (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, and the Larder), brings readers recipes from A.O.C., her restaurant known for its relaxed atmosphere and small dishes, meant to be shared. (A.O.C. stands for Appellation d’Origine Controlee, the French government’s system for regulating and designating wine, cheese, and other artisanal products). This is a very intimate cookbook, and Goin (along with her business partner and wine director, Styne) shares personal anecdotes and explains how she chooses ingredients. Goin admits that “this is not the easiest cookbook you will use,” however passionate cooks who are not intimidated by recipes that require some time and effort will not be disappointed. Fresh, innovative, and vibrant, Goin’s collection includes sumptuous recipes for the entire year. The book opens with sections on cheese (bacon-wrapped dates with parmesan) and charcuterie (foie gras terrine with sweet and sour prunes). Chapters on salads, fish, meat, vegetables, and desserts are organized by season. Standouts in this fantastic collection include sweet pea pancakes with dungeness crab and red onion crème fraiche; pork cheeks with polenta, mustard cream, and horseradish gremolata; and s’mores with caramel popcorn and chocolate sorbet. A specific wine pairing for each dish, provided by Styne, is included, as is a wonderful glossary of cheeses. (Oct.)
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