"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Yup, I'm on a roll--it's all sauces, all the time here in the Palladino house this week!

I had thought to make Avgolemono alongside the ill-fated Quick Aioli two nights ago, but as you can read below, the aoili took up all of my time that night. So last night I finally turned my attention to this recipe, and we decided to have it with grilled vegetables and cold, cooked shrimp.

The avgolemono puzzled me more than anything else. The taste is great (it was brilliant with the shrimp) but when it comes right down to it, it's a base for soup, not a sauce. And saying that it's a sauce is kind of like making the base for clam chowder, and saying it would be great poured over fish. Well, it would be, but why not just put the fish in a bowl, pour the base over it, and call it what it is--chowder?

So that's basically what I ended up doing last night--after dipping the shrimp into the avgolemono for a thin coating, I finally just peeled them all, dumped them into my little sauce cup, and ate it like soup. Then I drank the rest of the sauce, (like soup).

It's a great flavor combo, by the way. If you've never had avgolemono, the traditional method is a base of this alleged sauce (chicken stock thickened with eggs and lemon juice) combined with rice and shredded chicken meat. It's DELICIOUS.

Now, having said all that, when I was browsing around for a photo to put up here I came across scads of photos showing avgolemono SAUCE on things like lamb fricasee and linguini. So what do I know? I guess I'm a traditionalist when it comes to sauces.

P.S. for Gourmet Editors Who Will Someday Be Putting Out Another Edition of This Book--Technical note--the recipe has you whisking the broth/egg/lemon mix over simmering water until it thickens slightly, for about 8-10 minutes. Now, I know that the goal temp range for this is between 170 and 175 degrees from my years of making egg-thickened things, but the average home cook might not--and might have their mind eased by the inclusion of this very definitive measure of "doneness" in the recipe directions.

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