Suzanne Goins is the chef-owner of Lucques, an acclaimed Los Angeles restaurant noted for its Sunday meal service. Sunday Suppers at Luques presents 132 recipes from the restaurant, arranged by seasonal menus and thus by market availability, with the likes of Hawaiian Snapper with Green Rice and Cucumbers in Crème Fraîche; Saffron Chicken with Parmesan Pudding, Spring Onions and Sugar Snap Peas; Bistecca California with Peperonata, Baked Ricotta, and Lemon; and Young Onion Tart with Cantal, Applewood-Somked Bacon, and Herb Salad. Home cooks should find these deft, light-handed creations immediately attractive, if not always readily reproducible, as many call for special ingredients like the aforementioned snapper, Kaboca squash, and roncal, a Spanish sheeps milk cheese, among many others. Reasonable alternatives aren't always suggested. Though the dishes themselves aren't difficult to make, reproducing whole menus, or even multiple dishes within them, will require a kitchen workout. These things said, many cooks will want to try making the more approachable dishes apart from their "trimmings," not to mention such desserts as Warm Crèpes with Lemon Zest and Hazelnut Brown Butter, and Jessica's Favorite Meyer Lemon Tart with a Layer of Chocolate. With color photos, the book is also lovely to pore through. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
At Lucques, one of Goin's two Los Angeles restaurants, the Chez Panisse alumna cooks special Sunday fixed-price menus. Whiling away a wintery Sunday evening over Beets and Tangerines with Mint and Orange-Flower Water; Australian Barramundi with Winter Vegetables Bagna Cauda and Toasted Breadcrumbs; or Herb-Roasted Rack of Lamb with Flageolet Gratin, Roasted Radicchio, and Tapenade; and a Gâteau Basque with Armagnac Prunes sounds lovely. Preparing it, though, sounds like a hard day's work, and the organization of recipes in seasonal menus rather than grouped by appetizer, entrée, etc., leaves readers with little flexibility. Goin's recipes for hearty, vegetable-heavy, Mediterranean-style dishes such as an appetizer of Ragoût of Morels with Crème Fraîche, Soft Herbs, and Toasted Brioche; and First-of-the-Season Succotash Salad with fresh lima beans and watercress are clearly written. But most dishes are all-day affairs: Roman Cherry Tart with Almond Crust and Almond Ice Cream incorporates several components and follows on the heels of either Veal Osso Buco with Saffron Risotto, English Peas, and Pea Shoots, or Halibut with Fingerlings, Fava Beans, Meyer Lemon, and Savory Crème Fraîche. Goin does say, "Feel free to mix and match," but she seems to have missed Sunday's "day of rest" concept. 75 full-color photos. (Dec. 1)
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