electronic Gourmet Guide

California Home Cooking

The Most Valuable California Resource Since The Gold Rush

by Michele Anna Jordan

California Home Cooking

Now people everywhere can enjoy the warmth and vibrancy of California in their own kitchens year-round. California cooking has defined the way Americans eat today, emphasizing bold flavors, integrating fresh fruits and vegetables into every part of the meal, and replacing butter with olive oil, ketchup with salsa, plain salt and pepper with spices. In California Home Cooking, Michele Anna Jordan shows that California is still influencing how we eat, broadening our palates and opening our eyes to an infinite variety of flavors.

California cooking reflects the fertile land and fertile imaginations of the Golden State, and the resulting cuisine is very good indeed. Jordan traveled the mountains, foothills, valleys, and coastline of her native California to discover how real Californians eat. What emerged was that culinary innovation and the integration of new and unexpected foods was taking place not only in the restaurants of celebrity chefs, but also in the homes of California residents. California Home Cooking is inspired by the amazing meals prepared in home kitchens throughout the Golden State, by people who cook for pleasure and take pleasure in the fresh native produce, the disparate cultural influences, and the adventurous spirit of California.

California Home Cooking emphasizes the vast potential of every home cook to take advantage of the wide scope of today's pantry. Now that every kitchen contains balsamic vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh herbs, and every supermarket boasts an abundance of produce, from artichokes, mesclun, avocados, and figs to goat cheeses and smoked salmon, it's easy to forget that it was Californians who brought these foods to the everyday table. In California Home Cooking, Michele Jordan shows how to use this bounty of flavors to create easy and delicious meals that bring the sun and spirit of California into homes everywhere.

California Home Cooking offers hundreds of exuberant, delicious recipes, such as Sage and Dry Jack Scones, Monterey Artichoke Risotto, Strawberry-Chevre Pizza, Bodega Bay Crab Cakes, Golden Chicken Curry, Grilled Duck with Blueberries and Lavender, Roasted Garlic Meatloaf, Red Onion Tart, and Ginger Ice Cream. These are dishes that celebrate the fresh and abundant produce and the vivid ethnic influences that distinguish California cuisine.

Fascinating tales of California's history and people are interspersed throughout California Home Cooking, paying tribute to the farmers, the fishermen, the cheesemakers, the gardeners, and the winemakers of California. Celebrating the immigrants who brought their rich cultures and culinary heritages to the Golden State, California Home Cooking shows how Californians of different ethnic backgrounds have reinterpreted traditional dishes beyond the boundaries of heritage and habit. Here at last is a cookbook as bountiful, as colorful, and as exciting as California itself.

About the Author

Michele Anna Jordan is the award-winning author of eight previous cookbooks, including A Cook's Tour of Sonoma, Polenta, and Baked and Filled Pastas. A frequent contributor to top food magazines, she won a 1997 James Beard Award for Magazine Feature Writing. She lives in Sebastopol in Sonoma County, and in San Francisco.

California Home Cooking
by Michele Anna Jordan
Harvard Common Press
$16.95 paperback, ISBN: 1-55832-119-5
$29.95 hardcover, ISBN: 1-55832-118-7
illustrated, 528 pages, 1997
Information provided by the publisher.


California Home Cooking

About the Book


This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

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This page modified February 2007