Cooking for All Seasons by Jimmy Schmidt
Cooking by the season's bounty, a culinary tradition as old as the campfire, gives the inventive Schmidt, chef and owner of Detroit's Rattlesnake Club, an opportunity to display an unconventional approach to blending ingredients. With a deep bow to Southwest cuisine, he adds peppers of all kinds to seafood and poultry, accents shellfish with citrus, flavors meats with nuts or exotic fruits and finds myriad uses for ginger. Enlivened by contrasts in texture and color, Schmidt's recipes, while many-stepped and traditional in method (salsa Hollandaise, made with lime juice, is whisked by hand), remain essentially uncomplicated. Tastes are highlighted, not masked. Some combinations may overreach (lamb-and-papaya tortillas), but many promise to wake us up: swordfish with ginger and grapefruit, salmon with black and white sesames, lamb with sweet spiced pecans. Ingredients are detailed in tables and charts; dressings and accompanying sauces are a strong point . Readers who may well skim the author's fulsome chapter introductions should by no means pass up white chocolate ravioli with hazelnut sauce.