Here is the great basic American cookbook—with more than 1,990 recipes, plain and fancy—that belongs in every household.
Originally published in 1896 as The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer, it became the coobook that taught generations of Americans how to cook. Completely updating it for the first time since 1979, Marion Cunningham made Fannie Farmer once again a household word for a new generation of cooks.
What makes this basic cookbook so distinctive is that Marion Cunningham, who is the personification of the nineteenth-century teacher, is always at your side with her forthright tips and comments, encouraging the beginning cook and inspiring the more adventurous. She knows what today's cooks are looking for, and she has a way of instilling confidence and joy in the act of cooking.
In giving the book new life, Mrs. Cunningham has been careful always to preserve the best of the old. She has retained all the particularly good, tried-and-true recipes from preceding editions, retesting and rewriting when necessary. She has rediscovered lost treasures, including delicious recipes that were eliminated when practically no one baked bread at home. This is now the place to find the finest possible recipes for Pumpkin Soup, Boston Baked Beans, Carpetbag Steak, Roast Stuffed Turkey, Anadama Bread, Indian Pudding, Apple Pie, and all of the other traditional favorites.
The new recipes reflect ethnic influences—Mediterranean, Moroccan, Asian—that have been adding their flavors to American cooking in recent years. Tucked in among all your favorites like Old-Fashioned Beef Stew, New England Clam Chowder, Ham Timbales, and Chicken Jambalaya, you'll find her cool Cucumber Sushi, Enchiladas with Chicken and Green Sauce, or a layered dish of Polenta and Fish to add variety to your repertoire. Always a champion of old-fashioned breakfasts and delectable desserts, Mrs. Cunningham has many splendid new offerings to tempt you.
Throughout, cooking terms and procedures are explained, essential ingredients are spelled out, basic equipment is assessed. Mrs. Cunningham even tells you how to make a good cup of coffee and how to brew tea properly.
For the diet-conscious, there is an expanded nutritional chart that includes a breakdown of cholesterol and fat in common ingredients as well as in Fannie Farmer basic recipes. Where the taste of a dish would not be altered, Mrs. Cunningham has reduced the amount of cream and butter in some of the recipes from the preceding edition. She carefully evaluates the issues of food safety today and alerts us to potential hazards.
But the emphasis here is always on good flavor, fresh ingredients, and lots of variety in one's daily fare, which Marion Cunningham believes is the secret to a healthy diet. Dedicated to the home cooks of America, young and old, this thirteenth edition of the book that won the hearts of Americans more than a century ago invites us all—as did the original Fannie Farmer—to cherish the delights of the family table.
From the Hardcover edition.
STANDING RIB ROAST
(Allow 1/2 - 1 pound per serving)
1 standing rib roast, at least 4 pounds
1/4 cup beef broth or water
Freshly ground pepper
Cooking time varies widely, depending on the shape of the roast and internal temperature. You'll need a meat thermometer.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the meat, fat side up, in a shallow open pan and allow it to come to room temperature. Roast for approximately 20 minutes to the pound. Insert a meat thermometer toward the end of the estimated cooking time: the meat is rare at 130 degrees, medium at 140 degrees, and well done at 160 degrees. Remove from the oven when the thermometer registers 5 degrees lower than the desired temperature, and let the roast sit on a carving board while the Yorkshire pudding bakes, if you are making it, and while you make a simple gravy: the roast will continue to cook and become easier to carve. Drain off most of the fat and place the roasting pan over a burner. Add the broth or simply 1/4 cup of water, and stir and scrape with a large kitchen spoon, loosening the brown glaze on the bottom of the pan. Add more liquid if you wish and salt and pepper to taste, and cook over low heat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Spoon over slices of carved beef. To carve a rib roast:
1. The old-fashioned way has always been to stand the roast on its ribs and carve downward in slices as thin as you wish.
2. The more porfessional method, particularly for a many-ribbed roast and thicker slices, is to lay the roast on its side. First cut along the rib to loosen the meat from the bone, then make horizontal slices. Rolled Rib Roast
Place meat in a V-shaped rack and increase cooking time to approximately 30 minutes to the pound. Allow 1/3 pound per serving. Carve as would Pot Roast. YORKSHIRE PUDDING
1/4 cup roast beef pan drippings
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
First cousin to the popover, this crisp, golden-brown puff is a glorious accompaniment to Roast Beef. Remove the roast from the oven 25 minutes before it is to be served. it's essential that it be cooked in the roast beef fat and drippings, which flavor it so beautifully. The Yorkshire pudding will cook while the roast "rests" and can be brought to the table after you have carved the meat. Turn the oven up to 450 degrees and pour the pan drippings into a 9 X 9-inch pan or an 11 X 7-inch pan. Put the pan in the oven to keep sizzling while you prepare the batter. Combine the eggs, milk, flour, and salt and beat until well blended. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes. Serve piping hot from the baking pan, a generous square with each helping of roast beef.From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham. Copyright © 1996 by Marion Cunningham. Excerpted by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
About Marion Cunningham
Marion Cunningham was born in Southern California and now lives in Walnut Creek. She was responsible for the complete revision of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook and is the author of The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, The Breakfast Book, The Supper Book, and Cooking with Children. She travels frequently throughout the country giving cooking demonstrations, has contributed articles to Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Gourmet magazines, and writes a column for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times.