How Frugal Is Gourmet?
A practical new cookbook from the famously extravagant magazine.
Of course, it's still Gourmet, and excessive zeal is part of the franchise. These editors are no more willing than MacAusland was to be mistaken for Betty Crocker. Hence the three-hour Seafood Paella, the four-hour Dobostorte, and the cassoulet recipe so elaborate they're forced to call it "a two-day adventure." But the Gourmet Cookbook is no wish book. It's too American for that. Frozen puff pastry is used without apology, there's a Mexican quiche from Montana, and many of the recipes originated with readers—some of them actually housewives. "The art of being a gourmet has nothing to do with age, money, fame, or country," MacAusland proclaimed in the first issue of the magazine. I doubt he believed it back then—but he'd have to now.
Laura Shapiro is the author ofSomething From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America.