Apart from Native American cooking, the dishes of New England are our country's most venerable. Brooke Dojny's The New England Cookbook offers more than 350 recipes, including traditional favorites such as Boston Clam Chowder as well as unexpected pleasures such as Athena Diner Avgolemono. Many of these come from the immigrants who have made New England their home over the years. Because Dojny has cast her recipe net widely, the book is comprehensive; readers interested in a complete view of Northeast cooking, and those seeking simple recipes for good food–plain to reasonably fancy, old-fashioned to contemporary–will welcome the book.
In chapters devoted to dish types, from starters to desserts, Dojny reveals a compelling culinary repertoire. Among her selection, cooks will want to try Vermont Chicken and Leek Pie with Biscuit Crust, Rosemary Grilled Bluefish with Rosemary Lime Butter, and North Fork Crusty Pan-Seared Scallops. A chapter on sandwiches and pizzas includes such savory temptations as Portuguese Chourico, Peppers, and Onion Grinder and Famous New Haven White Clam Pizza; one of two bread-baking chapters offers breakfast specialties such as Berkshire Puffed Apple Skillet-Baked Pancake. Dojny's dessert recipes are particularly attractive, presenting the likes of Hester's Sour Lemon Pudding Cake, Hungarian Crêpes with Walnut Filling and Warm Chocolate Sauce, or the eloquently simple and good Best Maine Blueberry Pie.
With anecdotal sidebars and a list of sources for down-home ingredients, the book invites the solid, flavorful American cooking that is our principal culinary heritage. –Arthur Boehm