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Williams-Sonoma Collection: Roasting

Williams-Sonoma Collection: Roasting
Think back on some of your favorite holiday meals, and you're sure to remember a beautiful roast gracing the dinner table. A perfectly cooked bird or a dramatic cut of meat—be it a turkey, a leg of lamb or a standing rib roast—helps define many of our traditional feasts. Roasting, part of the Williams-Sonoma Collection series, captures this festive spirit.

As author Barbara Grunes demonstrates, the time-honored technique of oven-roasting is not just for meats, nor is it limited to special occasions. It's equally successful with seafood, vegetables and even fruits, and is ideal for preparing quick weeknight meals.

An experienced cooking teacher and writer, Grunes infuses her more than 40 recipes with kitchen wisdom. In informative sidebars, you'll learn the difference between a wet-cured and a dry-cured ham—and which is better for roasting. She explains what's in herbes de Provence and how barbecue sauces vary by region. The section on roasting basics will teach you essential skills, including marinating and carving as well as deglazing, a technique used to make flavorful pan sauces.

Beginning cooks will find plenty of simple yet delicious recipes, such as halibut steak au poivre, sprinkled with crushed peppercorns and arranged on a colorful bed of ripe tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. This stunning entrée, which takes only ten minutes to roast, is fit for company. More challenging dishes, such as stuffed breast of veal coated with herbs, will keep experienced cooks happy.

Flavors and techniques from around the world will enliven your table. Nuevo Latino cooking jazzes up roast chicken with an aromatic rub of chilis and other seasonings. Chinese-style duck, shrimp with spicy avocado sauce and pork chops stuffed with couscous all draw inspiration from international cuisines.

A chapter on vegetables will supply you with flavorful side dishes. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables throughout the seasons. Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus roasted to tender-crispness highlight the freshness of spring. For cooler nights, autumn-hued carrots, sweet potatoes and parsnips glisten with a wildflower honey glaze.

Roasting transforms fruits into impressive desserts. In an updated version of apple brown betty, the apples are slow-roasted with cinnamon and nutmeg, then sprinkled with buttered bread crumbs, adding richness to this comforting American classic.

Full-page color photographs accompany every recipe, and a glossary provides valuable information on selecting and preparing ingredients. Dependable and inspiring, Roasting is sure to become a favorite in your cookbook collection.