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James McNair's New Pizza: Foolproof Techniques and Fabulous Recipes


Publisher:Chronicle Books



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About the book:

According to James McNair, the average North American family enjoys pizza at home at least 30 times per year. If you're ordering your pies from a big pizza chain, there's a good chance you're eating a lot of fair-to-middling pizza. Stop! Try making it yourself at home with the easy recipes in the colorful--and durable--New Pizza book. But a word of advice from the author: "For the best pizzas, the rule is simple: use only the freshest and finest ingredients available."

Before he gets to pizza assembly, McNair lets us in on perhaps the most important step--how to make a fantastic, foolproof crust, either Neapolitan or California style (the latter includes olive oil). He debates different flour mixtures, olive oil purity, and methods of kneading, all in search of a sturdy, flavorful crust (soft or firm, depending on your preference). From crusts, he moves on to traditional pizzas "that have stood the test of time to become true classics of the pizza baker's art." This section includes Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Pizza (Pizza Margherita), Four Seasons Pizza (Pizza Quattro Stagioni), and New York-Style Pizza. Considering contemporary pizzas, he notes that Americans, particularly West Coasters, prefer pizza loaded with toppings, while Italians sprinkle just a few choice ingredients over their pies. Try Garlic-Glazed Chicken Pizza, Roasted Potato and Tapenade Pizza, or Caribbean Jerk Shrimp Pizza with Tropical Salsa. The stuffed pizzas are scrumptious--you'll need a hearty appetite for Zucchini-Stuffed Deep-Dish Pizza, Chicago Style, or Spanakopita (Greek spinach pizza). There's even a section on dessert pizzas. Finish off the evening with Fresh Fig, Blue Cheese, and Honey Pizza or Chocolate and Berry Pizza. Whichever way you choose to top your pie (and the combinations are endless), McNair is ready with a helping hand. --Dana Van Nest

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