Reviewed by food writer Lari Robling
Carrie Levin knows breakfast. As the chef and owner of New York City's Good Enough to Eat restaurant and bakery, she's scrambled a few eggs and stacked a few pancakes in her time.
In this new book, she's serving up over 140 recipes for those big breakfast staples: over-stuffed omelets, pecan waffles, granola muffins and corned beef hash. She divulges her baking secrets for English muffins and her classic cinnamon buns that took years to perfect. Levin talks you through her complex directions for a divine orange-bourbon marmalade. She teases you with an assortment of pancakes and blintzes to try.
This is not a cookbook for sissies. It's over 200 pages of full text - no pretty pictures to daydream over. Some of her recipes require not only skill, but also concentration. Levin's technique for scrambling eggs takes two people to understand it - one person reading the directions and one to act it out. You have to learn the correct beating technique that she calls "the click" and it takes several attempts to manage tilting the pan and dragging the fork correctly through the mixture. But the results are worth the attention to detail yielding an extremely satisfying pile of creamy egg curds.
She also has a great technique for re-seasoning pans - you simply cover the bottom with salt and heat until the salt changes color - and it saved one of my pans that almost went into the trash.
What if you're not an energetic early riser prone to making breakfast?
Make this a gift for someone who is and hint for a late breakfast in bed.