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The Nero Wolfe Cookbook

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A one-of-its-kind, high-cuisine cookbook that reproduces authentic recipes for many of the fine dishes mentioned in Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries. Spiced with quotes from memorable Nero Wolfe whodunits and photos that recall New York in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s.


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A one-of-its-kind, high-cuisine cookbook that reproduces authentic recipes for many of the fine dishes mentioned in Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries. Spiced with quotes from memorable Nero Wolfe whodunits and photos that recall New York in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s.

30 review for The Nero Wolfe Cookbook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jill Hutchinson

    My favorite fictional detective, Nero Wolfe, is a noted gourmand with the best cook in NYC, Fritz Brenner. Food is always mentioned in the series as Fritz whips up another masterpiece for his boss. This book gives the reader the recipes for most of these dishes and it is a lot of fun. I can't imagine making any of them (and I like to cook) but braised starlings don't appeal to me and some of the seasonings are a little odd. But it is how the other half lives and eats and is an enjoyable look My favorite fictional detective, Nero Wolfe, is a noted gourmand with the best cook in NYC, Fritz Brenner. Food is always mentioned in the series as Fritz whips up another masterpiece for his boss. This book gives the reader the recipes for most of these dishes and it is a lot of fun. I can't imagine making any of them (and I like to cook) but braised starlings don't appeal to me and some of the seasonings are a little odd. But it is how the other half lives and eats and is an enjoyable look into Wolfe's kitchen.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John

    Like all cookbooks in my house, this one is taking a turn by the bedside before it makes its way to the shelves by the kitchen. But I didn't know about this book until a couple weeks ago, when a friend mentioned it in passing. Obviously, that evening I went on Amazon marketplace and bought a copy. It arrived just the other day, and thus far it seems quite wonderful. The book is peppered with dining-related quotes from the Nero Wolfe novels and stories. There's a little bit of original text, in Like all cookbooks in my house, this one is taking a turn by the bedside before it makes its way to the shelves by the kitchen. But I didn't know about this book until a couple weeks ago, when a friend mentioned it in passing. Obviously, that evening I went on Amazon marketplace and bought a copy. It arrived just the other day, and thus far it seems quite wonderful. The book is peppered with dining-related quotes from the Nero Wolfe novels and stories. There's a little bit of original text, in the way of a delightful introduction by Fritz Brenner, Wolfe's cook (!) - I'm not certain it was written by Stout, but it's fun. Fritz says he doubts the book will make you a better cook, since great cooking is a matter of soul, not knowledge. He doubts it will make you a worse one, however. The recipes are organized by meal time and location, so you don't get a chapter on appetizers, one on meat, one on salads, and so on. Instead the chapters include breakfast, luncheon, cold- and warm-weather dinners, Rustermann's restaurant, and dishes cooked by Wolfe himself. The recipes themselves range from the simple, with basic ingredients (e.g., blueberry muffins), to things with truffles and caviar, of which Wolfe was of course quite fond. Although I haven't tried any of them yet, they seem clear and well-written, with no obvious mistakes. Regardless, one thing I particularly enjoy is the window it opens onto a number of dishes that seem to have largely disappeared from the present; I mean, who makes an omelet with bacon and apricot preserves anymore? At any rate, I'd say any Nero Wolfe fan *needs* to have this. It may also be of interest to cooks who aren't fans, but who are interested in American cookery from the 1930s through the 1960s. Update: I finished reading through this last night, and although I haven't tried cooking from it yet, I can say a bit more. First, I can confirm that this is a fantastic item for any fan of the great detective. It's full of reminders of great scenes in the stories, by way of excerpts and recipes I'd forgotten about until coming on them here again; for example, this has the trout deal Lily Rowan cooks for Wolfe, and the deal he makes her in return). There's a great section based on the rant Wolfe goes on during a train journey (in "Too Many Cooks"), in which he lists off great American dishes to a European who'd claimed there was no such thing. Wolfe's monologue is punctuated by the recipe for each dish after it's named. Great fun. But as a cookbook for actual use in the kitchen....well, let's say I wouldn't try making any of things things for guests if I hadn't tested them out first. The main problems are that the recipes are really variable in detail, and written in an older style that makes a lot of assumptions. The detail variability often eliminates quantities for seasonings and spices, but sometimes goes further and is vague about main ingredients ("Make a strong lemonade from the oranges, lemons, sugar, and water" isn't necessarily enough info when the ingredients list just said "Oranges; lemons; sugar; water"). The assumptions are things like expecting certain techniques to be known ("Make a cream sauce from the flour, milk..." - ok, pretty easy, but there were other things I don't recall, because I don't know how to do them), to what I assume were standard sizes for equipment that now varies ("In a casserole, alternate two layers each of the slices of X and Y" - without knowing how large the casserole should be, you can't know how close to space the slices). Plus there are some things you're just not going to do, such with unusual animals such as turtle, or terrapin, or starlings, or with ingredients such as truffles and caviar. Finally, there are a some equipment requirements that I'd guess the average kitchen won't satisfy, such as a meat grinder, or a chinois strainer. Weirdly, these problems, and the ingredient vagaries, seem to get worse as the book progresses, making me wonder if the editors lost interest before the book was finished. Nevertheless, it was a fun read, and there are some things I do want to try, so I will happily place it in the case with the cookbooks, not with the mysteries.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tarma

    This is one of the most wonderful cookbooks every written. I'm a huge fan of the Nero Wolfe mysteries anyway. The stories are great and the meals are so drool-worthy (and the conversations between Fritz, Nero and Archie about the cooking, procuring of foodstuffs and eating of the food are, in and of themselves, very entertaining). The cookbook itself has clear and concise instructions, and the dishes I have created using it are totally scrumptious. Re-read: I like it even more on my re-read. I've This is one of the most wonderful cookbooks every written. I'm a huge fan of the Nero Wolfe mysteries anyway. The stories are great and the meals are so drool-worthy (and the conversations between Fritz, Nero and Archie about the cooking, procuring of foodstuffs and eating of the food are, in and of themselves, very entertaining). The cookbook itself has clear and concise instructions, and the dishes I have created using it are totally scrumptious. Re-read: I like it even more on my re-read. I've also picked it up and used it for some recipes. They work SO nicely.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Duck Mondor made me cry....

  5. 4 out of 5

    Doris Pearson

    I love Nero Wolfe and I love and collect cookbooks. Finally got my own copy of this book. Each recipe has an aside that tells which book it came from and lots of details. It is now my favorite cookbook when I want to get fancy with my cooking.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sophia Kaushkale

    after reading Wolfes mysteries,I was eager to prepare those unique dishes,but I couldn't find any recipe that would be more or less similar to Fritz's mouthwatering magic,until I found this...This book is my favourite cookbook and a big step to Wolfe's world!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Modbon

    The recipes in this book are complex and extremely fattening (hey, we're talking about Nero Wolfe here), but worth giving a try. The chicken fricassee with dumplings is to die for :)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jess Van Dyne-Evans

    I can't remember who turned me on to the Nero Wolfe books - my father or my grandpa. Excellent series. And you could gain weight just reading this cookbook.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Thannasset

    Said one reason people read Nero Wolfe novels is for the food talk--so here's the cookbook. Non-fiction tied to the novels.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dean

    I have had this book for about 10 years now, but only recently started creating magnificent dishes from the recipes, and I must say, do not be intimidated by the spices or the methods, as the results will leave you wanting more! Heres what I have done so far! Germiny de lepinards - a beautiful soup, flavourful and green! One of the more straight forward dishes to prepare. Wonderful with fresh bread and butter, but definitely stands on its own! Civet de lapin- this was my first attempt at cooking I have had this book for about 10 years now, but only recently started creating magnificent dishes from the recipes, and I must say, do not be intimidated by the spices or the methods, as the results will leave you wanting more! Here’s what I have done so far! Germiny de l’epinards - a beautiful soup, flavourful and green! One of the more straight forward dishes to prepare. Wonderful with fresh bread and butter, but definitely stands on its own! Civet de lapin- this was my first attempt at cooking rabbit, and the sauce was rich and Amazing! The layers of flavouring made each mouthful come to life! Goulash - a hearty meal, with a beautiful blend of just the right spices, once again fairly straightforward, and something the whole family would appreciate and want more of! Corn Muffins, and Corn Cakes with Cheese sauce - wow, this is feel good food, the cheese sauce is luxurious to say the least, and the savoury corn cakes just disappear from the plate. The corn muffins with fresh butter...I will leave to your imagination. Planked Porterhouse steak - I substituted a nice Ribeye in for the porterhouse, follow the timing in the recipe, we used Ghee instead of straight butter (we find it more flavourful) and used a seasoned clay sheet instead of oak. It came out perfect, and the addition of lime wedges, were a surprisingly unique and very welcome addition to an already amazing meal!! I and my wife have been so pleased and surprised at the assortment of beauty, richness and sophistication of flavour that this book has brought to our table. Looking forward to our next experience, hats off to Fritz, Nero, Archie and Rex

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jim Richards

    ... delightfully referential to the author's original novels, novellas & short stories ... however, the recipes are NOT for the faint of heart OR for those with little time in the kitchen -- techniques and terminology are of the periods and could do with considerable updating & streamlining ... that said, this loving and well-loved compilation is a joy to page through of a raw winter day, accompanied by bits of cheese and chocolate and a snifter of Madeira before a cozy fire ....

  12. 5 out of 5

    Austen_Wodehouse

    This cookbook is great. I received it for Christmas about 15 yrs ago and the Onion Soup recipe quickly became a family favourite. Intermixed withe quotations from the Wolfe cannon, mostly involving food, this book is great for those who wish to eat like Nero, Archie & Fritz but on a slightly more reasonable budget.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rogue Reader

    Easy reading of Nero Wolfe gargantuan, gormandizer appetite with excerpts that describe the setting and sensory elements followed by recipes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hans Ostrom

    A pleasurable book for those who are fans of the Nero Wolfe series, as the recipes spring from the books. It's also a window on different styles of cooking in the U.S. (although greatly influenced by Europe) in the 1930's, 40's, and 50s. Let's just say the concept of "heart healthy" was not in vogue. That said, lots of the recipes travel well, such as the cantaloupe, celery, and turmeric salad.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nan Silvernail

    Grab an apron and let us join Fritz Brenner in the kitchen of Nero Wolfe's brownstone. Learn the secrets of Wolfe's favorite dishes. Even the precious and hard-won Saucisse Minuit is within (look under Goose). Then you, too can join the argument over just how many juniper berries will ruin a marinade for venison loin chops. Judge for yourself if saffron and tarragon go with starlings or should you stick to sage? Be sure to clear whatever you do with Wolfe first, though, or you may have to take Grab an apron and let us join Fritz Brenner in the kitchen of Nero Wolfe's brownstone. Learn the secrets of Wolfe's favorite dishes. Even the precious and hard-won Saucisse Minuit is within (look under Goose). Then you, too can join the argument over just how many juniper berries will ruin a marinade for venison loin chops. Judge for yourself if saffron and tarragon go with starlings or should you stick to sage? Be sure to clear whatever you do with Wolfe first, though, or you may have to take it back and make him four coddled eggs and toast, instead. Discover what goes into a hedgehog omelet (hint: it isn't hedgehogs!) You can even recreate the famous Kanawha Spa menu Wolfe presented to the Fifteen Masters and witness Wolfe actually doing some first class cooking of his own. Very Satisfactory, indeed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    MissJessie

    This is a great addition to the library of any serious Nero Wolfe fan. You can truly get the feel of what a good cook (Fritz) went through on a daily basis to prepare meals for the great man. In addition, it's a great look into how people used to eat (and wish they still did) in the days before we were all concerned with trans fats, calories, cholesterol, fiber in the diet, the hazards of red meat, and so forth. I have tried a couple of the simpler recipes, and they are very good, so it is also This is a great addition to the library of any serious Nero Wolfe fan. You can truly get the feel of what a good cook (Fritz) went through on a daily basis to prepare meals for the great man. In addition, it's a great look into how people used to eat (and wish they still did) in the days before we were all concerned with trans fats, calories, cholesterol, fiber in the diet, the hazards of red meat, and so forth. I have tried a couple of the simpler recipes, and they are very good, so it is also possible to actually use this book as a true cookbook. Really, though, it's just a great side light to the Nero Wolfe series and I heartily recommend it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    It was the mention of avocado Todhunter in "Too Many Cooks" that did it--led me to dig out my copy of this book. Although the recipe was disappointing (avocado halves stuffed with watercress leaves sprayed with watered down iced fruit juices), the book has in context introductions to most of the recipes, which are amusing. Not, probably, a book I'd want to cook from, and it isn't for beginning cooks, either--it tends to leave out some steps, assuming the cook will know that you have to prick It was the mention of avocado Todhunter in "Too Many Cooks" that did it--led me to dig out my copy of this book. Although the recipe was disappointing (avocado halves stuffed with watercress leaves sprayed with watered down iced fruit juices), the book has in context introductions to most of the recipes, which are amusing. Not, probably, a book I'd want to cook from, and it isn't for beginning cooks, either--it tends to leave out some steps, assuming the cook will know that you have to prick baked cream-puffs to let the steam out, for instance.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shilrey Kimball

    This book was very fun! After reading quite a few Nero Wolfe mysteries, and each one is filled with Wolfe eating all kinds of tasty sounding foods, I had to get this book and at least look at the recipes. Sure enough the recipes are made with the finest ingredients. I don't think I would ever make any of the recipes because the ingredients are not going to be easy to find and I do not have a Fritz to cook for me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Fox

    A book full of wonderfull recepies. its what the Great Man ate. I always liked him as he put eating abpve all else in life. as we are human it is a wonderfull good that we can taste and enjoy our food. it sustains the physical self as well as the soul. Food does indeed make life worth living. a must for anyone's gourmet bookshelf!!!!l

  20. 5 out of 5

    Another Thyme

    I am not a fan of cookbooks at all but this is wonderful. Quotes from the novels to accompany the recipes that Wolfe would have enjoyed and photos of the period make for a delightful read whether you cook or not.

  21. 4 out of 5

    joyce

    WooHoo...!!! After reading about all those fab Fritz dishes, we get a chance to sample the recipes. Not that you could get the level of ingredients that Nero demanded, but better than nothing. Bon Apetite!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Rex Stout mentioned many dishes in his Nero Wolfe novels. Here is a collection of recipes for those literary dishes.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kim Bishop

    Forty. Minute. Eggs. The only way to do it right.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Flatley

    A charming, funny, utilitarian introduction to the Nero Wolfe cannon. If you're a foodie, so much the better. Fabulous....just fabulous. Attention Laurie Colwin fans....there's much to like here.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Shmish

    Loved reading this--a lot of fun. Eggs poached in red wine and bouillon?! Yikes! But I will attempt the anchovy fritters and shrimp bordelaise.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Yummy, double yummy. The man cooks after my own heart

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kat

  29. 5 out of 5

    Beesley

    A must for any Wolfe fan.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Riccardo Bua

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