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Red bean pesto, skirt steak stroganoff with creme fraiche and shiitake, fennel confit and chicken saute with asparagus and balsamic splash are the sort of dishes you will find in this book.

Rosso and Lukins started The Silver Palate food shop in New York, which they parlayed into a nationally distributed line of products and the best-selling "The Silver Palate Cookbook" and its successor, "The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook."

Now the two friends have sold the business and are devoting themselves intensively to cookery. One result is this book, which addresses the new tastes and trends in American food.

To carry out the "basic" theme, they have added marketing and cookery tips that get down to such fundamentals as beating egg whites and roasting a turkey. Their Thanksgiving turkey, however, has been updated by eliminating butter from the stuffing and cooking the bird on a bed of vegetables to provide the basis for a lighter gravy. For a section on stocking a kitchen, they have composed a "new basic pantry" list that includes such currently popular items as chile oil, morel mushrooms, pesto in jars and sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil.

The book relies on graphics--jazzy placement of red and black blocks of type and sketches--to create an impression of liveliness.

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