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Read All About It : From once-obscure Asian cuisines to classic French to the lastest grain craze, the variety of cookbooks available for gift giving swells as Christmas approaches. To help cull the best from the rest, The Times' Food Staff has reviewed the year's most intriguing cookbooks. : The Gourmet Gazelle Cookbook by Ellen Brown (Bantam Books: $19.95, 333 pages).

December 17, 1989|TONI TIPTON

This un-diet book features a bevy of healthful, yet glamourous recipes that take advantage of herbs, spices, vinegars and lowfat versions of fatty ingredients for flavor. Tips for lowering calories in baked goods, rich sauces and creamy soups also are included. And, substitutions for high-fat dairy products such as whipping cream, sour cream and cheese as well as ways to modify cooking methods are provided.

In the book, Brown, co-owner of the New York take-out restaurant after which the book is named, offers glamourous health food, gives menus for streamlined but elegant entertaining on Valentine's Day at spring and summer picnics, formal dinners and ethnic buffets. She also gives tips for making dishes ahead and offers wine suggestions.

The book's easy-to-read format not only details total preparation time, but also outlines calorie, cholesterol, fat grams and sodium counts. Chinese chicken tacos, apple streudel pie, figs poached in orange liqueur and a veal scaloppine are among the featured recipes.

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