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Fast Food My Way Hardcover – September 1, 2004


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Fast Food My Way + Jacques Pépin More Fast Food My Way + Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1st edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618393129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618393121
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Over time, in his cookbooks, and on his TV series, Jacques Pépin has taught people how to cook simple, fully flavored dishes--food that reflects his French training while embracing American informality. Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way takes this approach one step further by providing 100-plus recipes for a wide range of delicious, meant-to-be fast dishes. These include Stuffed Scallops on Mushroom Rice; Chicken Breasts on Mashed Cauliflower with Red Salsa; Pasta, Ham, and Vegetable Gratin; and Apple, Pecan, and Apricot Crumble. The "my way" of the title can mean the use of time-saving tools (Pépin uses pressure cookers to achieve easy stews like his beef short-rib, mushroom, and potato dish) and convenience foods (canned black bean soup or sweet potatoes for new soup versions). Generally, though, the Pépin approach emphasizes the use of foods that are themselves quickly cooked, like chicken breasts or beef fillet and that can be made flavorful with equally fast-to-fix accompaniments, like his salsa mayonnaise or his tomato-olive sauce.

Fast is, of course, a relative term, and readers will find more than a few dishes in the book that may require more time or attention than they're willing to spend on a daily basis. But overall, the book offers enough easily made recipes, and super-time-saving formulas, like Instant Vegetable Soup, to make it a true cooking resource. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

Longtime fans of Pepin may cherish their copies of La Méthode, a gorgeously lush cookbook that devotes pages to his elaborate knife technique. But no one can accuse Pepin of falling behind the times. If the great French chef and popular peer to the late Julia Child misses the days of food as elaborate edible sculpture, he's keeping it to himself, cheerfully hosting a PBS series (Fast Food My Way) and now penning this companion book. "More often than not, I prefer simple, straightforward food that can be prepared quickly," Pepin swears, and most of the recipes stick to that statement, sometimes to excess: recipes that do little more than suggest readers add boiling water to couscous or try microwaving their potato probably add little to the repertoire of even minimally experienced chefs. The cookbook's best sections take traditional French food—braised endive, beef stew—and show readers how to skip steps to achieve a different but similarly pleasing result. Although Pepin has always packaged himself brilliantly, some of his recipe names could use a redesign: Soupy Rice and Peas hardly stimulates the appetite, and Tomato Tartare with Tomato Water Sauce actively turns it off. Other charming recipes, however, invoke the same aspirational lifestyle that older, elaborate cookbooks do, but with a different spin: Pepin says his recipe for Banana Bourbon Coupe was just something he whipped up one afternoon fresh off the slopes, making the best of the few ingredients on hand. French cooking, Pepin reminds us, is not just a matter of technique; it's a matter of chic.
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Customer Reviews

The recipes are easy to follow and they are delicious.
C. Ojeda
Jacques Pepin uses cooking and food to love people, and it shows in this wonderful and usable book.
D. Rogers
All recipes are easy, few ingredients are uncommon, and all dishes look exceptionally tasty.
B. Marold

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

503 of 515 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on September 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
When I approached Jacques Pepin's new book `Fast Food My Way', I was prepared on at least two counts to find fault with the book. But Jacques always comes through with a book I love to read and love to cook. My first prejudice against the book was that `Fast Cooking' is one of the top two or three hot buttons for cookbooks these days, next to low carb cookbooks and entertaining cookbooks. I predict a `Fast Cooking Low Carb Barbecue for Entertaining' book to appear within the next year. And, like so many other authors, it may seem like Jacques is just jumping on the latest bandwagon. The second prejudice I had about the book is the fact that Jacques did an earlier book on quick cooking, `The Short-Cut Cook' published in 1990. I had similar prejudices about that book, but it came through with flying colors, especially since it has been and still is one of my favorite cookbooks.

In a nutshell, this book can become your next go to cookbook because almost all of these recipes are genuinely easy for a modestly experienced cook and they are not only developed by a great master chef, they are the recipes that chef genuinely cooks at home on a regular basis. One also should have no concern that this is a rehash of his earlier book. It is not. There are a lot of similarities in the principles behind the selection of recipes, but that is only to the good. Jacques mixes a selection of the classics like cole slaw and Salad Caprese with unusual recipes such as Parsley and Pumpkin salad and Asian eggplant salad. In the older book, we got Salade Nicoise and hot Potato Salad mixed with potato and smoked bluefish and tangy rice stick salad.

On average, the recipes in the new book are more original and easier to prepare than the recipes in the first volume.
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88 of 90 people found the following review helpful By B. J. Lewis VINE VOICE on January 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I began buying cookbooks in the 60's, with Julia Child's first book -- how's that for sheer dumb luck? My kitchen library now consists of hundreds of them, but this is my first review -- that's how impressed I am. I'll skip right to the point now: What have I made that I would recommend (My pet peeve is a review that consists mainly of generalities without the specifics).

The supreme of chicken with balsamic vinegar is ridiculous in its simplicity, yet packs a gustatory wallop! The corn/pea side dish is perfect with it. Just for fun I made the entire "Instantly Delicious" menu -- not as quickly as Jacques does it, but still do-able in a short time, and everything was excellent, although I felt it necessary to "spike" the soup with additional herbs -- a little too bland for my taste. The recipe for broiled lamb chops and spinach is perfection. The chicken bouillabaisse is a great cold-weather dish (although having spent the summer in Aix, it's a far cry from its namesake -- oh well, let's just think apples to oranges -- they're both good.) The chicken breasts with garlic and parsley are worth doing, but I prefer the balsamic version. The halibut on fresh polenta with pepper oil (part of the "Instantly Delicious" menu) was quite good -- found the fresh polenta an eye-opener. And that silly little cubed potatoes with garlic and sage recipe was nothing short of dumbfounding. I'm making the poached tilapia with herbed cream sauce tonight, and if it isn't delectable I'll be shocked! I've recently purchased "Bouchon", both Union Square books, two Portale's, two of Vongerichten's, four of Michael Chirarello's -- all excellent, but this is the book that I'm having the most fun with!
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120 of 127 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This man is legend as creative and passionate chef. If you want a good read about a truly respected chef, read his memoir "The Apprentice." It's loaded with fascinating insights into the development of this famous chef. One of the insights of my read of that book was that he slowly has evolved from a classic French chef into an American-French chef.

This shows some of that dynamic: what Pepin says is his normal way of cooking at home. He concurs that his lifestyle is much like ours: hectic and warpspeed. When he and family returns to home, want some exciting food to prepare, not microwave or carryout, but rich, exciting food to prepare and enjoy fast.

One can easily see this resultant recipe collection hits that target dead on! It is truly combo of classic French with American twists and ingreds, using easily obtainable and produceable without exotic techniques, equipment and time.

Feast on such as: Egg and tomato gratin; Shrimpand scallop pillows on boston lettuce (potsticker variation); Supreme of chicken with balsamic vinegar and shallot sauce; Chocolate-raspberry gratin; Pear brown betty.

This wonderful recipe array is presented with great style accented by exceptional photo of Ben Fink. Your zeal for attempting these is heightened by these brilliant, enticing shots.

Add a menu suggester of over twenty along with more ideas for quick dishes, glossary and aid sidebars throughout, make this a most desirable addition to one's cookbook library.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By FreezerBurned on January 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow! I can't say enough about this cookbook. Fast food Jacques' way everyday! I picked up the book about two months ago and I've tried about ten of the recipies. They're all just amazing. Extraordinary results with common ingredients. Common-sense wholesome food. My favorites are: sauteed belgian endives (my friends from North Dakota who never knew what an endive was are now endive fans), the navy bean soup with lamb (in another rendition of this we disposed of the end of our christmas ham and it was awsome-canned diced tomatoes and worchestershire sauce make this soup a show stopper), crab cakes with mayonaise-wasabi dipping sauce (wow my friends fell off their chairs when I pulled this baby out of the oven), the instant vegetable soup (unbelievable, a zuchini, an onion, a carrot, a couple of mushrooms, and that last third of the bag salad--and bang! a cheap man's way to heaven!) the slow baked fish (wow daddy! use any fish-we tried petrale sole and it was awesome!!!) Hats off to Jacques! If the true mark of genius is simple elegance, then Jacques is the Einstein of the kitchen. Who needs restaurants--we eat better at home. Salut, Jacques Pepin!
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