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Kitchen Simple: Essential Recipes for Everyday Cooking Hardcover – August 9, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580083188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580083188
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 8.3 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Featured Recipe: Cream Puffs
Makes: 8 large cream puffs

Cream Puff Dough
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, sliced
1 1/4 cups flour
8 eggs, or more as needed

Whipped Cream Filling
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

To make the cream puffs, in a saucepan, combine the water, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the butter and bring to a simmer over high heat until the butter melts. As soon as a simmer is reached, add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture forms a cohesive mass and pulls away from the sides of the pan, leaving a white film of flour on the pan sides.

Transfer the dough to a bowl and stir it around for a minute to get it to cool. Work in 7 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Check the consistency of the batter by pulling a wooden spoon through it. When the groove it makes slowly closes in on itself, you have added enough eggs.

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Unless you have a nonstick baking sheet or a silicone pad, put a tiny dollop of batter into each corner of a sheet pan and line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper, pressing the corners of the parchment onto the dollops of batter to anchor it in place.

Fit a pastry bag with a 3/4-inch fluted tip and spoon the batter into the bag (see box opposite). If your pastry bag isn’t big enough, you may have to pipe out the cream puffs in two batches.

Pipe eight rounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Each mound should be about 31/2 inches across and 11/2 inches high in the center. Make an egg wash by beating the remaining egg with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Brush the mounds with egg wash.

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and immediately turn down the oven to 400°F. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastries are golden brown. Do not open the oven door during baking. Turn the oven down to 250°F and bake 10 minutes more. If the puffs start to look too brown, turn down the oven to 200°F. Let cool completely on a rack, for at least 20 minutes, before filling.

To make the filling, combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Put the bowl with the cream mixture in the freezer for 5 minutes. Beat on high speed for about 2 minutes or by hand for about 7 minutes, until the cream is stiff and sticks straight out when you hold the whisk sideways.

Use a serrated knife to cut each cream puff in half horizontally. Spoon or pipe the cream into the eight bottoms and put on the tops. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cream puffs are best served right away since the cream gradually releases liquid that can make the pastry soggy.

Review

“Want to cook like a pro in a minimum of prep time (no more than 30 minutes), with nearly every recipe on the table in under an hour? Then turn to seven-time James Beard award-winning chef James Peterson's latest tome: Kitchen Simple. Designed for everyone from kitchen novice to sophisticated cook, this book highlights Peterson's artful approach to cooking and is designed "to remind home cooks of the infinite possibilities of simple recipes.”
—Al Dente, 9/22/11

“With a solid background in culinary instruction, Peterson easily articulates the basics of cooking and baking the selected recipes for even the most adventurous cook. This diverse assortment of 200 recipes strikes a perfect balance between fundamental and more advanced dishes, making it a useful source for cooks at every level of expertise. The straightforward language and full-color photographs, taken by Peterson himself, combine to create an accessible, well-organized guide to cooking for any occasion.” 
—Shelf Awareness for Readers, 8/16/11

“The publication of his first opus, Sauces, established James Peterson as one of America’s finest cookbook authors. In the intervening two decades, he has expanded his knowledge and wisdom and has been kind enough to share them both with home cooks. Make no mistake about the simplicity of Kitchen Simple; it is the distillation of a career’s worth of kitchen insights that will make you a better cook--in less than 30 minutes. It also features Jim’s gorgeous photographs, which serve as beautiful reminders that it’s not necessary to sacrifice flavor or elegance because you’re short on time.” 
—Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, James Beard Award-winning authors of The Flavor Bible and The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine
 
Kitchen Simple is written for the way we really live--and for the way we really want to eat. James Peterson proves that truly good food doesn’t require a lot of elaborate techniques, hard-to-find ingredients, or time. Cooking your way through this book will make
—Molly Stevens, author of All About Braising

More About the Author

James Peterson is an award-winning food writer, cookbook author, photographer, and cooking teacher who started his career as a restaurant cook in Paris in the 1970s. He is the author of fifteen titles, including "Sauces," his first book and a 1991 James Beard Cookbook of the Year winner, and "Cooking," a 2008 James Beard Award winner. He has been one of the country's preeminent cooking instructors for more than 20 years and currently teaches at the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump's) in New York. He is revered within the industry and highly regarded as a professional resource. James Peterson cooks, writes, and photographs from Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Becky in NOLA TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
James Peterson is known for his technique books, like Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making. Kitchen Simple is Peterson's entry into the more everyday cooking. Most recipes can be made in 30 minutes, though he does have "weekend recipes" that take more than 30 minutes, like chicken broth. There is also an entire section on sauces that could be made ahead, like homemade mayonnaise.

The chapters are divided with such headings as soup, salad, poultry, etc. There are excellent ingredients and techniques chapters at the beginning of the book that really helps with understanding recipes and makes the recipe faster, if you don't know what the technique is just reference the front of the book.

There are a lot of pictures of the finished product, very drool worthy, but not every recipe has a picture.

The recipes themselves are, on the surface, an odd mix. Everything from mashed potatoes to slow roasted duck legs with sauerkraut. The potato recipe has a bunch of variations to elevate it, from the simple additions of basil or garlic, to fancy truffles. Beef tacos sit next to roasted leg of lamb. There is a wide variation from very simple to more advanced, but still streamlined, proving that everyday cooking can also be fairly complex tasting, using techniques to simplify the recipe and steps but still end up with a wow factor. And then some days you just want delicious tacos.

There are even dessert recipes to round out the meal. The sauteed spinach with garlic is a delicious side dish. Served beside the grilled country ham and aged Gouda sandwiches it was a fast and easy meal that really satisfied, though my Gouda was from Sam's and I'm not sure how aged it was, still really good.

The Asian poached chicken was wonderful with rice.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
James Peterson's `Kitchen Simple' presents recipes that have 30 minutes or less preparation, not counting cooking time. The elegance for these dishes is in their presentation the twist in some added ingredients. Not every finished dish is pictured and there are usually two recipes per page. Peterson gives a list and descriptions of ingredients equipment to have on hand. A short section on cooking techniques is included.

These are not the usual run of the meal recipes for the usual comfort food, but they are perhaps the modern day equivalent of that. There are recipes with a bit of a difference for your family or your guests. The recipes are not that hard, they are short and basically simple, especially if you are an experienced cook, but determined beginners would be able to handle these. There are some great ideas for making medallions out of salmon or other fish to keep thin parts from overcooking.
Our family has especially enjoyed the Russian tea cookies, the garlic soup with poached eggs, the fresh tuna salad and Peach Melba.
The book contains; hors d'oeuvres, soups, salads, vegetables, cheese dishes, seafood, pasta and grains, meat, poultry, sauces and desserts., breakfast, hot and cold drinks. An index is included.
This is a book for those that want to add something just a little bit different to their collection.
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By Estarr1218 on April 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book - some of the recipes are very simple - but to have them there in the book reminds you to actually MAKE them. Very classic and very, very delicious. Easy to read and understand - and great pictures. This would be a great book to give to a young person starting out on their own... An excellent edition to anyone's collection.
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