The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions
 
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The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions [Bargain Price] [Hardcover]

Katie Lee
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Katie Lee's new book about easy, fun entertaining rides the delicious rail between comfort and inventiveness, and makes the real core of delicious fiestas seem a cinch. The recipes are easy to make, the menus are parties waiting to be uncorked, the drink recipes are refreshing and fun,Êand the music suggestions make for a party ready to happen at the drop of a hat in any location with no effort at all...this is the new party bible in our house." -- MARIO BATALI

"My feet are the happiest when under Katie's table. I bet your feet will be tapping all the way to the table with these recipes." -- PAULA DEEN

About the Author

Katie Lee is the food and lifestyle contributor for The Early Show and has appeared on Oprah, CBS Sunday Morning, The Rachael Ray Show, The Nate Berkus Show, and Iron Chef America. She writes a regular column for Cosmopolitan and has been featured in publications such as People, Vanity Fair, Food and Wine, Town & Country, and InStyle. She is the author of the cookbooks The Comfort Table and The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions. She lives in the Hamptons.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

my must-haves

My house practically has a revolving door. There are always friends knocking and they are usually hungry. These are items that I always have on standby, because I never know when I might fi nd myself having an everyday occasion.

HERBS

I prefer to use fresh herbs, but dried are good to keep on hand for use in a pinch. I recommend planting a small herb garden either in your yard or in a window box.

my essentials

BASIL

CHIVES

CILANTRO

FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY

MINT

OREGANO

ROSEMARY

TARRAGON

THYME

SPICES

I have a whole shelf in my pantry devoted to spices. Each is labeled with the date that I opened it, and after six months, I throw it away and buy a new one. The potency diminishes -- I like to be sure my spices are very flavorful. Whenever I travel, I pick up spices to re-create the dishes I ate on vacation when I get home.

my essentials

BAY LEAVES

CHINESE FIVE-SPICE

CHILI POWDER

GROUND CLOVES

GROUND CUMIN

PAPRIKA

CREOLE SEASONING

GROUND CINNAMON

CINNAMON STICKS

CRUSHED RED PEPPER FLAKES

BLACK PEPPERCORNS

GROUND GINGER

GROUND NUTMEG

GARLIC POWDER

GARLIC SALT

CELERY SALT

SESAME SEEDS

ONION POWDER

DRY MUSTARD

VANILLA EXTRACT

VANILLA BEANS

ZA'TAR

IN THE FREEZER

Fresh veggies and fruits are best, but I always keep some in my freezer. Frozen vegetables are good to cook a quick soup; frozen fruits are ideal for smoothies or to add to mixed drinks, or to make a sauce for ice cream.

my essentials

PEAS

CORN

PEARL ONIONS

EDAMAME

STRAWBERRIES

RASPBERRIES

BLACKBERRIES

CHERRIES

MANGO

PAPAYA

HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK

HOMEMADE PESTO (frozen in ice cube trays)

PIZZA DOUGH

HOMEMADE COOKIE DOUGH (for slicing and baking)

ICE CREAM

IN THE REFRIGERATOR

Some people say you can tell everything you need to know about a person by their shoes, I say look in their refrigerator. My meals are never the same from day to day, but there are some must-haves that I always keep on hand. I like to have the makings for panini or to be able to throw together a quick cheese plate for drop-in guests. And I always, always have a bottle of Champagne chilled and ready to go!

my essentials

MILK

UNSALTED BUTTER

PLAIN YOGURT

HEAVY CREAM

SOUR CREAM

CREAM CHEESE

CHEESE (goat, Brie, cheddar, blue,Parmesan, Gorgonzola, ricotta)

JARRED ARTICHOKE HEARTS

JARRED ROASTED RED BELL PEPPERS

HUMMUS

OLIVES

JAMS

MUSTARD (yellow, Dijon, and honey)

KETCHUP

MAYONNAISE

HOT SAUCES

PREPARED HORSERADISH

CITRUS (lemons, limes, oranges)

FRESH FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND SALAD GREENS

CHAMPAGNE

IN THE PANTRY

A well-stocked pantry is a time saver. Not having to run to the grocery store for every little thing at the last minute makes a big difference when the urge to cook strikes.

my essentials

PASTA (wide, thin, short, and round)

RICE (Arborio, basmati, and brown)

NOODLES (rice, udon, egg, bean thread)

BREAD (white and whole wheat)

GRAINS (couscous, quinoa, grits, oats)

LEGUMES (canned beans, dried lentils)

CANNED TOMATOES (whole, diced, and crushed)

CANNED TUNA PACKED IN OLIVE OIL

CANNED OR BOXED LOW-SODIUM CHICKEN STOCK

CAPERS

OIL (olive, extra virgin olive, peanut, toasted sesame, canola)

VINEGAR (balsamic, red wine, white wine, apple cider)

ASIAN SAUCES (fish, soy, chili, hoisin, Sriracha)

BAKING NEEDS (all-purpose fl our, white sugar, superfi ne sugar, brown sugar, confectioners' sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, cocoa)

HONEY

MOLASSES

CHOCOLATE CHIPS

BAKING CHOCOLATE

NUTS (refrigerate in summer months)

COFFEE (regular and decaf)

TEA (green, chamomile, Earl Grey, English breakfast, Lipton)

IN THE BAR

It's cocktail hour somewhere! And having a versatile bar makes it that much more fun when guests arrive. In addition to spirits and mixers, it's a great idea to keep a drink-mixing guide by the bar in case someone requests a cocktail you're not familiar with.

my essentials

BOURBON

VODKA

LIGHT RUM

GIN

TEQUILA

VERMOUTH

MIXERS (tonic, seltzer, juices)

TOOLS (ice bucket and tongs, shaker, strainer, two-sided jigger, bottle opener)

HORS D 'OEUVRES ON THE FLY

If I'm having friends over for drinks last minute, these are my go-to hors d'oeuvres. They take only minutes to prepare and are always a hit and appropriate for any occasion.

- Wrap store-bought breadsticks in prosciutto.

- Fill endive leaves with hummus and dust with paprika. (Endive leaves make great vessels for other simple, tasty combinations as well, like goat cheese with crushed walnuts and drizzled with honey, or smoked salmon with crème fraîche and chives.)

- Make a variety of crostini by toasting thinly sliced baguettes and topping with goat cheese and roasted red pepper, Gorgonzola and fig jam, ricotta with olive oil and sea salt, or olive tapenade.

- Marinate olives with fresh herbs and red pepper flakes.

- Season nuts with chili powder and toast lightly.

PARTY TIPS

- Make lists, lists, and more lists of everything that needs to be done for the party.

- Clean and set up the party space the day before.

- To save space, move any nonessential furniture out of the party area and into your bedroom.

- Stash old mail, magazines, and any other loose papers in decorative tins or baskets out of eyesight.

- Take some time to tidy up your bathroom. Clear your sink of beauty product clutter, put out fresh soap, clean hand towels, and plenty of toilet paper.

- Short on space? Clear off the shelf of a bookcase and use for bar setup with martini and wine glasses, a couple of drink garnishes, and plenty of cocktail napkins.

- Designated drivers and nondrinkers shouldn't be forced to drink water all night. Offer a nonalcoholic drink such as a fruit spritzer. Just mix fruit juice, club soda, and sliced fruit.

- To break the ice, give an out going friend a tray of hors d'oeuvres to pass around, and put another friend on drink duty.

- When it's time to wrap up the party, turn the lights up and put away the booze.

Copyright ©2009 by Katie Lee

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