From Publishers Weekly
In this beautifully illustrated book, renowned Los Angeles baker and chef Silverton (Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book
) uses premium prepared ingredients as shortcuts to ease the home cooking time crunch. Most recipes are timed at 30 minutes or less, but the elegance and seeming difficulty of the dishes set them apart from the usual quick-fix crowd pleasers: Pomegranate-Glazed Lamb Chops with Stuffed Grape Leaves and Tahini Sauce, or Buttermilk-Fried Oysters with Pickled Vegetables and Chipotle Mayonnaise sound like they should take much longer than half an hour, but with the ready-made ingredients, few cooks will have a problem. They might, however, have trouble actually finding those ingredients; even big-city dwellers may have to turn to the Internet for specialty items like green masala paste or fennel pollen, though a helpful glossary provides insight into locating them and some substitutions. Famous chef friends like Charlie Trotter and Mario Batali provide recipes revealing their own secret shortcuts. Fans of Silverton's last book will love the chapter on crostini with innovative toppings like ventresca, piquillo peppers and caper mayonnaise, using leftovers from jars bought for other recipes. Cooks looking for upscale yet quick meal ideas, and who will pay extra for pricey exotic items, are sure to appreciate this stylish cheat sheet. 38 color photos. 75,000 first printing.(Mar.)
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If the idea of using canned food to prepare meals immediately raises visions of cans of condensed cream soups and gloppy tuna-noodle casserole, Silverton and Carreno quickly dispel such uncouth culinary nightmares. They aim to simplify meal preparation through use of canned and boxed ingredients without resorting to the worst of processed foods. A jar of roasted peppers, a couple cans of tuna, a bunch of canned capers, and some fresh parsley compose a hearty cold salad. Canned beans, fresh herbs, and plenty of shredded cabbage make a quick soup in the Tuscan tradition. Sauteed arugula crowns pork chops nestled on a bed of instant polenta and flavored with exotic, expensive fennel pollen. Bottled lime juice and condensed milk make a quick tropical dessert. The authors offer a pantry inventory to ensure that the cook always has the basis for plenty of exciting meals readily at hand. Mark KnoblauchCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved