- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1st edition (September 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618393129
- ISBN-13: 978-0618393121
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 208 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fast Food My Way Hardcover – September 1, 2004
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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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Ham Steaks w/Apricot Mustard Glaze p.162
Simple and quick to throw together. Very tasty. Just be aware that leftovers of this do not keep well. We only ate one steak and refrigated the second. Two nights later I took the steak out to reheat for dinner and found the glaze had deteriorated to a soupy, gray, unappetizing mess. I scraped it off, topped it with a new batch of glaze and threw it under the broiler--it was delicious.
Pumpkin Soup w/Toasted Walnuts p. 47
Simple, quick and delicious. Very mild flavor, pumpkin only obvious in the color of the soup. I coarsely chopped the walnuts and left out the cayenne. Nice light first course. Will do again!
Pork Chops w/Zesty Sauce p. 164
Very tasty! The sauce really makes this dish. In the intro to this recipe, Jacques states that he likes the assertive sauce on bland, lean chops (loin chops are used here). I suppose if that's the strategy, this would also be good on chicken breasts (maybe even fish?). I cooked the vegetables longer than the recipe calls for because I like my onions thoroughly cooked. I will definitely do this again!
Corn & Hominy Chowder p.53
Very nice, tasty and satisfying. I fried the onion, scallion and garlic for much longer than the recipe calls for--if I recall correctly, even Jacques lets his onions fry much longer in the TV episodes than what is called for in the book. I used a bottled tomatillo salsa which gave a mild yet discernible amount of heat to the dish. My wife and I really enjoyed this and have already made it twice.