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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Minute Recipes 1
Fish and Shellfish 59
Poultry and Meat 93
Potatoes, Rice, Pasta, Pizza, and Bread 140
The Menus 218
Author’s Acknowledgments 223
Producer’s Acknowledgments 226
The best, freshest ingredients are essential as well for this "fast food," even though great use is made in the book of the pantry and canned food. This is not a paradox: your canned sardines will be better served on a bed of the freshest baby arugula with a sprinkling of great olives, and a can of cannellini beans that you have transformed into a soup will be accented and improved with great sausage, fresh herbs, mild onion, and roasted croutons from an earthy country bread. Using the supermarket the right way, you can buy good-quality partially cooked or prepared food and make that food personal with a few additions or changes. It’s a gratifying way to cook and it makes you feel that you have created something. This is the easiest of my cookbooks for beginners, for people afraid to cook, for people pressed for time or limited by a poorly stocked supermarket or by a family of finicky eaters, or for anyone who wants great food quickly.
When I think about "fast food" cooking, I realize that I have always cooked this way. My mother did so and so occasionally do my professional chef friends. We all have moments when, pressed by time, we’ll use a can of tuna and a tomato to make a first course or we’ll transform frozen raspberries into a scrumptious dessert in minutes. It’s a question of choosing the right recipes. On a leisurely weekend I may take my time making long-simmering stocks, puff pastry, and slow-cooked stews. A couple of days later, I may be stuck in traffic, come home late, and be hungry and short of time, so I’ll concoct a few fast dishes with what is available in my pantry and fridgeoften with as much success as a long-planned, time-consuming meal. These recipes are as much a part of my culinary past and as much a part of my cuisine as are the more complex, longer-to-make recipes from my other books.
Good seafood chowder can be prepared in minutes. In this recipe, I use shrimp, fish, and clam juice and finish the soup with a sprinkling of crabmeat. Oysters, scallops, and mussels are good alternate choices. The most important thing is to have a good base, of which leeks are an essential component. Mushrooms lend complexity, zucchini adds more texture, and potato flakes give a velvety smoothness and the proper thickness. The chowder can be made ahead up to the point where the fish and shellfish are added, which should be done at serving time. Bring the chowder barely back to a boil and serve immediately, with crabmeat sprinkled on as a special garnish.
4 SERVINGS (ABOUT 6 CUPS)
1½ cups trimmed, split, washed, and sliced leeks
1 tablespoon coarsely
2½ cups bottled clam juice
1½ cups water
1 cup coarsely chopped white mushrooms
¾ teaspoon salt
1½ cups diced (½-inch) zucchini
1 cup instant mashed potato flakes
¾ cup 1-inch pieces peeled uncooked shrimp
1 cup 1-inch pieces boneless fish fillet
2/3 cup half-and-half
About ½ cup crabmeat, for garnish (optional)
At serving time, bring the soup back to a boil, add the shrimp, fish, and half-and-half and bring back just to a boil. The fish and shrimp will be cooked through. Divide among four plates or bowls and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons crabmeat, if using, onto the middle of each serving. Serve immediately.
I often make this recipe at home when I am in a hurry, because splitting and flattening the chicken and cutting between the joints of the leg and the shoulder reduce the cooking time by half. I use kitchen shears to split the chicken open at the back and to cut the cooked bird into serving pieces and a knife to cut between the joints.
The mustard crust can be made ahead and even spread on the chicken a day ahead, if you like. I pour the cooked chicken juices into a fat separator with a spout and serve over Fluffy Mashed Potatoes, leaving the fat behind.
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Tabasco hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
½ teaspoon salt
1 chicken (about 3½ pounds)
Fluffy Mashed Potatoes (page 142; optional)
Put the chicken skin side down on a cutting board and spread it with about half the mustard mixture. Place the chicken flat in a larg...
- Publication date : August 12, 2008
- File size : 68006 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 261 pages
- Publisher : Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (August 12, 2008)
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00CR6N04I
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #95,870 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But the Washington Post printed a few recipes. They made sense. I tried one and it was good. It was fast, simple, and delicious. I tried another, and so was it. I went to Borders and poked around the book and there were some clever, simple, and imaginative combinations of ingredients.
I bought it from Amazon and have cooked about 10 recipes and they have all been winners. I've made a few of them twice, but I'm always tempted to try something new. My family thinks I'm a better cook, and I've gotten the kids to eat foods they didn't think they would like -- kale, brocollini, green peas, anchovies.
I've also watched some of the TV shows which the book is based on, and while the shows aren't necessary to cook the recipes, they do provide additional perspectives and insights. They also present Jacques Pepin, and now I can see why the 'my way' isn't pompous (or Pompidou) but is useful information. Having read the book and seen the man, I'm ready for more cooking his way.
My new cookbooks often get shelved after a few recipes, but I'm motivated to work my way through this one. I'm eating well and making every day a little bit special without spending any more time or money. When I run out of an ingredient the recipes tolerate substitutions well. This is my kind of cookbook.
Several weeks later: still going strong. Tonight's dinner was baked chicken with mustard crust and for dessert, pears bonne femme. It was all simple to make and omigosh amazing. I don't think I've ever had so much benefit from one book. It's making me into a better cook and I can't recommend it highly enough.
Three years later: still a favorite.
I was impressed with the apparent ease of food preparation as well as some of the more unusual food combinations he’d come up with on this show. This cookbook is mentioned at the end of those episodes so I had to give it a try (so much easier than continually pausing the DVR to take notes! LOL).
With this book, Pépin brings simple, easy gourmet food to the kitchens of cooks who may be short on time or cooking experience. When he says “fast food” he’s most definitely not talking about the unhealthy junk food so prevalent today. These are fast, mostly healthy recipes that those with an educated palate, as well as young children, will enjoy. In fact, I think this is a great book to get kids interested in cooking.
I’ve cooked several recipes from this book without a single failure or disappointment. My husband loves every dish I’ve made so far. I’m definitely going to purchase the first book if this series too!
Top reviews from other countries
I recommend this book to people who are looking for beautifully looking, like in an expensive French restaurant recipes but quick at the same time. It's good for people that like to eat lots of fish and sea food. It's a book for experienced cookers, not very good for beginners.