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The Minimalist Kitchen: 100 Wholesome Recipes, Essential Tools, and Efficient Techniques Hardcover – April 10, 2018
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From the Publisher
White Wine Spring Pasta
This pasta recipe is salty from the bacon, sweet from the peas and wine, and peppery from the arugula and red pepper flakes. If I’m not serving a side salad, I like to go ahead and top my pasta with greens. They soften slightly from the heat but not to the point of wilty, a texture I don’t care for. I love the efficiency of this recipe—reusing pans and cooking asparagus in the leftover bacon fat. It just works.
Hands-on: 30 min. Total: 30 min. Yields: 3 to 4 servings.
Pasta: 3 cups short-grain pasta, Kosher salt for salting water, 1 cup frozen peas.
Bacon + Asparagus: 2 slices bacon, 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), woody ends removed, and chopped into 2-inch segments, 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt.
White Wine Sauce: 1 tablespoon salted butter, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 cup sweet white wine (like Moscato), 1⁄4 cup heavy cream, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, A couple cracks of pepper.
Garnish: 1 cup arugula, Red pepper flakes (optional), Grated Parmesan (optional).
1. Cook the pasta. Fill a large saucepan two-thirds full with water; bring to a boil. Liberally salt the water just before adding in the noodles. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente, stirring in the peas with 4 minutes remaining. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water in a liquid measuring cup.
2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon. In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and place on paper towels. Once cooled, chop the bacon. Carefully remove some of the leftover fat in the pan with a paper towel and discard. Add the asparagus and salt to the pan; cook for about 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.
3. Make the sauce. In the saucepan used to cook the noodles, heat the pan over medium and add the butter. Once melted, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in the flour until evenly combined and cook for another 30 seconds. Pour in the reserved pasta water, wine, and all the remaining sauce ingredients, and whisk to combine. (If you forgot to reserve the water, it happens, use stock.) Cook for about 3 minutes until thickened. Add the pasta and peas back in. Cook for 2 minutes more to coat the noodles. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
4. To serve, divide the pasta evenly among plates. Top the pasta with the asparagus, bacon, and arugula. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and red pepper, if desired.
Make this a vegetarian dish by leaving out the bacon. Instead, cook the asparagus in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
This sounds crazy, but I prefer the texture of frozen peas to fresh peas, so I stock and use them year-round. Frozen produce is picked at the peak of harvest season, so you can trust the flavor. As for asparagus, I typically only buy it in season. To remove the woody ends, break them off where they naturally break.
“Melissa helps you bring calm to the chaos of your kitchen. This book is a feel-good, can-do pep talk about how to keep your pantry in order, your utensils from getting out of control, and how to create delicious meals for weekdays and occasions without getting overwhelmed.” —JEANINE DONOFRIO, author of The Love & Lemons Cookbook
“This book is stunning and so clever. My kitchen is the opposite of minimal so it was so inspiring to read handy tips and easy changes to make life simpler in the kitchen! I went straight out and bought food storage containers to get my cupboards in order like a woman possessed!” —MARTHA COLLISON, Great British Bake Off quarter-finalist and author of Twist
“I had the good fortune of sampling some of these recipes before the book was published, and most of our dinners were followed up with a text the next day: Hey Melissa, can you send me that recipe from the book? This book is a game-changer. It not only gives you practical recipes that you will actually make, but it also teaches you to approach cooking (and maybe life in general) with a fresh, modern perspective.” —LINDSAY OSTROM, Pinch of Yum
“Melissa is the reason my pantry is now filled with tidy rows of lidded glass jars each with a pristine label. My spice drawer now brings me great joy every time I slip it open. In The Minimalist Kitchen, Melissa inspires tidiness and a pared-down kitchen with joy and creativity at the heart of it all. With less clutter we are freed up to enjoy the task of cooking and can then spend more time at the table eating with the ones we love.” —ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ, Not Without Salt
“With a welcoming tone, The Minimalist Kitchen invites readers to choose quality over quantity and gently guides with efficiency. Melissa's book is gorgeous and thoughtful, with a strong focus on wholesome ingredients and simplicity that is often lacking in American kitchen culture. But, most importantly, her book contains recipes that actually make me excited about cooking dinner again.” —SARAH KIEFFER, The Vanilla Bean
“As a new mom I've struggled to find time to cook for my family. I truly miss the time I used to have to make wholesome meals for the people I love. The Minimalist Kitchen is a great resource for simplifying your approach to meal planning so you're able to find the rhythm of your new routine and provide homemade meals without sacrificing quality time with your family.” —KATE ARENDS, Wit & Delight
“A meal planner’s dream tool...this book is for the person looking for quick, weeknight, crowd-pleasers made from ingredients you likely have in your pantry, or will have no trouble finding.”—SARA FORTE, The Sprouted Kitchen
"An easy approach to organizing the kitchen and cooking....plenty will appeal to those who are on the hunt for swift, simple, palatable fare." — Publishers Weekly
“With many make-ahead and weeknight-friendly recipe options, Coleman’s concept of minimalism will interest cooks who dream of a functional, organized, and stylish living space.”— Library Journal
"Melissa Coleman’s The Minimalist Kitchen shows home cooks how easy and affordable it is to make dinner when your kitchen is pared down to the essentials." — Adina Steiman,The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
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The author, Melissa Coleman, describes minimalism as living efficiently, with only the essentials. Most people have far more gadgets, utensils and food than they actually use on a regular basis. A Minimalist Kitchen will help you control the excess.
While some books have recipes with five ingredients or less, those five ingredients will be different throughout each of the individual recipes. This can cause you to have a multitude of items in your pantry which you will only use once or twice. The recipes in this book are designed to use the same ingredients as other recipes in the book but in different ways, providing a wide range of flavors.
Following the introduction to a Minimalist Kitchen, The Essential Tools provides an overview of the most important tools to keep on hand. Next comes How To Build A Minimalist Pantry, describing how to organize yourself and your pantry items.
How To Stock A Minimalist Pantry explains how to decide what goes into your pantry and how to keep it minimalist. With How To Build A Minimalist Spice Cabinet you will always have the spices you need on hand without unnecessary extras.
The Ingredients section provides a list of the ingredients recommended to keep on hand. This will of course change to your own preferences based on the recipes you choose as your 100 go-to recipes.
In The Recipes, you learn how to best use the recipes in the rest of the book. There is also a Simple Dinner Plan included.
Recipe chapters include:
Burgers, Wraps & Sandwiches
Soups & Salads
Each of the recipes starts with a paragraph about how it came to be. They also include hands-on time, and total time, as well as yield. Icons included at the bottom of each recipe indicate which kitchen pot, pan or other kitchen equipment you will need.
Many of the recipes have labels like Weekday, which means it’s quick to prepare, Weekend which means it takes a little longer has more components etc. and Make Ahead which requires advanced prep and extra time.
Each of the recipes includes luscious full-page photographs of the finished dish. The abundance of photographs rather surprised me (in a good way) given the minimalist nature of the book.
After all of the recipes comes a Seasonal Produce Guide, which will help you choose the appropriate pantry inclusions for each season. Next, a Metric Equivalents set of tables is followed by the Recipe Index.
A Necessary Concept For Any Kitchen
Putting aside the number of people needing to downsize, retirees for example, and the prevalence of Tiny House and RV Living, I think any kitchen can benefit from this book.
Too many of us have entirely too many gadgets in our kitchens. Many of us also end up buying condiments or other ingredients for use only once leaving so much wasted and unused in our pantries.
The absolutely gorgeous, easy to follow recipes aside I would buy this book just for chapter 1. The information on how to pare down your kitchen to just the essentials is invaluable. This would also make an excellent gift for anyone setting up their first kitchen.
See the full review and the recipe for Garlicky Potato Wedges at The RecipesNow! Reviews And Recipes Magazine. This review is written in response to a complimentary copy of the book provided by the publisher in hopes of an honest review.
From there, move on to Melissa's inspiring (yet attainable) recipes to learn the practical art of multi-purposing a few staple sauces and ingredients over the course of a week. You'll learn to turn leftover enchilada sauce from Monday night into a breakfast tostada the following morning, re-purpose pesto from Tuesday night's pasta for an homemade pizza (personal favorite) on Friday, and apply a raspberry quick jam atop buttermilk biscuits or a memorable Monte Cristo breakfast sandwich for a weekend brunch. Also, several of Melissa's simple dressings will turn a pile of lettuce into a variety of show-stealing salads.
There is certainly something for everyone here, but don't mistake this book for a "5-ingredients or less" or "dinner in 15 minutes or less" approach to cooking. Making enviable food from scratch involves a commitment to the process of sourcing, storing, and prepping quality ingredients, as well as paring down the tools and refining the process to do so. This is a roll up your sleeves approach to taking charge of the kitchen, but one that you'll be sure to find is worth the investment.