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Perfect Recipes for Having People Over Hardcover – September 14, 2005
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Having your friends over is no big deal when you have the perfect recipe, one that's not only foolproof but simple and that fits into your hectic schedule. In Perfect Recipes for Having People Over, Pam Anderson shares nearly 200 perfectly convenient dishes, including:
* Lacy Cheddar Crisps--An irresistible one-ingredient hors d'oeuvre, ready in 10 minutes.
* Oven-Barbecued Pork--Slow-cooked for 10 to 12 hours. You literally make this one in your sleep.
* Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese -- When kids are coming, why not serve the best version of their favorite?
* Shish Kebabs--Satisfy every guest, from vegetarians to carnivores, in the same meal. Six exciting flavoring pastes offer all the variety you need.
* Easy Baked Risotto--Elegant and effortless, with many sumptuous variations, including seafood and vegetarian. You socialize while it cooks.
* Orange-Glazed Asparagus--One of the most versatile side dishes imaginable. Ready in 8 relaxed minutes.
* Molten Chocolate Cakes--15 minutes to oozy decadence.
Every recipe comes with helpful suggestions on what to serve with the dish, how to vary it, how to take shortcuts, and how to make it ahead.
From Perfect Recipes for Having People Over: Easy Baked RisottoRisotto is perfect for an elegant dinner party, but most people don't want to spend nearly an hour stirring it. Unless you drag someone into the kitchen to keep you company, you'll miss a good chunk of your party. But placing a sheet of heavy-duty foil directly over the risotto's surface and double-sealing the pot with the foil and a lid reduce the cooking time and eliminate most of the stirring. Although you could halve the recipe and decrease the cooking time by 5 to 7 minutes, I wouldn't: the Risotto Cake recipe (to follow) is exceptional for leftovers.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, butter, or rendered bacon fat if using bacon
- 1 small onion, cut into small dice
- 2 ounces prosciutto, bacon, or pancetta or 4 ounces ham, sliced and cut into small dice (optional)
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces (1 cup) frozen green peas and/or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Flavoring Ingredients (see next list; use a total of 1 pound; optional)
For sauteed flavoring ingredients, choose 8 ounces (heaping 2 cups) of one of the following:
- Winter squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Fennel, halved lengthwise, cored, and thinly sliced
- Mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Cabbage, thinly sliced
- Asparagus spears, tossed with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and roasted on a baking sheet in a 450-degree oven for 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch lengths.
- Baby spinach or arugula
- Bay scallops
- Medium shrimp, peeled
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare flavoring ingredients, if using (for sauteed flavoring ingredients, you will cook them in step 2).
2. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or large ovenproof (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat.Add onion, prosciutto, if using, and any ingredients to be sautéed and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in rice.Risotto can be made to this point up to 2 hours in advance and covered.
3. Add wine and simmer until evaporated. Add chicken broth and 2 cups water. Cover pot with a sheet of heavy-duty foil, pressing down so that it rests on broth, crimp foil around edges of pot, and cover pot with lid for a tighter seal. Set pot in oven and cook for 25 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and carefully remove lid and foil. Set pot on low heat. If you've chosen flavoring ingredients that are to be added at the end of cooking, stir them in now. Cook, stirring, until rice is cooked but still a little chewy at center, liquid is creamy, and flavors have blended, about 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and peas and parsley (if using) and serve.When Should I Serve It?
As a first or main course at a dinner party in spring, winter, or fall.
As a simple supper with family and friends Any Shortcuts?
Stick with flavoring ingredients that need little or no preparation—sliced mushrooms, prewashed baby spinach, scallops, or peeled shrimp, for example. How Can I Vary It?
With this formula, you can create whatever flavor risotto you like.
Risotto with scallops, spinach, and bacon
Risotto with fennel and scallops
Risotto with shrimp, asparagus, and prosciutto
Risotto with winter squash and prosciutto
Risotto with asparagus and ham
Risotto with cabbage and bacon
Risotto with mushrooms and cabbage What About Leftovers?
Just add a little chicken broth to loosen the rice and heat slowly, stirring occasionally, on the stovetop.
If you have 2 cups leftover risotto, make Risotto Cakes (see below). RISOTTO CAKES
- 2 cups leftover risotto, chop any large flavoring ingredients into small chunks
- 1 beaten egg
- 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons oil
1. Stir 1 beaten egg into the 2 cups leftover cold risotto.
2. Measure 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs into a pie plate. Drop 1/4 cup risotto into crumbs, covering risotto mound with crumbs and twirling it to coat completely. Pick up risotto mound and form it into a patty, then drop it back into crumbs to coat again. Transfer to a plate.
3. Repeat to make 8 cakes. Heat a generous 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Add cakes (8 fit perfectly) and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Serve on or alongside a bed of vinaigrette-tossed baby greens sprinkled with crumbled goat or feta cheese.
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
She starts with the main course, grouped by occasion, from kitchen gatherings to barbecues, sit-down dinners and breakfast. "All the Rest" follows, from appetizers through dessert, including drinks and breads.
Anderson often offers a master recipe, which can be transformed with simple additions - quesadillas, for instance, or shish kebabs, which both come with a page of variations in spices and main ingredients. This is particularly true for the soups, like the Creamy Vegetable, which comes with 10 separate recipes and ideas for "hundreds" of variations.
Each recipe concludes with suggestions for when to serve and what to serve it with, variations, shortcuts, advance preparations and, my personal favorite, ideas for the leftovers.
For the dining room there's an Easy Baked Risotto which does away with much of the stirring and Beef Tenderloin with cracked pepper and a red wine pan sauce; more casual meals feature Oven-Barbecued Pork for sandwiches or carnitas and Lasagna made with both white and red sauce and no-boil noodles. Breakfast might be a savory baked strata, assembled the night before.
Side dishes are bright and imaginative, like Smoked Salmon and Watercress Salad with Red Onion-Caper Vinaigrette or Orange-Glazed Asparagus; desserts are simple and many are homey, like the Tender Yellow Cake and Five Variations. Drinks come by the pitcher.
There's nothing difficult here and there's plenty of range to suit every taste and every occasion. Anderson's fans ("The Perfect Recipe," "How to Cook Without a Book") will snap it up and anyone who entertains should find it a useful pleasure.
- Portsmouth Herald
Great pictures of most of the food items. I very good cookbook that I was glad I added to my collection.
Shortcuts? What to Serve With It? Sides? Desserts, etc? Oh, m' gosh. I use this book more than any other I have collected. If you're a serious cook, buy this book. You won't regret it. Every recipe has been excellent with Anderson's well-worded directions and suggestions.
There are 344 pages of one of the most organized and helpful cookbooks. Whether you have two people or twenty, this book has suggestions on what to serve with the entree, how far ahead you can make it, shortcuts, and drinks to serve. It fits children in with the adults. One of the most important pieces of advice of the book is to be yourself.
First you'll choose from the Big Stuff section, these are the entrees. All the Rest comes next, from appetizers to soups, salad, sides, and desserts. There are summer dishes, winter time fare, grilling, and everything in between. Having the entree and what to pair with it is one of the best surprises. You can mix and match. One disappointment was the lack of a better array of desserts. This is an area I like to devote more time.
The photos are well done ,but not every dish has a photo, that is something I look for in my favorite cookbooks. Hoping there will be an update to this cookbook.
Recommended. prisrob 01-21-15
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great, realistic recipes that have made family holidays much easier since I can prepare in advance.Published 5 months ago by Michael P. Furey
One of my favorite entertaining cookbooks. Ordered this one for a friend.Published 11 months ago by BBFrick
Gave as a Christmas gift. She is an excellent cook/hostess and loves this book.Published 17 months ago by G.Don