- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1st Printing edition (April 8, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307346714
- ISBN-13: 978-0307346711
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 121 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show Hardcover – April 8, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A joint effort between Kasper, public radio host of The Splendid Table, and her producer and fellow foodie, Swift, this superb book should grace the shelves of even the most infrequent of cooks. Full of tantalizing, fast and easy-to-assemble meals, this collection also focuses on the ideas behind the techniques: what to look for as the food cooks, what kind of pot ensures success, and where substitutions will work. Helpful information such as why buying imported Italian pasta and why salting pasta water are important help the less experienced extract flavor from basic ingredients. Recipes center on quick and nutritious dinner options, including Dressing-in-a-Bowl Supper Salad, North Shore Shrimp Scampi, and Lamb Chops with Crossover Spice Crust. The authors also provide valuable references such as a tasting guide to salad greens, advice for imparting flavor to frozen shrimp and suggestions for using pasta water in sauces. Given the show's popularity, the accessibility of the recipes and the authors' practical and useful advice, this excellent book is sure to become a kitchen staple. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
LYNNE ROSSETTO KASPER, host and cocreator of The Splendid Table radio program, has explored food for more than forty years as a teacher, researcher, writer, and lecturer. Author of The Splendid Table, winner of both the James Bead and Julia Child/IACP Cookbook of the Year awards, she also wrote The Italian Country Table and coauthored The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper with Sally Swift. Lynne is a member of Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America and a longtime advocate of organic and sustainable foods. She and Sally have worked together for nearly twenty years and still get a kick out of each other.
SALLY SWIFT is the managing producer and cocreator of The Splendid Table radio program and coauthor of The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper. She is an avid gardener, bicyclist, and public radio aficionado. After nearly two decades of working with Lynne, her only complaint is that they rarely have time for a real lunch.
Top customer reviews
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Both authors, partners in The Splendid Table's highly-regarded radio productions, including years of "Weeknight Kitchen" podcasts, consider weeknight cooking both a family necessity and a pleasure, a respite from the pressures of long workdays. Their delight comes across in every recipe with informative headnotes explaining why the dish is special. Tips about ingredients, equipment, or technique abound in almost every recipe and on almost every page.
Moreover, dozens of mini-tutorials are scattered throughout: everything from a guide to olive oils (with brand names!) to surfing the Indian grocery. The Kindle formatting is excellent: everything is clickable: TOC to chapter headings, chapter title pages to recipes, embedded recipes and Index. Some, but not most, recipes have color photos. There is an "Essential Equipment" chapter.
Ingredients are extremely accessible to anyone with a good supermarket (even to me, with an itty-bitty grocery store in the middle of nowhere) or who amazons ingredients such as tamarind concentrate. Although the authors make their own stocks, these recipes call for canned/boxed for soups--and they taste-tested a few dozen brands of chicken and vegetable broth ("every broth we could find in our area") and tell us which brand names they preferred and those they did not--and then tell us exactly how to improve them by adding a few ingredients. Thank you! They use canned beans and admit to using take-out chicken. They taste-tested 28 brands of canned tomatoes, both whole and diced, and tell us the brand names of their winners. They call for frozen puff pastry and boxed pasta (again, giving us their favorite brand names). They occasionally suggest substitutions. The types of seafood are readily available.
Recipes are, as promised, simple and straightforward. For example, "Oven-Crisped Pork, Peppers, and Greens" cuts down cooking time by cutting up pork or lamb into smaller pieces before roasting. There are a lot of recipes here: I counted 102 basic recipes plus many more with the variations and improvisations that are frequently suggested.
My one quibble with the book is that the stated "prep" times (typically 5-15 minutes) are understated given the number of ingredients needed to be peeled, chopped, sliced, scrubbed, zested, pitted, juiced, dried, and/or toasted. I counted at least a dozen recipes for which this appears to be true.
However, I'm not nicking a star because the active times are still very short and perfectly workable for a weeknight meal: who cares if 5 minutes is actually 15? I made the "Almond-Turmeric Potatoes" -- which were delicious and lived up to the authors' appeal that "if you cook no other potato recipe in your lifetime, you must try this one." I carefully timed my prep, worked as fast as I could (I'm fast), and did nothing extraneous (just threw peels etc. into the sink instead of the trash) and the "5 minutes" turned out to be 12-15, depending on whether I included the intermittent peeking and shaking called for by the recipe. The dish took 58 minutes from start to finish, not 5 minutes prep + 20 minutes stove, but both the active and elapsed time are still very workable for a weeknight, and the leftovers were spectacular with scrambled eggs the next morning.
So many cookbooks promise easy, everyday weeknight meals and then fail to deliver, presenting time-consuming recipes, impossible-to-find or expensive fresh ingredients, or all of the above. Not "How to Eat Supper." The authors not only present exactly what we hope to find in terms of recipes, but it's a great cover-to-cover read for anyone who loves to cook and wants to soak up all of their extremely valuable tips.
However, the recipe results were all at least good and in some cases really good. We will certainly repeat some of our choices and make others.
The stories are wonderful,too. I even like to read the opinions and boy, are there some opinions voiced in the book. The reader may not always agree but at least the opinions are well backed up. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves food and loves to eat. Buy it and give it to your friends. (By the way I am not related to either of the authors but if they would like to adopt me or even cook a meal or two for me, I would not refuse!)
Ms. Kasper and her radio show co-host have done it again. While not quite up to the lofty standards of her previous work, Ms. Kasper has nonetheless managed to write another fascinating and fun read. The recipes here are simple, straightforward, and they easily integrate into the lives of those of us who have crazy schedules.
Ms. Kasper and Ms. Swift offer fascinating tips and lore as well as recommendations on building your cookbook library.
My one quibble with the book is its design. The text can be a bit overwhelming because of a mixture of font sizes and types. It's a bit distracting.
This book is definitely a keeper. A superb choice for an everyday cookbook or as a gift for someone whose cooking skills are very basic. Outstanding.