How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart

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How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart

Format:  Hardcover,

290 pages

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: Apr 2000

ISBN-13: 9780767902793

ISBN-10: 0767902793

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
Pam Anderson grew up watching her parents and grandparents make dinner every night by simply taking the ingredients on hand and cooking them with the techniques they knew.
Times have changed. Today we have an overwhelming array of ingredients and a fraction of the cooking time, but Anderson believes the secret to getting dinner on the table lies in the past. After a long day, who has the energy to look up a recipe and search for the right ingredients before ever starting to cook? To make dinner night after night, Anderson believes the first two steps--looking for a recipe, then scrambling for the exact ingredients--must be eliminated. Understanding that most recipes are simply "variations on a theme," she innovatively teaches technique, ultimately eliminating the need for recipes.
Once the technique or formula is mastered, Anderson encourages inexperienced as well as veteran cooks to spread their culinary wings. For example, after learning to sear a steak, it's understood that the same method works for scallops, tuna, hamburger, swordfish, salmon, pork tenderloin, and more. You never need to look at a recipe again. Vary the look and flavor of these dishes with interchangeable pan sauces, salsas, relishes, and butters.
Best of all, these recipes rise above the mundane Monday-through-Friday fare. Imagine homemade ravioli and lasagna for weeknight supper, or from-scratch tomato sauce before the pasta water has even boiled. Last-minute guests? Dress up simple tomato sauce with capers and olives or shrimp and red pepper flakes. Drizzle sauteed chicken breasts with a balsamic vinegar pan sauce. Anderson teaches you how to do it--without a recipe. Don't buy exotic ingredients and follow tedious instructions for making hors d'oeuvres. Forage through the pantry and refrigerator for quick appetizers. The ingredients are all there; the method is in your head. Master four simple potato dishes--a bake, a cake, a mash, and a roast--compatible with many meals. Learn how to make the five-minute dinner salad, easily changing its look and flavor depending on the season and occasion. Tuck a few dessert techniques in your back pocket and effortlessly turn any meal into a special occasion.
There's real rhyme and reason to Pam's method at the beginning of every chapter: To dress greens, "Drizzle salad with oil, salt, and pepper, then toss until just slick. Sprinkle in some vinegar to give it a little kick." To make a frittata, "Cook eggs without stirring until set around the edges. Bake until puffy, then cut it into wedges." Each chapter also contains a helpful at-a-glance chart that highlights the key points of every technique, and a master recipe with enough variations to keep you going until you've learned how to cook without a book.

Specifications

Author:
Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: Apr 2000
ISBN-13: 9780767902793
ISBN-10: 0767902793
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 290
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.67
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 7.72 x 1.05 x 9.22

Chapter outline

Introductionp. 1
The Right Stuff: Stocking the Refrigerator, Freezer, and Pantryp. 7
Whack and Toss Saladsp. 13
Paired Salads: Hold the Lettucep. 25
Vinaigrette: The Single Vegetable's Best Betp. 29
One Easy Formula, Many Supper Soupsp. 35
Quick in a Cup, Pureed Vegetable Soupsp. 48
The Big Fat Omeletp. 53
The Big and Bigger Frittatap. 65
Simple Tomato Sauce, Scores of Possibilitiesp. 76
Pasta With Vegetablesp. 90
Firm Vegetablesp. 92
Leafy Greensp. 97
Tender Vegetablesp. 101
Weeknight Ravioli and Lasagnap. 106
Quick Raviolip. 107
Quick Lasagnap. 113
Weeknight Stir-Friesp. 121
More Asian Fast Food: Lo Mein, Fried Rice, and Pad Thaip. 134
If You've Made One Saute, You've Made Them allp. 144
Chicken Cutletsp. 145
Turkey Cutletsp. 146
Boneless Pork Chopsp. 149
Fish Filletsp. 151
Duck Breastsp. 155
Pan Saucesp. 158
Relishesp. 171
If You Can Saute, You Can Searp. 174
Steakp. 177
Hamburgerp. 180
Pork Tenderloinp. 182
Salmonp. 184
Fish Steaksp. 186
Scallopsp. 188
Flavored Buttersp. 191
The No-Hassle Roast Chicken Dinner: ... and Quick Chicken Saladp. 193
Steam/Sauteed Vegetablesp. 202
Steam/Sauteed Tender Greensp. 215
One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Fourp. 220
The Cakep. 221
The Bakep. 224
The Mashp. 225
The Roastp. 227
Simple Ways With Simple Sidesp. 229
Ricep. 230
Orzop. 236
Polentap. 240
Couscousp. 243
Spur-of-the-Moment Appetizersp. 246
The Simplestp. 247
Fruit and Vegetable Basesp. 260
A Little Something Morep. 264
Just Dessertsp. 270
Puff Pastry: Your New Best Friendp. 271
Assemble-and-Serve Dessertsp. 276
Menus At-a-Glancep. 281
Indexp. 283

Awards and Recognitions

  • James Beard Foundation KitchenAid Book Awards, 2001 (United States)

Book description

Pam Anderson grew up watching her parents and grandparents make dinner every night by simply taking the ingredients on hand and cooking them with the techniques they knew.

Times have changed. Today we have an overwhelming array of ingredients and a fraction of the cooking time, but Anderson believes the secret to getting dinner on the table lies in the past. After a long day, who has the energy to look up a recipe and search for the right ingredients before ever starting to cook? To make dinner night after night, Anderson believes the first two steps--looking for a recipe, then scrambling for the exact ingredients--must be eliminated. Understanding that most recipes are simply "variations on a theme," she innovatively teaches technique, ultimately eliminating the need for recipes.

Once the technique or formula is mastered, Anderson encourages inexperienced as well as veteran cooks to spread their culinary wings. For example, after learning to sear a steak, it's understood that the same method works for scallops, tuna, hamburger, swordfish, salmon, pork tenderloin, and more. You never need to look at a recipe again. Vary the look and flavor of these dishes with interchangeable pan sauces, salsas, relishes, and butters.

Best of all, these recipes rise above the mundane Monday-through-Friday fare. Imagine homemade ravioli and lasagna for weeknight supper, or from-scratch tomato sauce before the pasta water has even boiled. Last-minute guests? Dress up simple tomato sauce with capers and olives or shrimp and red pepper flakes. Drizzle sautéed chicken breasts with a balsamic vinegar pan sauce. Anderson teaches you how to do it--without a recipe. Don't buy exotic ingredients and follow tedious instructions for making hors d'oeuvres. Forage through the pantry and refrigerator for quick appetizers. The ingredients are all there; the method is in your head. Master four simple potato dishes--a bake, a cake, a mash, and a roast--compatible with many meals. Learn how to make the five-minute dinner salad, easily changing its look and flavor depending on the season and occasion. Tuck a few dessert techniques in your back pocket and effortlessly turn any meal into a special occasion.

There's real rhyme and reason to Pam's method at the beginning of every chapter: To dress greens, "Drizzle salad with oil, salt, and pepper, then toss until just slick. Sprinkle in some vinegar to give it a little kick." To make a frittata, "Cook eggs without stirring until set around the edges. Bake until puffy, then cut it into wedges." Each chapter also contains a helpful at-a-glance chart that highlights the key points of every technique, and a master recipe with enough variations to keep you going until you've learned how to cook without a book.

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