Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.
What to Cook When You Think There's Nothing in the House to Eat by Arthur Schwartz is one of the cookbooks that I turn to a lot. I confess that I probably haven't made but one of the recipes exactly as written in the book, but that is not what this book is all about.
The chapters are arranged alphabetically by main ingredient, from anchovies to yogurt. Each one starts by introducing the ingredient, including storage and preparation tips, and concludes with three to four recipes. The first chapter has information on how to use the book and how to stock your pantry.
I usually turn to the book for ideas. It's late, and I think I have nothing for dinner in the house. I rummage around the cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer, and then I look through the cookbook. Oh, I happen to have pasta, olive oil. garlic, and hot pepper flakes. Yay! I can make aglio e olio (found in the oil chapter). Generally, however, I use the book for inspiration, adapting the recipes for what I have on hand.
The book covers all meals plus desserts. The absolute godsend recipe in the book is this:
Microwave Polenta (serves 2)My well-used cookbook is from 1992 and has a different cover. I haven't seen the newer edition, but I bet it is just as good or even better.
Combine 1 cup cornmeal and 4 cups cold water in a 3-quart casserole. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir well to smooth out the mixture. Return to the microwave on high for 10 minutes, stir, and repeat two more times or until desired consistency. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. (adapted from p. 111)
What to Cook at Amazon
These 3 links lead to affiliate programs; if you buy, you support this blog.
Published by Harper Perennial, 2000
Source: Bought (see review policy)