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Before I run you through the book, I have to comment on how beautifully it's put together. Every page has eye appeal. Throughout you'll find black and white drawings, clear and colorful photographs, attractive fonts, and a pleasing layout. This is a cookbook you'll enjoy looking at and reading as much as cooking from.
I love the chapter titles because they reflect the authors' casual, playful, yet practical approach to cooking. Here are two: "If I Could Just Make It to Wednesday" and " I Want Something Simple, Fast, and Hard to Screw Up." Don't they reflect real life?
One of the chapters I really like starts you off with a Sunday dinner and then tells you how to transform the leftovers into new meals early in the week. For example a dinner consisting of a pork roast, squash, barley, and apples can later become sandwiches, soup, muffins, salad, and more. There is a photograph of each transformation.
The recipes use easy-to-find ingredients and include a wide range of flavors, from Asian to Mexican to European. There are quick recipes, slow dishes, healthy use-what's-in-the-pantry meals, and recipes that can be adapted for individual preferences. Each one comes with approximate cooking and prep times, a photograph, and clear and easy directions.
One chapter helps you base a meal on what you have on hand by suggesting three different meals centered on a single ingredient. For example, if you have fresh tomatoes, you could make a pasta dish, sandwiches, or a tabbouleh salad, depending on what else you have in the house.
Here are some recipes to give you an idea what you'll find: Creamy Chicken with Shallots; Grilled Skirt Steak with Blender Chimichurri; Halibut, Chickpea, & Squash Stew; Spring-Vegetable Omelet; Personal-Pan Lasagnas; and Beans and Toast.
Lemony Chicken with Potatoes & Gemolata
Active time: 20 minutes; total time 30 minutes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 6 smallish new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- juice of 2 lemons
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 small handful Italian parsley
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
2. Add the remaining oil to the pan and brown the onion and potatoes, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add the broth and juice, and increase the heat for about a minute, scraping up the brown bits in the pan. Return the chicken and its juices to the skillet. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender an the liquid has thickened, another 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile make the gremolata: On a cutting board, chop all the ingredients together finely but not too finely. Sprinkle the mixture over the dish before serving.
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Published by Chronicle Books, August 2010
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)