As the owner of two of the mid-Atlantic's busiest gourmet markets, Sara shares her professional knowledge about ingredients and techniques, incorporating the changing trends in cooking, health, and entertaining. Formal is out; instead we want relaxed, versatile recipes that are full of flavor but don't require precision cooking or fussy techniques. We want to approach cooking with a sense of comfort and ease, and "Sara Foster's Casual Cooking" teaches us how: it is relaxed yet refined homey yet sophisticated, showcasing the kind of meals we all want to eat--and will actually cook, day in, day out.
In "Sara Foster's Casual Cooking," Sara will help you navigate both the kitchen and the market with greater ease, resulting in satisfying meals that won't take all day to make. The recipes include the most popular dishes at Foster's Market and her own personal favorites, and all feature the updated Southern flair that has made her one of the South's best-known cooks.
From easy party platters to assemble for impromptu guests to ingenious ways of turning a bag of spinach, a package of sausages, or a ball of pizza dough into a fresh and fabulous dinner, here finally is a cookbook that reflects the way we really eat today.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 48.
- Review Date: 2007-01-08
- Reviewer: Staff
In her third cookbook, Foster, the owner of two gourmet markets in North Carolina, presents us with more of her trademark recipes; elegant, simple dishes with Southern flair. This time around she's focused on ways to prepare meals for what she calls "the way we eat today." She explains: "salads are meals, sandwiches and quesadillas qualify as a respectable grown-up dinner... and eggs can be eaten any time of the day." The recipes call for basic ingredients that are easy to keep in your refrigerator and pantry, and include plenty of tips on saving time and varying dishes. The Party Platters section includes recipes that can be made quickly with very few ingredients like Crispy Sweet Potato Chips with Caramelized Onion Dip, a simple antipasto platter with olives, nuts and dried fruit, and Warm Crab Dip. Simple Suppers, like Rosemary Grilled Leg of Lamb with Tuscan White Beans and Roasted Tomatoes have relatively short ingredient lists and also include Quick Fixes like using canned ingredients to save time. Last but not least is the "Simplest Sweets" chapter, which avoids complicated baking techniques with recipes for grilled apricots with buttermilk ice cream and lemon poached pears with lemon cream. Anyone with limited time and a real desire to cook will benefit from this solid, accessible cookbook. (Mar.)
Fostering fine fast food
There's a lot of advice in a lot of cookbooks about getting decent dinners on the table in breakneck time20 minutes, 30 minutes, sometimes less. But I've come to think that home cooked "fast food" is more about attitude and approach than beating the clock. Sara Foster's latest, Casual Cooking: More Fresh Simple Recipes from Foster's Market is big on both attitude and approach and it's packed with over 100 inventive, flexible recipes that back up Sara's belief that you can "pull together delicious, satisfying meals in whatever brief time you have." Her supper-savvy ways don't follow the outmoded meat, starch, green, plus salad model; salads can be meals, so can sandwiches, quesadillas and eggs. In fact, there's a chapter on each of those categories, as well as a healthy helping of more conventional dinner dishes featuring chicken, beef, lamb, shrimp, fish and ever-popular pasta, all meant to be everyday one-dish wonders, plus a sprinkling of quick-to-fix, full-flavored extras (see recipe below). Sara garnishes the recipes with her insider's infoways to trim time with packaged ingredients, suggestions for adding and altering ingredients, ideas for what to serve with what, and her special tips, the tricks of the trade that make you a smarter cook.