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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 50.
- Review Date: 2008-05-19
- Reviewer: Staff
Pépin's latest incarnation as the refined face of quick and easy home cooking has worked as a public TV show and in his last book. This follow-up wisely sticks with the same model, highlighting dishes that can be assembled with relatively little effort, assuming the cook has some experience, and that seldom use more than 10 or 15 ingredients, often fewer. The sequel has more international flair, as in the spongy Tibetan flatbread and chili con carne, but his simple preparations of French classics like frisée aux lardoons and pumpkin gratin shine brightest. The main addition is a section of prose-only “minute recipes”; mostly hors d'oeuvres, they vary in adherence to the minute label from some that are less recipes than concepts like seasoning olives or shaving radishes over baguette slices to those like the pine nut–covered baked cheese balls that take as long to prepare as the regular recipes. Pépin encourages using supermarkets “the right way,” to buy both ingredients that will minimize prep time, such as canned beans, and a small number of the best ingredients available, whether fresh shellfish or fish fillets, good olives or olive oil. Fans of his last book, as well as any cooks looking for ideas on faster but still appealing dishes, will find much to enjoy. Color photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
La cuisine rapide, encore
Mais oui, bien sr, he's done it again! Jacques Pépin never disappoints as a cook, teacher and perpetrator of fabulous cookbooks. Jacques Pépin More Fast Food My Way, his second foray into the world of the culinary quick fix, is as good as his first. So good, that though you may start using it when time is prime, you'll return again and again for its practical, innovative ideas. Jacques can switch from thinking like a celebrity chef to thinking like a guy on his way home who has to get dinner ready ASAP. In that mode, he uses the supermarket as his sous-chef, something we all can learn to do. He buys good-quality prepared, canned and partially prepped food and with a few additions creates dishes that are great for both every day and entertaining. Cured Salmon Morsels, an excellent appetizer, take only 10 minutes, and pieces of rotisserie chicken topped with a persillade (quickly sautéed garlic, shallots and chopped parsley) then set on simply dressed pre-washed Boston lettuce make a fine entree. Hearty Vegetable Bean Soup, using the veggies you have on hand and a can of cannellini beans, can be on the table in little more than half an hour and mussels cooked in Bloody Mary mix nestled in rice pilaf will wow your guests. Life in the fast lane has never tasted better.