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How to Cook Without a Book, Completely Updated and Revised

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Published by Clarkson Potter on 2018-08-28
Hardcover: $29.99
COOKING


New York Times bestselling author Pam Anderson updates her classic cookbook–which put “cooking by heart” on the map–to include modern flavors and new techniques that today’s home cooks will love, with new and original full-color photographs.

It’s been 17 years since the blockbuster How to Cook Without a Book was published, and Pam Anderson’s method of mastering easy techniques to create simple, delicious meals is even more relevant today. From the working professional who loves cooking to the busy family member trying to get dinner on the table, today’s modern home cook wants to master useful techniques and know how to stock pantries and refrigerators to pull together delicious meals on the fly. Understanding that most recipes are simply “variations on a theme,” Pam innovatively teaches technique, ultimately eliminating the need for recipes. The new edition will reflect ingredients and techniques home cooks love to use today: chicken dishes are revamped by using thighs instead of boneless skinless breasts; hearty, dark greens like kale and swiss chard replace hearts of Romaine in salads; roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes move from side dish to the main event in more meatless entrees; plus, tips for creating a whole meal using one pot or one sheet pan (instead of dirtying multiple dishes). Each chapter contains helpful at-a-glance charts that highlight 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.


(Hardcover (Revised, Updated), 2018-08-28)
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ASIN: 1524761664
ISBN: 9781524761660
EAN: 9781524761660

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OW T O C O O K W I T H O U T A B O O K

How to Cook Without a Book R EC I P E S A N D T EC H N I Q U E S E V E RY C O O K S H O U L D K N O W BY H E A R T PA M A N D E R S O N P H O T O G R A P H S BY L AU R E N VO LO C L A R K S O N P O T T E R / P U B L I S H E R S N EW YO R K C O M P L ET E LY U P DAT E D A N D R EV I S E D

Copyright ? 2000, 2018 by Pam Anderson All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. crownpublishing.com clarksonpotter.com C L A R K S O N P O T T E R is a trademark and P O T T E R with colophon is a registered trademark of Penguin Random House LLC. Library of Congress Cataloging-inPublication Data has been applied for. ISBN 978-1-5247-6166-0 Ebook ISBN 978-1-5247-6167-7 Printed in China Book and cover design by Mia Johnson Photographs by Lauren Volo 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 F I R S T E D I T I O N

to A L L C O O K S W H O G AT H E R P E O P L E T O T H E TA B L E AS O F T E N AS T H EY C A N

RO D U C T I O N 9 H OW T O U S E T H I S B O O K 21 A F U L L L A R D E R 25 Contents A L I T T L E M I S E 34 L O A D E D F R I T TATA 74 S O U P F O R S U P P E R 84 H E A R T Y G R A I N A N D L E G U M E S A L A D S , W A R M O R C O L D 100 A V AT O F S I M P L E T O M AT O S A U C E emdash.cap S O M A N Y D I F F E R E N T M E A L S 112 P A S TA W I T H V E G E TA B L E S 128 M A K E I T P I Z Z A N I G H T 148 W E E K N I G H T TA K E hyphen.cap I N 164 I F Y O U ? V E M A D E O N E S E A R O R S A U T ? , Y O U ' V E M A D E T H E M A L L 186 T W O C H I C K E N S , T H R E E D I N N E R S ! 216 W E E K N I G H T R O A S T D I N N E R 238 S H O V E hyphen.cap I Thyphen.cap I N hyphen.cap T H E hyphen.cap O V E N S T E W 250 T H A N K S T O 263 I N D E X 264

| 9 In the spring of 2000, I published How to Cook Without a Book. With my first book'The Perfect Recipe'launched, it was now time to share with other working parents how I finally overcame the challenge of getting dinner on the table. Eighteen years later and I am still receiving royalty checks. In 2013, How to Cook Without a Book made Buzzfeed's '19 Cookbooks That Will Improve Your Life? list. Says Ree Drummond, 'It isn't glossy, fancy, or full of photographs, but it singlehandedly altered the way I approach cooking by showing me how to take a small handful of cooking techniques and use them to create literally endless variations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I recommend it to anyone trying to find their footing in the kitchen!' Over the years, many have suggested that I dust up and republish How to Cook Without a Book, but I always demurred because so much had changed, both in the food world and in me. My book was a teenager by now, and I knew better than to try to change a teen. What I could do, however, was to write again in that same spirit'a how-to that made sense for this time, one that taught people how to cook without reading a recipe. Introduction

10 | how to cook without a book T H E B A C K S T O R Y How to Cook Without a Book was born of my struggles as a 1990s working mom trying to get dinner on the table. For months, I'd walk in the door at 6:30 p.m. to two hungry kids and a kitchen-clueless spouse. I'd frantically open the refrigerator door and stare. I saw ingredients, not dinner. The two big barriers to weeknight cooking were finding a recipe and grocery shopping. I knew how to get a recipe and shop for everything I needed to nail it'I was a magazine food editor, for God's sake'but when it came to feeding my family on a Wednesday night, this was a recipe for frustration. Working in New York City, I was a long way from home, a world away from my Alabama mother and grandmother, who pulled off weeknight cooking without breaking a sweat. How did they do it? I wondered. True, my mother didn't work outside the home, though she had her hands full sewing, cleaning, caring for a child, running errands, volunteering, helping Dad fix up a handyman special, then building and maintaining her dream home. My grandmother was a dirt farmer, and later in life worked full-time in a garment factory making pajamas. Yet both of these women could do something I couldn't: regularly get dinner on the table. I had access'literally'to thousands of ingredients they'd never heard of, and had made everything from cr'me caramel to cassoulet, but I was missing something. By keeping their pantry, fridge, and freezer stocked and relying on a set of internalized techniques and formulas, my mother and grandmother overcame both of the barriers to weeknight cooking: recipes and running to the store. Following their example, I quit shopping ad hoc and stocked my kitchen. Eventually I developed my own set of techniques and formulas that worked for my busy life. In other words, I started to cook without a book. Regardless of the season, I could walk in the kitchen and start cooking with whatever ingredients I had around. With a few staples, I could transform chicken breasts, broccoli, lemons, and rice into a saut'ed chicken breast dinner complete with a restaurantstyle citrus pan sauce, a quick comforting soup, or a kick-ass stir-fry. With a carton of eggs, a seasonal vegetable, and a little cheese, I could whip up a supper frittata or a super-size omelet. And for years, I found a way to carry on like Mom and Mama Skipper, bringing my family around the table for dinner nearly every night.

introduction | 13 T H E C H A N G I N G F O O D S C E N E Now that all seems like ages ago. I still use many of the techniques and formulas I developed for How to Cook Without a Book, but in the last two decades, food and diet have shifted dramatically, and both my lifestyle and my cooking style have evolved. I was proud in the nineties that hearts of romaine (not my mother's iceberg) dominated my salad bowl. Twenty years later, hardy dark greens like kale and beet tops are my new lettuces. And what used to be side dishes'butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and carrots'I now roast, drizzle with vinaigrette, and call salad. I still enjoy the occasional saut'ed boneless, skinless chicken breast with a pan sauce, but meatier, more flavorful chicken thighs have gradually taken their place. You'll find fewer oversize Styrofoam trays of steaks and double Cryovac packages of pork tenderloin sitting in my Costco cart. I'm serving up more meatless meals and using meat as flavoring. And when I do choose meat, I no longer dirty three pans'one for meat, one for starch, and another for the vegetable. I mostly cook in one pot, one skillet, one large roasting pan, or on one oversize baking sheet. A new book would need to account for the sea change in food preferences since How to Cook Without a Book came out at the turn of the century. T H E T I M E C R U N C H emdash.cap N E W G E N E R AT I O N , S A M E P R O B L E M Like my grandmother in the thirties, my mother in the sixties, like me in the nineties, both of my daughters are married. They both work full time, as do their husbands. One is a mother. Watching their lives, I see the pattern repeating'except that my kids seem to have even less time than I did. They want to make healthy meals with ingredients they feel good about eating. And since they grew up with regular family dinners, they understand their importance and try to make them a priority. But like me at that stage of life, there are so many things competing with their need to eat well. I see not only the challenges of my generation, but also the particular stresses of the next generation. The key, I've found, is not to think that eating well would mean you somehow had more time than anyone else. It's true, you have to take time for what matters; but the fact is, without a lot more time, you can still eat well. How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart is designed to reflect both the contemporary time crunch and the way my kids? generation, especially, thinks about food and the way we eat now.

parenleft.cap N O T A N E W R E C I P E parenright.cap At first I thought updating How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart meant simply freshening the ingredient list and making it quicker, but as I started to update the recipes and tweak the techniques, I soon stopped. The issue was bigger than that. You don't just need to know how to cook. You need to start thinking ahead and prepping like a cook. Cooking dinner isn't about the twenty hellish minutes before you have to put something on the table'or face the pangs of your own hunger or the wrath of others. You stop for five minutes when you walk by a shop and see a basket of tomatoes and a ball of fresh mozzarella that would be perfect'not for tonight, but for Thursday night when you know you won't be home until late. As you cook tonight's dinner, you mindfully drop that ham hock in a pot of water so tomorrow's supper soup simmers to perfection in thirty minutes. You never boil just enough rice or pasta for tonight's dinner'you double it, so that tomorrow's fried rice, legume and grain salad, or lo mein is already under way. What energizes this book is my own development as a cook. Part of it is simply being in the kitchen these last eighteen years, and the culinary breadth and depth that come with daily practice. I'm calmer, more confident. I'm a grandmother now, too, and I know that while cooking is still about getting it on the table, it's also about feeding, nurturing, and connecting with the people you love. So many years ago when I chose 'cookdaily? as my e-mail address, I didn't fully understand its significance; but this way of life'cooking daily'is engrained in my being. It's no longer what I do'it's who I am. I don't imagine that someone can read one book and know what I know. What I can do is help people to think of what they eat, and how they make it, in a new way. Here's how it works. S H O P L I K E A P R O No matter how dramatically the food scene has changed, cooking at home with ease still starts with being well stocked. Whether you frequent one of the big-box stores, your local grocery store, the farmers? market, or some combination, you have to scout for good food and make sure you always have the basics on hand. I have an app for food shopping (AnyList), and my frequently used staples never come off the list. Ingredients like canned tomatoes, cartoned broth, and boxed pasta last for years in the pantry. A hunk of Parm, a jar of pesto in the fridge, a bag of shrimp or sausage in the freezer'any one of these ingredients could be the inspiration for a quick dish on a harried night. I call it money in the bank. 14 | how to cook without a book

Seasonal fruits and vegetables are more fragile, so you can't overstock. Still, keep yourself supplied. As you pass through the produce department on your way to that quick gallon of milk or loaf of bread, grab a head of cauliflower, bunch of asparagus, or carton of cherry tomatoes. When you've got a few strategies for making dinner, you start to see how random ingredients like these are the building blocks of a great yet simple dinner. introduction | 15

? T S T O P T H I N K I N G A B O U T T O M O R R O W A cook is always thinking ahead. As I get into the kitchen I naturally ask, 'What am I cooking now that will help me pull off the next meal'? Occasionally, I'll double a pan of lasagna or pot of chili so I can freeze half for some night when I have zero time. But more often it's simpler, quicker ways to increase my stores. Why turn on the oven (or grill in the summer) to roast one pan of vegetables, when it takes only a few more minutes to make two? One for now and one tucked in the fridge. If you're caramelizing a skillet of onions for tonight's turkey burgers, it takes almost no time to double it. A container of roasted vegetables or caramelized onions means you can easily pull off really good pizza, full-flavored pasta, or an abundant frittata. If you're going to get out the blender or food processor and make vinaigrette for tonight's salad, it's just as easy to make a batch for the week. If there's a jar of homemade dressing in the fridge, it's much easier to get excited about salad as a main course. 16 | how to cook without a book

AT T U R N G R O C E R I E S I N T O D I N N E R With a decently stocked pantry, a little something in your culinary bank, and a few techniques and formulas committed to memory, you will eat very well. My shoveit-in-the-oven technique is just as it sounds. Toss all the ingredients in a roasting pan'there's an easy formula to follow'and slip it in the oven. Forty-five minutes later, catch a whiff of Chicken Tagine (page 258), Chili Chicken Stew with Black Beans and Corn (page 260), or Roast Italian Sausages with Potatoes and Cabbage (page 258). The added bonus is leftovers for tomorrow's lunch or dinner. For even quicker oven meals, spice-rub a small cut of meat or fish and roast it, along with a couple of vegetables, on a couple of rimmed baking sheets. Whether it's spring salmon, asparagus, and new potatoes or cool-weather pork tenderloin, winter squash, and Brussels sprouts, this irresistibly fragrant petite roast dinner will emerge from the oven in twenty-five unattended minutes. Weeknight tomato sauce is a few simple ingredients and a quick ten minutes. Why not open four cans instead of one? Once your pot of sauce is done, siphon off some for tonight's pasta with stir-ins like prosciutto, chickpeas, and a splash of cream; or canned tuna, capers, and pepper flakes. Add chicken, Indian spices, and a can of coconut milk to the second batch of sauce for quick Chicken Tikka Masala (page 123). Brown a couple of Italian sausages for the final batch of sauce and serve it over a mound of creamy polenta. Plop another rotisserie chicken on the dinner table and the natives will groan. Instead, buy two chickens and quickly transform tonight's whole legs into Fig-Glazed Double-Roasted Chicken Legs (pages 223 to 224). Simmer the bones and use some of the meat for tomorrow's pot of Simple Posole (page 226) or Chicken-Corn Chowder (page 227). Shred the breast meat for barbecue chicken sandwiches, chicken salad, or tacos and quesadillas. There are simple strategies for meatless meals as well. Legumes and grains make substantial year-round salads. Whether you serve chilled Lemony Lima Bean and Rice Salad with Asparagus and Fennel (page 110) in the spring or Lentil and Brown Rice Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts, and Cranberries (page 110) warm in the fall, the technique is the same year round. introduction | 17

1. No one cares about what you and your family eat more than you do. Food cooked at home is better than most anything you'd pick up in the freezer case or drive-thru or what you'd eat at or take out of the average restaurant. 2. Cooking is a great way to keep families connected. At the dinner table for sure, but I've noticed when I start caramelizing onions, sizzling garlic, and simmering broth, the kitchen naturally draws hungry souls. As I glance up from my cutting board and inquire about the day, I usually find out what's really going on. 3. Finally, eating at home is cheaper than buying prepared foods and eating out. It's rare I don't look at a restaurant tab and do the math'how many great home-cooked meals and better bottles of wine I could have enjoyed with disposable income left over to do more lasting, interesting things. With one daughter and son-in-law saving for a down payment on a home, another daughter and son-in-law setting aside for their son's education, and David and I still working to finish building our retirement home, we all need to save. E AT B E T T E R , F E E L B E T T E R Health experts keep telling us that many of our persistent problems'childhood obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and high blood pressure, as well as anxiety and depression'come not only from what we eat but how we eat. It's not just that we need to eat better, more nutritious food; it's that almost two generations have forgotten how to cook. Science, in other words, is telling us what people have always known: Cooking good food and eating it together with loved ones and friends is the most basic human ritual. It is nourishment for the body and medicine for the spirit, with the power to bind people together in healthy families and communities. It's easy to see that processed junk food can't do that. What we're now realizing is that even the best restaurants or take-out can't do that either. We have to go back into the kitchen, start dicing an onion, and watch as the magic of cooking begins to restore health and well-being in us and in those we love. 18 | how to cook without a book I said this eighteen years ago. Today, I believe it more than ever: Give someone a recipe, they eat a meal. Teach someone to cook, they eat for a lifetime.

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