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How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart by Pam Anderson

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    2001 James Beard Award Nominee

  • nikkichic on June 25, 2011

    My go-to recipes for sauteed chicken breasts and pan fried steak are in this book - love the sauce combinations when I am not inspired otherwise

  • debwfrank on February 01, 2010

    The book I give as a wedding gift. I still reach for it myself often.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Lemon rice pilaf

    • Cheri on November 20, 2011

      This was really good. Served with grilled salmon and steamed artichokes. Sauted shallots in olive oil, then added rice to skillet for a few minutes to brown. Threw that into the rice cooker, added chicken broth, a touch of lemon juice, lemon zest and cooked. Finished with a few chives. Very satisfying.

  • Frittata with sausage and potatoes

    • PennyG on November 02, 2013

      Good weeknight recipe. Endless variations to the recipe as well!

  • Chicken vegetable soup with wide noodles

    • dianev on October 31, 2014

      Added chopped fresh spinach and fresh parsley--used leftover cooked egg noodles. Forgot to put in the peas. Chicken thighs worked great and gave a wonderful flavor.

  • Stir-fried pork with snow peas and shredded carrots

    • sldoug on January 21, 2016

      I love these stir fry templates but man, they really stretch a12 inch pan to its limit. The flavors in this particular recipe were good and I liked the switch to pork (I almost always do chicken) plus the carrots. The cilantro in the sauce was only periodically noticeable and snow peas are a hassle with all the de-stringing, but overall this was pretty good.

  • Soy-sesame flavoring sauce

    • sldoug on April 02, 2016

      Sometimes I want to make a veggie stir fry and this is the sauce I use. If I'm not following the stir fry recipe this sauce accompanies, I'll just add the ginger and garlic to the veggies and then mix the cornstarch into the sauce directly. This recipe is a bit much for a pan of veggies (it comes out very saucy), and it's also a bit soy-heavy for me, but my family loves it and it's a good basic sauce.

  • Chicken lo mein with celery and water chestnuts

    • sldoug on August 17, 2015

      This is so popular with my family. I love the flexibility of this recipe! I routinely make this with chicken thighs, bell pepper and snow peas, but if I have veggies in my fridge that need to get used up, I'll use them instead. It's not always convenient to have cooked spaghetti on hand, but usually I'll just cook an entire pound and then freeze half.

  • Sweet-and-sour pork with peppers and pineapple

    • ellencooks on April 10, 2017

      This was okay. I added some snap peas because I wanted something green. There wasn't much sour going on.

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  • ISBN 10 0767902793
  • ISBN 13 9780767902793
  • Published Apr 04 2000
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc)
  • Imprint Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Del

Publishers Text

Pam Anderson grew up watching her parents and grandparents make dinner every night by simply taking the ingredients on hand and cooking them with the techniques they knew.

Times have changed. Today we have an overwhelming array of ingredients and a fraction of the cooking time, but Anderson believes the secret to getting dinner on the table lies in the past. After a long day, who has the energy to look up a recipe and search for the right ingredients before ever starting to cook To make dinner night after night, Anderson believes the first two steps--looking for a recipe, then scrambling for the exact ingredients--must be eliminated. Understanding that most recipes are simply variations on a theme, she innovatively teaches technique, eliminating the need for recipes.

Once the technique or formula is mastered, Anderson encourages inexperienced as well as veteran cooks to spread their culinary wings. For example, after learning to sear a steak, it's understood that the same method works for scallops, tuna, hamburger, swordfish, salmon, pork tenderloin and more. You never need to look at a recipe again. Vary the look and flavor of these dishes with interchangeable pan sauces, salsas, relishes and butters.

Best of all, these recipes rise above the mundane Monday-through-Friday fare. Imagine homemade ravioli and lasagna for weeknight supper, or from-scratch tomato sauce before the pasta water has even boiled. Last-minute guests Dress up simple tomato sauce with capers and olives or shrimp and red pepper flakes. Drizzle sauteed chicken breasts with balsamic vinegar pan sauce. Anderson teaches you how to do it--without a recipe. Don't buy exotic ingredients and follow tedious instructions for making hor d'oeuvres. Forage through the pantry and refrigerator for quick appetizers. The ingredients are all there; the method is in your head. Master four simple potato dishes--a cake, a mash and a roast--compatible with many meals. Learn how to make the five-minute dinner salad, easily changing its look and flavor depending on the season and occasion. Tuck a few dessert techniques into your back pocket and effortlessly turn any meal into a special occasion.

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