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Lighter Quicker Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

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"We both feel there is no celebration in life greater than eating wonderful food — a perfect ripe tomato or ear of corn, a bowl of homemade soup, the best bread," say Marie Simmons and Richard Sax. These two passionate eaters, who also happen to be busy food professionals, have cooked and eaten their way through every culinary trend imaginable, yet they return again and again to simple, full-flavored dishes they grew up with, but with a thoroughly contemporary twist.

What's changed? Sax and Simmons have ...

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1995 Hard cover First edition. STATED 1ST EDITION, 1ST PRINTING New in new dust jacket. BRIGHT SHINY, BRAND NEW Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 416 p. Contains: Illustrations. ... Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

"We both feel there is no celebration in life greater than eating wonderful food — a perfect ripe tomato or ear of corn, a bowl of homemade soup, the best bread," say Marie Simmons and Richard Sax. These two passionate eaters, who also happen to be busy food professionals, have cooked and eaten their way through every culinary trend imaginable, yet they return again and again to simple, full-flavored dishes they grew up with, but with a thoroughly contemporary twist.

What's changed? Sax and Simmons have reinvented the way they cook and eat. Remarkably reinterpreted soups, luscious pastas, mashed potatoes, hearty stews, and comforting desserts have been trimmed of richness and fat, but not of vibrant flavors. In Lighter Quicker, Better, Sax and Simmons deliver more than 200 innovative recipes that are lighter in fat, quicker to prepare, and better tasting than ever thought possible.

Lighter — Add fat-free flavorful accents with herbs, vinegars, and mustards. Enjoy slimmed down favorites like macaroni and cheese with ricotta, all-vegetable paella, and southwestern-style meatloaf. Savor homemade, oven-baked, low-fat pita and tortilla chips with guilt-free guacamole.

Quicker — Ten-minute marinades for fish; One Step Browned New Potatoes; pasta and vegetables cooked in the same water; mix-and-match stir fries; ready-in-minutes fruit desserts.

Better — Soup Bowl Lasagna, Salmon Tacos, and Super Chocolate Pudding are just some of the new twists put on classic favorites. Top a bowl of soup with a dollop of Roasted Pepper Puree or Pureed Roasted Garlic for a quick blast of flavor. Replace mayonnaise with horseradish, Dijonmustard, salsa, or relish for cleaner, brighter tastes.

From soup to (dry-roasted) nuts, Ligbter, Quicker, Better features recipes, ingredients, and techniques culled from an array of international cuisines. Indian, North African, Thai, and Middle Eastern dishes, as well as classic French, Italian, and Mexican favorites are all streamlined. Rich, aromatic Puerto Rican-style Rice and Beans, Zesty Stuffed Poblano Chilies with Salsa, satisfying Osso Buco with Lemon Zest, and pungent Thai-style Salmon Soup are just a few of the remarkable dishes perfectly suited for the way we eat today.

What happens when two passionate eaters who also happen to be two busy food professionals find that they've reinvented the way they eat? In this book, Sax and Simmons reinterpret soups, pastas, stews and desserts--trimmed of richness and fat but not of flavor--to deliver recipes that are lighter, quicker to prepare and better tasting than was ever thought possible.

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
Both a source of new recipes and primer of techniques and ideas for reducing fat in your favorite existing recipes, Lighter, Quicker, Better is designed to be more than a good read. It is intended for that special shelf reserved for books you use all the time.
American Health
If you're looking, for a good, all-purpose cookbook that combines great taste and healthful eating, Lighter, Quicker, Better includes more than 200 simple recipes influenced by a variety of American and international cuisines. There's something for everyone.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Short of time, longing for flavor and striving for culinary virtue, today's harried cooks will welcome this collection of over 200 recipes with its multitude of ingenious suggestions and substitutions. Tendering recipes for dishes that have been trimmed of fat but not robbed of flavor, veteran cookbook writers Sax and Simmons, who also coauthor Bon Appetit's ``Cooking for Health'' column, make use of such flavor-intensive ingredients as citrus zest, roasted vegetables and fresh herbs (Fish Steaks Glazed with Ginger, Soy and Lime; Roasted Tomato Gazpacho with Basil Pure). Sax and Simmons also create low-fat versions of old favorites: ``Unfried'' Fried Chicken and Deep, Dark Devil's Food Cake. Soups are thickened with pured vegetables instead of cream; lowfat milk and whole eggs make a respectable custard sauce. While many recipes are quickly prepared (Spicy Tortilla Chips need just 10 minutes in a hot oven), time-saving tips for individual recipes are also included. Never losing sight of the importance of taste, the authors urge a judicious use of such flavor essentials as Parmesan cheese and olive oil. (June)
Barbara Jacobs
Now that Americans are starting to adopt low-fat eating and cooking habits, more upscale and adventurous chefs are creating foodstuffs to satisfy. Following in the footsteps of Jacques Pepin and Marian Burros are Sax and Simmons, who, in their first team effort, present an engaging collection of more than 200 recipes. Flavorings and substitutes are usual such as hot chili peppers and yogurt cheese, as does the insistence on using only the best and the freshest ingredients. Nutritional information is current.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688138714
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 405
  • Product dimensions: 8.33 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Roasted Red and Yellow Pepper Dips, Romesco Style

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Based on Romesco, the traditional Catalan sauce of hot nyora peppers and ground almonds, this simple dip, when made with two colors of peppers, is truly beguiling. We've cut the olive oil and nuts, which are also high in fat, hack to a fraction of the original. You can also make this with half almonds, half hazelnuts.

Ingedients

2 red bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
8 garlic cloves, thin skins left on
12 whole unblanched almonds, toasted
1teaspoon sherry or red wine vinegar, or more to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne



Instructions

1. Place the broiler rack about 2 inches from the flame and heat the broiler.

2. Place a large sheet of foil on a baking sheet. Arrange the peppers in the center and surround with the garlic cloves. Broil the peppers, turning frequently, until the peppers and garlic are evenly charred, about 15 minutes. Remove from the broiler and wrap up the peppers and garlic in the foil; let stand until cool enough to handle.

3. Keeping the red and yellow peppers separated and working over the foil to catch the juices, remove the charred skins, seeds, and stems from the peppers. Cut the flesh into 1-inch pieces and reserve the 2 colors of peppers separately. Strain the pepper juices and reserve. Peel the skins from the garlic and trim off the hard stem ends. Coarsely chop the garlic and add half to the red peppers and half to the yellow.

4. Chop six of the toasted almonds in thefood processor. Add the reserved yellow peppers and garlic, 1 tablespoon of the reserved pepper juices, and 1/2 teaspoon of the vinegar. Process until pureed. With the motor running, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a slow stream until puree is smooth. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Transfer to a small bowl.

5. Rinse out and dry the food processor. Repeat with the red peppers and garlic, the remaining almonds, 1 tablespoon of the reserved pepper juices, the remaining vinegar, and the remaining olive oil. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Transfer to another small bowl.

6. To serve, select a shallow serving bowl and scrape the red pepper puree into half of the bowl. Scrape the yellow pepper puree into the other half Shake the bowl gently so that the purees meet in the center.


Tomato-steamed Seafood Stew over Green Linguine

Makes 4 servings

This zesty seafood stew is lavish but low in calories. It works equally well as the centerpiece of a dinner party or a meal for family or friends. You can prepare the tomato base mixture in advance. Then at serving time, all you have to do is rebeat the sauce and drop in the seafood while the pasta cooks. In keeping with Italian tradition, cheese is not served with seafood sauces.

Ingedients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, trimmed and chopped
1 small green bell pepper, trimmed and chopped
2 or 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch of dried oregano
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 strip orange zest
1 tablespoon water
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 can (about 1 pound) tomatoes in puree
1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice or 3/4 cup water
Salt
1 pound spinach linguine
1dozen littleneck or other small clams or 1/2 pound sea scallops, cut into 2 or 3 pieces each if very large, or a combination of scallops and clams
3/4 pound thick fish fillets, such as cod, scrod, or haddock, cut in 1-inch chunks
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped basil
Fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Small basil or parsley sprigs, for garnish

Instructions:

1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, garlic, oregano, red pepper, bay leaf, orange zest, and water, tossing to coat. Cover and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to wilt, 3 or 4 minutes. Uncover and saute, tossing, for 3 minutes longer.

2. Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Rinse out the can with a little water and add that. Cook, breaking up the tomatoes, for about 8 minutes. Add the clam juice and simmer until the sauce has thickened lightly, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and orange peel. (The recipe can be prepared in advance to this point.)

3. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta and add salt. Return the tomato mixture to a simmer, if necessary. Boil the pasta just until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, place the clams in the simmering tomato mixture and cover tightly. Simmer gently, adjusting the heat if necessary, for about 3 minutes, or until the shells are just beginning to open. Stir in the chunks of fish and shrimp. Cover tightly and simmer until the fish is just opaque and the clams have opened, 4 or 5 minutes. Timing may vary; do not overcook.

4. Turn off the heat. Add the parsley, basil, a few drops of lemon juice, pepper, and a little salt, if needed. When the pasta is ready, drain it in a colander, leaving it slightly moist. Arrange the pasta in 4 shallow bowls. Spoon the seafood stew over the pasta, using tongs to arrange the pieces quickly and attractively. Garnish with basil or parsley sprigs and serve immediately. Pass a pepper mill at the table.

Lighter, Quicker, Better. Copyright © by Richard Sax. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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