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Off The Shelf: Cooking From the Pantry

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Overview

In Off the Shelf, Australia's bestselling food writer Donna Hay shows you how to fill your pantry with convenient and basic ingredients. Save time with these easy to put together recipes — for everyday meals or special occasions, and especially when unexpected guests arrive.

Off the Shelf is packed with the information and inspiration to create a great meal at short notice — anything from a simple pasta dish or the slippery slurp of Asian-inspired noodles to a tempting berry ...

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Overview

In Off the Shelf, Australia's bestselling food writer Donna Hay shows you how to fill your pantry with convenient and basic ingredients. Save time with these easy to put together recipes — for everyday meals or special occasions, and especially when unexpected guests arrive.

Off the Shelf is packed with the information and inspiration to create a great meal at short notice — anything from a simple pasta dish or the slippery slurp of Asian-inspired noodles to a tempting berry tart. All you need is a well-stocked pantry and a handful of fresh ingredients.

An essential handbook for everyone who loves to cook and to eat.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Donna Hay, bestselling Australian cookbook author, gets credit for teaching cooking to members of the younger generation who were brought up on microwave dishes but now want to turn out Martha Stewart look-good food. She expands her franchise in this stylish, well-illustrated, oversize book, through more than 190 fast, fresh, and simple solutions to the nothing-for-dinner dilemma.

Hay starts by restocking the pantry with basics like pastas, grains, lentils, and rice. Combine those basics with a few fresh ingredients, using quick cooking techniques, and you've got a Donna Hay dinner on the table.

Her Pasta chapter, for example, offers ten good-looking recipes, some tips for cooking pasta and keeping it warm, followed by nine short-order recipes (summer pasta, fettucine with rocket and ricotta). Chapters on rice, noodles, Mediterranean, and Asian follow a similar format.

Hay's recipes go from short to shorter and don't follow the usual format of ingredient list followed by directions. Here's an example, for Pear and Almond Galettes: "Cut ready-rolled puff pastry into 15 cm (6 in) squares. Sprinkle ground almonds over and top with slices of pear, leaving a border around the edge. Brush the pear with melted butter and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake in a preheated 180° C (350° F) oven for 20 minutes until golden." As you can see, there aren't too many details addressed (what kind of pears, should they be peeled, and can brown sugar substitute for demerara sugar). Cooks who need detailed instruction may flounder, but cooks who just want the basic idea will be serving up the dish in no time.

Hays also offers a tip I've not seen before -- an alternative to using a propane torch for a crème brûlée that she calls "spoon brûlée." You heat a large metal kitchen spoon over the gas until it is red-hot, and -- using an oven mitt -- run the hot spoon over the sugar on top of the tart in a circular motion until the sugar caramelizes.

Published initially in Australia, Off the Shelf lists its measurements first in grams, then parenthetically in ounces, and its temperatures first in Centigrade, then in Fahrenheit. (Ginger Curwen)

New York Times
“No need to spend hours at the store. Find gastronomic bliss with no fuss, no muss, no bother.”
New York Times
“No need to spend hours at the store. Find gastronomic bliss with no fuss, no muss, no bother.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780066214481
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 AMER ED
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 391,959
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.62 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Meet the Author

At the age of eight, Donna Hay skipped into a kitchen, picked up a mixing bowl and never looked back. She moved to the world of magazine test kitchens and publishing, where she established her trademark style of simple, smart and seasonal recipes all beautifully put together and photographed. It is food for every cook, every food lover, every day and every occasion. Her unique style turned her into an international food-publishing phenomenon as a bestselling author of 20 cookbooks, publisher of donna hay magazine, newspaper columnist, and creator of a homewares and food range.

Visit Donna online at donnahay.com.au
"Like" Donna on Facebook: donna hay
Follow Donna on Twitter: @donnahay _tweets

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Read an Excerpt

Marinated Chickpea Salad


Combine 2 x 400g (14 oz) cans drained chickpeas with 1/3 cup (21/2 fl oz) lemon juice, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/3 cup shaved parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper and sea salt. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving with baby spinach leaves as a salad.


Seared Salmon on Coconut Spinach


4 x 180g (6 oz) salmon fillets
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
coconut spinach
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 small red chillies, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons Asian chilli paste
2 cups (16 fl oz) coconut cream
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 bunches English spinach, stems removed

Place the salmon in a shallow dish with the ginger, sesame oil and soy. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes on each side. Heat a frying pan over high heat and cook the salmon for 1 minute on each side.

To make the coconut spinach, place the garlic, chillies and chilli paste in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes. Add the coconut cream and lemon juice and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the spinach and toss until wilted.

To serve, place some spinach on each plate and top with a piece of salmon. Serves 4.

Off The Shelf. Copyright © by Donna Hay. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Shopping list 8
1 Pasta 10
2 Rice 32
3 Noodles 50
4 Grains + lentils 68
5 Mediterranean 86
6 Asian 108
7 Pastes 126
8 Bake 144
9 Sweet 162
Glossary 182
Conversion chart 187
Index 188
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Recipe

PENNE WITH WILTED ROCKET AND SALAMI
Serves 4

400g (14 oz) penne
300g (10 oz) spicy salami or chorizo sausage, sliced
2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed
2 cloves garlic, sliced
200g (7 oz) rocket (arugula), stems removed and leaves halved
200g (7 oz) goat's cheese, sliced
cracked black pepper

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a frying pan over medium to high heat. Add the salami and cook, stirring for 4 minutes or until crisp. Add the capers and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the rocket and toss until wilted, then remove from the heat. Toss the salami and rocket mixture through the pasta and place in serving bowls. Top with goat's cheese and pepper.

LIME BEEF AND NOODLE SALAD
Serves 4.

2 tablespoons peanut oil
750g (1-1/2) lb) rump or topside steak, sliced
1/2 cup (4 fl oz) sweet chilli sauce
1/3 cup (2 1/2 fl oz) lime juice
8 spring onions (scallions), sliced
6 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
lime wedges to serve

Salad
150g (5 oz) thin dried rice noodles
2 Lebanese (seedless) cucumbers, sliced
4 stalks celery, finely sliced
100g (3-1/2 oz) lettuce leaves

Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok over high heat. Add the beef in 2 batches and cook for 5 minutes or until well sealed. Set aside. Add the chilli sauce, lime juice, spring onions and lime leaves to the pan and cook for 4 minutes, then pour over the beef.

To make the salad, place the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Combine the noodles with the cucumber, celery and lettuce and place on serving plates. Top with the beef mixture and serve with lime wedges.

QUINCE TART TATIN
Serves 4.

3 quinces, peeled and cored
2 cups (16 fl oz) water
1 cup sugar
4 pieces lemon zest
80g (2 1/2 oz) butter, divided into 4 lots
350g (12 oz) ready rolled puff pastry

Slice the quinces into 2-3 cm (1 in) slices. Heat a large fying pan over medium to high heat. Add the quinces, water, sugar and lemon zest, and cover and cook for 45 minutes or until the quinces are ruby-coloured and soft. Simmer the quinces, uncovered, for 10 minutes to reduce the syrup and to caramelise the juices. Remove the lemon zest and divide the quinces and their pan juices between 4 x 14 cm (5-1/2 in) frying pans.

Top each with a piece of butter. Or you can use a 1 x 25 cm (10 in) pan. Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F). Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 and place over the quinces to cover the top of the pans. Tuck in the pastry edges to neaten. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden. (If using a large pan, bake for 35 minutes.)

To serve, turn out onto plates and serve with vanilla bean ice-cream.

* You can also use apples or pears -- just reduce the simmering time.

Copyright © 2001 by Donna Hay.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2006

    Simple, Elegent, Delicious Recipes

    I bought this book while living in Australia (where Donna Hay is THE Martha Stewart cooking guru). It's a great book and I now own almost all of the books. They combine beauty and elegence in the photos and simple but delicious photos. I've cooked many of the recipes and they often take 15-30 minutes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2002

    Donna Hay is Brilliant!

    Donna Hay's recipes are simple, fast and tasty. Each recipe has a beautiful photo to go with it, a must in my opinion. Each recipe has a short ingredient list and straight forward instructions. This book is peppered with informative notes and tips from the author and the concept of this particular book is inventive. There usually ARE the makings of a great meal in most peoples pantries. You must buy this book and if you do, you'll more than likely go ahead and get her others as well. If you're lucky enough to be living in Australia or New Zealand, you'll also have the opportunity to buy the 'Donna Hay Magazine' which comes out seasonally. It follows the same principles as her cookbooks! Delicious!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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