Ready When You Are

Overview

Pressed for time but still searching for comfort from your kitchen? Ready When You Are offers more than 200 recipes for dishes that are easy on the cook and a joy for eaters.

Drawing on her many years of cooking for friends and family, Martha Rose Shulman shares her favorite recipes for simple yet sophisticated, hearty but not heavy one-dish meals. Most can be made hours or even days in advance and, because they are cooked and brought to the ...

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Overview

Pressed for time but still searching for comfort from your kitchen? Ready When You Are offers more than 200 recipes for dishes that are easy on the cook and a joy for eaters.

Drawing on her many years of cooking for friends and family, Martha Rose Shulman shares her favorite recipes for simple yet sophisticated, hearty but not heavy one-dish meals. Most can be made hours or even days in advance and, because they are cooked and brought to the table in the same dish, serving, cleanup, and storing leftovers is no trouble at all.

Based on traditional home cooking from around the world, this is comfort food at its best—Tuscan White Beans with Sage and Sausage, Chicken Pot Pie, Vietnamese Beef and Noodle Soup, savory gratins and ragouts, creamy risottos, and “The Easiest Chocolate Mousse in the World.” Many of the most flavorful and satisfying dishes in the book are vegetarian, including Turkish Summer Vegetable Stew and Zucchini, Potato, and Artichoke Moussaka. Each of the recipes includes information about how long leftovers will keep, along with ideas and companion recipes for transforming them into something new. Yesterday’s bouillabaisse, for example, becomes today’s pilaf, while diced beef from a pot-au-feu forms the base for a delicious salad for the next day’s lunch.

Whether you’re cooking a hearty family meal, planning a dinner party, or making a simple after-work supper, Ready When You Are is filled with exceptional, undemanding recipes and strategies for getting the most satisfaction from your time in the kitchen.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shulman (author of Mediterranean Light and Proven al Light, among other books) has reinvented comfort food in this excellent collection of one-dish meals. Shulman makes comfort food multiethnic and modern with dishes like Tunisian Chick Pea Breakfast Soup and Stewed Chicken with Chipotles and Prunes. Bold flavors meet innovative treatment in dishes such as Wild Mushroom Ragout & Cobbler, which includes a recipe for a topping that can be used to make a savory pie out of any stew. Even familiar dishes are revisited in new ways, like a Fast Lemon Chicken with Honey Glaze and Sweet Potatoes that both speeds up an old favorite and turns it into a full meal with the sweet potatoes roasting in the same pan. Shulman has heavily annotated each recipe regarding advance preparation, although occasionally these hints go overboard. The layout, which places such indications in a second column next to the recipe steps, is unnecessarily distracting. More helpful are easy instructions for making most of these recipes vegetarian (Shulman got her start with vegetarian cookbooks) and suggestions for leftovers, which combine to make this an eminently useful and universal book. (Nov.) Forecast: In a field dominated more and more by chefs' vanity projects and coffee-table books that were never meant to see a splatter, this user-friendly book stands out. That appeal, combined with Shulman's strong name recognition, should add up to strong sales. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This seems to be the season for one-dish meals (see Tom Valenti's recent Soups, Stews, and One-Pot Meals) and slow-cooked comfort food (Paula Wolfert's Slow Mediterranean Kitchen). Adding to the genre is Shulman (The Foodlover's Atlas of the World), who lived in France for many years and has written frequently about food from the Mediterranean. There are recipes here from all around that region, but many other cuisines-from Latin American to Asian-are also represented. A special symbol indicates dishes that can be made in a day or ahead of time (and are often even better that way), and the design enables readers to see at a glance which recipes can be made in several stages, according to the cook's own schedule. Shulman has a friendly, personable style, and her recipes are comforting but not at all stodgy. For most collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609610848
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/18/2003
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.72 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Read an Excerpt

provençal soupe au pistou

This big spring vegetable soup from Provence is much like an Italian minestrone, but the enrichment comes at the end rather than at the beginning. Instead of cooking aromatics in oil before adding water and vegetables, everything is thrown into the pot here and cooked until the vegetables are tender and the broth fragrant. Then, just before the soup is served, a rich Provençal pesto (pistou) is stirred in. The difference between pistou and pesto is the consistency: There are no pine nuts in pistou. Sometimes a tomato is added. It's a heady mixture. Beans are another important component of Soupe au Pistou. If you're lucky enough to find fresh cranberry beans at your farmers' market, substitute them for half of the dried white beans. If you make this a day ahead (it will be best if you do), don't add the pasta or bright green vegetables until shortly before serving. v serves 8 generously

for the soup

2 cups white beans, soaked for 6 hours in 2 quarts water and drained
1 large onion, chopped
6 to 8 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed Bouquet garni made with a few sprigs each of fresh thyme and flat-leaf parsley, a Parmesan rind, and a bay leaf
1/2 pound green beans, or 1/4 pound green beans and 1/4 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed and broken into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 medium zucchini (about 1/2 pound), scrubbed and diced
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned and sliced
2 medium turnips, peeled and diced
1 pound red-skinned potatoes, diced
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 1 (14-ounce) can, with liquid Salt
1/2 cup soup pasta, such as macaroni or small shells Freshly ground black pepper

for the pistou

2 to 4 large garlic cloves (to taste), peeled
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves Salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped (optional)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, or a mixture of Gruyère and Parmesan
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Gruyère, for sprinkling

combine the white beans and 2 quarts water in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, then add the onion, 2 of the garlic cloves, and the bouquet garni. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

advance preparation

The soup can be made to this point up to 3 days ahead. Refrigerate, then bring back to a simmer and proceed with the recipe.Set aside half the green beans and half the zucchini. Add 2 quarts water to the pot, and all of the remaining garlic and vegetables, except the reserved zucchini and green beans. Bring to a boil. Add salt (be generous), reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

advance preparation

The blanched zucchini and green beans will keep for 2 or 3 days in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.While the soup is simmering, blanch the reserved beans and zucchini, and make the pistou. Bring a large or medium pot of water to a boil, add a teaspoon of salt and the zucchini, and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, just until the zucchini is bright on the outside and translucent. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon or skimmer and transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. Drain and set aside. Bring the water back to a boil and drop in the green beans. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender and bright. Transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. Drain and set aside.

To make the pistou, turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop in the garlic. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the basil and salt, and process until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides once more and turn on the machine. Drizzle in the olive oil with the machine running, then drop in the tomato if using. Process to a paste. Stir in the Parmesan, and taste for salt.

Add the pasta to the simmering soup about 10 minutes before serving, and cook it al dente, 5 to 10 minutes. Add pepper, then taste and adjust the salt. Stir the blanched or steamed green vegetables into the soup and heat through.

To serve, either stir the pistou into the pot, place a dollop on each bowl and stir in, or pass the pistou in a bowl and let people stir in their own. Pass additional Parmesan or Gruyère for sprinkling.

leftovers

Like all soups of this nature, Soupe au Pistou gets better overnight, and it will keep for about 5 days. You'll lose the brightness of the vegetables, and the soup will thicken because of the pasta. If you wish to transform it into something else, see the recipe for Ribollita on page 000.

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First Chapter

provençal soupe au pistou

This big spring vegetable soup from Provence is much like an Italian minestrone, but the enrichment comes at the end rather than at the beginning. Instead of cooking aromatics in oil before adding water and vegetables, everything is thrown into the pot here and cooked until the vegetables are tender and the broth fragrant. Then, just before the soup is served, a rich Provençal pesto (pistou) is stirred in. The difference between pistou and pesto is the consistency: There are no pine nuts in pistou. Sometimes a tomato is added. It's a heady mixture. Beans are another important component of Soupe au Pistou. If you're lucky enough to find fresh cranberry beans at your farmers' market, substitute them for half of the dried white beans. If you make this a day ahead (it will be best if you do), don't add the pasta or bright green vegetables until shortly before serving. v serves 8 generously

for the soup

2 cups white beans, soaked for 6 hours in 2 quarts water and drained
1 large onion, chopped
6 to 8 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Bouquet garni made with a few sprigs each of fresh thyme and flat-leaf parsley, a Parmesan rind, and a bay leaf
1/2 pound green beans, or 1/4 pound green beans and 1/4 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed and broken into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 medium zucchini (about 1/2 pound), scrubbed and diced
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned and sliced
2 medium turnips, peeled and diced
1 poundred-skinned potatoes, diced
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 1 (14-ounce) can, with liquid
Salt
1/2 cup soup pasta, such as macaroni or small shells
Freshly ground black pepper

for the pistou

2 to 4 large garlic cloves (to taste), peeled
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
Salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped (optional)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, or a mixture of Gruyère and Parmesan
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Gruyère, for sprinkling

combine the white beans and 2 quarts water in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, then add the onion, 2 of the garlic cloves, and the bouquet garni. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

advance preparation

The soup can be made to this point up to 3 days ahead. Refrigerate, then bring back to a simmer and proceed with the recipe.Set aside half the green beans and half the zucchini. Add 2 quarts water to the pot, and all of the remaining garlic and vegetables, except the reserved zucchini and green beans. Bring to a boil. Add salt (be generous), reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

advance preparation

The blanched zucchini and green beans will keep for 2 or 3 days in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.While the soup is simmering, blanch the reserved beans and zucchini, and make the pistou. Bring a large or medium pot of water to a boil, add a teaspoon of salt and the zucchini, and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, just until the zucchini is bright on the outside and translucent. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon or skimmer and transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. Drain and set aside. Bring the water back to a boil and drop in the green beans. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender and bright. Transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. Drain and set aside.

To make the pistou, turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop in the garlic. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the basil and salt, and process until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides once more and turn on the machine. Drizzle in the olive oil with the machine running, then drop in the tomato if using. Process to a paste. Stir in the Parmesan, and taste for salt.

Add the pasta to the simmering soup about 10 minutes before serving, and cook it al dente, 5 to 10 minutes. Add pepper, then taste and adjust the salt. Stir the blanched or steamed green vegetables into the soup and heat through.

To serve, either stir the pistou into the pot, place a dollop on each bowl and stir in, or pass the pistou in a bowl and let people stir in their own. Pass additional Parmesan or Gruyère for sprinkling.


leftovers

Like all soups of this nature, Soupe au Pistou gets better overnight, and it will keep for about 5 days. You'll lose the brightness of the vegetables, and the soup will thicken because of the pasta. If you wish to transform it into something else, see the recipe for Ribollita on page 000.

Copyright© 2003 by Martha Rose Shulman
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