Sara Moulton Cooks At Home

Sara Moulton Cooks At Home

4.0 3
by Sara Moulton, Charles Pierce, Charles Pierce

At last-the first cookbook from the hugely popular star of the Food Network's Cooking Live and the new Sara's Secrets, whose down-to-earth style draws hundreds of thousands of viewers each week.

Sara Moulton is a professional chef by training and a gifted on-air teacher with a warm and winning style. On Cooking Live, she deftly answered viewers' questions while

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At last-the first cookbook from the hugely popular star of the Food Network's Cooking Live and the new Sara's Secrets, whose down-to-earth style draws hundreds of thousands of viewers each week.

Sara Moulton is a professional chef by training and a gifted on-air teacher with a warm and winning style. On Cooking Live, she deftly answered viewers' questions while juggling tricky cooking maneuvers. She brings the same unruffled attitude to cooking for her own family, and in this very warm and personal book reveals her secrets to making easy, elegant meals day in and day out.

Filled with more than 200 recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this book not only highlights Sara's own culinary creativity but is also a treasury of Sara's family favorites-from her mother, grandmother, and others. Dishes are geared largely to everyday meals, with loads of child-friendly recipes such as Ruthie's Famous Chocolate French Toast, Carrot "Fettucine," and Pasta Pizza. There are fabulous quick dishes-Blasted Chicken and Sauteed Pork Loin with Mustard and Grapes, and a tempting selection of vegetarian main courses. Throughout, Sara's time-and-work-saving tips provide ingenious shortcuts.

Sophisticated yet simple dishes, such as Rosemary Scallion Crusted Rack of Lamb, make entertaining effortless. Desserts include some of Sara's childhood favorites, among them Summer Blueberry Pudding and Vermont Apple Crisp, along with adult discoveries-Mocha Cookies and an irresistible rum-soaked holiday cake made from mixes. Michael Green of Gourmet provides a chapter on pairing wine that goes well beyond the recipes in the book.

In the tradition of blockbuster cookbooks by Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, and Lidia Bastianich, Sara Moulton Cooks at Home is a bestseller-in-the-making from one of America's favorite television food personalities.

About the Author

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, SARA MOULTON currently hosts the Television Food Network's brand-new series Sara's Secret's as well as Cooking Live with Sara Moulton. She also serves as executive chef for Gourmet and food editor for Good Morning America, appearing on the show frequently. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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Editorial Reviews

USA Today
This is warmth at its best, a mix of smart cooking ideas, basic reminders, and a love of what she does. (December 5, 2002)
We’re confident that her commonsense approach to cooking will make everyone feel that being at the stove is a pleasure rather than a chore.
Sara supplies wonderfully informative, chatty headnotes for each recipe, more extensive and more fun than most, and offers the kinds of tips on relevant tools, techniques and shortcuts that can make you a happier, smarter cook.
Herman Rosenthal
Other tv chefs may own famous restaurants and perform with theatrical flair, but Moulton’s the one you can actually picture popping over to help you fix the lumpy gravy or the fallen soufflé.
TV Guide
New Orleans Times-Picayune
She shares everything she knows about putting flavorful, wholesome food on the table each weeknight and entertaining stylishly on the weekends with minimal fuss….Reading the titles of her desserts will make your mouth water.
Rosemary Black
Besides terrific recipes, the book is filled with helpful cooking hints to make the whole cooking process easier….All in all, it’s a great resource for time-pressed cooks who want to be more creative in the kitchen.
New York Daily News
Ingle, Shuyler
Cooks at Home is about real food for real people. Sometimes it’s homey, sometimes it’s homely, and sometimes it puts on a string of pearls.
With a chapter on pairing wine with meals and Sara’s personal recipes, you’ll find you can handle hectic week-night dinners and weekend entertaining with Sara-like aplomb.
Passaic NJ Herald News, Passaic NJ
The cookbook combines her sunny personality with her outstanding skills as a teacher.
Phyllis Stein-Novack
One of the finest, most reader-friendly tomes for the home cook to hit the bookstores in a long time.
South Philadelphia Review
Kathie Jenkins, Kathie
The food is sensible and up-to-date -- just what most of us fantasize about on the way home from work.
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Max Alexander
Best of all are dozens of forehead-slapping kitchen tips. Bottom Line: Keep this one close to the stove.
Wright, Yolanda
This is a must-have book of simple recipes. Clever shortcuts and cooking tips for making food look good are hallmarks of this working mom’s first book.
Syracuse Post-Standard
Linda Giuca, Linda
There isn’t an ounce of ego in ‘Sara Moulton Cooks at Home,’ and in this age of celebrity chefs, that’s refreshing….She liberally dispenses cooking tips and pointers among the recipes.
Hartford Courant
Bergen News Sun Bulletin
When Sara cooks at home the meals are homey, flavorful and child-friendly. They’re for everyday meals and for entertaining, and are prepared with minimal fuss.
Donna D. Segal
…won’t disappoint devotees of her cooking show on the Food Network. The book is loaded with recipes for dishes that will entice the palate and bring accolades to the cook.
Indianapolis Star
Pat Greenfield
…a no-nonsense compendium suitable for the new cook as well as the more advanced one.
Wilkes Barre Times Leader
Lynne Perri
This is warmth at its best, a mix of smart cooking ideas, basic reminders, and a love of what she does. Moulton has written about family and friends as much as she has good food in this collection.
USA Today
Pasanen, Melissa
She may host a popular Food Network tv show, but Sara Moulton seems like she could be your best friend or your big sister. She’s a working mom like the rest of us, and she writes in a straightforward, friendly style with easy-to-follow recipes.
Burlington (Vt.) Free Press
Chuck Martin
The Food Network star swears she cooks at home five or more nights a week. If it’s from this book, she cooks well.
Cincinnati Enquirer
William Rice
Sara Moulton is living proof that nice girls can finish first…She becomes a link between the professional cook and the home cook, making complex recipes easier to decipher and adding flair to simple ones.
Chicago Tribune
Marion Sullivan
The recipes reflect a large range of ethnicity….The quantity and quality is amazing, but that’s Sara.
Post and Courier
Maura Webber
The book lovingly recalls many of Moulton’s more memorable moments in the kitchen as it shares her passion for the process of cooking….Studded with sensible and helpful tips….Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the book is Moulton’s contagious excitement about trying new approaches to all dishes, old and new.
Chicago Sun-Times
Karu F. Daniels
…recipes that make it easy for us regular folk to get dinner on the table during the week -- and more time-consuming recipes that allow us to shine with special meals for special occasions.
RU Report
Dunne, Mike
…highly personal, helpful and fun compilation….while rooted in classic French technique also accommodates the American hunger for convenience, novelty and freshness.
Sacramento Bee
Publishers Weekly
The food media juggernaut Moulton (executive chef for Gourmet, food editor for Good Morning America, and Food Network host) has designed an all-purpose working cookbook for a wide audience. That means lots of chicken, pork and beef. Most recipes are fairly straightforward (spinach salad, chicken tarragon, parsnip puree); a few are elaborate, like the weirdly multicultural Fontina-and-Prosciutto-Stuffed Wonton Ravioli with Porcini Sauce and the Seared Sea Scallops with Celery Root Puree, Parsley Oil, and Lemon-Caper Brown Butter. The book is filled with helpful tips, anecdotes (told in the unflappable, all-American Moulton style) and photographs of Moulton as a young girl, gradually working her way up through restaurant kitchens-hard at work, eyeing the camera with a determined grin. The book does lack focus, and there isn't much that differentiates it from other homestyle cookbooks. But Moulton's thousands of fans will certainly flock to it, leaving their Joys and Fannie Farmers on the shelf for a while as they tackle such dishes as Roasted Ratatouille Crepes with Goat Cheese. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Library Journal
Moulton is the host of the long-running Food Network series Cooking Live with Sara Moulton, along with a newer show called Sara's Secrets, and she is food editor for Good Morning America and executive chef for Gourmet magazine as well. Her big new cookbook, with 250 of her favorite recipes, reflects the engaging, down-to-earth style that has made her shows so popular. Many of the recipes are tied to food memories, whether of her apprenticeship at a Michelin-starred restaurant in France, the first time she ate soft-shell crabs (at the 1964 World's Fair), or the "wonderful recipes Granny used to make." In fact, Moulton writes, at one point she realized that her cookbook was becoming a "kind of piecemeal autobiography," and her family and friends are an important part of it (candid snapshots are scattered throughout the text). Though many of her recipes-including her children's top choices-are easy enough for everyday cooking, she uses the others for dinner parties and other such occasions. She also includes dozens of useful tips and shortcuts, and wine recommendations and suggestions from her Gourmet colleague Michael Green round out the text. An essential purchase. [Good Cook Book Club main selection.] Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.32(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.26(d)

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Hors d'oeuvres

Roasted Asparagus Bruschetta

1 pound medium asparagus spears

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Six 1/3-inch-thick slices rustic country bread, cut from a 6-inch-high loaf

1 garlic clove, halved

1/4 pound Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons white truffle oil*

*Available at specialty food shops or see Mail Order Sources.


My favorite way to cook asparagus is to roast it at high heat, which caramelizes and concentrates its flavor. After it's been roasted, asparagus dresses up very easily. Here I have put it on grilled bread, tossed it with a little balsamic vinegar and white truffle oil, and finished it with some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. Simple as it is, people go crazy for this hors d'oeuvre. You can grill the bread and roast the asparagus a day ahead. Just don't toss it with the vinegar and truffle oil until the last minute.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and discard. Peel the stalks of the asparagus halfway up the length and arrange in one flat layer over the bottom of a roasting pan or baking sheet. Drizzle on the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast on the middle rack of the oven until just tender, about 10 minutes. Cool and cut in half crosswise.

Prepare a charcoal fire. When the flames have died down and the coals are glowing, place the grill 3 to 4 inches from the source of heat. Alternatively, preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Grill the bread until lightly toasted, turning often. Rub one side of each slice with the cut garlic clove while hot.

Using a swivel-bladed peeler, shave large paper-thin slices of cheese off the wedge, making enough cheese slices to cover the 6 slices of bread. (Reserve any remaining cheese for another use.) Cover the bread with the cheese. Toss the asparagus with the vinegar and half the truffle oil. Season with salt and pepper. Top each slice of bread with asparagus, mounding it in the center. Drizzle with the remaining truffle oil and serve at room temperature.

roasting vegetables

My preferred way to cook almost any vegetable is to roast it at high heat. You just have to cut it down to size before you put it in the oven so it will cook properly. Other vegetables that work well besides asparagus are broccoli and cauliflower (cut into 1-inch florets), carrot sticks or baby carrots, and green beans. The drill is the same for all of them: preheat the oven to 450°F, arrange the vegetables in one layer, lightly drizzle with oil, add salt and pepper to taste, and roast for 10 minutes or until just cooked through and caramelized. If you want to cut way back on fat, just spray them with one of those vegetable oil sprays. This is a very satisfying recipe for dieters.

truffle flavor

There are many truffle products out there besides the very expensive whole fresh item. You can find truffles canned, frozen, in peelings, powdered, in butter, and in oil. It is fun to play around with all of these more affordable versions of the whole truffle, but my favorite is truffle oil. The best stuff is made by soaking truffles in olive oil. It keeps well on the door of the fridge for quite a while. A little goes a long way.

Tonnato-Stuffed Eggs

6 large eggs

1/4 cup mayonnaise

One 3.5-ounce can tuna (Italian tuna packed in oil for more flavor, American tuna packed in water for fewer calories), drained

5 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon drained bottled capers

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Celery leaves and Nicoise olives for garnish


One of my husband Bill's favorite dishes is Vitello Tonnato. Cold sliced veal with a tuna sauce, it is an Italian version of surf and turf. Trying to imagine another recipe on which to use this tasty sauce, I thought of eggs. I love stuffed eggs. My mom has never stopped making them, even though the food police decreed them taboo for the longest time. In fact, as of October 2000, the position of the American Heart

Association is that an egg a day is OK.

Eggs and tuna, like veal and tuna, are a happy marriage, and a couple of these stuffed eggs are substantial enough to make up a light lunch.

The most important thing to learn from this recipe is how to boil eggs. In fact, as Julia Child taught me, the paradoxically correct method is not to boil them. You start the eggs in cold water, bring them just up to the boil, pull them off the heat and let them sit. "Boiling" the eggs this way eliminates tough, chewy whites and the nasty green line that otherwise runs between the yolks and the whites. Try it. You'll be amazed.

Place the eggs in a large saucepan and pour in enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for 15 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of half ice and half water. Cool completely, then peel under cold running water.

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Keep the halves of the whites intact. Place the yolks in a strainer set over a large bowl and force through with the back of a large spoon. Add the mayonnaise and stir until smooth.

Combine the tuna, anchovies, capers, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Stir into the yolks and season with salt and pepper. Mound a heaping spoonful of the yolk mixture into the cavity of the whites. Garnish with a celery leaf and an olive. Keep chilled until ready to serve.


Have you ever had a hard time peeling your hard-boiled eggs? They were too fresh. This is the one time when an older egg is a good thing. For just about everything else, very fresh is best because fresh eggs will have greater volume when beaten. When eggs are "harvested" from the hen, they are rinsed off, which removes not only henhouse detritus (chicken poop among other things) but also nature's protective oily coating. As soon as this coating is removed, the shell is much more permeable and the egg starts to develop an air pocket between the shell and the egg itself. The older the egg, the larger the air pocket. The larger the air pocket, the easier the egg is to peel. How do you know the age of the egg besides the date on the carton? Try this experiment: Put a raw egg in the shell in a bowl of water. If it lies flat on its side, it is very fresh. If it stands up, it is getting older and is probably a good candidate for boiling. Most eggs you get at the supermarket are somewhere between the two. An egg that floats is an old egg. Toss it.

Baby Egg Rolls with Soy Sesame Dipping Sauce

for the egg rolls:

1/4 cup olive oil

One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 garlic clove, minced

One 1/2-pound boneless pork chop, cut into thin strips

2 scallions, white and 1 inch of the green parts, thinly sliced

1 carrot, julienned

1 large red bell pepper, julienned

1 cup thinly sliced napa cabbage

1/4 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade

2 tablespoons soy sauce

30 square wonton wrappers*

for the dipping sauce:

6 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 teaspoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil**

2 teaspoons sugar

*Available in the frozen food section of many supermarkets or at Asian markets.

**Available at most supermarkets or see Mail Order Sources.


It's always a pretty scary proposition when my kids come onto the show to cook with me. Unlike almost all of my other guests, they're not chefs or grown-ups or practiced television performers. They're sweet and funny, of course, but they are children, and they're unpredictable, which is to say unscriptable, and that can be pretty nerve-racking.

We developed this recipe in anticipation of a show with my kids. I was trying to think of all their favorite foods and what they might enjoy preparing as well as eating. Chinese egg rolls seemed like a good idea at first, but egg rolls are deep-fried, and we were not about to fire up a pot of hot oil with the kids around. Our solution was to develop a lighter version, in which the egg rolls are sauteed with just a little oil in a nonstick pan. We put in all the ingredients from the original recipe, including tofu, and the kids just loved them-- and loved making them, too.

This was a very pleasant surprise. I'd made healthy homemade versions of some of the kids' fast-food faves when they were younger, but somehow my lovingly prepared macaroni and cheese, pizza, and baked coated chicken tenders just couldn't compete with mac and cheese from the box, pizza from the dollar-a-slice spot on the corner, and those insidious little brand-name chicken nuggets.

I have since perfected this recipe and made it many times with my kids and their cousins, Katie and Peter. These egg rolls make great hors d'oeuvres for kids and grown-ups alike. If you make a double batch, you can freeze half for the next time. But when the time comes, don't bother to defrost them first. Cook them straight out of the freezer, giving them just a little extra time in the pan.

To make the eggroll, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the pork and stir until it turns white, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate and set aside. Add the scallions, carrot, and red pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, stock, and soy sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Return the pork to the skillet and let the contents of the skillet cool to room temperature. You should have about 2 cups.

Lay the wrappers flat on a work surface. Brush the edges lightly with water. Top with about 1 tablespoon of the filling and roll into a cylinder, tucking in the sides and pressing the edges to seal. (The egg rolls can be frozen at this point.) Heat the remaining olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Working in batches, add the rolls and cook, turning often with tongs, until golden brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

To make the dipping sauce, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar in a small bowl. Stir well and serve on the side with the rolls.

Tahini Crab and Sliced Radishes on Cayenne Toasts

for the toasts:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil*

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Two 6-inch pita breads with pockets

Kosher salt to taste

for the crab:

1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)*

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, about 1 cup, picked over

4 large radishes, thinly sliced

*Available at most supermarkets or see Mail Order Sources.


Back in the late seventies I worked at the Harvest Restaurant in Cambridge under Chef Laura Boehmer, who had Crab Rangoon on the menu. (How long ago was that? Now there is no more Burma, and Rangoon turns out to be the capital of a country called Myanmar.) Crab Rangoon was crab tossed with a tahini sauce, folded into a wonton wrapper, and deep-fried. We served it with an apricot dipping sauce, and it was delicious.

I wanted a version of Crab Rangoon for this book, but without the deep frying. So I took the sesame crab mixture and put it on pita crisps and threw in a few radishes for color and crunch. This is an elegant little hors d'oeuvre that is really easy to make, but please use real crabmeat. The imitation stuff is highly processed, and I don't recommend it.

To make the toasts, preheat the oven to 400°F. Whisk the vegetable oil, sesame oil, and cayenne in a small bowl. Split each pita into 2 rounds and brush the rough sides with equal amounts of the cayenne mixture. Cut each round into 6 triangles and arrange in one flat layer on a large baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt while hot.

Whisk the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil with salt and pepper in a small bowl. Gently fold in the crab. Add water if the mixture appears too dry. Arrange a few radish slices on top of each pita triangle and top with a teaspoonful of the crab.

Herbed Yogurt Cheese

2 cups whole-milk yogurt

1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme, preferably lemon thyme

1 small shallot, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


I was still in high school when my mom introduced me to delicious garlic-and-herb-flavored French Boursin, a soft, spreadable cow's milk cheese. Years later, working in the test kitchen at Gourmet, I set myself the task of developing a homemade alternative to Boursin that somehow retained all the rich flavors of the original with far fewer calories. Eventually it dawned on me that yogurt was the way to go. If you drain yogurt overnight you'll discover the next day that it's acquired a decidedly cheeselike solidity. At that point you can flavor it with anything. (You are not required to go the Boursin wanna-be route.)

You're welcome to make this recipe with low-fat or nonfat yogurt, but you'll naturally end up with low-flavor or no-flavor cheese. Serve in a crock with Bette's Melba Toast, Oven-Baked Rosemary Potato Chips, or Pita Croutons, and it is even better a few days later.

Line a large strainer with a double layer of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth or a layer of rinsed and squeezed paper towels. Spoon the yogurt into the strainer and set over a bowl to drain. Cover with plastic wrap, put in the refrigerator, and drain for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Remove the yogurt cheese from the cheesecloth and place in a small bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Spoon into a decorative crock and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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