Short-Cut Cook: Make Simple Meals with Surprisingly Little Effort

Short-Cut Cook: Make Simple Meals with Surprisingly Little Effort

by Jacques Pepin
     
 

Jacques Pépin, America's favorite French chef, makes your cooking easier with 150 timesaving recipes.

  • Make crackers by spritzing wonton wrappers with oil and bake until golden.
  • Use frozen butternut squash for quick soup.
  • Freeze salmon and cream cheese appetizer rollups for easy slicing.
  • Prepare cheese straws appetizers with frozen puff

See more details below

Overview

Jacques Pépin, America's favorite French chef, makes your cooking easier with 150 timesaving recipes.

  • Make crackers by spritzing wonton wrappers with oil and bake until golden.
  • Use frozen butternut squash for quick soup.
  • Freeze salmon and cream cheese appetizer rollups for easy slicing.
  • Prepare cheese straws appetizers with frozen puff pastry.
  • Need an elegant entrée in record time?
    Sauté pork cutlets with prunes and steak sauce.
  • Spoon a rich-tasting sauce of wine, ketchup, and mustard over grilled steak
  • Mix melted chocolate with whipped cream for quick chocolate mousse.
  • Fill a store-bought, hollowed-out pound cake with quick food processor lemon buttercream.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060936921
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/01/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Ricotta Cheese Wonton Ravioli

I follow the same procedure here as I did with the Shrimp Wonton Ravioli, but fill the ravioli with a ricotta cheese mixture and serve them with a light dressing-like sauce. These make an excellent first course.

Cheese Filling

1 cup ricotta cheese (8 ounces)

1 egg

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

24 wonton wrappers, 3 inches square

Sauce

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons fresh or frozen homemade chicken stock (see Basic Chicken Stock, page 48) or canned chicken broth

Mix the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and parsley together in a bowl.

Lay 12 of the wonton wrappers out on a flat work surface, and wet them lightly around the edges by brushing with a little water. Divide the cheese mixture among the wrappers, mounding approximately 1 tablespoon in the center of each. Cover with the remaining wrappers, aligning them with the squares beneath, and press gently around the edges to seal.

Bring 3 to 4 quarts of water to a strong boil in a large saucepan. Carefully place the filled wontons in the boiling water, moving them gently at first so they don't stick to the bottom ofthe pan. After a minute or so they will float to the top. Continue boiling gently for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and chicken stock in a bowl, and stir well.

Drain the ravioli and serve three per person, with a little sauce drizzled on top.

Note: The ravioli can be filled and cooked ahead of time; after draining them, submerge in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Then drain again, and set aside in a single layer. Reheat in a microwave oven, or very quickly in boiling water, just before serving with the sauce.

It only takes a minute to prepare the delicious dressing-like sauce that is served with these ravioli.

4 servings


Veal Chops in Cognac and Mushroom Sauce

Composed of veal chops from the center loin in a rich sauce of cream and mushrooms, this dish is ideal for a special occasion dinner. Although the chops are best prepared at the last moment, if you are careful not to overcook them, they can be cooked a few hours ahead and coated with the sauce. Reheat at the last minute in a microwave oven or on top of the stove for 3 to 4 minutes, just until the dish is heated through.

4 center-cut veal chops (10 to 12 ounces each), about 11/4 inches thick

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 or 4 shallots, chopped (1/2 cup)

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 31/2 cups)

1 tablespoon cognac

2/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup shredded basil leaves, for garnish

Sprinkle the chops with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a heavy skillet or saucepan, and when it is hot, add the chops. Saut�, uncovered, over medium to high heat for 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes on the other side. (At this point they should be medium-rare.) Place the chops on a serving platter and set it aside in a warm place while you make the sauce.

Add the shallots to the drippings in the pan, and saut� for about 30 seconds. Then add the mushrooms and cognac, and saut� for about 1 minute. Add the cream and simmer for about 1 minute longer. Stir in the remainder of the salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chops, sprinkle with the basil, and serve immediately.

If it's more convenient, cook the chops ahead and just re-warm them at serving time.

4 servings

The Short-Cut Cook. Copyright � by Jacques Pepin. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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