Spur of the Moment Cook: Spontaneous and Flavorful Meals for the Busiest Days of the Week

Overview

How to Cook at Home When You're Not at Home All Day to Cook


Spur of the Moment Cook offers 175 spirited yet simple recipes that take into consideration today's full schedules while also indulging the desire for satisfying, homemade dinners. Author Perla Meyers teaches busy cooks the secrets of a well-stocked kitchen and shows how to use the seasonal marketplace to prepare ...

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Overview

How to Cook at Home When You're Not at Home All Day to Cook


Spur of the Moment Cook offers 175 spirited yet simple recipes that take into consideration today's full schedules while also indulging the desire for satisfying, homemade dinners. Author Perla Meyers teaches busy cooks the secrets of a well-stocked kitchen and shows how to use the seasonal marketplace to prepare the freshest foods. Perla's practical tips and tempting recipes combine to make cooking on the spur of the moment a delicious experience.

The Secrets Of A Well-Stocked Kitchen Revealed

Dried pastas, beans, and mushrooms in the pantry
Fresh eggs and Yogurt in the refrigerator
Crisp produce in the vegetable bin
Vanilla beans and cocoa in the baking cabinet

Savory Dishes With 6 Ingredients Or Less

Zucchini Frittata with Parmesan
Soft Polenta with Braised Leeks and Mascarpone
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chinese Mustard and Honey Glaze
Pan-Seared Salmon with Creme Fraiche, Shallot, and Chive Sauce

On The Table In Under 30 Minutes

Fettuccine in Smoked Salmon and Chive Essence Shallot and Herb-Infused Lamb Chops Seared Swordfish with a Puree of Sweet-and-Spicy Peppers

Simple Sweet Endings

Catalan Bittersweet Chocolate, Orange, and Pine Nut TartPeach Gratin with Creamy Pecan CrumbleOven-Baked Rice Pudding with Lemon and Raisins

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688170103
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Perla Meyers is the award-winning author of six cookbooks, including The Peasant Kitchen and Perla Meyers' Art of Seasonal Cooking. She attended the Ecole Hoteliere in Switzerland, studied baking and confection at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, and received a degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Meyers conducts creative cooking workshops throughout the United States and Canada, and writes frequently for The New York Times, Bon Appetit, and Food & Wine. She lives in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

Brochettes of Grilled Shrimp in Sesame Marinade
Serves 6

To prepare: 10 minutes
To marinate: 30 minutes
To cook: 4 minutes

Here is a marinade that doubles as a delicious vinaigrette or dipping sauce. You can use it with panseared or grilled sea scallops instead of shrimp, or with grilled chicken breasts cut into one-and-a-half-inch pieces. For a more interesting and colorful presentation, alternate the shrimp with thick onion slices and large cubes of different colored peppers. Serve with a side dish of the marinade and a curried couscous (see below).

Ingredients

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon finely minced jalapeno pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Chinese sesame seed oil
3 to 6 drops Tabasco sauce
30 large shrimp, peeled
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

GarnishSprigs of fresh cilantro



Instructions

1. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, sugar, and jalapeno pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the olive and sesame seed oils in a slow stream, then add the Tabasco. Add the shrimp and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

2. Prepare the charcoal grill.

3. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and thread 5 on each skewer. Sprinkle with a little coarse salt and cracked pepper and grill over very hot coals for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until pink and nicely browned. Transfer the brochettesto individual serving plates, garnish with cilantro, and serve hot.

Tip
Be sure to limit your marinating time for shrimp to 30 minutes, or the shellfish will "cook" in the marinade.


Curry-and-Cumin-Scented Couscous with Toasted Walnuts
Serves4 to 5

To prepare: 10 minutes
To cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted buffer
2 tablespoons walnut oil or olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely minced
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, broken
1 cup couscous, preferably imported
2 cups chicken bouillon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Melt the butter with the oil in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the curry powder, cumin, cayenne, and walnuts and cook for 1 minute. Add the couscous and the bouillon and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boll, cover, and remove from the heat. Set aside for 5 minutes.

2. Fluff the couscous with a fork and serve hot.

TipLeftover couscous makes a great salad or filling for tomatoes. Add a shallot, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil vinaigrette to it and season assertively. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or even overnight—the taste will only get better.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2004

    Tasty recipes, easy and quick

    This book is great. The recipes are very easy and fast to make. Because of that, you think they won't be that tasty, but they are all delicious. I highly recommend this for busy people who like to cook but don't have tons of time every night.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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