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The Accidental Gourmet: Weeknights: A Year of Fast and Delicious Meals
     

The Accidental Gourmet: Weeknights: A Year of Fast and Delicious Meals

by Suzannah Sloan, Sally Sondheim
 

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DO YOU DREAD FIXING DINNER EACH NIGHT, BUT ARE LOOKING FOR BETTER THAN TAKEOUT? THE AUTHORS OF THE BESTSELLING A DINNER A DAY SHOW YOU HOW TO PREPARE DELICIOUS, FAMILY-PERFECTED MEALS EVERY MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR.

If you're the cook in your household and crave comfort food that will bring your family back to the table, you

Overview

DO YOU DREAD FIXING DINNER EACH NIGHT, BUT ARE LOOKING FOR BETTER THAN TAKEOUT? THE AUTHORS OF THE BESTSELLING A DINNER A DAY SHOW YOU HOW TO PREPARE DELICIOUS, FAMILY-PERFECTED MEALS EVERY MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR.

If you're the cook in your household and crave comfort food that will bring your family back to the table, you need The Accidental Gourmet: Weeknights. Written by a gourmet and an I-hate-to-cook, this must-have volume translates Grandmother's cooking into today's lifestyle and gives new meaning to the term "fast food," as it brings variety, great taste, and fun back to home-cooked meals. In a unique approach to taking control of the kitchen, Sally Sondheim and Suzannah Sloan have created 260 brand-new menus -- including entrées, side dishes, and desserts -- that will allow time-pressed cooks to put together readily available ingredients with style and speed.

There's no guesswork involved: Each menu is presented to you complete on two facing pages. The recipes are accompanied by organized shopping lists that make once-a-week marketing a snap, a rundown of necessary cooking equipment, and an indispensable preparation schedule that gets everything to the table on time. Each menu feeds an average family of four, but can easily be expanded or reduced to fit your needs, and the dishes highlight the freshest foods of the season, judiciously augmented by timesaving convenience foods. Now your family can enjoy such mouthwatering combinations as hearty chicken soup with carrots, beans, potatoes, and spinach, served with maple syrup muffins and strawberry-topped sherbet over melon; or a sausage, egg, and vegetable bake, served with spiced peaches, rosemary buns, and angel food cake with blueberry sauce. How about pork chops simmered with lemon, brown sugar, and honey, served with egg noodles tossed with butter and poppy seeds, sautéed snow peas and asparagus, and a butterscotch pudding layered with shortbread cookies? All the thinking, all the planning, all the organization, has been done for you. All that's left for you to do is to take the credit!

Whether you're a single parent, the cooking half of a two-career family, or an overscheduled stay-at-home mom, The Accidental Gourmet: Weeknights is the one book you'll want to use every day.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hoping to trump their own highly successful A Dinner a Day, Sondheim and Sloan have turned out another year's worth of weeknight meals, planned and formatted down to the smallest detail. With their weekly shopping list, two-page spreads, and meticulously sequenced prep instructions, the authors have once again taken all of the planning and pain (some may argue much of the fun) out of deciding what's for dinner. Readers can cook straight from Monday's Silence of the Hams to Wednesday's Orson Beans with absolutely no forethought or last-minute trips to the corner deli. Nowadays, the word "gourmet" in a title more or less guarantees something from a can or a mix on almost every page, and this volume is no exception. Anyone frightened of whipped toppings, instant pudding mixes, canned nacho cheese soup, pre-seasoned stuffing or canned fruits had better steer clear. Still, the book is a godsend for its target audience: busy working people or oversubscribed family cooks whose only quick alternative is a frozen TV dinner or takeout. For these, the horrendous puns ("Dancin' Chick to Chick" and "I Get a Cake Out of You") and scary desserts (peanut butter and jelly cake; marshmallow cr me fantasies) will be a small price to pay for a home-cooked meal made a little easier. (Dec.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451603316
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
06/15/2010
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
672
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

From WINTER: WEEK ONE

WEEK AT A GLANCE

Monday

The Shell Game

Roll the Rice

Sleight of Salad

Jackpot Cake

Tuesday

Quiche Me Once

Two-Timers

Three's Company

Wednesday

Rhode Island Red

Providential Potatoes

Bristol Broccoli

Snug Harbors

Thursday

Unsurpasta

Beyond Beleaf

French Folly

Pearagon of Virtue

Friday

Upon My Sole

Norman Vincent Pilaf

Bishop Sheen's Beans

Billy Grahams

STAPLES

  • Butter

  • Flour

  • Cornstarch

  • Granulated sugar

  • Dark brown sugar

  • Olive oil

  • Vegetable oil

  • Red wine vinegar

  • Rice vinegar

  • White wine vinegar

  • Lemon juice

  • Lime juice

  • Chili sauce

  • Honey

  • Ketchup

  • Prepared horseradish

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • Grated Parmesan cheese

  • Celery seeds

  • Dried basil

  • Dried marjoram

  • Dried oregano

  • Dried thyme

  • Ground allspice

  • Ground cardamom

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Ground cinnamon

  • Ground cloves

  • Curry powder

  • Dry mustard

  • Ground nutmeg

  • Paprika

  • Black pepper

  • Red pepper flakes

  • White pepper

  • Salt

  • Turmeric

  • Vanilla extract

SHOPPING LIST

MEAT & POULTRY

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds) (W)

FISH

1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined (M)

1 pound sea scallops (M)

4 sole fillets (about 1 1/2 pounds) (F)

FRESH PRODUCE

VEGETABLES

1 1/2 pounds small new red potatoes (W)

1 medium bunch broccoli (W)

3/4 pound sugar-snap peas (Th)

4 medium carrots (T)

2 stalks celery (W)

2 stalks celery (F)

1/4 pound mushrooms (T)

1 small head lettuce (M)

1 small head lettuce (Th)

1 large ripe avocado (M)

1 medium cucumber (F)

1 small red bell pepper (Th)

1 small yellow bell pepper (Th)

1 large onion (T)

1 small onion (Th)

1 small red onion (M)

1 small red onion (W)

1 medium shallot (M)

3 scallions (green onions) (F)

4 cloves garlic (M)

1 clove garlic (T)

3 cloves garlic (Th)

HERBS

3 tablespoons chives (when chopped) (F)

1/4 cup parsley (when chopped) (M)

1/4 cup parsley (when chopped) (Th)

2 tablespoons parsley (when chopped) (F)

FRUIT

1 small grapefruit (M)

1 large lemon (F)

1 small ripe cantaloupe melon (T)

1 small ripe honeydew melon (T)

1 large red apple (W)

1/4 pound seedless red grapes (T)

CANS, JARS & BOTTLES

SOUPS

1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth (W)

1 can (14 ounces) vegetable broth (F)

INTERNATIONAL FOODS

1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts (T)

SAUCES

1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce (Th)

CONDIMENTS

1 jar (61/2 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts (Th)

1 jar (4 ounces) sliced pimientos (Th)

1 can (31/2 ounces) sliced black olives (Th)

FRUIT

1 can (15 ounces) pear halves (Th)

SPREADS

1 jar (10 ounces) mango chutney (W)

PACKAGED GOODS

PASTA, RICE & GRAINS

1 pound linguini (Th)

1 cup long-grain white rice (M)

1 cup long-grain white rice (F)

BAKED GOODS

1 loaf French bread (Th, F)

1 box (9 ounces) gingersnaps (Th)

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (F)

DRIED FRUIT & NUTS

1/2 cup golden raisins (W)

DESSERT & BAKING NEEDS

1 package (3 ounces) lemon gelatin (W)

1 package (3.4 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix (F)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (W)

1 cup mini-marshmallows (W)

1/2 cup flaked coconut (M)

WINE & SPIRITS

1/2 cup dry white wine (Th)

2 tablespoons dry sherry (M)

REFRIGERATED PRODUCTS

DAIRY

1/2 cup milk (T)

2 cups chocolate milk (F)

1 cup half-and-half (T)

1/2 cup plain yogurt (T)

1/4 cup plain yogurt (F)

Whipped cream for garnish (Th)

Whipped cream for garnish (F)

4 eggs (T)

CHEESE

2 cups shredded Colby/Monterey Jack cheese (T)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (Th)

JUICES

1 cup orange juice (W)

DELI

4 slices bacon (Th)

FROZEN GOODS

VEGETABLES

1 package (10 ounces) chopped spinach (T)

1 package (10 ounces) cut green beans (F)

BAKED GOODS

1 cinnamon swirl pound cake (M)

PASTRY

1 unbaked pie shell (T)

MONDAY

MENU

The Shell Game

1 medium shallot

4 cloves garlic

1/4 cup fresh parsley (when chopped)

1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 pound sea scallops

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon chili sauce

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Seasoning to taste

Roll the Rice

1 cup long-grain white rice

21/4 cups water

2 teaspoons turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Sleight of Salad

1 small head lettuce

1 small red onion

1 small grapefruit

1 large ripe avocado

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Seasoning to taste

Jackpot Cake

1 frozen cinnamon swirl pound cake

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup flaked coconut

EQUIPMENT

Double boiler

Large skillet

Baking sheet

Medium mixing bowl

2 small mixing bowls

Whisk

Kitchen knives

Measuring cups and spoons

Cooking utensils

COUNTDOWN

1. Assemble the ingredients and the equipment.

2. Do Steps 1-2 of Roll the Rice.

3. Do Step 1 of Jackpot Cake.

4. Do Steps 1-3 of Sleight of Salad.

5. Do Steps 1-3 of The Shell Game.

6. Do Steps 2-4 of Jackpot Cake.

7. Do Steps 4-5 of The Shell Game.

8. Do Step 3 of Roll the Rice.

9. Do Step 6 of The Shell Game.

10. Do Step 4 of Sleight of Salad.

11. Do Step 5 of Jackpot Cake.

RECIPES

The Shell Game

  1. Peel and chop the shallot. Peel and mince the garlic. Rinse, stem, and chop the parsley.

  2. Rinse and pat dry the shrimp and the scallops.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the shallot, the ketchup, the chili sauce, the sherry, the mustard, and the horseradish. Set aside.

  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and the scallops and cook until the shrimp turn pink, 3 to 4 minutes.

  5. Add the parsley and the sauce mixture, season to taste, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to heat through.

  6. Serve over the rice.

Roll the Rice

  1. Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler.

  2. Combine the rice, the 2 1/4 cups of water, the turmeric, and the nutmeg in the top of the double boiler. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

  3. Fluff the rice with a fork.

Sleight of Salad

  1. Wash and dry the lettuce and arrange the leaves on individual salad plates.

  2. Peel and chop the onion. Peel and section the grapefruit. Halve, pit, peel, and slice the avocado. Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, the vinegar, and the sugar. Season to taste and toss with the vegetables.

  4. Spoon the mixture over the lettuce leaves.

Jackpot Cake

  1. Set the pound cake out to thaw. Set the butter out to soften. Grease a baking sheet.

  2. Slice the pound cake into 8 equal portions. Spread lightly with the softened butter and the honey. Sprinkle with the coconut. Arrange the cake slices on the baking sheet.

  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  4. Bake the cake slices until lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes.

  5. Turn off the oven and let the cake remain in the oven until you are ready to serve.

TUESDAY

MENU

Quiche Me Once

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach

1 large onion

1/4 pound mushrooms

3 tablespoons butter

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 cup half-and-half

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Seasoning to taste

2 cups shredded Colby/Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 unbaked pie shell

Two-Timers

4 medium carrots

1 clove garlic

1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Three's Company

1 small ripe cantaloupe melon

1 small ripe honeydew melon

1/4 pound seedless red grapes

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon cornstarch

EQUIPMENT

Small saucepan

Medium covered skillet

Medium skillet

Large mixing bowl

Small mixing bowl

Whisk

Vegetable peeler

Kitchen knives

Measuring cups and spoons

Cooking utensils

COUNTDOWN

1. Assemble the ingredients and the equipment.

2. Do Steps 1-6 of Quiche Me Once.

3. Do Steps 1-3 of Three's Company.

4. Do Steps 1-3 of Two-Timers.

5. Do Step 7 of Quiche Me Once.

6. Do Step 4 of Two-Timers.

7. Do Step 4 of Three's Company.

RECIPES

Quiche Me Once

  1. Place the package of spinach in a small bowl of very warm water to thaw.

  2. Peel and chop the onion. Rinse, pat dry, trim, and slice the mushrooms.

  3. Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the onion and the mushrooms and sauté until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

  4. Squeeze the spinach dry.

  5. In a large bowl, whip the eggs lightly. Add the milk, the yogurt, the half-and-half,

  6. the flour, the allspice, the cayenne pepper, and the white pepper, and season to taste. Add the onions, the mushrooms, and the spinach. Fold in the cheeses.

  7. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

  8. Let the quiche cool for 5 minutes before cutting.

Two-Timers

  1. Peel, trim, and julienne the carrots. Peel and mince the garlic. Drain the water chestnuts.

  2. Bring a small amount of water to a boil in a medium skillet.

  3. Place the carrots and the garlic in the skillet. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

  4. Drain the carrots and return them to the skillet. Add the water chestnuts. Add the lemon juice, the paprika, the cinnamon, and the Worcestershire sauce and toss to combine and heat through.

Three's Company

  1. Halve, seed, and slice the melons into thin wedges. Remove the rinds. Rinse, dry, and stem the grapes.

  2. Place the melon wedges, alternating colors, on individual plates. Dot with the grapes.

  3. Combine the lime juice and the honey in a small saucepan and heat. Mix the water and the cornstarch together and whisk into the lime mixture until well blended and clear, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

  4. Drizzle the sauce over the fruit.

Copyright © 2002 by Sally Sondheim and Suzannah Sloan

Meet the Author

Sally Sondheim and Suzannah Sloan are the authors of A Dinner a Day. They live in the Pacific Northwest. Visit their website at www.theaccidentalgourmet.com.

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