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A joint effort between Kasper, public radio host of The Splendid Table , and her producer and fellow foodie, Swift, this superb book should grace the shelves of even the most infrequent of cooks. Full of tantalizing, fast and easy-to-assemble meals, this collection also focuses on the ideas behind the techniques: what to look for as the food cooks, what kind of pot ensures success, and where substitutions will work. Helpful information such as why buying imported Italian pasta and why salting pasta water are important help the less experienced extract flavor from basic ingredients. Recipes center on quick and nutritious dinner options, including Dressing-in-a-Bowl Supper Salad, North Shore Shrimp Scampi, and Lamb Chops with Crossover Spice Crust. The authors also provide valuable references such as a tasting guide to salad greens, advice for imparting flavor to frozen shrimp and suggestions for using pasta water in sauces. Given the show's popularity, the accessibility of the recipes and the authors' practical and useful advice, this excellent book is sure to become a kitchen staple. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.