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If you like to eat well but don't relish the thought of going to the supermarket on a rainy Sunday afternoon or are too tired to shop after work, this is the cookbook for you. What to Cook When You Think There's Nothing in the House to Eat puts your pantry to work, showing you how pasta, beans, canned tuna, eggs, and cheese can form the basis of nutritious, tasty, and easy meals. There are tips on selecting, purchasing, and storing ingredients, along with recipes that feature each ingredient. A box of spaghetti, ...
If you like to eat well but don't relish the thought of going to the supermarket on a rainy Sunday afternoon or are too tired to shop after work, this is the cookbook for you. What to Cook When You Think There's Nothing in the House to Eat puts your pantry to work, showing you how pasta, beans, canned tuna, eggs, and cheese can form the basis of nutritious, tasty, and easy meals. There are tips on selecting, purchasing, and storing ingredients, along with recipes that feature each ingredient. A box of spaghetti, for example, "lasts longer than most marriages." Add olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of hot pepper, and you've got a meal--Spaghetti Aglio Olio--that anyone would applaud. This is not fancy food. It's everyday fare for those with even the most basic cooking skills.
About the Author:
Arthur Schwartz hosts "Food Talk," a popular New York City-based, nationally syndicated radio show, and was the longtime restaurant critic and food editor of the New York Daily News. He is the author of Cooking in a Small Kitchen, What to Cook When You Think There's Nothing in the House to Eat, and Soup Suppers.
Few people are indifferent to anchovies. I love anchovies so much that I've become a proselytizer. To prove to an anchovy hater how subtle these little preserved fish can be, I soak the anchovies in water (or milk) to leach out the salt and temper their taste. Or, to demonstrate how anchovies can enhance other foods without taking over, I prepare a sauce or casserole (see Tomato Bulgur, page 65) in which the anchovies are a background flavor, a boost to other flavors.
I must point out, however, that there are vast differences in quality between brands of anchovy fillets in oil whether canned or jarred--and between fillets in oil and those that come whole and preserved in salt.
Anchovies packed in oil should be firm and smooth, not falling apart or with a fuzzy surface. You should have good luck with any of the canned or jarred brands packed in Portugal, Spain, or Italy. I am suspicious of those without an identifying origin (the world's worst anchovies are used for chicken feed). Whole salted anchovies, which can be bought in Italian markets and other specialty stores, should look plump, not shriveled. Whole salted anchovies will keep for several months in a covered jar or plastic container in the refrigerator. They are more perishable than anchovies in oil--which, until they are opened, last indefinitely--but once salted anchovies have been rinsed and filleted under cold running water they are actually less salty and have a milder flavor than canned ones.
An unfinished can or jar of anchovies in oil will keep for about 6 months in the refrigerator if you keep the unused portion covered with oil, then wrapped in plastic. Anchovy paste in tubes, which generally contains added oil and salt, keeps almost indefinitely.
Whole, salted anchovies are extremely easy to fillet; you don't even have to use a knife. Hold the anchovy under cold, running water and, using your thumbs at the belly, split it in half. The central bone usually lifts out in one piece. The skin, or most of it, will rub off by just stroking the fish while you hold it under the water. To rid them of salt, soak the fillets for 10 minutes in cold water or milk.
In the small amounts we eat anchovies, their nutritional content is beside the point, but anchovies are, on the negative side, high (for a fish) in cholesterol, and, on the positive side, high in calcium.
Posted April 3, 2015
There's nothing terribly fancy about this cookbook, but that's what makes it such a jewel. Just when you think you've got nothing in the cabinets, this book gives you some suggestions based on ingredients that just don't seem obvious. I found a copy of this while working at a library, and loved it so much I checked it out 3 times. I wish they hadn't weeded it from their collection, because I've got several friends who need just this kind of information to get them started in stocking their pantries and cooking their own food (versus take-out or fast-food).Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 25, 2000
This cook book is awesome! If you have something in your fridge that you know you need to cook soon or something in your pantry like barley that you are not sure what to do with, this book gives you simple and tasty solutions. They are definitely easy and on some weeks, I'll do my meal planning and shopping from this book so I can use up all the odd ball stuff I have stocked up in the pantry like beans or canned pumpkin. This is also a great book for people who want to cut way down on their food budget without spending tons of time in the kitchen. The Apple Noodle Kugel was perfect for a Sunday brunch a few weeks ago and eveybody loved it. There's nothing fancy about the cook book and it contains no pictures but I find myself pulling it off the shelf over and over again. Very useful!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.