CookSmart: Perfect Recipes for Every Day

CookSmart: Perfect Recipes for Every Day

by Pam Anderson Executive Editor, Pamela Anderson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618091515
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 05/28/2002
Pages: 348
Product dimensions: 7.12(w) x 10.25(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

PAM ANDERSON is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great and the best-selling Perfect Recipes for Having People Over and The Perfect Recipe, winner of an IACP Award. The monthly food columnist for USA Weekend, she is a contributing editor to Fine Cooking and Runner’s World. She is the former executive editor of Cook’s Illustrated and teaches cooking classes across the country and appears frequently on TV and radio.



If you're not a cilantro fan, simply substitute 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, brushed with vegetable oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 pound bite-size pasta
6 ounces (about 1/2 dry pint) cherry tomatoes, halved and lightly sprinkled with salt
4 ounces (about 6 medium) radishes, thinly sliced
3 large scallions, cut into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
6 ounces (1 medium) avocado, halved, pitted, skinned, and cut into bite-size chunks
Creamy Buttermilk Dressing (see below)

  1. Bring 1 gallon of water to boil. Preheat grill on high for 10 minutes.
  2. Grill chicken over high heat until opaque throughout and fully cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes per side depending on size. Set aside.
  3. Add salt and pasta to pot and cook until just tender. Drain, spread out in a shallow baking pan, and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Transfer chicken, pasta, and remaining ingredients, except avocado and dressing, to a large bowl; do not mix. (Pasta salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.) when ready to serve, prepare avocado and add it and dressing, toss to coat, let stand for 15 minutes, and serve.


Use this dressing for tossed salads as well.

1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons lemon juice or rice wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl; set aside or refrigerate until ready to toss with salad. (Dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance.)


These peanut butter dough balls do not need to be flattened with a fork. The ratio of butter, flour, sugar, and peanut butter causes them to spread naturally as they bake.

1 cup all-purpose bleached flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted just until warm, not hot
1-1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

  1. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375° F. Mix flour and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Mix butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Mix eggs and vanilla in a small bowl. Add to peanut butter mixture, and beat with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add flour mixture and peanuts; stir until well combined.
  3. Line a 13-by-9-inch or similar-size pan with plastic wrap. Use a 2-ounce (1/4 cup) spring-action ice cream scoop to form dough balls and scoop into pan. (About 14 balls will fit in first layer). Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top and make another layer, scooping balls from remaining dough. Freeze until solid, about 30 minutes.
  4. Place 9 cookies on each of two parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake, switching and turning cookie sheets from front to back, after 15 minutes. Continue to bake until cookies are golden but not dark brown, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let stand on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. (They are relatively fragile at this point.) Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Copyright © 2002 by Pam Anderson

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