Zien, creator and host of the television show Sam the Cooking Guy, is very clear from the onset that he is not a chef; he also believes that certain things, like measuring ingredients (unless baking), are a "waste of time" and that 350 degrees is the "universal temperature" at which to cook everything. A self-proclaimed "regular guy," Zien thinks that people have "been wrecked by cooking shows with their millions of complicated steps and crazy ass ingredients." His recipes are for people who want to cook, but want to spend as little time and effort in the kitchen as possible. Two of his favorite ingredients, which show up frequently, are prebaked pizza crust (used in his pesto pizza recipe, which also calls for ready-made pesto) and "ready bacon," which simply needs to be microwaved. Other dishes include a Tomato and Potato Chip Sandwich and Stir Fry Noodles made with Styrofoam cup instant ramen. Some dishes, though lacking originality, call for fresh ingredients and explain simple techniques, like the Adobo Chicken or Ginger Scallops. Foodies won't be impressed, and even those with mild interest in putting together their own meals might want to be challenged a bit more. (Mar.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Zien is the host of Sam the Cooking Guy, a popular series that began airing in San Diego in 2002; his new show for the Discovery Health channel, Just Cook This, premiered last fall. He's not a chef, and he describes the food he makes as "great-tasting stuff with no fancy techniques and definitely no over-the-top ingredients." Recipes are quick and simple: "Whatever" Spring Rolls, for example, and Mac and (Blue) Cheese with Bacon (made with Kraft Macaroni & Cheese). Zien's style is in your face, and some readers may find his somewhat sophomoric sense of humor wearing, but his fan base is definitely increasing. Buy for demand.
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