Instant Gourmet: Delicious Meals in 20 Minutes or Less

Melissa Clark, Author Penguin Books $12.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-14-024140-2
Manhattan food writer Clark tailors her useful collection of more than 200 recipes for urbanites who have tiny kitchens, a penchant for chic fare and ready access to prepared foods at delis and salad bars. Recipes, whose ingredients must be ``pristine and full of flavor,'' are designed to be mixed and matched, like comfortable clothing. The soup section begins with a light tomato broth that can be served either on its own or as the base of several recipes that follow; flavorful hors d'ouevres-centerpieces like White Bean and Rosemary Dip can be used as spreads, stuffings and sauces. More elaborate--but still speedy--main courses that suggest themselves as party fare include Pistachioed Red Snapper and turkey cutlets sauteed and served with chestnuts, cranberries and heavy cream. Vegetable dishes range from Sauteed Fennel with Pernod to a simple Sauteed Zucchini. In the varied desserts chapter, such unusual offerings as Avocado Mousse (with kirsch and confectioners' sugar) and Fresh Berries in Peppered Balsamic Vinegar stand out. The pared-down (seven ingredients) Instant Lasagna earns its name with the advice not to parboil the noodles--just soak them in hot water ``while you prepare the filling.'' (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
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