The Desperate Gourmet: Easy Enough to Be Almost Instant, Fine Enough for a Gourmet

Lois Schenck, Author St. Martin's Press $10.95 (166p) ISBN 978-0-312-02191-7
The premise of the volume is superb, its execution disappointing. Food writer and realtor Schenck proposes: be organized, keep the essentials on hand and use a limited repertoire of quick but classy dishes. The recipes here are respectable, although not striking as gourmet fare or as time-savers. Artichoke dip, deviled eggs and hummus can accompany cocktails, while zucchini lasagna and chicken teriyaki sandwiches are offered as light meals. A sit-down dinner for eight features ``Gourmet'' Texas chili, polenta, frijoles, and figs with coffee cream. The basic advice on entertaining is sound, but those who follow Schenck's plans may have storage problems. Also, readers may wonder why they need a book to tell them about ``culinary plagiary''buying food to get out of a bindwhen panic teaches this for free. Schenck even seems ambivalent toward guests; while she says the right words about making them ``feel cared about,'' there are limits to her friendship: ``If you find a great item to buy, keep the source to yourself.'' (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
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