cover image More Fast Food My Way

More Fast Food My Way

Jacques Pepin, . . Houghton Mifflin, $32 (241pp) ISBN 978-0-618-14233-0

Pépin's latest incarnation as the refined face of quick and easy home cooking has worked as a public TV show and in his last book. This follow-up wisely sticks with the same model, highlighting dishes that can be assembled with relatively little effort, assuming the cook has some experience, and that seldom use more than 10 or 15 ingredients, often fewer. The sequel has more international flair, as in the spongy Tibetan flatbread and chili con carne, but his simple preparations of French classics like frisée aux lardoons and pumpkin gratin shine brightest. The main addition is a section of prose-only “minute recipes”; mostly hors d'oeuvres, they vary in adherence to the minute label from some that are less recipes than concepts like seasoning olives or shaving radishes over baguette slices to those like the pine nut–covered baked cheese balls that take as long to prepare as the regular recipes. Pépin encourages using supermarkets “the right way,” to buy both ingredients that will minimize prep time, such as canned beans, and a small number of the best ingredients available, whether fresh shellfish or fish fillets, good olives or olive oil. Fans of his last book, as well as any cooks looking for ideas on faster but still appealing dishes, will find much to enjoy. Color photos not seen by PW . (Oct.)