Ready, Set, Cook: How to Make Good Food with What’s on Hand (No Fancy Skills, Fancy Equipment, or Fancy Budget Required)

Dawn Perry. Simon & Schuster, $30 (336p) ISBN 978-1-982147-26-6
Perry, of the kitchens of Bon Appétit and Real Simple magazines, offers home cooks an outstanding guide to quick, appetizing meals through clever utilization of one’s pantry. “If you’re worried you picked up a food-planning manifesto, that’s not what this is,” Perry prefaces. Indeed, these are not gourmet meals but practical ones that nourish without requiring oodles of time. Many home cooks are likely to already have the many pantry go-tos Perry lists—including oils, vinegars, pasta, and dried spices. She categorizes these staples by location (cupboard, fridge, freezer) with helpful pointers on organizing or, in Perry speak, “keeping one’s head out of one’s ass.” She also includes a short list of must-have equipment (not “a ton of stuff. Just the right stuff,” such as a good serrated knife and heavy-bottomed pot). A chapter on homemade staples—what she refers to as her Pantry+—offers flavorsome and frugal enhancements for homemade croutons, spice blends, and vinaigrettes, such as Dijon and sesame-ginger, that taste better than store-bought options. Recipes are unassuming but inspiring and adaptable for any occasion—from scallion corn cakes to vegetable fritters to miso ramen with mushrooms and greens. Perry’s tutelage is a culinary windfall that will pay big dividends for busy home cooks. Agent: Kristin van Ogtrop, InkWell Management. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/19/2021
Release date: 11/02/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
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