Fast Entrees

Fast Entrees

by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison

Reviewed by Cindy Sanchez Ordering Information-SAVE 30%

When picking up this cookbook for review, I thought, okay here comes another one of those "Family On The Go" cookbooks. You know, the ones that tout "quick and easy meals in only 10 minutes". Not that there is anything wrong with these types of cookbooks, there just seems to be an over run of them as of late. However, upon opening to the first page of Fast Entrees I was pleasantly surprised. The title The Essential Pantry was basic enough, but the pictured ingredients caught my eye; anchovy paste? capers? coconut milk? These items certainly do not make up the most basic of kitchen pantries.

This is where I first realized that it wasn't the authors' intention to teach "quick and easy meals in only 10 minutes". Instead I found myself thumbing through page after page of gourmet sounding and picture perfect recipes. The best part? These recipes don't require spending valuable time chopping, searching for rare ingredients, using fancy and expensive equipment, or even having gourmet culinary skills.

Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison do spend a little time going over Cooking Techniques:The Basics, but the important thing is that they don't dwell on them. They quickly get to the heart of the book; Fast Fish, Simple Shellfish Entrees, Flavorful Chicken and Game Hens, Great Pork and Veal Recipes, From the Range: Beef and Lamb, Pasta Entrees in Minutes, Wraps:Tacos, Mu Shu, and More, and Side Dishes for Fast Entrees. Recipes worth taking a look at, and maybe even a taste!

Sample Recipe

Pork Chops with Charred Tomatoes

5 vine-ripe tomatoes

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup peanut or safflower oil

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 teaspoon Asian chile sauce or your favorite hot sauce

3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

4 (1 to 2" thick) bone-in pork chops or veal chops


freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Advance Preparation:

Prepare a very hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to high. Char and chop the tomatoes as shown on page 85. Place a small sauce pan over medium heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute, until it begins to brown. Immediately ass the tomatoes, the 1/2 teaspoon sugar, oyster sauce, chile sauce, and oregano and bring to a simmer. (The tomato mixture can be covered and refrigerated for up to 8 hours before using.)

Last-Minute Cooking

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Lightly dust on both sides with flour, shaking off any excess. Place a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the chops. Cook, turning once, for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Add the tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and decrease the heat to achieve the lowest possible simmer. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the meat registers 145* on an instant-read meat thermometer. The meat should still be slightly pink in the center. Transfer the chops to warmed dinner plates. Spoon the sauce over and serve at once. Serves 4.

copyrighted by Ten Speed Press 2002

About the Reviewer:

Cindy Sanchez is the owner and editor of where cooking is made easy!

Order Information for Fast Entrees

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