How to Cook Without a Book

How to Cook Without a Book

Recipes & Techniques Every

Cook Should Know by Heart

By Pam Anderson, Broadway Books

Reviewed by Cheri Sicard of

For more information on ordering Click Here

It may seem ironic to own a book titled "How to Cook Without a Book" but it makes good sense. This is, bar none, the best basic how to cook book that I've ever come across. But even though the recipes may be simplistic, nearly everyone, from complete novices to experienced cooks can benefit from reading it.

How many times have you stood in front of a full refrigerator, the daunting task of preparing dinner at the end of a busy day still before you? How many times, despite the variety of ingredients in that refrigerator, have you said to yourself, "there's nothing to eat?" How many times have you given in went out for fast food instead of preparing something nutritious?

Often finding herself in the same situation, despite the full refrigerator AND a cookbook collection that numbered in the hundreds, author Pam Anderson (no, not that Pam Anderson) said she realized that we didn't need more recipes, we needed to cook without them. Says Anderson "Give a man a recipe, he eats a meal. Teach a man to cook, he eats for a lifetime."

After acquainting us with how to keep a well-stocked pantry, freezer and refrigerator, necessary for improvising impromptu meals, the book breaks cooking down to its basics. You'll learn essential techniques, tips and recipes that can be altered to fit almost any cooking situation or ingredient list. There are chapters covering salads, dressings, soups, omelets, sauces, pastas, stir fries and other Asian foods, sautés, searing, roasting, vegetables, side dishes, appetizers and desserts.

Each chapter begins with a mnemonic rhyme -- a culinary cue card that helps you remember the techniques -- and ends with an "at a glance" summary. A step-by-step narrative that teaches the hows and whys of each technique. Readers are then given a recipe, in its simplest form, which puts the skills learned to use, then expounds on variations and ideas for expanding beyond the original themes.

The main objective of this book is to help readers put satisfying, healthy weeknight dinners on the table in rocket time with as little mess and clean up as possible. There are no wasted movements, as the author takes you literally, step-by-step through each process. Once the basic techniques are mastered, it can take as little as minutes to prepare an entire meal.

This book would be an excellent addition to everyone's cooking library, regardless of experience or age. It would also make a terrific gift. It's literally one size fits all. In fact, I would go so far as to say, schools should consider making "How to Cook Without a Book" required reading for ALL graduating high school or college students. Whatever other skills these students may lack, they would always eat well.

Book review copyright 2000 by Cheri Sicard

About the Author

Cheri Sicard is the editor of Fabulous Foods where you will find recipes, online cooking school, celebrity chefs, travel, holidays, camping cooking and more!

To Order "How to Cook Without a Book"

Amazon carries How to Cook Without a Book with a 24 hour shipping time. Click Here for the ordering information.


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