Jars of olive tapenade and capers, containers of hummus and ready-made sauces; these days, grocery stores are full of ingredients that are one step away from becoming a meal. With Almost from Scratch: 600 Recipes for the New Convenience Cuisine, you can transform those gourmet products into gourmet meals with a few simple steps. From Andrew Schloss, the author of Fifty Ways to Cook Most Everything, come 600 recipes for delicious and easy meals that use convenience foods without sacrificing taste.
Using prepared salsas, pestos, high-quality baking mixes, and other packaged items, recipes that once took a whole afternoon can now be assembled quickly and easily. Almost from Scratch makes the most of prepackaged foods to streamline the way home cooks prepare everything from soup to dessert, whether you're making a weeknight dinner for the family or entertaining on a Saturday night.
With recipes for appetizers, salads, soups, sauces, meat dishes, seafood, pasta, grains, stir-fries, vegetables, and desserts, Schloss shows you the never-ending possibilities of cooking with shortcuts.
Sumptuous starters such as Herbed Artichoke Dip, Parmesan Shortbread, Blue Cheese Quiche with Potato Crust, and Tomato Tarragon Tart will be the perfect start to any evening. For a light meal, try Three Corn Chowder, Pizza Rustica, Mango Brie Quesadillas, or Smoked Turkey and Chickpea Chili. For a more substantial dinner, sample recipes such as Deep Dark Pot Roast, Mediterranean Vegetable Lasagna, Dutch Country Chicken and Potato Dumplings, Grilled Salmon with Olive Vinaigrette, and Lemon Pork Chops on Artichoke Bruschetta that will keep your family -- and your taste buds -- happy.
Who knew that decadent, awe-inspiring desserts could be created in a flash using packaged ingredients? Dark Chocolate Soufflé, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, Blueberry Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake, and Chèvre Cheesecake with Fig Coulis are just some of the sweets that will wow your guests.
Finally, a sophisticated, gourmet cookbook that allows home cooks to make great-tasting meals without spending all day in the kitchen.
After holding forth on the use of prepared ingredients, spice mixes, sauces and salad bars to produce restaurant dishes at home, Schloss (Using a Pot, a Spoon, and a Pan) explains the necessary ingredients to stock the convenience pantry and what to look for when shopping for groceries. Logically starting from appetizers and spur-of-the-moment snacks and soups, he covers sauces before continuing with meals in minutes and the more usual chapters on chicken, seafood and desserts (he also offers a chapter on meatless dishes). The simple recipes run from the most basic of combinations, such as the innovative Salsa Hummus, which mixes an eight-ounce container of hummus with a quarter cup salsa, to the barely more complicated flavorful Udon Noodles with Peanut Sauce. Drawing on international inspiration and ingredients made readily available by the growing range of products in supermarket aisles whether it's Hot and Sour Chicken Soup or Curried Rice and Lentils, redolent of the flavor of India Schloss caters to the increasing familiarity with the variety of flavors and dishes experienced by the consumer who wants to provide quick easy dishes. While this overly simple book is unlikely to appeal to the serious cook, it would make a suitable gift for those lacking culinary confidence or those who are time-driven, and no longer wish to rely on take-out or eating at the nearest fast-food chain.