by Pamela Anderson
When it comes to putting together a meal for friends and family, Pam Anderson has one major guideline: simplify.
"Having a set of simple, foolproof recipes makes it easy to focus on the all-important goal of bringing people together around the table," says Pam. So rather than second-guess your culinary ability (admit it: we all get intimidated when faced with making a meal for company), turn to Perfect Recipes for Having People Over.
Inspired by her own quest for ways to make her favorite pastime possible no matter how pressed she felt for time or ideas, Pam has created the nearly 200 recipes in this collection so that you just nail down the main course and then choose from the many sides and desserts—and voila, you're set. Be it an effortless, succulent Rosemary-Scented Pork Loin or a Chicken Chili that tastes like you've been cooking all day, you can make many of the dishes in the book ahead or get the family involved and have them help you.
Whether you're cooking for two or two hundred, confidently planning a meal just became a whole lot easier. Pam suggests:
cooking in your sleep—Oven-Barbecued Pork (page 17) slow roasts overnight.
cooking while you socialize—Easy Baked Risotto (page 72) takes care of itself while you spend time with your guests.
cooking while you eat—pop muffin tins of the Molten Chocolate Cake (page 264) batter in the oven and 8 minutes later, dessert is ready.
Not too long ago, Pam and her family moved to a new town. Ready to get involved in the community and meet the members of the church where her husband would be the minister, she decided to throw an open house. Nearly 250 people said they would come. What could she possibly make that could be inexpensively prepared ahead of time and appeal to 250 strangers? Chicken-Mushroom Crepes. There's no shame in buying good-quality, ready-made ingredients for a dish. Picking up 500 crepes at the supermarket gave Pam time to make plenty of the easy filling.
When you're comfortable in your kitchen, the people around your table will be happy, too. And being comfortable often means inviting your friends and family to do some of the work—and providing lots of choices. An appetizer bar, for instance, allows your guests to create their own hors d'oeuvres. With Pam's easy-to-remember "3-3-3 formula" for stew, you can vary the master recipe to come up with many different versions. Her shish kebabs make it a snap to please meat lovers and vegetarians alike.
Pam Anderson's recipes can be pulled off by anyone, from the novice home cook to the most dedicated cooking junkie, whatever the occasion. Perfect Recipes for Having People Over contains more than 200 recipes that make fabulous meals happen by saving time and sanity, not sacrificing excellence.
About The Author
Pam Anderson is the author of the best-selling Perfect Recipe, winner of a Julia Child Award, as well as CookSmart, and How to Cook Without a Book. The former executive editor of Cook's Illustrated, she is a columnist for USA Weekend and a contributing editor to Fine Cooking.
Perfect Recipes for Having People Over
by Pamela Anderson
Houghton Mifflin Company
Hardcover; 432 pages, $35.00
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created December 2005
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