Cookbook Profile

Just Add Water

By Lauren Chattman

Just Add Water  
Can You Boil Water? Then You Can Make 140 Deliciously Simple Recipes for Great Soups, Stews, Chicken, Fish, Pasta, Desserts, and More.

Are you an enthusiastic gourmand but an inexperienced cook? Would you love to sit down to a cozy Sunday breakfast of Oatmeal with Almonds and Grated Apples and a steaming mug of French Roast Coffee with Chocolate Cream, but you wouldn't even know how to begin? Do you fantasize about having friends over for dinner and dazzling them with a Mediterranean feast of Italian Tomato and Bread Soup, Boiled Beef with Salsa Verde, Broccoli Rabe with Garlic-Chile Oil, Parmesan and Basil Mashed Potatoes, and Brandied Figs over Fresh Ricotta Cheese, but realize this is just a pipe dream? Well, get ready for your culinary dreams to come true with the help of Lauren Chattman's Just Add Water, where you only need to know how to boil water to make 140 delicious recipes, including those listed above.

Written for the cooking-challenged who love to eat, Just Add Water reveals the secret to effortless cooking: just boiling water. With Lauren's recipes, there's no browning, broiling, baking, or sautéing involved. Everyone can boil water, so why not use this underrated cooking technique to make delicious everyday meals? Since boiling generally requires very little labor and short cooking times, some of Lauren's recipes offer quick solutions to what-to-make-in-ten-minutes quandaries.

Don't have time to cook fresh vegetables? Use steam to make Broccoli Steamed in Orange Juice in just eight minutes. (Remember steam is just a by-product of boiling water.) Blanch leeks for three minutes and toss with vinaigrette for Blanched Leeks with Ricotta Salata Vinaigrette. Or create Chopped Spiced Zucchini and Olives enlivened with coriander and fennel by boiling for only five minutes.

Just Add Water explores the versatility of boiled beans, proving that they are nutritious, inexpensive, and, most important, simple to prepare. For a heartier stew, boil beans with flavoring ingredients to make Black Beans Boiled in Beer, or combine them with flavorful dressings to create a feast of Kidney Beans with Walnut Dressing. The key is to make it simple!

It's easy enough to make Cod Fillets in Fennel Broth once you know that poaching is a fancy word for not-quite-boiling. If roasting and grilling are not in your repertoire, that doesn't mean you have to live without soul-satisfying meat dishes. Lauren's Hearty Beef Stew requires no browning-only simmering (another fancy word for just-slightly-boiling) in wine and water. As a luxurious but simple alternative to pasta, try Boiled Arborio Rice with Smoked Salmon and Capers.

To satisfy your sweet tooth, it's not necessary to pull out the rolling pins and cake pan. Just Add Water offers delicious desserts disguised as high-tech baking wonders, such as no-bake Rum-Vanilla Panna Cotta, Peaches in Rosemary-Red Wine Syrup, and-Dark Chocolate Almond Semifreddo.

Lauren Chattman Providing great ideas for every meal and every occasion, Lauren Chattman's Just Add Water will keep you from slaving in the kitchen and tempt you to enjoy the fabulous dishes found on every page. You are sure to love the "recipes with style and integrity that also just happen to be so easy that even a cooking idiot can make them," writes Lauren. So go ahead and Just Add Water.

Lauren Chattman attended Peter Kump's Cooking School, apprenticed at Restaurant Daniel in New York City and was pastry chef at Nick and Toni's in East Hampton, Long Island. She is the author of Cool Kitchen: 125 Delicious, No-Work Recipes for Summertime or Anytime. Her recipes have appeared in Cook's Illustrated, Metropolitan Home, and The New York Times. She lives in Sag Harbor, Long Island, with her husband and children.

Buy the Book!  

Just Add Water
By Lauren Chattman
William Morrow & Co.
Hardback, $22.00
Publication date: March 1999
ISBN: 0-688-16188-X
Information provided by the publisher.




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This page created September 1999