by Andrew Schloss
Who has the time, energy, or inclination to make an old-fashioned home-cooked dinner these days? According to a recent nationwide survey, a whopping 60 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 44 are too busy and too exhausted to put anything beyond the bare minimum of thought and effort into getting the evening meal on the table.
Happily, home cooking can thrive in style in the midst of the most hectic life—thanks to a revolution sweeping the nation. Home cooks now have a "new generation" of convenience staples at their fingertips—and Andrew Schloss has tapped their hidden power. A veteran food writer on the cutting edge of culinary trends, Schloss shares his delicious secrets for cooking like a gourmet chef at home—with a lot of time-, labor-, and stress-saving help from high quality, prepared, and prepackaged foods—in Almost from Scratch: 600 Recipes for the New Convenience Cuisine.
Imagine whipping up Pesto-Stuffed Grilled Chicken Breast with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce for dinner. A few years ago, the tedious tasks required—chopping fresh basil and garlic for the pesto, soaking and puréeing the sun-dried tomatoes, reducing the stock, blending the spice rub, cutting up the chicken—would have eaten up half an afternoon. Today, the local supermarket provides the prep work, neatly presented in jars, tubes, and packages. As a result, the preparation for a sophisticated dish that once took hours now takes mere minutes. "It is the vision of Almost from Scratch that this is not a phenomenon confined to individual ingredients," Schloss says, "but rather it is a new way of cooking that streamlines the way a home cook can prepare everything from soup to desserts." Schloss emphasizes how a little bit of a specialty item goes a long way and makes an incredible difference in everyday cooking.
Showcasing a rich diversity of ethnic flavors—Chinese, Japanese, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Thai—Almost from Scratch serves up quick and sumptuous fare for every occasion and course of the meal. Along the way, Schloss dishes out creative ideas for transforming canned soups into complete exciting meals (like Shrimp and Black Bean Mole) and inventive uses for baking mixes (with a few "extras," a simple brownie mix emerges from the oven as elegant Cherry Chocolate Pâte). There are also special chapters devoted to grilling, stir-fries, desserts and more, all made especially enticing with convenience ingredients. A book for today's tasteful and time-pressed home cooks, Almost from Scratch is certain to become a favorite kitchen resource.
About the Author
Andrew Schloss is the author of seven cookbooks, including Fifty Ways to Cook Most Everything. He has written about food for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, Food & Wine Magazine, and Family Circle, and frequently appears on QVC, as well as television and radio shows throughout the country. President of Culinary Generations, Inc., a food product development company, he is also the former president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he regularly whips up gourmet dinners for his wife and three children.
Almost from Scratch
600 Recipes for the New Convenience Cuisine
by Andrew Schloss
Simon & Schuster
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created October 2003
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