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A Meal Doesn't Need to be Show-offy to be Uncommonly Good

About the Book

Tasty (Houghton Mifflin Company, April 2006) by Roy Finamore is an intimate all-purpose cookbook by an opinionated cook. His answer to people who say they're too busy to make dinner? Baloney.

The editor of the best-selling culinary icons Martha Stewart and Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa), as well as such noted food authorities as Diana Kennedy and Anne Willan, Roy Finamore knows food. He began cooking as a young boy, learning from his Italian grandmother. He's helped many chefs streamline their recipes for the home cook and earned a reputation as a stylish simplifier.

In Tasty, Roy shares the things he's learned in more than a decade spent at the top of the food world. The 250 unpretentious recipes show the influence of French and Italian traditions and are accompanied by tips and techniques that reflect his abundant experience in the kitchen. It is filled with familiar dishes that have an exiting a fresh take. He encourages cooks to trust themselves and the kitchen and to be sure to use all of their senses when cooking.

Roy writes in his introduction that good simple food is meant to be shared and enjoyed. That's easy to do with recipes like

• Buttermilk Pancakes with Hazelnut Butter — Unbelievably light and fluffy: breakfast with minimum effort.

• Chicken Milanese — Crunchy breaded chicken under a mountain of tart salad.

• Chinois Noodles — Asian inspired and equally good warm or cold.

• Skillet-roasted Char — No-fuss method results in silky-smooth fish with buttery, crunchy skin.

• Smothered Steaks — A lip-smacking good recipe made with an inexpensive cut of meat.

• Chocolate Whipped Cream Cake — The ultimate Yankee Doodle: whip cream, add eggs and a few dry ingredients, and you've got cake!

Tasty proves that a meal doesn't need to be fussy to be memorable. Dive into this book and discover a wealth of good cooking. Tasty, indeed, but much, much more.

About the Author

Roy Finamore has been an editor of cookbooks and lifestyle books for more than twenty years. Among the authors he has published to acclaim are Martha Stewart, Ina Garten, Tom Colicchio, Diana Kennedy, Anne Willan, Gale Gand, and Lee Bailey. A freelance editor, he is also a cookbook collaborator and a food and prop stylist. Roy is the coauthor of One Potato, Two Potato. He lives in New York City. Visit him at www.tastycentral.com.

Roy's Opinions

Frozen Peas:
They belong in every freezer, preferably in bags. They're the best of all frozen vegetables, and you can use the bag as an ice pack in an emergency. The ones left over when you don't use the entire bag should go into a zippered plastic bag.

Just because you don't want anchovies on your pizza doesn't mean you shouldn't cook with them. One or two anchovy fillets are going to add depth to what you're cooking, a little bit of richness.

Strip the needles from the woody stems, and be thorough when you chop the needles. No one wants a big bit of rosemary stuck in his teeth.

Vinegar's not only for making dressings and sauces. A little hit of sour can brighten something bland. So think about adding a shot of it when you might add a squeeze of lemon, when the dish you're cooking tastes a little flat. Good vinegar needn't be expensive, and it shouldn't be so puckeringly sour that it turns your face into a prune when you taste it.

Chop it with a knife. Life's too short to be snipping dill with scissors. And if you find dill with flower heads, snap it up and make yourself some Dilly Beans.

White Wine and Dry Vermouth:
If you're going to be pouring yourself a glass of white wine to sip on while you cook, go right ahead and use that wine for cooking. Otherwise, I don't much see the point of opening a bottle of wine if all I'm going to use is a few tablespoons. That's when I turn to dry vermouth. This fortified wine keeps for weeks in the refrigerator, and I like the herby, woodsy accents it adds to food. Besides, even the best vermouth will be less expensive than decent white wine.

The garlic I really love is the kind with the woody stems. It has great flavor, and it also has nice fat cloves. So when I call for a garlic clove, it means a garlic clove that looks like something — not, I'm sorry to say, like those puny things that too many grocery stores sell. Try to buy it from a farmer who grows it.


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