A well known New York Chef once told me that when he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, he prided himself of making a pasta dish that required thirty ingredients. Sure, it was absolutely delicious, but it took a loooong time to prepare. Soon, however, he outgrew that urge as he realized you can still make delicious dishes with far fewer ingredients, less preparation time and those tasting them would still lick their fingers.
Leah Schapira‘s Fresh and Easy follows the latter philosophy, as the book makes food preparation fun, healthy, quick!
The book is divided into nine sections:
- Dips & Sauces
- Side Dishes
- Brunch &Lunch
- Main Dishes
The Menus section is subdivided into five sections:
- Appetizer Ideas
- Pesach Menu
- Make-in Take-out
- Quick and Easy
- Freezes Well
Each of these subsections sports tempting thumbnail photos of various dishes and the page numbers where they can be found.
It wasn’t easy choosing just one favorite recipe, but I finally opted for a dessert:
Chocolate Mousse With Pear Chips
- 8 eggs separated
- 12 oz bittersweet chocolate (not baking)
- 1 teaspoon coffee granules (dissolved in 3 teaspoons boiling water)
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 2 firm pears
- 1 cup sugar
- In a mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Over a double boiler, melt the chocolatre with the coffee. Beat the egg yolks with a fork and quickly add to double boiler, mixing well. Add the red wine. Remove from heat.
- Fold in the egg whites until combined. Place in individual cups for serving refrigerate.
- To prepare pear chips, preheat oven to 325F.
- Thinly slice the pears and lighly coat each side with sugar. Place the pear slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Turn the pears over and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the pears in the oven to cool and dry.
- Before serving, garnish mousse with chocolate shavings and caramelized pear chips.
With great photography, a nice – easy on the eyes – layout, this book is a delight to hold and salivate as you look at the featured recipes, truly fresh and easy
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!