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Gourmet Meals in Minutes [Hardcover]

Culinary Institute of America


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Book Description

June 29 2004
We live in a hectic world where there isn't a lot of time to spend on meal preparation, but we still want to enjoy the food we eat. Gourmet Meals in Minutes will show you how to create a wide variety of mouth-watering, nutritious meals without spending all day in the kitchen.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Lebhar-Friedman (June 29 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0867309040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0867309041
  • Product Dimensions: 26.8 x 23.1 x 3.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #526,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Having trained thousands of professional chefs, the CIA addresses home cooks here in an effort to "cultivate a passion for cooking" despite today's hectic pace. With an emphasis on a multiplicity of ethnic flavors, the recipes are largely familiar and manageable. In fact, many of the simpler ones (Vichyssoise, Romaine and Grapefruit Salad with Walnuts and Stilton; Ratatouille; and Tiramisu) may be found in scores of other cookbooks. However, such dishes as Lobster and Roasted Red Pepper Salad, and Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Tomato Relish seem rather ambitious when described as "meals in minutes." And suggesting the use of premade phyllo dough as a prime ingredient in Fennel and Chorizo Strudels, or packaged puff pastry dough in Fresh Fruit Galette, undercuts the book's premise. Oddly for home cooking, nearly every recipe serves eight. Still, there are dozens of quick and easy recipes, such as Niçoise-Style Grilled Tuna and Cider-Braised Pork Medallions. Presentation is often a key aspect, as in Haricots Verts with Prosciutto and Gruyère, in which prosciutto slices are twisted into spirals to resemble roses. CIA fans, who include viewers of PBS's Cooking Secrets from the CIA, will turn to this book. Others may find that it does not entirely fulfill its promise. 125 color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rolls Royce of meals in minutes cookbooks April 10 2007
By Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love cookbooks. I have an extensive collection. I taught myself how to cook using cookbooks so I believe a good cookbook is one that inspires and should be understandable and reasonably easy to use; with that in mind I love this cookbook.

A big reason I love this book is because it does not try to trick you into believing that a great meal will just magically appear in 30 minutes. This book educates you on how to organize your kitchen so you will be able to produce gourmet meals with minimal cooking time. This includes practical suggestions on how to stock your kitchen pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Detailed time-saving techniques on how to prepare herbs, spices and other ingredients ahead of time so that their flavor is preserved and you have minimal prep-time when cooking. There is also advice on equipment and a lot of time is spent on techniques; each individual technique or set of techniques are explained step-by-step and illustrated when necessary.

I find that knowing my skill level helps me to determine if a cookbook is written for me; so far my stages of development have been total disaster, occasional disaster or novice, beginner, experienced beginner, advanced beginner/almost intermediate, and now I consider myself an intermediate cook. I am not a gourmet or professional by any means. I would not recommend this cookbook for a novice or beginner but for an experienced beginner through intermediate cook who wants to expand his or her repertoire and wants suggestions on technique, food preparation and stocking up their kitchen. I imagine this would be too simple for someone who is really advanced. If you fit in the categories I described above then this is a great option.

For the reviewer who described dishes she prepared as bland I have not had that experience. Although I follow the recipes from cookbooks as closely as possible I have found that it is always important to taste a dish when I am cooking and making changes if needed.
51 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gourmet without Excessive Time & Ingredients Aug. 26 2004
By rodboomboom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Here is compiled almost 400 pages of recipes and techniques with available ingredients for gourmet cooking at home in minutes, not hours.

Full of color photos and tips on pantry stocking and prep work which can allow the home gourmet to achieve fine eating without excessive fuss and time.

Organized into ten chapters: Before Cooking, Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Meat, Poulty, Seafood, Vegetarian, Side Dishes, Desserts.

What caught my appetitie and table were beautiful dishes but minimal effort and clock to achieve: "Curried Apple Squash Soup with Lime Gremolata"; "Fennel and Chorizo Strudels"; "Goat Cheese and Red Onion Quesadilla"; "Sauteed Brussel Sprouts"; "Asian Vegetable Slaw"; "Red Pepper Orzo"; "Tiramisu" (individually serving glasses); "Tenderloin of Beef with Blue Cheese and Herb Crust"; "Veal Saltimbocca with Fettuccine."

First boat gourmet in abudance with technique and time minimized, but maximum flavor and presentation.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing for a Culinary School of Its Stature Feb. 14 2007
By Anita Burroughs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have to weigh in with a dissenting vote on this book. I had great expectations for this beautiful book from the Culinary Institute of America. I am a personal chef who is continually seeking quick and easy recipes with the wow factor, but to date none of the recipes I've tried in this book have delivered.

The Chicken with Artichokes and Mustard Sauce, Walnut Chicken,and Stir Fried Garden Vegetables with Marinated Tofu were all incredibly bland; I found myself acting as a physician of mercy, desperately trying to revive these dishes. Ditto for the Fruit Salad with Orange Blossom Syrup. The Manhattan Clam Chowder was good, but not memorable.

I was expecting a lot more from the CIA, which turns out so many great chefs. If you're looking for a book that has some great quickie recipes, I would spend my money on The Gourmet Cookbook, which has over 1,000 recipes. I've yet to make a bad one out of that book, and each recipe lists how long it will take. There are a great many recipes in the book which take under 30 minutes. The CIA should take a lesson from Gourmet Magazine before they put out another mediocre cookbook.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for cooks! Oct. 12 2005
By C. Gardner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
We cook every night from scratch and usually try new recipes from the current month's cooking magazines. We have already made a number of recipes from this book and are very pleased. The techniques are simple and quick, the ingredients are all fresh and the presentation of the finished dish is best restaurant quality. A great addition for the cookbook shelf!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book for beginners or intermediates Feb. 12 2007
By EugeSchu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Wonderfully organized with just enough tips and pointers

about food types and how to prepare. Beautifully illustrated

(just not for every recipe) with simple and straightforward

directions. Excellent collection of classic and innovative

recipes that cover virtually all the bases. The only

cook book you need to keep you very busy. Outstanding!

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