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How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart Hardcover – Apr 4 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (April 4 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767902793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767902793
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 19.6 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "mrskoller" on March 25 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read an article by Pam in Cooking Light magazine that highlighted a few recipes from this book. After trying the saute and pan sauce methods with the ingredients I had on hand, I was sold on her approach and had to buy the book!
I consider myself to be a fairly adventurous cook, but I'm also partial to quick recipes that don't require numerous or exotic ingredients. Pam provides a wonderful "theme and variations" style, and most of her recipe suggestions require only a handful of ingredients. She lays out the chapters based on techniques (saute, sear) rather than main ingredients (meat, fish, chicken), which will help me master the techniques more quickly and stop relying on recipes as much. I'd like to saute, but don't have pork or chicken on hand? Use fish! And I can vary the same meat with dozens of pan sauces and relishes - the combinations are endless. Last night we had a delectable Sauteed Tilapia with Mustard-Cream Sauce, along with a Crisp Potato Cake. Tonight perhaps we'll have Seared Marlin Steaks with Horseradish Pan Sauce and Orzo with Lemon and Parsley. I can't wait to try the Lo Mein, Stir Fry, Quick Ravioli, and Supper Soup techniques, as well as the Tossed Salads and Steam/Sauteed Vegetables. So many possibilities!
I'm done paging through cookbooks to find the one recipe for which I have all the ingredients. With this book on my shelf, I can buy any available fresh and seasonal ingredients and know that I'll be able to put together a fast, healthy, and nutritious meal without a problem. This cookbook is a must-have - perfect for you, your best friend, your mother, and any bride-to-be. Thanks for this newfound freedom and creativity, Pam!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bea's Girl on April 26 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although this had a few nuggets of great advice and techniques, I was disappointed with the failure to follow through on actually how to cook without a book - it would have been very helpful to have information on how ingredients work together, what ingredients taste like or change with different methods for those unfamiliar with the ingredient, how spices react with ingredients or other spices and then coupled with techniques would assist the reader to cook without a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Volk #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on March 17 2012
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because I liked its basic premise- learn a few core recipes that you can make relatively easily and that are adaptable to different flavors and sauces. The book generally delivers in this regard. It offers a section on how to make cold salads, warm salads, tomato pasta sauces, sautees (with pan sauces), searing, roast chicken, vegetables, and side dishes. Each section begins with a basic recipe and then offers around a dozen variations to that recipe. Generally speaking, the recipes are easy to follow and are well written. There's an intro section with details, then a standard recipe, and then a brief summary for quick reference. I tried the pasta sauce, sauteeing, and searing recipes so far. They were generally good, although her cooking times for sauteed chicken were too short unless your chicken breasts are 1/2" thick or thinner (even after removing the tender).

Overall, the book does what it says it will. I wish there were more recipes and a greater variety of techniques to work with, but it is a solid addition to a beginner or intermediate cook's library. I found that combining this book with more advanced books was great for getting inspirations about how to alter recipes. I was wavering between four stars and five, but given that I have gone back to it several times and will continue to do so, I think I can go with five stars for it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just what I needed. Wonderful concept of how to teach someone to cook. I made one soup and family and friends loved it. Not only that, It taught me soup basics that I will use with other soups.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is, simply, a boon to someone like me who was never taught how to cook. Now that I have a family it has become important to me to be able to make great tasting homecooked meals--and Pam Anderson's book lights the way. She doesn't just give you recipes and tell you how to make things; she inspires confidence, even in a novice such as I! I hadn't had this book for very long when I made a wonderful stir-fry dinner for my sister and her husband, both of whom were dutifully impressed by what they thought were my culinary skills (but I give all credit--at least for now!--to Pam Anderson). My husband is a picky Pad Thai eater, but even he had to admit that Pam Anderson's quick "weeknight" Pad Thai was flavorful. I could go on and on ... I feel grateful for this book and the impact it has (and will continue to have) on my family's life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 5 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book! While previous reviews claim that the book states the obvious (oil and vinegar make a good dressing), this book gives the correct formula for dressings, sauces, soups, omelettes, etc.
While I have cooked for years, this book has renewed my confidence in experimenting myself, following her basic formulas. The truth is, most of us have a limited amount of time to cook during the week. This book is just for that - a quick way to use what you already have to serve delicious, healthy meals quickly. This is a sharp contrast to "quick-cook" books that either (1) have you use a jar of grape jelly and the microwave or are (2) quick only if you already have the heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil available.
I attended a class taught by Ms. Anderson where she demonstrated her techniques from this book and found that she seems to have used her wealth of experience as a test kitchen chef and editor to reduce a lot of information down to these simple formulas and techniques.
My meals from this book have turned out perfect every time - thank you Pam Anderson!
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