When You Are
A Compendium of Comforting One Dish Meals
by Martha Rose Shulman
Rose Shulman is lighting up the world again. This time she
treats us to more than 200 homey recipesone-dish mealsin
her latest cookbook, Ready When You Are: A Compendium
of Comforting One Dish Meals. Don't pass on this one.
It won't gather dust.
case you don't know Shulman, she is the Los Angeles-based
author of more than twenty booksuseful, worldly and
delicious titles like The Vegetarian Feast, Mediterranean
Light, Mexican Light, and Entertaining Light.
Don't get the wrong idea. She's all about hearty food and
eating well. She lived in Paris for a dozen years and eats
meat. Make just one of her recipes and you'll know that
she does not sacrifice depth and flavor to a healthier approach.
She knows how to cook sensibly: just where and how to cut
(or cut out) the fat, lose the sugar and still turn out
a robust meal.
When You Are, like its author, is multi-dimensional.
On one hand it is a cookbook loaded with worldly meals like
Last of the Summer Vegetables Cobbler, Braised Chicken with
Wild Mushrooms and Catalan Chickpeas with Sausage. On the
other, it's a thoughtful effort to get you to cook and eat
at home. "Yeah, right," you say. "I'm gonna
throw together Martha's Basque-Style Chicken after a day
of work and kids." Shulman not only makes this possible,
she does the thinking for you. In nearly every recipe she
provides advance preparation notes so that you can prepare
entire meals, or most steps, days ahead. Her notes on leftovers
help stretch or transform last night's dinner. Really, who
is going to complain about Provençal Fish Stew one
night and a Mediterranean jambalaya the next?
When You Are has nine chapters filled with soups and
stews, gratins and casseroles. Remember, these are one-dish
meals so, chances are, whatever it is will taste even better
on day two. There's less active time in the kitchen and
fewer dishes to wash. And we are talking about feasting
on the likes of Tuscan White Beans with Sage and Sausage,
Turkish Summer Vegetable Stew, Spinach and Fish Gratin and
a great Chocolate Pudding. The rest of the book is devoted
to good eating while reducing your time in the kitchen.
Shulman will also help you stock your kitchen with cookware
and gadgets, teach you how to make basic stocks and cook
will find butter, cheese, sugar and sour cream in this book-what
you won't find is their overuse. You need not feel guilty
after eating Shulman's Braised Pork with Red Cabbage, Apples,
and Chestnuts. Or, opt for Catalan Chicken with Eggplant,
Peppers and Tomatoes. Since this book is all about comfort
food, it wouldn't be fair to exclude Macaroni and Cheese
(don't skip this delicious, albeit lighter, version), but
don't expect tuna noodle casserole. It's more about Tuna
Daube and Chicken Pot Pie with porcini mushrooms.
are a lot of shortcut recipe books out there. This is not
one of them. Shulman is a class act. So is her food and
so is Ready When You Are. Follow her advice this
year and spend more time on the things that matter.
CHICK PEAS WITH SAUSAGE
by Kevin Schoeler
(Updated: 12/18/08 SB)