Holiday gift books - Kitchen Simple
Peterson is known for writing big compendiums. Compendia? Big cookbooks. His hefty tomes are comprehensive takes on Sauces, Fish and Shellfish and Soups, and are used as textbooks at professional culinary schools. I turn to his Vegetables when I’m feeling stumped. And did I mention he shoots his own photography?
When a chef friend learned I was having lunch with Jim a few years back, he practically begged to tag along, and showed up with a backpack filled with about six of Jim’s book to autograph.
So for this writer to come out with a book that helps busy people make a great dinner on Wednesday after work, I’m hooked. You just know the poached trout, roast chicken and egg salad will come out delicious, because he’s distilled his vast knowledge into the method that will get you there fast and easy.
Here’s his cover recipe. The one that had me at hello.
Pasta and peas
from Kitchen Simple
Makes six first course or four main course servings
4 tablespoons butter
1 4-ounce slice prosciutto (1/4 inch thick), cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small onion, chopped
One 10-ounce package frozen peas or 10 ounces fresh baby peas
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 pound dried pasta, such as spaghetti or linguine, or 1 1/2 pounds fresh
Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to serve
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook just long enough to heat them through and, if they’re fresh, lightly cook them, anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes (taste one to determine doneness). Add the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, boil dried pasta according to the instructions on the package, or if fresh, for 30 to 60 seconds, until soft, with the slightest resistance to the tooth.
Drain pasta and transfer to heated bowl. Toss it with the pea mixture. Serve in heated pasta or soup plates. Pass the Parmesan at the table.