James Peterson's Books, Blog, and Photographs

With Kitchen Simple, James Peterson, one of America's most celebrated cookbook authors and renowned cooking instructors, delivers a definitive resource for the busy home cook. Elevating routine, weekday fare into exciting culinary creations, Peterson proves unequivocally that great food need not be complicated or time-consuming to prepare.

More than 200 recipes, such as Summer Steak Salad, Mexican-style Gazpacho, White Bean Bruschetta, Red Cabbage with Bacon and Apples, and Ricotta Ravioli, are thoughtfully streamlined to require no more than thirty minutes of active prep time with delivery to the table in under an hour. For leisurely meals and celebratory occasions, there are also dozens of luxe dishes, like Red Wine Pot Roast, Eggplant Parmigiano, Duck Confit, and Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce. And, from the master of sauces, comes a paired-down primer on making foolproof Mayonnaise Caper and Herb Sauce for vegetables and chicken, and an easy Bearnaise to dress up grilled fish.

Kitchen Simple presents creative possibilities for weeknight meals, quick-and-easy breakfasts, impromptu dinner parties, and inspired last-minute desserts. And with Peterson's invaluable variations, cooks can confidently substitute harder-to-find ingredients with items already at hand. Additional advice on how to stock a pantry with staples to make everday cooking even easier, plus an inventory of truly indispensable kitchen tools make Kitchen Simple a go-to source of inspiration for cooks of all persuasions: novice or experienced, time-pressed or laid-back, casual or formal. Kitchen Simple is the distillation of years of cooking and a constant move toward greater simplicity. After half a lifetime cooking some of these dishes, tricks and short-cuts have evolved that make so-called sophisticated dishes surprisingly easy to prepare. For example, creamed spinach is typically a nuisance to prepare because it requires a bechamel sauce. But with the version given in Kitchen Simple there is little more to do than cook down some cream and stir in the blanched or steamed spinach. For pureed creamed spinach you just need to put the spinach in a blender.

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A Few Sample Dishes

This tangy refreshing mussel salad is a good way to use mussels that you've steamed open for soups or sauces.
Baked eggs are a great way to turn leftovers into a savory breakfast or brunch main course or a dinner or lunch first-course.
To make an oyster "pan-fry" you really just heat the oysters in a little cream and perhaps a spot of white wine.
A ham and cheese sandwich can be made with any kind of ham--remember to slice it very thin if it is salty--and cheese. Here we use Serrano ham and aged Gouda cheese.
To make successful pound cake, be sure to beat the eggs and sugar for at least 5 minutes.