Is it possible to summon a week's worth of dinner entrees from a few smidgens of Sunday night's repast? That's the premise of this handy guide to using a meal's remnants for the creation of quick, simple suppers. Granted, a recipe for meatloaf is included, but this book is not about leftovers-rather, it's a new method of cooking designed to save time. The big ``cooking day'' cited is Sunday, which provides the bare bones for the meals ahead, augmented by a little last-minute shopping for shrimp, pasta, bread, etc. Most of the weeknight offerings are inventive and appetizing: a fresh spice blend for Sunday's barbecued ribs does double duty in seasoning a mess of wok-steamed littleneck clams; tuna pilaf Florentine is made with a leftover cup of spinach au gratin. Most recipes are quite tasty, and simple enough to be prepared in less than 45 minutes (though preparation times are not listed). Prepared in sufficient quantities to serve a family of four, the Sunday meals are tempting enough that home cooks would be well advised to put away the ``leftovers'' required for upcoming meals before the family gets a chance to grab second helpings. Menus feature lots of fruits and vegetables, including some specialty produce that might put a strain on the family budget. The book, obviously, is geared toward households short on time, not cash. Schloss and Bookman are the coauthors of Fifty Ways to Cook Most Everything. Author tour. (Mar.)
Schloss and Bookman are the authors of the imaginative cookbook/resource Fifty Ways To Cook Most Everything (LJ 9/15/92), and now they've come up with another clever gimmick. They offer 52 complete menus, intended for Sunday night dinner, each followed by three or four recipes for timesaving weeknight entres that build on ingredients and recipes prepared for the main menu. There have been other weekly menu-planning cookbooks, but the recipes here are particularly good, mostly sophisticated, and fairly easy. It would have been nice to have suggestions for simple side dishes for the weeknight entres, and one or two of these dishes don't seem substantial enough for a main course, but those quibbles aside, Dinner's Ready is recommended for most collections.
The authors' premise is that one big meal can provide many of the ingredients for subsequent dinners. However, the claim that Sunday supper will fuel all of the week's dinners is misleading--first, because the authors only include four nights' worth of main courses, and second, because faithful followers will still need to purchase additional ingredients, whether vegetables or proteins. Nitpicking aside, the more than 350 recipes are quickly managed. Additionally, cooking wisdom abounds in sidebars, including three ways to peel tomatoes, the how-tos of washing rice, and the best technique for deveining shrimp.