Never Stuff A Rockfish:
Simple Acts of Cooking and Random Acts of Creativity
Never Stuff A Rockfish:
Simple Acts of Cooking
and Random Acts of Creativity
by Arthur Auerbach
I didn’t exactly start out as a foodie.
One of the delights of beginning my married life (more than a quarter of a century ago) on the Upper West Side of New York was the abundance of cheap and good Chinese restaurants. Who needed to cook?
Eventually, of course, as we moved to the suburbs and had children, not only did I need to cook—but I also wanted to cook. I’ve come to understand the honest-to-God pleasure of making meals for my family and friends, and experiencing the satisfaction of them asking for seconds and thirds of what I’ve prepared..
So I’m a relatively recent convert to the joys of The Food Network. Now I’m as likely to wander through the cookbook section of a bookstore as to the fiction and literature shelves. Thanks to my family (and especially my son, and my daughter’s friends,) I’ve even learned to derive pleasure from preparing a thoughtful, leisurely meal for those I care about.
No one will ever mistake my meals for those of an Iron Chef or Martha Stewart, and that’s fine. I’m happy enough with a fragrant roast chicken, or herbed potatoes, or a spinach quiche for a casual Sunday brunch, that satisfies my loved ones and guests.
In this charming, eminently user-friendly cookbook, Arthur Auerbach instinctively understands the need for an uncomplicated collection of recipes that work just as well for an empty-nest couple who prefers to dine in rather than out as for a recent college graduate eager to show off—just a tad—for his friends. These recipes are designed for generous servings for two, and can easily be adapted for more.
For the most part, Auerbach isn’t sending the home cook on forays to exotic markets for unusual ingredients. I appreciate his suggestions that the cook use prepared products like Rao’s Homemade Marinara pasta sauce, for example, or a Pepperidge Farm frozen pastry dough to make things easier.
Auerbach is a fan of chicken breasts—particularly the boneless kind, as am I. The various recipes he provides for ways to prepare them (chicken scaloppini with lemon-caper sauce, chicken breasts with rosemary and mushrooms, seared chicken breasts with arugala, among many, many others) offer a wealth of possibilities to tempt anyone away from take-out at the end of a workday.
There are sections on meats, fish, pasta, salads, appetizers, sauces and vegetables, with intriguing dishes in all of them. This would make an ideal house-warming present for someone starting out in a first apartment—even someone not quite certain how to turn on a stove—as well as a perfect present for the hosts who’d like to be able to spend time with their guests.#