Books For Cooks

By MaryAnn Miano

Catherine Henning collected many cookbooks, but Poppy Cannon’s All-Time No-Time Any-Time Cookbook stands out as a catchy title amongst the Colts Neck Library’s special collection.

Time, explains the author, is a precious commodity. Designed with time in mind, the goal of this book is to create outstanding dinners in a fraction of the time and still have the energy to enjoy them. Her belief is to not spend needless hours in the kitchen, fretting over complicated recipes. She emphasizes the fact that great food is often simple food, and the best methods of food preparation are often the ones that have withstood the test of time.

Using recipes handed down from generation to generation produces palate-pleasing and delicious entrees and side dishes.  Within the pages of this timeless book are easy-to-follow, step-by-step recipes that include time requirements and serving suggestions. Ms. Canon’s special recipe feature explains her method of including measurements in the body of instructions to keep the cook from having to hunt through the directions back to the ingredients list.

The recipes range from the simplest staples to the most sophisticated savories, from broiled steak to Steak Maxim and from easy kid cookies to tantalizing tortes. There are recipes from pressure cooking to pastry rolling. The author manages to blend the necessities of the kitchen with the niceties of the palate.

The author shares her ideas on exactly what you will need in a good stock of supplies, gives her suggestions for a treasure of seasonings, and explains her reasoning behind the importance of presenting your dish rather than merely serving it. The ideal way to plan a quick gourmet meal is to keep contrast in mind, in texture, color, and flavor. A smooth and creamy dish must be served along with something crisp (use crunchy nuts or julienne carrot sticks).  Contrast the color of the dish – green peas, sliced tomato, golden corn – to help provide appetite appeal. Most important, a contrast in flavors rounds off your meal perfectly. Try sweet and sour, bland and spicy, all in a single dish.

QUICHE LORRAINE

6 slices bacon

1 cup milk or light cream

1 cup grated Swiss cheese

4 eggs, slightly beaten

Onion juice or extract

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cayenne or Tabasco

1 package plain pasty mix or a quick-frozen pie shell

Fry 6 slices of bacon until crisp and crumble into small pieces.  Mix with 1 cup milk or light cream, 1 cup grated Swiss cheese, 4 slightly beaten eggs, a few drops onion juice or extract, ½ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, a few grains cayenne or a couple drops of Tabasco sauce.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with plain pastry. Then pour in the cheese-and-egg mixture. Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake until firm or when a silver knife inserted comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Recipe from Poppy Cannon’s All-Time No-Time Any-Time Cookbook, pages 48-49, By Poppy Cannon, Publisher: Thomas Y. Crowell Company. 1974.