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You probably need this book

Posted by Sheryl Julian  April 22, 2009 02:55 PM

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This book offers an interesting concept: Imagine all the dishes you buy already prepared and would like to know how to make. Use the step-by-step photos here and you'll learn how. The authors are Stephen Hartigan, a private chef who has worked in top London restaurants, and Jerry Boak, a writer and web designer.

To make the lasagna pictured on the cover, you'll see how to layer the tomato sauce, the ricotta mixture, and the noodles. An eggplant Parmesan takes you through the batter stages, into the pan, and then the baking dish.

They really begin at the beginning: fried or scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes. Entrees include satay chicken skewers, meatballs, pork chops, quick chili. Desserts: lemon tart, special occasion cake.

So many cooks, me among them, assume you know how to chop an onion, turn broccoli into florets, or separate an egg. These authors assume you know nothing. An accessible volume for anyone trying to wean himself from carry out. It's never very good! It's so expensive! Put down those keys and head to the kitchen.

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

The Recipe Box Project:

If you want to contribute a recipe to The Recipe Box Project, please write it below. Also tell us where you got it (package box, cookbook, mom, friend -- include the name). We're looking for the kinds of dishes that people grew up on, that were served at family suppers, that tell a story, that are typically New England, or that you brought with you from a far away place to New England. We will print one of the recipes in the Food section once a month. To ask any questions, write to Debra Samuels, who is overseeing this project, at To discuss your recipes, click here.