PW Annex Reviews
Ray has made quite a name for herself on The Food Network, where she hosts four shows, and in a baker's dozen of cookbooks mostly dedicated to easy-to-prepare cuisine. To love this book is to love the author's quirks, like calling extra virgin olive oil "EVOO" and hearty soups "stoups." But her recipes are tasty, simple and often sophisticated enough to turn even doubters into fans. This cookbook, the author's 11th, is dedicated to quick after-work meals and is separated into chapters called "Meals for the Exhausted," "Meals for the Not Too Tired" and "Bring it On! (But Be Gentle)." A meal for the pretty much awake, Smoked Paprika Chicken with Egg Noodles and Buttered Warm Radishes, is the sort of thick, nourishing plate a person craves when the thermometer drops. Pasta in a Creamy Artichoke and Saffron Sauce is luxurious with its sauce of saffron, heavy cream and parmigiano. The chicken and chorizo burritos called Dinner, Wrapped Up are cheesy, filling kid-pleasers, even if the accompanying text can be wince-inducing ("it's a way-cool mega-rrito, dude!"). But what's most remarkable about these dishes is that they take less than an hour to prepare—often a lot less—but they taste like they took all day. For busy, exhausted cooks, that's worth all the quirkiness in the world. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.