The Zen of Cooking: Creative Cooking with and without Recipes

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Press: Overlook Books; Reprint edition (August 1, 2002)


Cooking can be one of the most sensual and transcendent activities we experience-every combination of ingredients yields a new feast for our senses-of taste, touch, smell, sight, and even hearing-to enjoy. 
The Zen of Cooking means entering a creative "flow" and gaining a complete focus on the activity of cooking.
This is the perfect cookbook for anyone who has ever yearned to cook more creatively-adapting a recipe to suit perfectly the requirements of his or her senses-but wasn't quite sure how to go about it without making a mess of things.
The Zen of Cooking provides base recipes for appetizers, pastas, main dishes, vegetarian dishes, soups, salads, sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and desserts.
These base recipes and the variations presented by the authors-130 in all-are delicious on their own; they are also the starting points for personal and creative cooking.
By learning to separate elective from core ingredients, the home chef can personalize Wolfgang Puck's luscious Lobster with Sweet Ginger, or the signature recipe of any other great chef.
The author shows how to learn to cook while traveling, adapting various ethnic cuisines to suit one's personal taste as well as how to follow the inspiration of what's best and freshest at the market on any given day.
Spiced throughout with Zen wisdom, this special cookbook will help all cooks raise the level of their creativity in the kitchen.
To paraphrase a Zen precept-recipes open the door, but you must enter by yourself.


Plenty of cookbooks create recipes which, when followed exactly, produce pleasing results - but too few tell how to adapt recipes to suit individual tastes; or how to be creative without disastrous results. 
If ever a book could teach creativity, this makes a solid attempt, providing dishes which can be easily 'converted' into variations and including plenty of practical tips on how to achieve balance and success.
-- Midwest Book Review

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Lucille Naimer is a jewelry designer and self-taught chef and a former sportswear and swimwear designer. 
This is her first book.


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Comment List (Total:2)

  •     In The Zen Of Cooking: How Recipes Can Teach Us To Cook Without Them, self-taught chef Lucille Naimer provides the aspiring and adventurous kitchen cook with an impressive collection of 130 base recipes (including their variations) for appetizers, pastas, main dishes, vegetarian dishes, soups, salads, sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and desserts. From Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies; Tarragon Sour Cream Marinade For Poultry; and Turkey in Chocolate and Chili Sauce; to Cauliflower with Mustard Sauce and Vegetarian Meat Loaf; Wild Rice and Black Bean Soup; Polenta with Sausage Ragout; and Veal Rollette with Roasted Pepper Sauce, The Zen Of Cooking offers a highly recommended compendium of delicious, nutritious, and elegant dining.
  •     Some cookbooks talk about the ingredients used in variousdishes. And others provide great detail about the recipesthemselves. The Zen of Cooking goes ones step beyond. Claire and Lucille present, in a very conversational-like fashion, an understanding of the very essence of cooking. Their approach is to bring out the creativity in all of us by changing the very way we think about cooking. Simpkly, if one understands the core elements of a dish, that dish can not only be replicated with precesion but also personalized and enhanced by one's own preferences. As a result, I who understand that the core of cole slaw is a stiff green like lettuce and a dressing, can take this very American staple and turn it into something ethnic. Simply by varying the vinaigrette to perhaps include a rice wine vinegar and a bit of sesame oil and tossing in some spicier greens like anaheim peppers, I have transformed this US classic into something distinctly Asian! The Zen of Cooking is a must for anyone who enjoys cooking and entertaining and likes to be creative.

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