As described in chapter 1 of The Minimalist Kitchen, minimalizing is as much an art form as a practical cooking philosophy. This book covers not only paring down your Kitchen Gadgets but also helps you make over your pantry.
The author, Melissa Coleman, describes minimalism as living efficiently, with only the essentials. Most people have far more gadgets, utensils and food than they actually use on a regular basis. A Minimalist Kitchen will help you control the excess.
While some books have recipes with five ingredients or less, those five ingredients will be different throughout each of the individual recipes. This can cause you to have a multitude of items in your pantry which you will only use once or twice. The recipes in this book are designed to use the same ingredients as other recipes in the book but in different ways, providing a wide range of flavors.
Following the introduction to a Minimalist Kitchen, The Essential Tools provides an overview of the most important tools to keep on hand. Next comes How To Build A Minimalist Pantry, describing how to organize yourself and your pantry items.
How To Stock A Minimalist Pantry explains how to decide what goes into your pantry and how to keep it minimalist. With How To Build A Minimalist Spice Cabinet you will always have the spices you need on hand without unnecessary extras.
The Ingredients section provides a list of the ingredients recommended to keep on hand. This will of course change to your own preferences based on the recipes you choose as your 100 go-to recipes.
In The Recipes, you learn how to best use the recipes in the rest of the book. There is also a Simple Dinner Plan included.
Recipe chapters include:
- Main Dishes
- Burgers, Wraps & Sandwiches
- Soups & Salads
Each of the recipes starts with a paragraph about how it came to be. They also include hands-on time, and total time, as well as yield. Icons included at the bottom of each recipe indicate which kitchen pot, pan or other kitchen equipment you will need.
Many of the recipes have labels like Weekday, which means it’s quick to prepare, Weekend which means it takes a little longer has more components etc. and Make Ahead which requires advanced prep and extra time.
Each of the recipes includes luscious full-page photographs of the finished dish. The abundance of photographs rather surprised me (in a good way) given the minimalist nature of the book.
After all of the recipes comes a Seasonal Produce Guide, which will help you choose the appropriate pantry inclusions for each season. Next, a Metric Equivalents set of tables is followed by the Recipe Index.
A Necessary Concept For Any Kitchen
Putting aside the number of people needing to downsize, retirees for example, and the prevalence of Tiny House and RV Living, I think any kitchen can benefit from this book.
Too many of us have entirely too many gadgets in our kitchens. Many of us also end up buying condiments or other ingredients for use only once leaving so much wasted and unused in our pantries.
The absolutely gorgeous, easy to follow recipes aside I would buy this book just for chapter 1. The information on how to pare down your kitchen to just the essentials is invaluable. This would also make an excellent gift for anyone setting up their first kitchen.
For the included recipe I have chosen Garlicky Potato Wedges because I do have a soft spot for a good potato wedge. Enjoy!
Garlicky Potato Wedges
Weekend - Weekday
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3 pounds potatoes russet, 6-8 potatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped, fresh, curly (optional)
- 2 tablespoons parmesan finely chopped
- ketchup (optional)
Make The Potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Set out an unlined baking sheet. Combine the oil and garlic in a bowl. Set aside. Scrub the potatoes and pat dry. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Then cut each half into four (1 inch thick) wedges. Add the wedges to the oil mixture, and toss to thoroughly coat. Sprinkle with the salt and toss once more.
- Place the wedges in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip and cook for 15 minutes more.
Garnish The Potatoes
- Garnish the potatoes with the parsley (for color), if desired, and the Parmesan (for flavor). Taste and adjust the salt if necessary. Serve with the ketchup, if desired.
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