While lazy is in the eye of the beholder, I think we can all agree that there are several things that are not lazy:
Grocery shopping is not lazy.
Lots of chopping is not lazy.
Lots of steps are not lazy.
Washing dishes is not lazy.
Finding recipes that minimize these chores but produce wonderful dishes is my hobby. You might even call it an obsession.
Over my 40 years or so of serious cooking, I have amassed a considerable number of recipes that are lazy. Some of them are straight from the source, some of them I have adapted - i.e. cut every corner I could from a traditional recipe, some I have collected from other moms in a hurry. And finally, some recipes I have invented.
The French definition of a gourmet is someone who likes to eat good things. Julia Child, in her tome Mastering the Art of French Cooking, wrote that her book was for the American cook who is looking for “something wonderful to eat.” Following Julia’s lead, The Lazy Gourmet is for cooks who appreciate lazy technique, while understanding that food should be wonderful.
A gourmet cook uses only first-quality ingredients: fresh produce, vibrant herbs and spices, and the best and freshest fish, chicken, and meat. We mostly avoid canned and frozen products because they usually taste stale and bland. The Lazy Gourmet cook uses classic techniques because those techniques preserve the natural qualities of the ingredients.
I am now a semi-retired grandmother. I see my daughters and their friends going through what I did as they balance work, life and family.
- Why should they have to reinvent the wheel when figuring out how to feed their families?
- Why should I take my culinary goldmine of Lazy Gourmet recipes to the grave?
My daughter Josie, a new mom, has been testing these recipes formally and informally for years. While cooking and entering cooking contests is her hobby, she is the laziest of gourmets. She even buys her ginger pre-grated and in a bottle. Many of the shortcuts in these recipes are hers. My daughter Molly does not cook but her husband is learning how to navigate the kitchen for their family. My friend Katie, also a new mom and a brilliant lawyer, does not have time for complicated cooking.
This book is for them, and for all the other lazy gourmets out there.