I have 155 cookbooks. No, I’m not some crazy fanatic who counts her cookbooks. I’m a crazy fanatic who keeps all of her cookbooks in her virtual library on Goodreads. I have seriously cut back on my cookbook buying, so when I do get a new cookbook, I expect a lot from it. Amy Pennington’s Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchenwas everything I hoped it would be and more.
Normally, I wait until I’ve made several recipes out of a book before I review it, but this was just so lovely, I had to share it now. First of all the pictures of her pantry with all the food in jars totally won me over immediately. Put some polenta, or beans, or grains in jars and line them up in your pantry, and I am in love. Then take those simple, lovely ingredients and turn them into simple, lovely meals, I am yours forever.
She divides the book into chapters titled: Breakfast, Appetizers, Soups, Salads & Side Dishes, Main Courses, Garnishes Vinaigrettes & Sauces, Pantry Staples, Pickles & Preserves, and Desserts. Picking just one recipe from each chapter:
- Hippie Hotcakes
- Onion-Thyme Tart
- Herbal Minestrone
- White Bean & Preserved Lemon Salad
- Over Easy Tomatoes with Polenta
- Steeping Fruit
- Homemade Bread Crumbs
- Boozy Blood Orange Marmalade
- Vanilla Quinoa Pudding
And there is lots more! Really, I’ve marked practically the whole book to make. The vanilla quinoa pudding is next on my list. I was trying to decide last night, what I could quickly make, so that I would have at least tried one of the recipes. I settled on Quick Pickled Chiles, because I love all pickles and because I had just picked some peppers from my garden. These were quick, simple, and a nice spicy garnish for a simple fish dish.
Quick Pickled Chiles
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 fresh red pepper (paprika or serrano), stemmed, seeded, cut lengthwise into thin strips
1 thin-skinned fresh green pepper (jalapeno or Hungarian wax), stemmed, seeded, cut lengthwise into thin slices
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and the vinegar, until the sugar dissolves. Add the peppers to the bowl and macerate for 30 minutes or longer. The longer they soak, the less spice they will retain.
Pantry Note: They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three weeks as long as the peppers stay submerged.
Makes 4 servings, as a garnish.
Get it. You totally have my permission: