July 8, 2015
Someone recently asked me to list favorite cookbooks, and this is the first one that came to mind.
Edouard de Pomiane was a scientist, a writer and one of the world's greatest demystifiers of the cooking process. He was also, at least judging from his writing and radio programs, a fascinating man with a wicked sense of humor. I'm sorry so few of his books have been translated into English.
Cooking in Ten Minutes is pretty much the opposite of its American counterpart, The I Hate to Cook Book. Pomiane shows you how to make good food from fresh ingredients in very little time with a minimum of fuss. Among his more useful ideas is the notion of boiling potatoes when you have the time to do it and leaving them in the refrigerator. When hunger hits he has a number of suggestions for fast recipes that use them.
Reading Pomiane is always a joy. I recently came upon this little gem, which I plan to serve tonight for dinner.
De Pomiane’s Tomates a la Creme
Take 6 tomatoes. Cut them in halves. Melt a lump of butter in a frying pan, put in the tomatoes, cut side down, and puncture the tops with a sharp knife. Let them cook for 5 minutes.
Turn them over, and sprinkle with salt and cook for ten more minutes. Turn them again so that the juice spread through the pan. Turn the tomatoes cut side up again.
Add 3 ounces of heavy cream. Mix it with the juices. As soon as it bubbles, slip the tomatoes and the sauce into a hot dish. Serve very hot.
If you're interested in de Pomiane, you'll also want to know about this book, Cooking with Pomiane, with its great introduction by Elizabeth David.
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