We begin another year of Dinner in Minutes with what will be an occasional series that pays homage to chefs and cooks who made their mark on American cooking. This one's from a 1994 memoir with recipes by the late Pierre Franey, who was born in Burgundy, France, 93 years ago this month.
The chef earned the nickname "Pierre le Gourmand" by the time he was 5 years old, in part because he spent his early childhood hunting snails and acquiring a fine palate for local cheeses. He cooked in the French pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair in New York, where Craig Claiborne found him and wrote about him. From there, Franey became executive chef at Le Pavillon in Manhattan.
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Franey and Claiborne had a long friendship and collaboration, which included several cookbooks and the chef's column in The Times called "60-Minute Gourmet," which ran from 1976 until 1993.
This recipe takes half the time of his 60-minute creations, yet it tastes like a whole hour -- and more. The very pale tomatoes are already upon us, so we added tomato paste to compensate. You'll need a nonreactive pan -- such as enameled cast-iron, stainless-steel or nonstick -- because of the acidic ingredients.
Serve with quickly boiled, then smashed small potatoes and a salad.