Cooking in Ten Minutes

The Adaption to the Rhythm of Our Time

By: Edouard de Pomiane

Publication Date: November 1996

(4 customer reviews)


Cooking in Ten Minutes: The Adaption to the Rhythm of Our Time by Edouard de Pomiane

Cooking in Ten Minutes features over 300 recipes, all of which can be prepared in ten minutes – no microwave required. Here we find ultra-rapid soups, extemporary sauces, instantaneous egg dishes, together with vegetable, fish and meat recipes, and sweets that can be prepared rapidly. Introduction by Raymond Blanc, drawings by André Giroux.

Uncomplicated, wonderful recipes from a witty, informal gourmet. Pomiane, one of the most innovative French chefs, is never afraid to fly in the face of tradition. These books deserve to be on the shelf of every serious cook.

‘I adore Pomiane; for me he is completely inspirational. All his recipes sound simple yet utterly alluring. His books, full of irreverent good sense and exciting dishes, are among my most treasured possessions. He has the rare ability to appeal to both serious and armchair cooks.’ Darina Allen

‘Don’t think of Pomiane as a great chef, though he was, but as a guide to living food.’ Christopher Driver

‘A good teacher, philosopher and a very happy cook. He will pour light on both your cooking and attitude to life.’ Raymond Blanc

‘The best kind of cookery writing.’ Elizabeth David

‘The mouthful of a title belies the simplistic soul of the book, which is de Pomiane’s agenda to approach cooking with refreshed clarity and speed, to ensure that you have time to sit back, relax and consider life.’ Brain Food Studio

‘Good little book and very practical.’ Customer review


EDOUARD DE POMIANE was born in Paris, the son of Polish émigrés. One of this century’s greatest cookery writers, he lectured at the Institut Pasteur and wrote a number of classic books including The Jews of Poland: Recollections and Recipes. He died in 1964.


4 reviews for Cooking in Ten Minutes

  1. Lilliput Press

    “I am training myself in the dark art of cookery, given that my family will shortly be leaving the country for a little while.

    At the beginning of today, I couldn’t cook to save my life. On receiving the book, I relished my visit to Tesco, and I managed to create an entrecote fillet steak dressed with sauce bearnaise and accompanied by mushrooms a la creme. For dessert, I made sauteed banana fritters with cinnamon.

    Total cost production: around £3.

    Total time of production: around 12 minutes from raw ingredients to the delicious end result.

    I cannot rate this book highly enough. My confidence in my ability to cook has skyrocketed from zero to hero in the space of ONE day.”

  2. Lilliput Press

    “This was the first cookbook I owned, a present from my parents when I went to boarding school.
    I have always loved it. It has inspired both my cooking and my writing ever since.
    In his “ABC of Reading”, the American poet Ezra Pound reported his delight at finding in a German-Italian dictionary the entry “dichten = condensare”. “Dichten” means “writing”, as in poetry. So simple, said Pound, writing poetry is condensing.
    Edouard de Pomiane is a poet of the kitchen. Like John Travolta’s character in “Get Shorty”, he says “no more than necessary, if that.” His breezy confidence does more to inspire and assure an aspiring cook than any amount of detailed instruction.
    The book’s premise is that one has an hour for lunch. (Even the French will remember this with nostalgia.) Each dish is limited to ten minutes preparation time. Thus the reader may prepare a three-course lunch and spend half an hour enjoying it.
    De Pomiane urges the necessity of having a pot of boiling water on hand. The time taken to boil this is not included in the ten minutes. You should start the pot as soon as you begin, “even before you take off your hat”. If you do not need the water for the cooking, you will use it for washing up.
    Though some of his recipes appear to verge on self parody, it is nothing but poetry.
    He describes in two or three sentences how to cook a soft boiled egg. Then: “Salt. Eat with a crisp lettuce leaf and a glass of dry white wine. This is a feast.”
    Not all the dishes are obvious. The first recipe I tried from the necessarily skimpy section on desserts was for an implausible concoction of sliced bread, jam, milk and sugar. It was unbelievably good.
    I understand Elizabeth David was an admirer of de Pomiane’s elegant, funny and limpid clarity.
    My quotations are from memory: I lost my 1967 edition a quarter of a century ago, but I’m ordering another right now.” STEPHEN TAYLOR

  3. Lilliput Press

    “Mad advice, no? Let me explain. This book from 1930 will reconnect you with the joy and pleasures of eating in a busy and hectic world where everything we do is sub-optimal according to all the advice being blared at us.

    Edouard de Pomiane was not a chef but a scientist specialising in nutrition such as it was understood at the time, and it was an exciting time in the discovery of vitamins and their role. You’d never guess that referring to this slender volume since at no point does he refer to the nutritional qualities of his dishes. He was a witty man who enjoyed the little pleasures of life and the key to this book lies in the subtitle, ” The Adaption to the Rhythm of Our Time.” He was a busy man who insisted it was vital to take time out to recharge over a meal through the pleasure of eating. His book was aimed at busy, single people such as students and entry-level white collar workers who might live in a modest urban bedsit with two gas burners and a sink. He insisted that with an hour’s break it should be possible to prepare a three course meal for one or an additional guest and sit down for a whole uninterrupted 1/2 hour to round it off with a coffee, cognac, and/or cigarette (it was the 30s after all), and possibly do the washing up too. Pre-microwave ovens and with no expectation of either a fridge or a freezer available to the reader that sounds fanciful in the extreme, but his method for organising things works, it really does.

    A lot of the recipes are unfashionable, some ingredients are peculiarly French, some are no longer available, there is much tinned food that could be replaced by refrigerated pre-prepared dishes, but should you care to try any the recipes actually turn out. If you come from central Europe you will no doubt recognise such speed dishes as “semolina soup” which is surprisingly delicious served very hot in a small portion in a thin china cup (three courses, remember!) There is something very helpful in reminding you when you’re tired and fed up that with very small tweaks you can make your standbys a little more interesting and varied, hence the repetitive nature of many recipes. Another author may have organised their recipes differently. Julia Child would have given the main recipe and listed the “variations” below.

    Above all this cookbook is about taking the time to enjoy what you’re putting in your mouth. When Pomiane suggests you buy “a slice of ham” to enliven your eggs you know it’s a really good single slice of ham and that putting it in your mouth is to experience the essence of ham. Each “salad” (really, mostly dressed vegetables) are a refreshing few mouthfuls to be enjoyed as a course in their own right so break out the good oil and fancy salt, he would approve. Really, this book is not about filling a hole in your belly but about how vitally important it is to give yourself permission to slow down, ground your body and mind in the moment for a little while. Think of it as mindfulness through food. It really doesn’t matter what you eat, it’s all about how you eat and that is why this book is still relevant. You might not cook lunch anymore, but is cramming a sandwich into your face at your desk really good enough? Shouldn’t you maybe pack a modest selection (3 courses if you include that apple and pot of yoghurt) of something you genuinely like and go away from your desk and eat off a plate, maybe even outside? When you get home late follow his advice and don’t even take your coat off until you’ve put the kettle on, got the meal heating, and set yourself a proper table-setting. It’s much easier to be arsed when your table is waiting for you and the kettle’s just gone, and a nice omelet followed by a simply dressed salad or vegetables you’ve steamed in the microwave really isn’t a bad thing to go to sleep on, is it? It’s really about being nice to yourself. Oh, and the woodcuts are utterly delightful.

    Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed take this book from the shelf and leaf through it to remind yourself that you can be nice to yourself without loads of time, effort or money.” SKINNY LITTLE THING

  4. Lilliput Press

    “Straight forward and simple instructions for the beginner as well as a refresher for those who brush up their skills.” JINSEY

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Weight 0.25 kg
Dimensions 130 × 200 mm

November 1996


Paperback, 160pp