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Relax in the kitchen! Two fuss-free recipes

Escabeche is a distant Spanish cousin of the Latin American favorite, ceviche, only in this case the fish is slightly cooked rather than raw, and instead of lime juice, the tart note is provided by vinegar. To get a smoky flavor, Brigit simply chars a few tomatoes under the broiler, then whizzes them up with some fire-roasted peppers, and marinates with the wine-steamed shrimp for 8 hours or overn

Escabeche is a distant Spanish cousin of the Latin American favorite, ceviche, only in this case the fish is slightly cooked rather than raw, and instead of lime juice, the tart note is provided by vinegar. To get a smoky flavor, Brigit simply chars a few tomatoes under the broiler, then whizzes them up with some fire-roasted peppers, and marinates with the wine-steamed shrimp for 8 hours or overnight (this way, the flavors have a chance to get really cozy). The resulting dish is restaurant-level complex, and all she has to do when guests arrive is transfer to some pretty glasses.

Brigit Binns is the author or co-author of 18 cookbooks, including the Williams-Sonoma series and “The Palm Restaurant Cookbook.” Shelived in Europe for 10 years, where she graduated from England's Tante Marie cooking school, owned her own catering business and edited the English-language magazine of Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

While pursuing her career, she has always entertained and had a habit of re-inventing the wheel for each dinner party — often with rather unfortunate results. But after three marriages on two continents and dinner party disasters in cities and towns across the globe, she's finally learned the truth: Great cooking doesn't have to be hard.