Prewashed, Prepeeled, Prechopped: Prefab Food

Serious cooks are taking a serious look at the new convenience ingredients sold at supermarkets—everything from presliced wild mushroom mixes to logs of slice-and-bake polenta. F&W's Grace Parisi transforms the best prefab foods into nine delicious recipes.

prefab revolution

made-to-order jeans
Some clothing designers are letting shoppers customize their look. Consider denim couturier Christopher Scott of Manhattan's An Earnest Cut & Sew. In a studio decorated with beaver pelts, customers select denim variety, button style and other details from a range of options. Pants are ready three weeks later, with the buyer's signature and the assembly date embroidered on the (customizable) pocket lining (from $460; 212-242-3414).

diy roadsters
"Kit car" companies let buyers mix and match replica parts from vintage automobiles to create their own custom roadsters. The silver model, from a company called Thunder Ranch, starts with a 1950s Porsche body and adds wheel "eyebrows" that are more typical of a midcentury Mercedes (from $4,000;

pre-assembled houses
Prefab houses are put together in a factory, then brought to the site almost fully built—down to the kitchen cabinets. The design is from Resolution 4 Architecture (from $175 per sq ft; 212-675-9266).
—Ratha Tep

PUBLISHED March 2006