Repertoire: All the Recipes You Need

Jessica Battilana. Little, Brown, $32 (240p) ISBN 978-0-316-36034-0
San Francisco Chronicle food columnist Battilana delivers 75 classic recipes in this valuable cookbook, arguing that home cooks don’t need a collection of hundreds of recipes to be well-rounded, but a “set of durable, flexible recipes that... form the backbone” of their cooking. The book is logically broken up into appetizers (“Ways to Start”), main dishes, and desserts, each providing familiar flavors, including Italian-American classic comforts (garlicky broccoli rabe and provolone crostini; eggplant parm; and spaghetti aglio e olio) and those with an Eastern flair (harissa and honey chicken thighs; vermicelli noodles with lemongrass pork meatballs; and rice pudding with citrus and pistachios). Battilana also equips the reader with tips and tricks needed to make homemade sweet and savory tart shells, pretzel rolls, gnocchi (paired with a brown butter sauce), dumplings, chocolate ice cream, and crème fraîche. While the author claims that these recipes are appropriate for weeknight cooking and dinner entertaining alike, some are too time-consuming to truly be called weeknight dishes (to make corn fritters, for example, batter has to sit in the fridge for an hour before prepping and frying). That said, readers will appreciate her agreeable philosophy (“I believe in repeats, in making a dish so often and for so many people that it becomes inextricably linked to you”) that make this book accessible and promise to boost home cooks’ confidence. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, InkWell. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Release date: 04/03/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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