Just Cook It! 145 Built-to-Be-Easy Recipes That Are Totally Delicious

Justin Chapple. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30 (288p) ISBN 978-0-544-96883-7
Preparing food doesn’t have to be drudgery, as this fun collection shows. Chapple, Food & Wine deputy test-kitchen editor and host of the web series Mad Genius Tips, approaches his recipes with a light and humorous tone and a realistic focus on the time and budget constraints people face. Bacon can be cooked in the oven, preserved lemons can be made in 10 minutes on the stove, and truffles can be made with condensed milk in place of butter or cream. Chapple’s recipes, which feel both current and homey, cover most of the bases from family meals to entertaining on special occasions, and they include recipes for onion dip, white chicken chili, ravioli lasagna, and pineapple-roasted pork shoulder. Throughout there’s a smart intersection of flavors and presentation that enlivens the food without seeming gimmicky. An avocado pizza sprinkled with dukkah, an Egyptian spice mix, combines Middle Eastern and Californian traditions; a croque madame, baked as a casserole, blends French bistro fare with Midwestern ease; and tacos made with crispy fish sticks amp up a freezer staple. This is an accessible call to action for home cooks of every skill level. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
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