Cook with Me: 150 Recipes for the Home Cook

Alex Guarnaschelli. Clarkson Potter, $35 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-13508-2
Food Network personality Guarnaschelli (The Home Cook) serves up a compendium of doable dishes with plenty of encouragement and cleverness. Lists of her go-to equipment (box grater, food processor, half sheet pans) and ingredients (crème fraîche, low-sodium soy sauce, and “the most important ingredient of all: Confidence”) preface a grab bag of recipes for everything from fried green tomatoes to Chinese-style chilled chicken with a zesty peanut sauce. There seems to be no theme beyond variety, and Guarnaschelli incorporates current cooking gadgets (e.g., the Instant Pot) along with nostalgic throwbacks, such as Jell-O molds. There are two versions of spaghetti and meatballs: one inspired by The Godfather (in a sauce of red wine, tomato paste, and sausage) and the other Goodfellas (the meatballs are first browned before cooking in sauce with onions). Elsewhere, Guarnaschelli roasts thick “steaks” of eggplant and red cabbage, and suggests a “nose to tail” vegetable salad that incorporates carrot and beet tops. She feeds a sweet tooth with four dessert chapters, which cover doughnuts and cakes (red velvet cake incorporates a bottle of red wine and a cream cheese frosting with both fresh and freeze-dried strawberries), cookies (lentil cookies she once served to Prince), fruit desserts, and tarts and pies. Despite a dizzying array of recipes, this is an accessible book with lots of heart. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 06/17/2020
Release date: 10/13/2020
Genre: Lifestyle
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