cover image How to Dress an Egg: Surprising and Simple Ways to Cook Dinner

How to Dress an Egg: Surprising and Simple Ways to Cook Dinner

Ned Baldwin and Peter Kaminsky. HMH/Rux Martin, $30 (272p) ISBN 978-1-328-52183-5

In this chatty everyman’s guide, Kaminsky (coauthor, Mallmann on Fire) and Baldwin, “a home cook who became a restaurant chef who remains a home cook at heart,” lay out master recipes, then riff on them with variations. The basics are, for the most part, familiar: roast chicken, fish fillets with crispy skin, and eggplant cooked to the point of collapse—though braised beef tongue is one distinctive exception. Most of the combinations slant toward comfort food: roasted pork shoulder is cut into chunks and served with clams and mint, and a whole sea bass is wreathed in sweet peppers and cherries. The only sweet master recipe is for chocolate ganache that is then transformed into hot chocolate or drizzled over cheese and charred pieces of baguette for dessert. Cast in colloquial prose (accompanied by winsome hand-drawn illustrations), Baldwin’s recipes feels eminently doable, but sometimes so much so that readers may wonder whether they need recipes for four variations on hard-boiled eggs with toppings or for three different vegetables (carrots, leeks, and beets) cooked using the same “covered-pot” method. Simplicity works as both pro and con in this encouraging but not groundbreaking guide. (Apr.)