The Weekend Cook: Good Food for Real Life

Angela Hartnett. Bloomsbury Absolute, $35 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4729-7501-0

British chef and restaurateur Hartnett (Angela’s Kitchen) serves up a helping of charm in this tempting collection of “go-to recipes that have served me well when cooking for fun at home.” Inspired by friends, fellow chefs (including her husband, Neil Borthwick), and her own kitchen creations, Hartnett’s recipes feature big flavors and focus on simplicity—“the key,” she writes, “to enjoyable entertaining.” “I really think that everyone should stop being so snobbish about [it],” she gently grouses of store-bought puff pastry, which she employs in her chicken pie recipe. Elsewhere, a Sunday night spaghetti comprising chili flakes, canned tomatoes, onion, and garlic comes straight from Hartnett’s cupboard. Yet chef’s touches are not underrepresented here; radicchio leaves are quick-pickled to elevate a salad, while a smoked mackerel inspired by Fergus Henderson’s London restaurant gets dressed up in a vibrant cabbage salad with shredded beetroot. Hartnett’s love of soup-making accounts for a range of ingredients that are foraged (wild garlic, chanterelles), unexpected (prunes in chicken soup), and under-utilized (mutton bones, rabbit liver). Classics of British cuisine—sausage rolls, Scotch eggs, Victoria sponge—meanwhile, get their own chapter and come executed in crowd-friendly portions. Delivering elegance with ease, this is sure to become a go-to for all types of occasions. (Sept.)
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