cover image The New York Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipes: A Cookbook

The New York Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipes: A Cookbook

Sam Sifton. Ten Speed, $28 (256p) ISBN 978-1-98485-847-4

Sifton (See You on Sunday), food editor of the New York Times, gathers in this remarkable cookbook 100 purposefully inexact methods for creating delicious meals. Cooking without adhering to standard recipes “is a proficiency to develop, a way to improve your confidence in the kitchen,” he writes, and, accordingly, the recipes are accompanied by measurement-free ingredient lists, a soupçon of insouciance (“This is a freestyle version of restaurant food”), cheerful tips, and ideas for modifications. A “bloop” of molasses goes into fried chicken marinade, while a couple “glugs” of olive oil are needed for braised kale with paprika. The making of enchiladas is eased by stacking rather than the tedious rolling of tortillas, and a savory spin on french toast uses cherry tomatoes and basil rather than cinnamon and sugar. The dishes are geared toward those with at least some familiarity with cooking (readers are told, for instance, to produce a pot of rice “as you always do” for a dried fruit and almond pilaf), and capable home cooks will appreciate how no-recipe recipes allow them to make flexible, tasty dishes without getting bogged down in details or overbearing instructions. Innovative, fun, and freeing, this outstanding offering will reenergize the creative spirits of novice and experienced home cooks alike. (Mar.)