07 December 2012
Book Review | The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
As I've mentioned, I recently acquired a copy of Deb Perelman's The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. The author has been writing about food/cooking over at The Smitten Kitchen blog for years now, and her expertise is evident in this long-awaited book.
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman | Knopf | January 2012 | Hardcover $35.00
First, and most obviously, the book is beautiful. Ms. Perelman did all of the photos herself in her tiny little kitchen. And every single recipe has at least one photo -- the more involved/complicated ones have more. Plus, I love that the cover looks great with or without the dust jacket. Oh, yeah, and it opens flat on your kitchen counter. Details like this make me so happy.
I do want to make it clear that this is not a cookbook for beginners. The instructions are all clear and the author has included plenty of little asides and tips, but if you can barely boil an egg this book is not for you! And it isn't for folks who only like simple, meat-n-taters type meals, either. Ms. Perelman was once a vegetarian, and that comes across in her creative use of produce (and relative dearth of heavy meats) in these dishes.
But if you think cooking is a fun hobby, if you like trying new ingredients and combinations, if you want to try something different but not unrealistically complicated, if you appreciate recipes that have been tested and perfected by a foodie who knows what she's doing -- this is the cookbook for you.
I've already tried a couple of recipes from the book: a fancy sort of grilled cheese (which involved caramelized onions, and which made me seriously ecstatic) and a cucumber dill 'slaw. Planning on trying the latkes this weekend (it is Hanukkah, after all).
This is one of the few cookbooks I have that I know will get lots of repeated use. And that's probably the best recommendation a cookbook can get.
Perelman, Deb. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. New York: Knopf, 2012. Print.
Blue Willow Bookshop
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