A Recipe for Cooking
William Morrow, 2016 (2016)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
al Peternell, Chef at Chez Panisse and author of
, offers a wonderful new cookbook –
A Recipe for Cooking
. He keeps a journal of meals. He realized that many, many of these meals '
tell the stories about friends telling stories around a table, talking about their kids and their lives
'. He recalls '
the sounds and the smells of cooking and the food tells in turn the stories of farmers and fishermen and ranchers.
e feels these stories are as important as the written record providing memories more telling than the usual glossy photos of dishes. Peternell wants this book to '
embolden you in the kitchen, inspire you to find good ingredients, and enable you to cook them with confidence and pleasure. And when the eating is done, I hope you will have great stories to tell and fond listeners with stories of their own.
hef Peternell notes that parts of the recipes can be omitted without losing the charm. Do what is right '
for tonight and everyone will be happier
'. He also admonishes that it is essential to taste, taste, and taste. Paying attention to what you learn from careful tasting is the single most important skill in the kitchen.
ow, without further ado, on to the recipes – Aperitivi:
Olives with Citrus Zests and Fried Herbs
Cold Brined Carrots
Top Pizza Dough Crackers
. All sound good? There are more in this category. Can't list them all. As is the case with other choices.
Agnolotti del Plin in Brodo with Sweet Peas
Grilled Asparagus with Homemade Pancetta and Hazelnut Salsa
Wild Salmon Gravlax with Shaved Asparagus Salad
. These recipes are for summer and there are equally lovely selections for the other three seasons.
15 Layer Lasagna
Cast-Iron Pan Roast
Duck cooked Two Ways
. Then we go to Alongsides with choices for all the seasons:
Roasted Winter Squash with Brown Butter
Creamed Sweet Corn Polenta
. And Sauces:
Red Wine Vinaigrette
Peaches and Red Onions
. And finally Desserts:
Rhubarb Flaky Tart
Peaches with Crisp Stuffing
Persimmon Toast with Chocolate, Pistachios, and Cream
ot all these dishes floating before your eyes as you envision tying on that apron and getting out the necessary utensils and ingredients? Me, too. This wonderful cookbook is generous with tips and suggestions. But, most of all, I'm sure Chef Peternell wants you to enjoy your cooking, the eating and the sharing of stories around a table laden with good food. Bon Appetit!
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