This is a fantastic book! The chapters are pretty normal: Vegetables, Beans & Grains, Noodles & Breads, Eggs, Seafood, Chicken, Pork, and Beef, so you’ll navigate it in a way that’s familiar. The book breaks out 75 rules to make great food, and gives a few recipes that...
This is a fantastic book! The chapters are pretty normal: Vegetables, Beans & Grains, Noodles & Breads, Eggs, Seafood, Chicken, Pork, and Beef, so you’ll navigate it in a way that’s familiar. The book breaks out 75 rules to make great food, and gives a few recipes that illustrate each lesson. While any experienced cook would love it, it would be an empowering one to give people as they venture off into their first apartment or house. The recipes are global and flavor-focused, just like the other Milk Street books. The recipes aren’t terribly complicated, and the instructions are clear, so the cook is guaranteed a win. Most of the dishes are quick, but there are a few dishes that take all day, with the cook participating with the dish on and off.
My thoughts and pics of the dishes we tried:
1) Lentils with Swiss Chard and Pomegranate Molasses – p 67. (Rule #18: Don’t let neutral ingredients stand alone.) Okay, I tend to find lentils a little bland, so I was excited to try this one because it promised to be flavorful, and it is absolutely brilliant, because these lentils are delicious. The bowl quickly disappeared.
2-4) Beef, Orange and Olive Stew – p 265. (Rule #67: Use less liquid for more flavor.) This is just the best stew. There’s no pre-browning the meat. Just seasoned and tossed in some vegetables and into the oven it goes. It’s super tender and juicy and it’s so flavorful! Anchovies for a salty umami punch, garlic, onion, carrots, olives, red wine, sweet bell pepper, orange juice and zest, vinegar for a little more acidity, and parsley for a fresh pop. This one took 6 hours overall, but only about an hour of my time. Total keeper.
5) Spaghetti with Anchovies, Pine Nuts, and Raisins – p 102. (Rule #26: Parcook Pasta for Better Flavor.) I made this for lunch while the stew cooked away since I already had the tin of anchovies open for that. Great pasta, and there’s no trace of cheese anywhere. The toasted crunch of panko on top is a really nice touch.
6) Coquito – p 291. At the end, there’s a seasonal cocktail section. This is listed as “Warming Cocktails for Cool Evenings”. It’s cold and rainy right now, so a cozy drink sounded perfect. Coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, and milk with rum and spices. This is a right decadent treat!
7) Turkish Poached Eggs with Garlicky Yogurt (Cilbir) – p 144. (Rule #37: Go low for the perfect poached egg.) This is the dish on the cover. This is getting a little ridiculous. I’ve made 5 dishes in the book now, and yeah, I’m proclaiming three to be the best ever, and not lightly. The garlicky yogurt, Aleppo pepper butter, and herbs make these eggs phenomenal.
8) Pan-Seared Halibut with Spicy Mint-Lemon Sauce – p 181. (Rule #44: Stick with single-sided searing.) This is nice and spicy, but the halibut, mint, and lemon are not overshadowed.
9) Spiced Stir-Fried Asparagus with Coconut – p 45. (Rule #12: For bolder sauces, lose the liquid.) This is one for the spicy food lovers. Asparagus with coconut, jalapeno, shallot, mustard and cumin seeds, and turmeric.
10) The last two dishes pair perfectly together.
11) Dukkah-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Carrot-Cashew Salad – p 219. (Rule #55: Season crumbs for better crust.) Really yummy and a quick and easy one for a busy weeknight.
12) Flatbread (Pizza) Dough – p 127 for Pepperoncini and Cheese Pizzas with Garlic-Herb Oil – p 129. The dough only rises for an hour and a half, so it’s a pretty quick one for a pizza. The rich fontina was fabulous against the spicy pepperoncini. Great pizza.
13) Summer Squash and Herb Salad – p 15. Summer squash with a lemony vinaigrette, herbs, almonds, and parmesan. Neat, fresh salad. It’s a great one for when you don’t want to have to cook anything. Even the zucchini and yellow squash are raw.
I’ve only had this for two days. I’ll update this as I play in the book more!
Some other dishes I have flagged to try: Avocado and Arugula Salad with Smoked Almonds – p 7 * South Indian Sauteed Spinach – p 25 * Spicy Potatoes with Peanuts and Scallions – p 31 * Indian-Spiced Potatoes and Peas with Chilies and Ginger – p 32 * Stir-Fried Green Beans with Pork and Oyster Sauce – p 41 * Creamy Polenta – p 51 with Butter, Garlic, and Anchovy Sauce – p 52 * Black-Eyed Pea Fritters – p 57 * Spanish Chorizo, Ham, and White Bean Stew – p 69 * Oaxacan Refried Black Beans – p 73 * Campanelle Pasta with Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, and Basil – p 83 * Spaghetti with Cilantro Yogurt – p 85 * Thai Stir-Fried Glass Noodles with Carrots and Roasted Peanuts (Pad Woon Sen) – p 91 * Butternut Squash and Feta with Toasted Pearl Couscous – p 101 * Pasta with Pesto alla Genovese – p 105 * Fettucini with Olives and Arugula – p 108 * Gemelli with Tomato-Almond Pesto – p 122 * Smashed Potatoes with Soft-Cooked Eggs and Mint (Yeralma Yumurta) – p 153 * Omelet with Mushrooms, Mustard, and Gruyere – p 158 * Southeast Asian-Style Mushroom Omelet – p 161 * Spanish Tortilla with Roasted Red Peppers – p 163 * Shrimp with Kerkennaise Sauce – p 175 * Mexican Shrimp in Garlic Sauce – p 183 * Crispy Chicken Under a Brick – p 197 * Chili-Red Pepper Chicken Kebabs – p 205 * Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Sweet Lime-Garlic Dressing – p 210 * Lemon-Lime Lacquered Grilled Chicken – p 215 * Apricot, Saffron, and Tarragon Chicken en Cocotte – p 235 * Thai Grilled Pork Skewers – p 241 * Japanese Ginger Pork – p 245 * Suya-Spiced Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloins – p 249 * Mexican Wedding Stew with Pork – p 254 * Thai Stir-Fried Beef with Basil – p 267 * Pan-Seared Steaks with Sherry and Caper Vinaigrette – p 273 * Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce – p 287 * Paprika-Garlic Beef and Pork Patties – p 289
*I received a copy to explore and share my thoughts.