I love this book (The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook). I want to move to New York and hang out with Deb Perelman and her baby Jacob in their tiny New York kitchen. I want breakfast at Stingy Lulu’s in East Village and to share her Mom’s apple cake and her husband Alex’s rugelach.
At Squidbeak we’ve followed the Smitten Kitchen blog (www.smittenkitchen.com) for ages. We’ve drooled over her photographs, relished her unfussy food as much as her funny, conversational writing style and we have to admit to being insanely jealous of the 5 million visitors to her website every month.
It’s easy to see why. She talks to you like you’re her best friend. Her recipes are homely and accessible, written by a home cook not a celebrity chef with a brigade of five at their elbow. For instance: ‘Were I a different kind of person – perhaps the kind who always has loaves of homemade bread and bags of homemade chicken stock in the freezer and never, ever has glare-offs with sinks full of dirty dishes – it might not have taken me most of my lifetime to accept that boneless, skinless chicken breasts are possibly not the worst food on earth’ and goes on to give us a delicious recipe for thin, crisp slices of moist crunchy chicken and a salad of rocket leaves and fennel with Dijon mustard dressing that she thinks you might fall in love with.
There are delicious breakfast recipes, main dishes, tarts, pizza, and sweet things. And listen up veggies, Deb was a vegetarian for a decade so understands what makes a tasty and interesting non-meat dish and there are plenty in this book like her linguine with cauliflower pesto; leek fritters with garlic and lemon, Mexican stuffed peppers, avocado tartine with cucumber and sesame seeds. Every recipe too has a story to tell, so if you are the kind of person who likes to take a cookery book to bed there is plenty of bedtime reading in this book.
If you still need to be persuaded that Deb Perelman is your new best friend, then just read her recipe for a Tiny But Intense Chocolate Cake ‘This is the cake I make for my chocoholic father in law …It’s what I sent home with the babysitter when she let it slip that it was her birthday that day. It’s what I’d make for you if you showed up at my doorstep after a bad day ‘. Thanks Deb, we’ll be round right away.