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Fried eggs on polenta, and the mini corndog bites are like comfort food heaven! SOme amazing recipes in here, although american cup measures are a must! I really enjoyed the stories behind each recipe as well, as I don't tend to use so much those cook books that have no narrative or history. A valued addition to the shelf, and I am especially pleased as I got this at an absolutely bargainous price used!
I realise that I am going against a whole generation and large following for Melissa Clark but...this cook book really didn't do it for me. It's not an Anglo-American thing, its not the personal stories that she tells but for me the book doesn't work on so many levels. It is not so much a cookbook rather more a personal journey through food with recipes - that is fine in itself and Melissa Clark is clearly an amazing cook but whereas Nigel Slater, Skye Gyllengal and many others write with you and for you - colluding in the impression that you can do this with them - somehow Clark gives a distant impression and the book doesnt' lend itself( despite the title) of wanting to cook what she describes
It will be great for her fans but for others its OK
I was rearranging cookbooks after a kitchen remodel and had forgotten this one, but was drawn in by the sandwich on the cover so gave it another look. I enjoy an origin story, I really do, but the way she wrote was so self conscious, as if she studied every sentence with a thesaurus on hand. I found it precious and not adorable. There are some unique recipes that I’m interested to try. The leeks with sharp mustard vinaigrette sounded really interesting, but is it an appetizer, a snack, something you serve with roasted chicken? The same goes for bacon pecan pralines. They’re both unusual and potentially interesting, but what are they supposed to look like, and are they meant to be paired with something? There are no pictures, and no pairing suggestions. That combined with the fact that her writing style really grated (see what I did there? Haha) makes this a cookbook I cannot recommend.
Love this cookbook! I've made about 15 of the recipes, and they've all been excellent. While a knowledge of basic cooking is essential (of course), few of the recipes are particularly time or labor intensive, and some are downright easy. And the ingredients can be found at any local grocery. And yet, given the ease of cooking and the standard ingredients, Clark's recipes are delicious. She is an artist, excelling at combining flavors and textures, so that each dish is far more than the sum of its parts. I highly recommend this book!
I would point out one thing. This isn't a criticism of the book, but simply a caution. It seems these days that people want a cookbook with a specific eating theme- vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, low-carb, low-fat, vegan, comfort food, BBQ, desserts, etc. This book doesn't fall into any category. It contains a wide range of recipe types, something for everyone, but not a lot of any one kind. I love that about the book. Something to fit my every taste and mood.
This is my go-to cookbook for everyday cooking. The recipes are both practical and accessible. They also have a certain comforting appeal to them, while still being unique and unexpected (Garlic and Thyme-Roasted Chicken with Crispy Drippings Croutons for example). The book is divided into 12 chapters with each chapter having a clever title. For example, the chapter on chicken is titled "It Tastes Like Chicken" and the chapter on meat is titled "I Was Never a Vegetarian." But the bottom line is there are ten somewhat unconventional categories: breakfast-y items, vegetables, fish, chicken, meat, cheese, sandwiches, fried foods, holiday foods, pies, and beverages. Each chapter has about ten recipes and there is a narrative before each recipe that is both entertaining and informative. A number of recipes are also followed with variations. So for example, the recipe for Roasted Chicken Thighs with Green Peaches, Basil, and Ginger is followed by several variations using slightly different ingredients, such as apples, gin, and coriander seeds instead of peaches, basil and ginger.
I have tried a number of recipes in this book to great success. The garlic sesame-cured broccoli salad is surprisingly good, the shrimp for a small kitchen is amazing, the roasted shrimp and broccoli is wonderfully flavorful and healthy, the spicy garlicky cashew chicken is delicious (also stuff the cashew mixture into zucchini-- it is a knockout), the roasted chicken thighs with green peaches was a winner for my partner even though he is normally not a fan of peaches, and the sausages with sweet pepper and onion stew is my partner's all-time favorite dish. Not only have I made all these recipes more than once, but there are still a ton of recipes that I'm dying to try.
A few caveats people should be aware of. First there are no pictures. This is completely fine with me, but I know there are some people who feel strongly about their cookbooks having pictures. Second, it seems like a lot of the recipes in the book are available online at the NYT where Ms. Clark is a food writer. This is also is not a problem for me because I enjoy her recipes so much that I'm happy to have paid to have them all in one place. But if you aren't sure about the book, you could consider trying a few of her online recipes to see if it is worth the investment for you. And finally, there are a wide range of recipes here. Some are healthy, some are not. Some are vegetarian, some are not. If you are looking for a book on a particular type of cooking, you will probably find some thing that will interest you, but other parts of the book may not work for you.
Overall this is one of the best cookbooks I own. I go to it regularly when I'm looking for an accessible recipe to make on a weeknight. I also usually make these recipes more than once, which is not something I normally do (there are just too many interesting recipes out there for me to make something more than once!). So the bottom line is that this is a real winner in my book.
With more than 30 cookbooks under her belt, many co-written with foodie universe stars like Daniel Boulud and Waldy Malouf, Melissa Clark engages her New York Times food column fans again in In The Kitchen With A Good Apptite:150 Stores and Recipes About the Food You Love but now with the backstories behind her own favorite recipes. Ranging from dead easy like her roast chicken and her Italian in-law’s signature zucchini with mint and garlic to slightly more ambitious propositions like duck confit, Clark lays out the improvisational thesis to improve and invent new and intriguing recipes aimed at the home cook. For readers who dearly miss Laurie Colwin and her endearing Home Cooking volumes I and II for their appealing anecdotes, In The Kitchen With A Good Appetite approximates the spirit of Colwin. No, the stories aren’t quite up to Colwin’s poignant and sometimes funny level of writing but the recipes may actually be better. Most are fairly simple with a twist of Clark’s own invention or her own riffs on the culinary creations of famous foodie friends, like the Olive Oil Granola with dried apricots and pistachios. While some ingredients she prefers like Tuscan kale may be more difficult for those outside city centers to obtain most recipes are doable at home and variations are listed for almost every concoction. The adventurous attitude to food Clark displays is due to her parents and she includes some charming anecdotes about these foodie pioneers. Her advice on winning over juvenile picky eaters is just one more lagniappe of her book. How she entertains guests on both formal and casual occasions (what she brings to potlucks, for example) is instructive and delivered free of any Martha Stewart fussiness or pretension. Ambitious home cooks and kitchen beginners alike will appreciate the simplicity of so many of her recipes and will soon learn how to cook with the inspiration and freedom of a jazz musician by carefully reading her stories. All in all, it’s a likable, comforting read and should provide many memorable meals.
I belong to a group of food/wine writers, marketers, etc., who've been meeting every other month for 5 1/2 years to cook from and to discuss favored and notable cookbooks. This month's host selected Melissa Clark's "In the Kitchen . . . " Some of us were suspicious that the recipes, billed as easy and delicious, might miss the mark because of their simplicity. -- WRONG!!! These are masterworks. Every single dish we prepared (eleven in all) was super. AND they really were easy. Great, flavorful dishes for home meals as well as entertaining. Plus, the writing is truly wonderful; read through a bunch of recipes and you'll feel like you've got a new best friend beside you in the kitchen. Those of us at this month's dinner are looking forward to trying more dishes from the book, and will recommend it to friends as one of our best ever books! P.S. Just have to say, The Shrimp from a Small Kitchen (Shrimp with Capers, Lemon, and Feta), the Raw Tuscan Kale Salad, and the killer Kate's Impossibly Fudgy Brownies with Chili and Sea Salt served along with Ridiculously Easy Maple Walnut Ice Cream, were my favorites!) You'll really enjoy this one. TOP RECOMMENDATION.
Whether you know Melissa Clark from her highly acclaimed NYTimes column "A Good Appetite" or you own nearly 30 books she's co-authored, you know that her recipes and writing are not only the "real deal" but are also attainable for real people with day jobs, who also want to cook regularly, and not take "cheating" shortcuts. Melissa's recipes are practical, delicious, and innovative. It's comforting, but offers an element of surprise. It is truly a must-have in any cook's kitchen. I've heard a few gripes here and there that the book is lacking photographs and that's a detractor. But let me disagree here. First of all, the book offers a narrative before every recipe. It's as much of a book to read, as it is to cook from. I allows you to focus on the cooking process, on the memory it creates, and encourages you to make your own stories and memories woven around food. Sometimes you cook a recipe from a cook book and your own version might not resemble the version in the photograph. This is probably because with a lot of food photography, there is a lot of styling involved and real food, as we know it, might not resemble food that has been styled, photographed, photo-shopped and then added to a book. I LIKE the fact that there are no pictures. It gives me an opportunity to read the story before the recipe and then busy myself in the kitchen.
It is not often that I leaf through a cook book and want to cook EVERY SINGLE THING in it. But with this one - I really do. And I can't stress enough what a great addition it'll be to your own collection or as a gift. I've given 4 out as gifts already and I've gotten rave reviews and big thanks.
I first bought her Cook this Now, and fell hard for it. Even though that book has some of her favorites from this one at the end, I was so happy with the meals I made from it that I figured it was worth buying this one too. And I'm so glad that I did. Easy to find ingredients, clear instructions, and usually fairly quick and easy prep with very good results. The one slight negative would be that I have found that I often need to bump the spices up in her recipes, but I like things with a lot of flavor. There are no pictures in this book, but I didn't find that a problem. She writes very endearingly about each recipe and makes you want to try it without needing a photo.