In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: 150 Recipes & Stories about the Food You Love
“A Good Appetite,” Melissa Clark’s weekly feature in the New York Times Dining Section, is about dishes that are easy to cook and that speak to everyone, either stirring a memory or creating one. Now, Clark takes the same freewheeling yet well-informed approach that has won her countless fans and applies it to one hundred and fifty delicious, simply sophisticated recipes.
Cooks&Books&Recipes Editors’ Notes
I’m going to be very honest: I’ve put off reviewing this cookbook for months and months because, well, I can’t do it justice. And it is so deserving of the accolades it has received. I’m not talking only about the recipes. I’m talking as much, or more, about the writing.
Here’s one of the first things you need to know about this cookbook: there are no photos. Thank goodness. Because this cookbook isn’t about showing off the food with the right props, color, lighting, focus, or angles. This cookbook is about the experience of the food. If you want to strip away the fads, the celebrities, and the hype that surround cooking these days and get back to the joy of remembering meals from your childhood, tasting food in new ways today, and discovering recipes that you would never have thought of, you’ll want to read, truly read, this book.
Instead of trying to explain what is so magical about In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite, I’ll give you an example. I couldn’t even get past page 16 before jumping up to start cooking Soft Scrambled Eggs with Pesto and Fresh Ricotta. Because here is how Melissa Clark describes pesto: A jumble of bright green leaves, beige nuts, and dark oil becomes an emerald emulsion of a heady, herbal, garlicky fragrance that immediately fills the kitchen and makes your stomach growl.â€ She then makes the dish: After scrambling the eggs until they were barely set with large, quivering curds, I streaked in some freshly made pesto and dotted the top with ricotta. The ricotta, normally sweet and creamy, tasted even more so next to the salty, pungent pesto, and made a dense, luscious foil for the cloudlike eggs.
That’s the magic of this cookbook. Even the chapter titles are intriguing: â€œWaffling toward Dinner, I Never Was a Vegetarian, Things with Cheese. Each recipe is preceded by a story, one to two pages in length. If you’re already familiar with Clark’s writing from her New York Times column, you know what I’m talking about: as soon as you read the story, you just have to make the dish. And the next one. And the next wait, I don’t even like rhubarb, but I’m making Rhubarb Big Crumb Coffee Cake!
I still haven’t finished reading this book. Because I am reading it, savoring every word while satisfying my own good appetite for engaging writing and delicious food. The good news is that more is on the way: Melissa has another cookbook in the works. My appetite is growing!
Ready to get in the kitchen with a good appetite?
We recommend trying Melissa’s recipe for Figgy Piggy Drumsticks and Thighs
Author’s website: http://www.melissaclark.net/; video trailer for the book (including a recipe demo): http://www.melissaclark.net/blog/in-the-kitchen-with-a-good-appetite.html