I flip through every cookbook that hits my desk. It’s an act of insanity, but I am forever trying to claw my way out of the cooking rut of Chicken Mondays, Pork Tuesdays, Pasta Wednesdays, IDGAF Thursdays, and so on. I’ve always been a fan of Alex Guarnaschelli, because she’s an unflinching and honest voice on Chopped, because she seems like she’d be fun to grab a drink with, because her recipes always makes me feel like I could be a super-star chef, if only I wasn’t so busy trying to find everyone’s missing shoes.
It goes without saying that The Home Cook was an instant classic, from the first time I dove between its covers, coming up for air only to shout through the house, “I hope you guys are ready for Crispy Potato Cakes because they’re going to change your life!” (I was right.) There is something to be said for a cookbook that can take a weeknight dinner and make it feel like something special, with very little extra effort on the part of the chef. I emphasize that last part because, by the time I step into my kitchen to make sure my family doesn’t starve before bedtime, I assure you that I am so done. Even though I love to cook. Even though I love my family. Even though it helps me unwind. I, like so many of my parental peers, am just straight up tired.
And yet. If I’m going to put in the effort to make something for my family to eat, I want it to be something they want to eat. There’s nothing more satisfying than finding a recipe that feels / seems / tastes / looks much fancier and labor-intensive than it actually is. (I am making lovey-eyes at you, Mustardy Pork Loin.) I like a cookbook that works as hard as I do to make me feel good about what I’m serving my family, and that’s exactly what The Home Cook delivers. I’ll cook from this book weekly until my family begs me to find something new– but I’m going to be honest with you, after the way they fell upon the Crispy Potato Cake like a bunch of toddlers on cupcakes at a birthday party, I don’t foresee any of us tiring of these dishes anytime soon.
Recipes I’ll make over and over again from this book:
- Crispy Potato Cake
- Mustardy Pork Loin
- Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Roast Carrots
Give some of Guarnaschelli’s dishes a try for yourself:
Recipes and photographs reprinted from The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart by Alex Guarnaschelli. Copyright © 2017 by Alex Guarnaschelli
Photographs copyright © 2017 by Johnny Miller. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Get your own copy of The Home Cook: Recipes to know by heart here.