Should you think that only a trained chef can create inventive, fantastic dishes, and discover tricks that make food sensational, open the pages of The Food52 Cookbook and discover the awe-inspiring creativity of the home cook. Via authors Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, this is a gift from the Food52 website community, and is filled with recipes that have been deemed top of the line by the most important of critics - friends and family who go back for seconds, or ask for the recipe to be made again. The reader feels like she or he is bonding in the kitchen with a friend, sharing preferences, ideas, and discoveries. In The Food52 Coobook the reader is in a neighborhood where one home cook shares their very best with others. And we mean the best - these recipes sizzle.
After a year of running a home cooking contest on their Food52 website, Hesser and Stubbs put together a cookbook of the winning recipes. "It's not just the delicious concoctions, but the creativity and voice behind each recipes that make this cookbook truly special," they state in their introduction. The winners were the result of community votes, one great home cook generously voting for another. The authors added what they call a' Wild Card' - a recipe that they personally tried and loved. Each recipe is accompanied by notes, generally the voice of the cook, and by comments from the community. We love the comments, which speak of the appreciation one person offers another's cooking flair.
The recipes are organized by season to follow the contest results. The recipes are varied - There are recipes ranging from drinks to desserts with all the delicious categories in between. The authors include a double index, one a list of seasonal menus, the other an ingredient index, far easier to use than one arranged according to the finished dish. Some of the recipes are original, some are classics, but each bears the imprint of an individual, testimony to a thinking cook who has fun in the kitchen. For example, in one recipe for a classic Spaghetti Carbonara, the cook recommends bacon, rather than pancetta, for its crispiness, giving an insight on the importance of texture in a classic Italian dish, as well as personal preference.
Try recipes such as Blueberry Almond Breakfast Polenta, Mom's Blueberry-Coconut Muffins, or Lemony Cream Cheese Pancakes with Blueberries. Celebrate soup with recipes such as Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Chimichurri and Poblano Crème Frâiche, or Summer Chowder. Dig into pasta with Pink Bolognese, or Smoky Minestrone with Tortellini and Parsley or Basil Pesto. Make a chicken dish such as Braised Moroccan Chicken and Olives, or Buttermilk-Baked Classic Southern Fried Chicken. Make a hearty Beef and Green Bean Stew or Cowboy Rubbed Rib-Eye with Chocolate Stout Pan Sauce. Get your grains and veggies with Lentil, Carrot and Sausage Soup or Lemony Green Bean Salad with Feta, Red Onion, and Marjoram.
No home cooked meal is complete without dessert, and there are a wide variety of recipes, such as Meyer Lemon Macarons, Lemon Posset, Chewy Sugar Cookies, Foolproof Ice Cream Toasted Coconut Gelato, Caramel Rice Pudding with Brown Butter and Crème Frâiche, Rum Apple Cake, Figgy Pudding Butter Cookies, Zucchini-Lemon Cookies and Maple Yogurt Pound Cake.