Thursday, August 5, 2021

Exactly What I Want To Eat

 I am slow to acquire cookbooks, although I do read a lot of cookbooks. I want cookbooks that I really use a lot. After checking out Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark from the library over and over, I bought a used copy this winter. 

Summer Vegetable Salad with Tapenade

No exaggeration, I have cooked 1-2 recipes from Dinner every week since then.

I love the concept: each recipe is meant to be dinner and she suggests side dishes if you want some ideas. Very few of the recipes require time ahead of time for marinating or something. Most of her technique is unfussy or flexible where it's unusual, and she's not bossy or snobby. Most of the food I've made has been delicious and creative and very more-ish. Melissa Clark's pantry is pretty similar to my pantry, apparently, and she has new combinations and suggestions that we have loved. Only a few dishes were just average or more work than I care to do for supper. 

Chilled Cucumber & Corn Soup 

The suggested Avocado Toasts to go with the soup

Some of our favorites are Coriander Seed Chicken with Caramelized Brussel Sprouts. . . Roasted Carrots with Walnuts, Feta, and Dill. . . Fresh Corn Cakes with Tomatoes and Fried Sage. . . Watermelon Gazpacho with Avocado. . . Mediterranean Tuna & Olive Spread. . . 


According to her website, Melissa Clark has over 3 dozen published cookbooks. I'm amazed. How does she have the time and talent to produce such excellent, diverse recipes? I'm a huge fan!

What's your go-to cookbook these days? 

9 comments:

  1. Looks great! I love cookbooks 2 I got a couple recent ones used on eBay for the free-range cook from New Zealand Annabel langbein oh, the Mennonite girls can cook a Canadian group oh, great website! I'm looking at Food little bit differently these days with possible food shortages coming up. But it's always great to try new recipes and get creative!

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  2. I don't have a lot of cookbooks for the very reasons you list: too fussy, impossible ingredients, too time consuming. I'll confess that I get a lot of 'suggestions' online or in the newspaper. And, if it can't be adapted then it's a non-starter for me.

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    1. Yes, I agree. I have no patience for strict recipes.

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  3. Lovely! After culling my cookbook collection several years ago, I've also been very picky about what I let move in to my shelf. We've shifted much more to plant-based eating in the last year or so, and while I've become fairly adept at adapting recipes with meat to alternative proteins, I realized that I really wanted an honest-to-goodness vegetarian cookbook in my stash. I recently purchased a used copy of the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home book (after laughing for many minutes over an "offer" for an out-of-print Moosewood Simple Suppers for $95!!) and I find that I'm using it multiple times a week! It's delightful to discover a new book with accessible weeknight recipes that matches the pantry. Hooray for you and Melissa Clark!

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    1. Really cool! But who would ever pay $95 for Moosewood?! I know it's out of print, but really!? I am laughing with you.

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  4. I always test-drive a cookbook from the library many, many times before I commit to buying it. There are so many I grew weary of having a whole book I only used a couple recipes from. Hooray for finding this one, which sounds like it is suiting your family very, very well. That's an awesome find.

    We still use 660 Curries most frequently, but I've also been using an America's Test Kitchen Plant-Based Cookbook a lot. I love the ATK. Sometimes those ATK books *are* a bit snobby and involved though. ;) I just wing it when they start making it too much work. Ha!

    Enjoy all the awesome eats, Margo.

    (Side note: Do you still keep your supper notebook? I was just thinking about that the other day...)

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    1. Hehe, I usually roll my eyes at ATK's recipes, although I do find all their research fascinating.

      I do still keep my supper notebook! It is still a super help to me. I should do an update post on it :)

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    2. The science-based approach appeals to me, but I sure cut a lot of corners on their recipes. Recently we did a side-by-side comparison of the ATK's vs Minimalist Baker's vanilla coconut ice cream. ATK's had to be heated to a specific temp and then cooled for what seemed like forever before you could pop it in the ice cream maker. MB's was a combine and start freezing and be eating ice cream in 30 minutes sorta thing. ATK's WAS creamier because of the chemistry involved in heating it up, but I'm still not convinced it was worth the extra effort/time. Matt is though. ;)

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