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11 Cookbook Recipes I Make Again and Again
Telling you all my secrets!!!
Howdy cookbook fans!
Apologies for not getting this out Friday! I have a 15 year old border collie and she had a medical emergency about 20 minutes before I was done with this issue. She’s going to be okay but it was a very long/very short/very exhausting weekend. Hug your critters for me!
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11 Cookbook Recipes I Make Again and Again
I am going to be honest with you: I have not yet had much time to dig into 2022’s fall cookbooks. That’s what having a manuscript due December 1 will do to you! And, if we’re being really, really, really honest? Publishers just aren’t mailing out review copies like they used to, so even if I had time, I wouldn’t have seen a lot of new titles. (Y’all know where to find me…)
So while I look forward to some time off cooking through the fall 2022 crop in the next couple weeks (this will be your last issue of SPN for the year!), today I am going back into the archives to spill my secrets: the recipes I make over and over and over again, and the cookbooks they come from. All these books are great for gifting…even if you’re gifting them to yourself. ;)
When I wrote up this book in May 2021, little did I know it would become one of my most-used cookbooks?! Just simple, easy, no-nonsense recipes like this miso-glazed eggplant. My eggplants went gangbusters in the garden this summer so you better believe I made this…a lot. ALSO! It’s now available in North America so grab yourself a copy! (Apologies for the Amazon link but it’s a print-on-demand situation.) You can also follow’s Substack if you like.
Y’all: this sauce. Butter flavored with tahini, soy sauce, and lime juice. It is fantastic on almost everything. It’s great on Music’s steamed sweet potatoes, as recommended here, but I like to melt it and toss vegetables in it before roasting, too.
Look, Houston chef Sylvia Casares is the queen for a reason. This book is a great mix-and-match guide to enchiladas—pick your filling, pick your sauce—meaning there’s definitely something for everyone in here. The key to great enchiladas is following the queen’s technique to the letter; I promise, you will be richly rewarded.
AKA the recipe that launched a thousand dinner parties. I have never met a chicken-and-rice dish I didn’t love—I literally have the entire NYT chicken and rice gallery saved to my favorites—but this recipe is where the love affair began. Is it a pain? A little bit, this is Ottolenghi, after all. But it is totally worth it. Order barberries online if you can’t find them where you live, they are also worth it.
This is one of those recipes that you really have to try in order to understand its greatness. There’s a lot going on—bacon, sweet onions, bell peppers, paprika, sauerkraut, thyme, smoked pork sausage, sour cream, and apple cider vinegar—but it all comes together magnificently. I cheat when I make this (sorry Amy) by using canned roasted red bell peppers to save time, and Mexican crema, which I can be confident won’t break no matter how hot the soup is when I add it. Also, this year I subbed leftover Thanksgiving turkey for the sausage and it was fantastic.
I love Korean food, and while I often go to Maangchi for traditional recipes (I would follow Maangchi into battle), I love Koreatown for fun riffs and Korean-American dishes. This one-pot kalbijjim is so easy and warm and cozy and comforting when it’s cold out. It’s also dangerous if, like me, you work from home—that slow cooker smell is intoxicating! Keep an eye out for Deuki and (friend of SPN) Matt’s follow-up, Koreaworld, coming spring 2024.
I think I have cooked just about every recipe in this book? The ones I return to the most, though, are the meatballs and this eggplant marinara. The eggplant squeaked out the nod here because it’s a deceptively simple dish that yields spectacular results. Much lighter than a traditional eggplant parm, this is more or less tomato sauce, eggplant, and pecorino, layered and baked low and slow for longer than you probably think is strictly necessary. IT IS SO WORTH IT THOUGH.
The GOAT! Outsized zucchini harvests aren’t quite as much of a “problem” in Texas as they are in Wisconsin, where I grew up, but I still try to make this zucchini bread every summer and freeze it. (It’s better frozen and defrosted than fresh, in my opinion.) This is something we used to make when I was growing up, and when I worked at Epicurious I wrote about it….and discovered my mom used to make it with, like, twice as much zucchini as the recipe calls for. It tastes better that way! Promise!
This recipe is actual magic: you can make most of it the night before, AND you make the frosting, dough, and filling all in a stand mixer without washing the bowl in between each. Plus it tastes really good. Parks’ recipes always, always work, plus she offers fun variations on many of them. So this recipe for example has apple cinnamon, banana, and brown butter sweet potato variations.
I know you are all probably tired of me recommending this book, but it sure does get a workout in my kitchen. Also this is the best gratin of all time. It also has sausage in it!!!! Anyway, it’s a great decadent side for a holiday meal.
My partner is originally from Brussels, and sometimes for his birthday I will make him this Belgian rice tart. It’s kind of an odd recipe, at least from the perspective of someone who learned American baking first: the tart sits on a thin yeast dough, and the filling is like a cinnamon-y rice pudding, but set. It’s also EXTREMELY TASTY. Anyway, this is obviously not in English—I don’t read Nederlands (although I am sort of trying to learn), but ich kann Deutsch lesen, and between that and weight measurements I make do. This book actually has two versions of the tart, but one has little meringues on top and I don’t mess around with meringues.
Okay that’s all! Happy holidays, happy new year! See you in 2023, and until then, what are your go-to again-and-again recipes?!