The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Winner of the IACP Julia Child First Book Award * Named one of Cooking Light magazine’s Top 100 Cookbooks of the Last 25 Years
The long-awaited cookbook by Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen—home cook, photographer, and celebrated food blogger.
Deb Perelman loves to cook. She isn’t a chef or a restaurant owner—she’s never even waitressed. Cooking in her tiny Manhattan kitchen was, at least at first, for special occasions—and, too often, an unnecessarily daunting venture. Deb found herself overwhelmed by the number of recipes available to her. Have you ever searched for the perfect birthday cake on Google? You’ll get more than three million results. Where do you start? What if you pick a recipe that’s downright bad?
So Deb founded her award-winning blog, Smitten Kitchen, on the premise that cooking should be a pleasure, and that the results of your labor can—and should—be delicious . . . every time. Deb is a firm believer that there are no bad cooks, just bad recipes. She has dedicated herself to creating and finding the best of the best and adapting the recipes for the everyday cook.
And now, with the same warmth, candor, and can-do spirit her blog is known for, Deb presents her first cookbook: more than 100 recipes—almost entirely new, plus a few favorites from the site—all gorgeously illustrated with hundreds of her beautiful color photographs.
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is all about approachable, uncompromised home cooking. Here you’ll find better uses for your favorite vegetables: asparagus blanketing a pizza; ratatouille dressing up a sandwich; cauliflower masquerading as pesto. These are recipes you’ll bookmark and use so often they become your own, recipes you’ll slip to a friend who wants to impress her new in-laws, and recipes with simple ingredients that yield amazing results in a minimum amount of time. Deb tells you her favorite summer cocktail; how to lose your fear of cooking for a crowd; and the essential items you need for your own kitchen. From salads and slaws that make perfect side dishes (or a full meal) to savory tarts and galettes; from Mushroom Bourguignon to Chocolate Hazelnut Crepe Cake, Deb knows just the thing for a Tuesday night, or your most special occasion.
to be a little stingy with my kitchen purchases. I’ll pay up for good meat and produce from the farmer’s market, but on most items, I’m using very basic grocery store ingredients—store brand butter, everyday eggs—and want you to feel that you can use whatever you have around and still have the same results. I don’t assume that you have fancy imported olive oil or $30 aged balsamic in your pantry, and I won’t suggest you use either unless I am convinced it adds something essential to the recipe.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your potato size; the potatoes are ready when a paring knife or cake tester can be inserted into the center with little resistance. Drain the potatoes, and wipe the pot dry. Peel the potatoes—I find that holding one in a pot-holdered hand and using a paring knife with the other is easiest. Repeat with remaining potatoes until they are completely peeled. Run the potatoes
syrup, golden syrup, or honey ¼ cup (60 ml) milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 12 tablespoons (170 grams or 1½ sticks) butter, at room temperature 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) sugar ¼ teaspoon table salt 1 large egg 1¼ cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour topping 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch cake pan with at least 2-inch sides with parchment paper and
4-inch pretzels dough ⅓ cup (80 ml) whole milk 1 teaspoon instant yeast 2¼ cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar ½ teaspoon table salt 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten 8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) well-chopped chocolate (for the best chocolate flavor) or miniature chocolate chips ¼ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest (optional, but lovely if you’re into
helps. As far as I’m concerned, clams are a perfect food, and they belong at your next party. They love everything that you do: garlic, butter, wine, lemons, and hot sauce. They’re inexpensive, but most people don’t bother preparing them at home, so it feels like an indulgence when you put them out. Clams go well on pasta or on pizza, and they’re good fried—and if you haven’t steamed them open in beer, set them on the half-shell, dotted them with butter, and broiled them with chorizo