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.
Q. What's your elevator pitch for The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook? (Or what inspired you to fill this niche?)
A. My hope is that The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is filled with your new favorite things to cook--approachable recipes made with accessible ingredients that exceed your expectations.
Q. Which upcoming fall cookbooks are you most excited about?
A. I am ridiculously excited about Ottolenghi's new Jerusalem book, as I've loved everything he's made so far. I have already tried out a couple recipes from the Mile End Cookbook, and can tell it's going to be an obsession all winter. I just spied brown butter snickerdoodles in the new Baked Elements book; I am pretty sure that needs to happen immediately. And I've been cooking out of the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook and everything has been fresh, wholesome and stunning.
Q. What's on your nightstand? Your Kindle?
A. An Everlasting Meal (Tamar Adler), The Tenth Muse (Judith Jones), A Peace To End All Peace (David Fromkin) and I Want My Hat Back (Jon Klassen), all print. Can you guess which one my toddler left there?
Q. What’s your favorite restaurant—or the best place you’ve eaten recently?
A. My husband and I are the last people to get to The Breslin in the Ace Hotel, but it doesn't matter, we fell head over heels and have been back three times in three months. The crispy boiled peanuts, lamb burger, fresh, crunchy salads and their grapefruit gin-and-tonic are unforgettable.
Q. What's been your most memorable moment so far as an author (or blogger)?
A. The process of planning the book tour -- making the jump from someone who types things to strangers who might or might not be listening via her laptop to someone who is going to show up in various cities at specific times to hang out with these strangers -- is wild. I am not sure I've gotten my head around it yet, but I still can't wait to get on the road.
Q. What other talent would you most like to have (not including flight or invisibility)?
A. Well, I wish I could dance.
Q. What are you obsessed with now?
A. I've been on a running kick, although I'm really bad at it. No really: terrible. But strangely, that's my favorite part. Starting my day completely humbled by my inability to run half as long or fast as these people on the other treadmills (who can probably dance, too), well, the day only gets better from there. I'm hooked.
Q. What's next for you?
A. The moon! Just kidding. I really hope to just keep doing what I'm doing -- cooking, writing, having fun with my family and running around NYC like a tourist. My goals are less rooted in a desire for a designer kitchen (though, you know, if you have one lying around...) and balcony overlooking Central Park and more a hope that I'll keep having fun doing what I do, so that it feels as un-work-like as possible.