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If you've never visited smittenkitchen.com you should make a point of browsing the site. Perelman writes in an engaging style and is not shy about sharing the inspiration for her recipes, chatting about tips and tricks, and writing about her failures as well as her successes.
One of the prime reasons Perelman's blog is so popular is that she's a self-proclaimed obsesser when it comes to the details of a recipe. She takes notes and fusses over measuring, timing, and every little technique that goes into creating a dish. That way she can re-create her meals and share her recipes with others. This also helps guarantee that others will have great results when they follow her directions.
It's also good to know that Perelman cooks and bakes in a New York City apartment kitchen. You know, the kind of space never intended for anything but coffee, wine, and popcorn. Although I'm sure her appliances are top-notch, it's nice to know that we don't need a farmhouse kitchen to make her recipes. On the other hand, she lives in the city, and that means she has a world of ingredients at her fingertips or at least fairly close by. Whereas most of the recipes in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook call for common ingredients, many of us will never see a fresh fig or decent clams in one of our local stores or markets.
I bet one of the big questions you have is, Why buy The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook when I can get the recipes for free on Perelman's blog? Putting aside the question of print versus e-sources, you want the book because it contains mostly brand new recipes. In addition, the recipes that look familiar have been tweaked, adapted, or varied, so that the book is both fresh and new.
However, I should point out that some of the text will look familiar to those of us who read the Smitten Kitchen blog. For example, although the braised short ribs in the book call for beer and the ones on the blog call for wine (there are other changes as well), Perelman's commentary for both is pretty much the same. I don't think this is a negative, but I thought I should mention it. By the way, the beer-braised short ribs in the book are outstanding, and I plan on making them again for friends.
Because there are so many fantastic recipes on Deb Perelman's blog and because the recipes in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook reflect similar flavors and techniques, I'm not going to share a recipe here. Instead, I encourage anyone who is looking for a way to transform everyday dishes to extraordinary meals to buy the book and check out the Smitten Kitchen blog.
Buy The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook at an Indie or a bookstore near you. This link leads to an affiliate program.
Random House / Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
Source: Bought (see review policy)