What a terrific Cookbook. I keep telling myself, "You do NOT need any more cookbooks Claudia!!" - however we are making an Executive Exception for this one - A New Way to Dinner, by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs, sub-titled, A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead. This was actually my first acquaintance with Food52.
At the present point in time, I've composed (yes, they're artistic compositions) a number of the recipes in this book, starting with that one shown on the cover, Steak with Arugula, Lemon and Parmesan. In addition, there were Grilled Pork Chops with Hacked Romesco, which I double hacked, doing a more Mexican take with tomatillos, some wonderful Chicken Fingers (yes, home-made and delicious), Tad's Roasted Potatoes, which I converted to Claudia's Roasted Cassava, a lovely Braised Chickpeas with Celery (another adaptation using lentils instead), some wonderful meatballs (Bob's favorite), the Brussels Sprouts Salad with apples and Anchovy Dressing (pictured below), the wonderful lamb merguez with preserved lemon cream, and my featured Spicy Roasted Cauliflower.
It's a rare thing, believe me, when I get hold of a cookbook (from the library) and prepare as many things as I was inspired to from this one. That obviously means it must be purchased. I've already renewed it once. Thus the Executive decision. There's way more to try here. The book is composed of seasonal sections, divided into weeks, with a lot of the cooking to be done on the weekend. As the publisher states:
"Starting with flexible base dishes made on the weekend, Amanda and Merrill mix, match, and riff to create new dinners, lunches, and even desserts throughout the week. Blistered tomatoes are first served as a side, then become sauce for spaghetti with corn. Tuna, poached in olive oil on a Sunday, gets paired with braised peppers and romesco for a fiery dinner, with spicy mayo for a hearty sandwich, and with zucchini and couscous for a pack-and-go salad.
"Amanda and Merrill’s seasonal plans give you everything you need to set yourself up well for the week, with grocery lists and cooking timelines. They also share clever tips and tricks for more confident cooking, showing how elements can work across menus and seasons to fit your mood or market, and how to be scrappy with whatever’s left in the fridge. These building blocks form A New Way to Dinner, the key to smarter, happier cooking that leaves you with endless possibilities for the week ahead."
This won't apply exactly as given for everyone. It's geared to working moms and dads. Those of us with more time available can still benefit however. For example, I cooked up a whole cauliflower for the recipe (it called for 2, which would have been fine, in retrospect) and was able to use it for several meals, including a Bucatini with Cauliflower, Pecorino, Chile and Bread Crumbs (actually I just stood at the counter eating cauliflower at one point - it was so good). Purposeful use of and prep of left-overs. I like that - Left-overs with Purpose! Especially I was taken with the concept of cooking/preparing ahead, even if it's just earlier in the day, which makes for a more relaxed, less heated (literally) dinnertime prep.
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower
I'm linking this post to the March foodies Read Challenge, and with Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event. Great books to check out and fabulous food.