Cooking for Good Times: Super Delicious, Super Simple

Lorena Jones. Oct. 2019. 288p. photos. index. ISBN 9780399578588. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780399578595. COOKING
Sometimes we all need direction—just tell us what to do and more important, how to do it. That is the aim of this new book by the executive chef of Avec (Cheers to the Publican) in Chicago. He lays it out in 13 basic options, such as “roast some roots,” “braise a pork shoulder,” “make some pizza dough.” Each of these primary ideas is spelled out, with several variations on the theme. Directions and illustrations are specific and easy to follow, with serving suggestions, and even specific brands of products recommended in some cases. This book is the opposite of “cheffy.” Almost nothing is assumed, and regular ingredients available to the home cook are virtually always listed (other than the “sheet” of gelatin mentioned for the panna cotta). The main drawback is the somewhat limited palate of foods. For example, only two desserts are included, the aforementioned panna cotta and an olive oil cake. While these may take care of all your dessert needs, if they don’t, you will need to look elsewhere.
VERDICT Good for minimalists, aspiring novice cooks, and Avec fans. Purchase where there is interest.

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