Burnt Toast and Other Disasters: A Book of Heroic Hacks, Fabulous Fixes, and Secret Sauces

Morrow. Sept. 2021. 176p. ISBN 9780062986740. $29.99. COOKING
Maybe burnt toast isn’t so bad: Peternell (Twelve Recipes) writes that his is a “cookbook full of just such success stories of bad food made good.” The recipes mostly use shelf-stable ingredients and explain how home cooks can deploy their cupboards to their advantage. For example, burnt toast can be pulverized and added to meatballs; over-cooked vegetables can be turned into pasta sauce; really well-done meat can be tenderized by adding a few more ingredients. Peternell’s personal version of a useful cupboard involves canned goods, sardines (for pasta with sardines), and dressings, but he also shows home cooks how to make the most of other ingredients that they might also already have on hand (beans; heavy cream). The book is peppered with amusing asides about Peternell’s cooking experiences, and recipes are augmented with full-color photographs and illustrations of ingredients.
VERDICT Fun, easy-to-make recipes for the “burnt out” home cook.
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