HOW-TO

Colu Cooks: Easy Fancy Food

Abrams Apr. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781419747809. $35. COOKING
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Henry (Back Pocket Pasta), a recipe contributor to the New York Times and Food and Wine, delivers her sophomore cookbook, which she conceptualized during COVID self-isolation while playing in her pantry and dreaming of future dinner parties. The book focuses on entertaining and includes recipes (desserts in particular) contributed by Henry’s friends. Infused by Henry’s Brooklyn roots and her present life in New York’s Hudson Valley, the recipes are uncomplicated, simple to execute, and original, and create complex flavors using ingredients that are widely found in U.S. grocery stores. The dishes are unique and designed to impress, while Henry’s tone encourages experimentation. Turn to the chapter “For Embellishment” for recipes for oils, salsas, tapenades, and other building blocks to employ in Henry’s creations, plus guidelines for inventing your own condiments and flavor bases. The highly stylized photography is inspired by 1970s issues of Gourmet magazine, minus the aspic.
VERDICT Henry’s book delivers taste and panache with achievable results, whether entertaining friends or experimenting with the contents of one’s pantry. Perfect for her fans and for libraries looking to add some hipster style to their cookbook collection.
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