Dinner: Changing the Game (Hardcover)
Melissa Clark's new cookbook is about approaching dinner differently, that is, creating one yummy, but simple and fantastic dish. Most of the recipes are straightforward and require one or two pans, at most. Clark’s repertoire includes egg dishes, pizza and pies, roasted meats and vegetables, grains and pasta. I love the chapter about greens titled "Salads that Mean It".
Dinner reflects the way many of us like to eat out these days. Instead of ordering an entrée and perhaps an indulgent dessert after, we order our meal from a variety of small dishes and share plates. In other words, we assemble dinner the way we want, versus the more traditional main course accompanied by several sides.
As a reader who loves to peruse cookbooks, what especially appeals to me about “Dinner” is Clark's emphasis on texture, color and flavor in each of her dishes. I was inherently curious about her recipe for pea guacamole (she claims she didn't invent it).
She is a regular staff writer for the New York Times, and when she published it in her regular column, "A Good Appetite,” it created a bevy of horrified responses from guacamole purists. I gave it a try and must say, I am a fan. Mashing bright green peas in with the avocado resulted in a beautiful green and sweet version of classic quac.— From Book reviews: Recipe book helps change game
More than 200 all-new, never-before-published recipes for dishes that are "familiar but fresh, approachable but exciting." (Yotam Ottolenghi) Each recipe in New York Times columnist Melissa Clark's Dinner is meant to be dinner--one fantastic dish that is so satisfying and flavor-forward it can stand alone--or be paired with a simple salad or fresh bread on the side. This is what Melissa Clark means by changing the game. Organized by main ingredient--chicken, meat, fish and seafood, eggs, pasta and noodles, tofu, vegetable dinners, grains, pizza, soups, and salads that mean it--Dinner covers an astonishing breadth of recipes. There is something for every mood, season, and the amount of time you have: sheet pan chicken laced with spicy harissa, burgers amped with chorizo, curried lentils with poached eggs, to name just a few dishes in this indispensable collection. Here, too, are easy flourishes that make dinner exceptional: stir charred lemon into pasta, toss creamy Caesar-like dressing on a grain bowl.
*** Praise for Melissa Clark's Dinner "The recipes in Melissa Clark's Dinner are everything I want for my dinner. Dishes which are familiar but fresh, approachable but exciting. The tone of the book is also just the sort of company I'd want around my table: Melissa is experienced enough in the kitchen to know that being relaxed is the only way to approach the evening meal. It should be fun, it should be easy, it should be delicious."--YOTAM OTTOLENGHI "Melissa Clark has an extrasensory ability to divine what we want to eat and a secret knowledge of how to take a familiar dish and make it just a little more interesting. In following her lead, dinner gets more delicious and we become better cooks." --PETER MEEHAN "Dinner is an expertly useful tool for the home cook. Melissa Clark has stripped away fussiness and pretension and replaced it with sensibility and flavor. This is food that you will absolutely crave " --MICHAEL SOLOMONOV
About the Author
Melissa Clark is a staff writer for the New York Times, where she writes the Food section's popular column, "A Good Appetite" and stars in a weekly complementary video series. The recipient of both IACP and James Beard awards, Clark appears frequently on "Today" and on public radio. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.