COOK­BOOK GETS SALTED: FOOD52: A NEW WAY TO DIN­NER

SALT Magazine - - Contents - TEXT ANNABELLE BOK, WEETS GOH & LEE HUNG PING PHOTOS CHOO HAO XIN ART DI­REC­TION & STYLING BEN­JAMIN SOH SHOT ON LO­CA­TION AT LA GA­LERIE DE DI­ET­RICH SHOW KITCHEN

We ex­am­ine the cook­book that sim­pli­fies ev­ery­day cook­ing.

We try out some of the make-in-bulk-for-days

of-mix­ing-match­ing-and-riff­ing recipes in Food52: A New Way to Din­ner—a Play­book of

Recipes and Strate­gies for the Week Ahead.

“We ac­tu­ally do most of our cook­ing on the week­ends,” say the au­thors of Food52: A New Way to Din­ner, Amanda Hesser and Mer­rill Stubbs. As par­ents and busi­ness own­ers, they un­der­stand all too well the per­ils of com­mit­ting to home-cooked din­ners. TV chefs and di­eti­cians the world over ram­ble on about cook­ing your own meals as the holy grail of healthy liv­ing, but that is hardly the case in re­al­ity: af­ter en­dur­ing a stress­ful day at work, you come home to a mound of un­peeled veg­eta­bles, half-thawed chicken, and day-old left­overs. At this point, some of us give up and eat out.

But not th­ese two. Hesser and Stubbs have come to­gether to start a kitchen rev­o­lu­tion. And it be­gins with ac­knowl­edg­ing that one sim­ply can’t cook from scratch every day. Ad­vance prepa­ra­tion is key. It’s not a new con­cept, but Hesser and Stubs do in­tro­duce the con­cept of mod­u­lar cook­ing—in­gre­di­ents and dishes that can be eaten fresh, kept for a later date, or com­bined with other avail­able in­gre­di­ents to cre­ate en­tirely new dishes. As Stubbs puts it, this cook­book fea­tures recipes that can “bear the burden of be­ing stretched and poked and prod­ded” to adapt to dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions.

The tech­niques used here are not new. Brais­ing, toast­ing, bak­ing, and as­sem­bly are just some of the time- and ef­fort-sav­ing meth­ods em­ployed.

Cook­ing at home is also as much a lo­gis­ti­cal op­er­a­tion as it is a gas­tro­nomic one, and Food52: A New Way to Din­ner recog­nises this. The book also rec­om­mends a list of “cheat items” to al­ways have on hand: sausages, crusty bread, eggs, and good qual­ity choco­late—th­ese items re­quire lit­tle to no prepa­ra­tion and will help stretch menus and el­e­vate dishes. Liven up your Turbo Jook with some sausage and egg, or soak up the lovely Ox­tail Stew with a hunk of old bread. Shave some choco­late over your Co­conut Dream Bars for added oomph.

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