This James Beard Award winner’s new cookbook shows a practical ease that makes recipes true keepers.
Dorie Greenspan – cookbook author and New York Times food columnist – is the reason there exists a buttery, chocolaty recipe of hope called World Peace Cookies. Which seems like just the thing we need right now. The two-bite delight has perhaps become the five-time James Beard Award winner’s trademark, but this candid, unaffected “home cook” (as she calls herself ) credits the recipe to world-renowned French pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Everyday Dorie, Greenspan’s 13th cookbook, is the reason she’ll be in MKE on Saturday, Nov. 3, for a three-course luncheon at Lake Park Bistro that will showcase her own dishes. Greenspan talked by phone from her Paris home about simplicity and the Zen of cooking. MM: Everyday Dorie has an overarching homey theme with some fancier things, but mostly unfussy dishes that make you want to race home to cook dinner. Does this reflect you right now? DG: Yes! The more I cook, the simpler it gets. When I started, I taught myself to cook and bake and I only did complicated things. I concentrated less on flavor than learning technique. Now I want simple
food and a surprise – a spice or herb, a flavor combo that’s new, an addition that brightens. MM: What is the biggest takeaway from your book? DG: My hope is people will make a recipe, then play around with it and make it their own. I think a recipe challenges people to be present. When we are cooking and baking, we are engaging all our senses. We’re listening to the sound of the beaters, the scent of the lemon we’re cutting and what the slice looks like. I want people to enjoy the process as much as the result. MM: There can be frustration with recipes that have you buying obscure ingredients, only to use them once. How do you address that? DG: So many of the recipes I ended up using in the book came about because I opened my refrigerator and looked at the door, ‘Oh, I have this and that.’ It turns out it’s great to have that! Those are ‘on a whim’ additions we can use to make a dish pop. Use what you have! When people see the gochujang [a spicy Korean condiment] in my beef stew, it’s an invitation to use it elsewhere. And miso paste [in a glazed salmon recipe]. Don’t be afraid to experiment.