The recipes in this book aren't what most of us think of when we think of home cooking; they're more like how our grandmothers and for some of us, our great-grandmothers, cooked in generations past. This style of cooking, with its heavy emphasis on lard and butter, is a style that is slowly becoming popular again alongside the farm-to-table movement.
These are not your quick and easy weeknight recipes, or even recipes you'll pull out for Sunday dinner, instead they're recipes for what many of us would see as a whole new way to cook. They tend to focus on fresh, made from scratch ingredients and while the recipes may be time intensive, they pay off in spades in terms of flavor. However, the problem most of you will find with this book is that unless you live on or near a farm, or perhaps love to hunt, some of the ingredients may be a bit inaccessible. Recipes such as Beer Braised Rabbit with Shallots or Bird and Bunny Ragu sound absolutely delicious, but for the average city dweller they'll be next to impossible to tackle.
Fortunately the ingredients needed for most of the recipes are fairly straightforward. They require nothing more than a trip to a well-stocked grocery store or farmers' market and a whole lot of time. If you're looking to incorporate more traditional-style recipes into your meal rotation, this is an excellent book to start with. Cooking from it has really helped expand my knowledge of what used to be considered time-honored cooking techniques passed down through the generations, but I also recognize that it isn't going to be a good fit for everyone. The good news is that you don't have to tackle everything at once, if you set aside a few hours over the course of a weekend you'll be able to slowly make your way through this cookbook and stock your pantry with some absolutely mouth-watering staples.
Recipes you should try:
Olive Oil Crackers
Panzerotti (deep-fried ravioli)
Blistered Green Beans
Olive Oil Poached Salmon
Twice Cooked Orange Duck
Wine Braised Brisket
Rumtopf for Fakers
On a side note, I wanted to say that the photo on the front cover really made me want to raid Anya's closet. Oh if only we were the same size, that blue and white top is stunning.
Where to Purchase
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This book was sent to me for review by Ten Speed Press as always, all opinions are my own.