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Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I had high hopes for this book, but sadly I felt that it was just okay. The whole idea of learning twelve recipes that will be the foundation of so many recipes to come. Peternell starts off by saying that this book was built from sharing these core recipes with his sons. It's more than just twelve recipes and his hope is that you can learn just one from each chapter and then build off that one to create more.
I liked that this cookbook had "Breakable Rules." Except the first rule isn't breakable and it's one that I fully believe in, it's to "taste everything and tasted often." Even if it's a recipe you make frequently, it's important to taste during the whole cooking process.
The author rubbed me the wrong way in the way he talks about using the best ingredients. I understand that the freshest ingredients result in the best tasting meals, but not everyone is able to buy fresh baked breads and fresh everything. He does acknowledge this, but at different points in the book, I felt like he was being condescending to those who maybe can't get a nice loaf of artisan bread for toast.
The chapters that saved this book for me were the chapters on toast, soup, and pasta. I grew up in a household where these three things (along with rice) were the staples that were always kept on hand. Toasted bread goes with nearly any meal or is a meal in itself. Pasta is a great quick meal for when you don't know what else to do.
Soup is the key thing, Peternell preaches something we hold dear in my house. Make a big pot of soup on the weekends and then eat it all week. Soup tastes better as the week goes on!
The book goes on sale October 21, 2014 through Harper Collins.