After spending October with "A16 Food + Wine," it's a keeper, although for reasons I hadn't anticipated going in.
And, granted, 60 of its 278 pages were about wine, and went unplumbed by me. Someday, I may want to make a perfect pairing, so I know that info is there. Oddly enough, I'm not bothered that about 20 percent of Nate Appleman's cookbook goes unthumbed.
Here's why: The best dishes often are all about taking time to build layers and layers of flavor: the sauteed onions, the roasted tomatos, the toasted nuts. The chapter about what to have in a well-stocked pantry provided a firm foundation for recipes that will go beyond this book. Making a broth with saved cheese rinds, preserving lemons, preppring capers, even how to turn leftover ricotta cheese into recotta salata was, simply, a lot of cool information that will make me a better, and more confident cook.
The month is over, but there still are recipes I'm anxious to tackle. I'm now in search of chestnut flour for the chestnut polenta, as well as the chestnut shortbread. I'll let you know how they turn out.
This book stays in the kitchen. It's been a good October.
Now, on to November.