Today my third cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Keepers, comes out and thank goodness, because it’s been impossibly hard to keep it from you this long.
It feels downright unfair that I figured out how to make the best molasses cookie — thick, tender, but also one-bowl, no hand-mixer required, the kind that makes your whole home smell like the holidays — and you’re only finding out about it today. My favorite pot roast is in there; sometimes I add rice shortly before it’s done for a truly one-pot meal-of-a-braise that feels perfect for this cold week. There’s a warm hoagie that’s practically a vegetarian cheesesteak. The most perfect chocolate chip cookie I could possibly dream up is there (it has salted walnut brittle inside). A deep dish, actual doorstop of a broccoli cheddar quiche that serves a crowd and an egg salad, just for us. The easiest three-layer chocolate party cake that could ever exist is filled with a salt-flecked milk chocolate buttercream and it’s designed to fit in the bottom of a shopping bag so you can take it everywhere with you. The actual craziest thing I’ve suggested you do with cabbage (salt, vinegar, and char it), might lead to the craziest thing you do with cabbage (eat it from the pan, standing up). There are cream cheese and jam challah buns that make me think of my dad and there’s a pound cake that I hope could be worth the cover price alone.
They’re all, to me, keepers — the kind of recipes that you make and know instantly that you’ll want them to be part of your repertoires forever. For 17 years on this site, I’ve paid close attention to what happens when we are in kitchen and I try to apply everything I’ve learned about how to make shopping easier, cooking more doable and enjoyable, and the outcomes more reliably delicious. Because if you hate making the recipe — if the process was persnickety and you dirtied every bowl in your kitchen — it barely matters if the result was otherworldly, you’re going to avoid it. And I want these to be recipes you, above all, love to make.
And then there’s the Green Angel Hair with Garlic Butter, the swirly, verdantly tangled cover dish, which came out a whim of a party snack. A few New Year’s Eves ago, I set out to make my case for the return of whole-roasted heads of garlic, except, instead of roasting the garlic with a drizzle of olive oil, I used a stick of butter (“Whoops!”), roasted it for the better part of an hour, and blended it smooth, and we smeared it on pieces of bread and, did you know, I also made a cheese soufflé that night? And beef Wellington? (The theme was old-school decadence.) Neither of those dishes made the impression that the roasted garlic butter did.
But what if you want weekday garlic butter confit in your life? And your life doesn’t have crostini and sparkly cocktails on a Tuesday, much as that needs correction? Well, then, you should take this garlic butter and blend it with a bag of spinach until the garlic butter is brilliantly green, and toss it with spaghetti finished with black pepper and sharp Pecorino cheese for not only one of the best things I’ve ever made for dinner, but also the recipe I expect you to look at the least: make it once, memorize it forever.
The Smitten Kitchen Keepers Book Tour: It begins this evening. I’ll be signing books at Fish’s Eddy in Manhattan from 5-7pm and I hope to see you there. (There will be cookies! And fizzy drinks!) Every other event — Atlanta on Thursday! Union Square Greenmarket this Saturday! Toronto next week! and so, so much more! — is listed on the Events page, and more are added every week so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming announcements of New Jersey and Vancouver events. I hope to see you on tour! I hope we can finally hang out.
Note: Smitten Kitchen Keepers cookbook images — the cover, first collage of book recipes, and the top photo in this post — have been styled by Barrett Washburne. (Photographed by me, Deb Perelman, as are all of the photos on the site and in my books.)