The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Ebook $15.99

Knopf | Oct 30, 2012 | 336 Pages | ISBN 9780307961068

  • Hardcover$35.00

    Knopf | Oct 30, 2012 | 336 Pages | 8 x 9-1/8 | ISBN 9780307595652

  • Ebook$15.99

    Knopf | Oct 30, 2012 | 336 Pages | ISBN 9780307961068

Praise

Praise for Deb Perelman and The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

“[Deb’s recipes] deliver in a big showstopping way, which is why she’s my go-to for holiday entertaining.”
—Jenny Rosenstrach, author of Dinner: A Love Story
 
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is nothing short of stunning. Deb’s photos are breathtaking, and her collection of recipes—a marvelous combination of familiar/reassuring and urban/daring—is just glorious. I had no idea how Deb could possibly outdo what she already does so beautifully on her website, but she has. The bar for cookbooks has officially been set.”
—Ree Drummond, author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks
  
“Deb Perelman is the no-nonsense girlfriend who tells you what’s what in the kitchen. The one who always knows exactly what you’re in the mood for, how to make the best version of it, and, most important, how to save you from screwing it up. Perelman is a little bossy, and a lot opinionated. But you adore her for it. She will do right by you when you need that potluck dish, that birthday cupcake. You’ll soak up every word of her confident, amusing writing, you’ll be beguiled by her gorgeous food photography—you’ll be smitten, indeed.”
—Amanda Hesser, co-founder of Food52.com and author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook

“This is the book that every cook needs in their kitchen. Deb’s obsession with getting it right, and her practical cooking tips garnered from cooking in a modest kitchen, ensure that anyone will have the same success that her millions of followers, including me, have come to expect. I want to cook each and every one of these recipes—right now!”
—David Lebovitz, author of The Sweet Life in Paris
 
“I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. It is a 320-page gem of well-tested, beautifully photographed, wonderfully curated recipes. Part of the brilliance here is the range of inspiration—weeknight-friendly recipes, treats sure to win hearts and smiles, and plenty of family-style inspiration for potlucks and get-togethers.”
—Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day (and 101cookbooks.com)
 
“Good news, everyone! The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook has arrived just in time. . . . Given how difficult it was to find a spare copy of the book, all of our mothers are about to be impressed.” 
Boston Phoenix

“As someone who spends way too much time online already, I’m delighted that Perelman has put her sumptuous recipes into a form that sits nicely on my kitchen counter. . . . A winner!”
The Saturday Evening Post
 
“Perelman is the queen of food bloggers.”
The Record
 
“Deb Perelman’s collection of recipes is mouth-watering. . . . [She] projects an inviting warmth and chattiness. She’s funny . . . and self-deprecating enough to ease your culinary insecurities.”
The Christian Science Monitor
 
“If you’re looking for some new spice in your diet or a quick, yet elegant dish to serve at a dinner party, try out The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. The results will be rewarding and impossible to resist.”
Iowa State Daily
 
“Worth the wait.”
The Boston Globe
 
“We’ve been admirers of Deb Perelman and her cooking blog Smitten Kitchen for years, and are stoked that her simple, elegant recipes and gorgeous photos have finally made their way into a cookbook. . . . With more than 300 photos taken by Perelman, chronicling everything from step-by-step how to’s to beauty shots of the final dishes, the finished product looks as good as we’re sure the recipes will taste.”
SF Weekly
 
“It’s a lovely book to hold, to read—and to cook from.”
Montreal Gazette
 
“[Deb] has the matter-of-factness of Mark Bittman, but the zing and eye for decadence of David Chang. Not to mention, the whole package looks as sumptuous as the dishes contained therein. . . . All the while, she writes like a good friend who just happens to be a whiz in the kitchen. Smitten is exactly what you’ll be by this book.”
The Forward
 
One of “this fall’s best new cookbooks”
The National Post
 
“A solid collection of interesting and useful recipes. . . . Includes lots of great general cooking knowledge that even veteran home cooks will appreciate.”
—BlogHer
 
“This fearless home cook’s humorous anecdotes and delectable photos make for a food blog-gone-book that translates beautifully into any kitchen.’”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Two years ago I started reading (and devouring) the Smitten Kitchen blog. I have since made more than thirty of her recipes and have been waiting for her forthcoming first cookbook.”
The Paris Review (blog)
 
“Perelman’s supremely helpful, visually stunning, wittily worded food blog really did deserve to be named one of 2011’s best blogs. . . . Perelman’s recipes are accessible but not Betty Crocker plain; this is fun, energized eating. Get it!”
Library Journal
 
“A blog with a wonderfully homey feel . . . [Perelman’s] creations are . . . mouthwatering.”
Time, a Best Blog of 2011
 
“For four years, Deb Perelman has been blogging her cooking pursuits from her tiny New York City kitchen as a newlywed and then as a new mother. This is the result of hours spent perfecting her own recipes and interpreting those of the best food publications out there. Some of the recipes featured can be complicated, but you have Deb’s warm chatter, funny anecdotes, encyclopedic knowledge of food and cookbooks, cooking, and gorgeous photography getting you through it. She’s a farmers’ market shopper and hence her blog is completely seasonal, and archived that way as well. You’ll see her tackle the impossible—a wedding cake—and the very simple, ‘How to Turn a Bucket of Cheap Tomatoes into a Perfect Pot of Sauce.’ Do we really have to wait until 2012 for the Smitten Kitchen cookbook?”
—Gwyneth Paltrow, on her blog GOOP
 
“Smitten Kitchen reads like a conversation with a witty friend who can recommend the perfect nosh for any occasion.”
O, The Oprah Magazine
 
“Warm and encouraging, the photos are pure food porn, and the something-for-everyone recipes sound sublime.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Perelman’s thoughtful prose and sometimes humorous posts read like an e-mail from your best friend—only with better photos.”
Better Homes and Gardens
 
“An enthusiastic kitchen amateur chronicles her adventures, offering a mix of easy recipes, smart and witty commentary, and beautiful photos.”
Real Simple
 
“One of our favorite cooking blogs . . . We are big fans of Deb Perelman—the founder, cook, writer, and photographer behind the whole operation—and her gorgeous food photos, simple recipes, and charming voice.”
Everyday Food

Author Q&A

Q: How did Smitten Kitchen come about?
A: I’ve always been a somewhat obsessive collector of what I considered perfect recipes, ones that exceeded expectations every time. I started the site as a place to share them, be it the ne plus ultra banana bread or yellow layer cake or best tomato sauce you could make from really average tomatoes. I expected the site to last six months; at the time, that seemed the half-life of most weblogs and I saw no reason that a food blog from a non-chef with no particularly clear cooking philosophy (eh, besides “okay sure why not I’ll make some pasta today”) would resonate with people. I was surprised, and remain surprised, that there are so many people out there that are looking for what I am — recipes that work using accessible, unfancy ingredients that quickly become your new favorite things to cook.

Q: Where did you learn how to cook and what is your background?
A: I’m not a trained chef; I’ve never been to cooking school. I’ve never even waited tables but that’s probably for the best because I’m a huge klutz and I bet diners don’t like that. It may not make for an exciting tell-all one day, but I just really like to cook and I’ve learned through trial and error, figuring out what I like and what was a total waste of my time. That said, I think I got my good attitude about cooking from my mom; my mother didn’t start cooking until she got married but she was fearless in the face of yeast breads, elaborate cakes, croissants and stocks. So, I never had any reason to believe you couldn’t pull them off at home.

Q: What inspires you to make a certain recipe?
A: Cravings? Not all recipes come from warm and glowing places, to be honest. Sometimes I’ll be out at a restaurant and I’ll be so excited about a dish on the menu because I have such a clear idea of all the ways it could be awesome and it is totally different. I then become insistent upon making it at home the way I’d hoped it would be. Other times I’ll be very much in the mood for something — for example, I’ve been fiending for a matzo ball soup this week with loads of vegetables — but nobody makes it the way I like it. This, too, is a font of inspiration.

Q: You talk about your small city kitchen—42 square feet to be exact.  What are your strategies for cooking in a small kitchen?
A: Above all else, I feel it is essential that you never look at designer kitchen photos on Pinterest or in magazines. It’s bad for morale. Mostly, however, you have to want what you’re about to cook badly enough that you’re willing to put up with the maddening size of your kitchen. If you’re walking into the kitchen and thinking, “Ugh, I am not in the mood to make chicken again,” I think you’re definitely in need of a new recipe for chicken. May I recommend one with olives and grapes?

Q: How have the nearly 151,000+ comments you’ve received over the site’s 6 years helped shape the cook you are today?
A: I am convinced that my comment sections have made me a better cook. Everyday, people show up, they read the post, read the recipe and then they ask questions. Sometimes they’re simple — “How do I separate an egg?” or “Does this reheat well?” — but a lot of times, they’re things I just hadn’t thought of before then. “Table salt or kosher salt?” “Sifted, then measured or measured and then sifted?” “Can I skip this step?” “Do I have to use the good olive oil for this?” “You do realize that raspberries cost a fortune in ___, don’t you?” I spend about an hour each workday reading and responding to comments and I make a point to answer just about every question I can, which of course, has forced me to get answers, and quickly.
 
These questions are in my head with me as I cook and write recipes. I know if I’m going to suggest that someone use milk chocolate, they’re going to ask if they can use bittersweet chocolate instead so if I’m confident it will work, I’ll write in that option from the beginning and maybe even the pros and cons of it.   I think a good recipe is intuitive; it will anticipate your question before you even ask it. I wouldn’t be writing even remotely intuitive recipes without my commenters.

Q: What do you most look forward to about having your name and food in print?
A: I am really, really excited to head out and meet people on the book tour. Smitten Kitchen is over 6 years old and I’ve barely had any chances; I rarely get to conferences or events, and the one time (over four years ago) that I thought it would be fun to maybe have a SK Happy Hour/Get Together, more than 350 people responded and I realized that no bar in NYC would be very happy to see us. So, this is it. Of course, now everyone is going to find out what a dork I am in person, a fact I’ve only kept moderately hidden online. I suppose this was inevitable!

Q: Do you have an all time favorite Smitten Kitchen main course? Vegetarian dish?  Dessert?
A: That would be like choosing a favorite child! Actually, choosing a favorite child is spectacularly easy when you only have one, and he’s as splendid as my little dude. But from 800 recipes? In reality, my favorite dish changes all the time; either it is the last thing I’ve made or it’s a beloved dish that I always make at that time of the year. Because it’s fall, I’m suddenly craving soup and sandwiches again, things I don’t much think about in the summer. The Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar on my site perfectly fits the soup-and-sandwich bill, and is a hearty vegetarian meal. We’ve been making the Flat Roasted Chicken with Tiny Potatoes from the cookbook again too; it feels very September-October to me. And in the same vein, the Apple Cider Caramels might be one of my favorite sweet things in the book. They taste like everything amazing about a Northeast fall cooked down into one intense square. It is my dream that everyone gets to try at least one this fall.

Q: If we are what we eat, what are you made of?
A:  This depends on the month. After December, butter. January, green vegetables and the inevitable failed piety. I’m actually not the most interesting eater most days. Cooking for me is very much an excursion; it’s a study, a curiosity. I like to eat homemade food that’s made well – I’m kind of picky. But if it’s just a Monday morning, I’ll probably make myself an egg on an English muffin. I want it to taste awesome but I usually prefer to save my cooking energies for my latest recipe obsession.

 

Q: How did Smitten Kitchen come about?
A: I’ve always been a somewhat obsessive collector of what I considered perfect recipes, ones that exceeded expectations every time. I started the site as a place to share them, be it the ne plus ultra banana bread or yellow layer cake or best tomato sauce you could make from really average tomatoes. I expected the site to last six months; at the time, that seemed the half-life of most weblogs and I saw no reason that a food blog from a non-chef with no particularly clear cooking philosophy (eh, besides “okay sure why not I’ll make some pasta today”) would resonate with people. I was surprised, and remain surprised, that there are so many people out there that are looking for what I am — recipes that work using accessible, unfancy ingredients that quickly become your new favorite things to cook.

Q: Where did you learn how to cook and what is your background?
A: I’m not a trained chef; I’ve never been to cooking school. I’ve never even waited tables but that’s probably for the best because I’m a huge klutz and I bet diners don’t like that. It may not make for an exciting tell-all one day, but I just really like to cook and I’ve learned through trial and error, figuring out what I like and what was a total waste of my time. That said, I think I got my good attitude about cooking from my mom; my mother didn’t start cooking until she got married but she was fearless in the face of yeast breads, elaborate cakes, croissants and stocks. So, I never had any reason to believe you couldn’t pull them off at home.

Q: What inspires you to make a certain recipe?
A: Cravings? Not all recipes come from warm and glowing places, to be honest. Sometimes I’ll be out at a restaurant and I’ll be so excited about a dish on the menu because I have such a clear idea of all the ways it could be awesome and it is totally different. I then become insistent upon making it at home the way I’d hoped it would be. Other times I’ll be very much in the mood for something — for example, I’ve been fiending for a matzo ball soup this week with loads of vegetables — but nobody makes it the way I like it. This, too, is a font of inspiration.

Q: You talk about your small city kitchen—42 square feet to be exact.  What are your strategies for cooking in a small kitchen?
A: Above all else, I feel it is essential that you never look at designer kitchen photos on Pinterest or in magazines. It’s bad for morale. Mostly, however, you have to want what you’re about to cook badly enough that you’re willing to put up with the maddening size of your kitchen. If you’re walking into the kitchen and thinking, “Ugh, I am not in the mood to make chicken again,” I think you’re definitely in need of a new recipe for chicken. May I recommend one with olives and grapes?

Q: How have the nearly 151,000+ comments you’ve received over the site’s 6 years helped shape the cook you are today?
A: I am convinced that my comment sections have made me a better cook. Everyday, people show up, they read the post, read the recipe and then they ask questions. Sometimes they’re simple — “How do I separate an egg?” or “Does this reheat well?” — but a lot of times, they’re things I just hadn’t thought of before then. “Table salt or kosher salt?” “Sifted, then measured or measured and then sifted?” “Can I skip this step?” “Do I have to use the good olive oil for this?” “You do realize that raspberries cost a fortune in ___, don’t you?” I spend about an hour each workday reading and responding to comments and I make a point to answer just about every question I can, which of course, has forced me to get answers, and quickly.
 
These questions are in my head with me as I cook and write recipes. I know if I’m going to suggest that someone use milk chocolate, they’re going to ask if they can use bittersweet chocolate instead so if I’m confident it will work, I’ll write in that option from the beginning and maybe even the pros and cons of it.   I think a good recipe is intuitive; it will anticipate your question before you even ask it. I wouldn’t be writing even remotely intuitive recipes without my commenters.

Q: What do you most look forward to about having your name and food in print?
A: I am really, really excited to head out and meet people on the book tour. Smitten Kitchen is over 6 years old and I’ve barely had any chances; I rarely get to conferences or events, and the one time (over four years ago) that I thought it would be fun to maybe have a SK Happy Hour/Get Together, more than 350 people responded and I realized that no bar in NYC would be very happy to see us. So, this is it. Of course, now everyone is going to find out what a dork I am in person, a fact I’ve only kept moderately hidden online. I suppose this was inevitable!

Q: Do you have an all time favorite Smitten Kitchen main course? Vegetarian dish?  Dessert?
A: That would be like choosing a favorite child! Actually, choosing a favorite child is spectacularly easy when you only have one, and he’s as splendid as my little dude. But from 800 recipes? In reality, my favorite dish changes all the time; either it is the last thing I’ve made or it’s a beloved dish that I always make at that time of the year. Because it’s fall, I’m suddenly craving soup and sandwiches again, things I don’t much think about in the summer. The Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar on my site perfectly fits the soup-and-sandwich bill, and is a hearty vegetarian meal. We’ve been making the Flat Roasted Chicken with Tiny Potatoes from the cookbook again too; it feels very September-October to me. And in the same vein, the Apple Cider Caramels might be one of my favorite sweet things in the book. They taste like everything amazing about a Northeast fall cooked down into one intense square. It is my dream that everyone gets to try at least one this fall.

Q: If we are what we eat, what are you made of?
A:  This depends on the month. After December, butter. January, green vegetables and the inevitable failed piety. I’m actually not the most interesting eater most days. Cooking for me is very much an excursion; it’s a study, a curiosity. I like to eat homemade food that’s made well – I’m kind of picky. But if it’s just a Monday morning, I’ll probably make myself an egg on an English muffin. I want it to taste awesome but I usually prefer to save my cooking energies for my latest recipe obsession.

Also by Deb Perelman

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