As you know by now, I like my recipes to have introductions. These can serve many purposes. They can introduce an unfamiliar recipe, contain a bit of biography, or explain different techniques the author has tried so that as you improvise you don’t repeat mistakes unnecessarily. Chris Kimball does all of that and also has some ideas about replacing ingredients if you can’t find the ingredients he’s talking about.
The thesis of this cookbook is that there isn’t ethnic cooking anymore. There’s just cooking. You cook whatever you want from wherever in the world it originates. He takes a lot of skills he learned at America’s Test Kitchen and tends to go for simplicity over authenticity as long as the taste is preserved or improved. So if a recipe traditionally takes 4 hours and he found a way to do it in 1 hr while still tasting good, he tells you how to do that.
This is a very global book so this isn’t the place to go to for recipes that are traditional Americana fare. There are other cookbooks for that. This cookbook is Kimball introducing America to world cooking while taking advantage of our cooking techniques, tools, and easy-to-find ingredients. I noted many recipes I’d like to try as a window into other cuisines.
If you’re an adventurous cook who likes the ATK style (since Kimball was there for a long time), this is a great cookbook for you.