Have you ever purchased a cookbook because the pictures inside looked mouthwatering? You are not the only one. In fact, you are probably considered a coffee table cook. You know, someone who browses through the pictures of the nicely bound book and then returns it to the coffee table. You tell yourself that they are good conversation pieces. What if you actually cooked some of the recipes? Then you would have something to talk about!
It’s no secret I own many cookbooks. I go through phases where I am a cooking maniac and cook new things out of cookbooks and other times I am in recipe testing mode. This November, I received My Family Table by John Besh. Every recipe has been incredible thus far. I am not sure if it’s because the pictures are gorgeous, the stories take me inside his kitchen, or if the food reminds me of my grandmother’s cooking in Spain. Either way, it’s a must buy book and if I had the time, I’d cook my way through the book and blog about it.
This weekend, I cooked Coq Au Vin from his book My Family Table with my friend Christy. She marinated the chicken overnight in the red wine and some vegetables. By the time I arrived at her house, her cast iron skillet was hot and we were ready to get cooking! This is where had I not been 39 weeks pregnant I would have poured myself a big glass of vino.
One of the many reasons I fell in love with the book is the relatable stories Chef Besh narrates with nearly every recipe. He makes the case for the importance of home cooked meals not only from a nutrition standpoint; but from the joy and “togetherness” that sharing meals with our families bring.
There is so much more to food than eating. Cooking with friends and family is an experience and a joyful time; specially if we are going to gather and share the meal together. The book is not one recipe after another but a narrated story of how food is part of his family’s every day life. From busy weeknight dinners his wife prepares before loading the boys in the car to take them to sports to Sunday family gatherings, brunch and breakfast recipes.
Even with its shiny cover and beautiful pictures the book makes the point that you don’t have to be a chef to make the recipes. Besh tells us to forget about having all the right ingredients and just get cooking. I highly suggest cooking the risotto, you won’t want it any other way. And for a real treat… the Nutella stuffed french toast. Oh my!
I had more fun cooking this meal with my friend Christy than I’ve had in a long time. I’m used to cooking for my family in the afternoons with two kids running around and pregnant; often juggling homework, packing lunches, and testing a recipe or two for MOMables.
While this wasn’t a 30 minute weeknight meal, the simplicity and richness of flavors made this the perfect Sunday dinner. The house began to fill with with rich aromas that brought me back to my grandmother’s kitchen. Yes, she used to cook meals like this often.
I have to admit that we were so excited to finally eat this dish that we forgot to take a picture of our plate! The good news, is that the next day the flavors married within the food longer and the bowl I had for lunch was just as delicious as the night before.
Want to get a copy? You know you do…