So Good: 100 Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours
Professional chef Richard Blais produced a beautiful cookbook with gorgeous photos that almost qualify it as a coffee table book. In So Good he presents a hundred recipes successfully downsized to home kitchens. Easy recipes? Don’t look for many in this cookbook. These are mostly for at least intermediate cooks, and preferably for advanced cooks willing to spend a long time in the kitchen. Blais draws inspiration from the international repertoire, particularly Japanese cuisine. His recipe writing is good and clear, and the photo illustrations help you to visualize what you are aiming for (though they may also be intimidating). Listing his recipes preceding each chapter is useful. The recipe layout is good, though some spill to overleaf pages, but that we can live with. As expected from restaurant serving sizes, his portions are enormous. You will need a very well-equipped market or internet sources to find many ingredients (an inconvenience), like togarashi, uni, yuzu kosho, or yuzu juice. He uses professional equipment not many home kitchens own, like a hand-held smoker and liquid nitrogen. Blais inserts many brief, useful discussions of things such as rice, his favorite cooking methods, braising, and ice cream. You’ll find recipes like Gnudi and Brown Butter, Jerked Spatchcock, and Oxtail with Mashed Yucca. The index is nicely cross-referenced.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt