The first in what will be a series of small books, each dedicated to a thoughtfully composed dinner menu that acknowledges seasonality, strives to reduce food waste, and respects a cook's interest in good food.
There are just 9 recipes in this small book (5" x 7", 36 pages), but they are accompanied by a shopping list as well as what Brian Voll calls distributing the burden. Make the peach butter a month ahead (you will have several jars, so you can enjoy some of it immediately). The savory granola can be make weeks out, and so too the whiskey cocktail. And when you make the amaretti for dessert, you'll use the peach kernel from the jam.
In exchange for your interest in his modest plan, Voll will invite you to step ever-so-slightly outside your comfort zone.
Charming and smart, Menu No 1 offers recipes for:
- Whiskey cocktail
- Butternut Squash on toast
- Smothered rabbit with buttermilk and cheddar grits
- Romaine salad with roasted eggplant dressing and savory granola
- Sauteed cauliflower with anchovies and parsley
- Amaretti mobidi and sabayon
As for author Brian Voll, a self-taught, trial-and-error, home cook, he says,
I was born in Indiana to a mother who loved to cook and considered her kitchen a laboratory to try any and every interesting or unusual recipe that she came across. Her five children were her guinea pigs, and when a recipe turned out, we ate very well. When a recipe didn’t turn out, we ate a lot of pizza.
Since moving to New York ages ago, I’ve been recreating that dynamic among my chosen family in my little kitchen. Each of my cookbooklets is a distillation of a really good night when everybody ate very well, when the recipes I’d been tinkering with finally came together. The series is as much a memoir as it is a collection of recipes. Embedded within each page are the kinds of things I like to cook—inspired by travels around the world and New York City, rooted in my friends and family, and grounded in how I think about cooking: solving the puzzle for maximizing flavor and minimizing waste.
My hope is that these stories inspire people to take pleasure in home cooking with good friends.