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Menu No 2: Chicken, Aromatic Herbs, Fennel, Chili, Orange, Fig, Buttermilk

Menu No 2: Chicken, Aromatic Herbs, Fennel, Chili, Orange, Fig, Buttermilk


Brian Voll
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The second in an imaginative series of small books, each of which offers a charming dinner menu. The Italian word sprezzatura is mentioned early in this volume, referring to studied carelessness or effortless elegance. It's most apt.

The 7 recipes in this small book (5" x 7", 36 pages), are  accompanied by a shopping list as well as notes on what author Brian Voll calls Get Ahead.  You can make the jam you'll need months in advance, and the panna cotta you'll serve it alongside will hold for two days in the refrigerator. Resourcefully-minded cooks will note that buttermilk, parsley, dill, and lemons, all do double or triple duty, reducing waster

Menu No 2 offers recipes for:

  • Gin cocktail
  • Spicy mussel soup
  • Buttermilk-brined roast chicken
  • Freekeh salad with fennel and chilies
  • Green beans with prosciutto and gremolata
  • Buttermilk panna cotta with fig and orange jam

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.

Paperback.

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