Smillie, who earned three stars from the New York Times at il Buco Alimentari and is now the chef at Upland, wants to turn your attention to braising, roasting, and grilling, cooking methods that can impart, blend, and heighten flavors. This is a thoughtful book, one meant to engage the reader to think carefully about cooking, much in the manner of Paul Bertolli’s Cooking by Hand. The recipes are grouped by cooking method, each main dish accompanied by sides that compliment it. For example, a braised lamb shoulder with onion-anchovy jam is served alongside black-eyed peas with butter lettuce and a warm butter dressing; pork chops scottadito (meaning “burnt little fingers, where they are cooked just long enough for the fat to crisp along the bones”) are served beside coal-roasted sweet potatoes with crème fraiche, pomegranate, olives, and herbs. In some ways a demanding book, but one that offers great rewards for the time spent with it.
Color photographs throughout. Hardcover.