If you've yet to join our Cookbook Club, you've found us at the right time: There's a lot of exciting things ahead. This month we're tackling J. Kenji López-Alt's The Food Lab. You will be privy to multiple science lessons within his mighty tome, yes, but you might be surprised to learn that you'll be laughing while you learn. As Emily Stephenson explains in her review of his book:
Similarly surprising is that this cookbook is really funny. I can’t tell you the last time (if ever) I laughed out loud while reading a cookbook, but I did—many times—while reading this one. Through groan-worthy dad jokes (Kenji helpfully reminds us that the proper technique for egg poaching is “nude,” but that that refers to the egg, not the cook), Kenji becomes a person you not only want to spend a lot of time with, but also someone you trust—his book the one you crack when you have a question about poaching eggs or seasoning cast iron or which cut of beef to buy.
If you haven't picked up The Food Lab yet, we've got you covered: Read on for a few recipes from J. Kenji López-Alt. Plus, we're also revealing what books are coming up next, and if you're new to the Club, we've got all the details on how to participate, too.
Lopez's tips and techniques can improve everything from an everyday dish like cheeseburgers to a holiday-worthy main like a crown roast of pork.
Note: Lopez’s grilled shrimp recipe can’t be found in The Food Lab, our book of the month, but since we're sharing it here, it can be considered fair game for sharing in the Facebook group.
Those of you who are familiar with our Cookbook Club know that the books we cook through are self-selected by the group. And in an effort to plan ahead—especially for library reserving and book purchasing and shipping purposes—we generally hold votes for 3 months worth of books at a time. But this time, we wanted to do something special for the Club's 1st birthday (see below), so we selected other top vote-getters from our last round of voting to round out the other months. Without further ado, here's what's ahead for the Cookbook Club:
- December: Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore
- January: Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 by Julia Child
February: Happy Birthday to the Cookbook Club! Our Club turns one year old, so all of the books we’ve previously covered are fair game to revisit this month:
- Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott
- Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard
- Simple by Diana Henry
- Small Victories by Julia Turshen
- Ottolenghi's suite of books (other than Sweet) — Ottolenghi, Jerusalem, Plenty More, Plenty, and/or Nopi
- My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz
- Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark
- Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat
- Made in India by Meera Sodha
- The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt
- Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore
- March: Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman
2018 Bonus Book: Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden
What is a bonus book? While we focus on one book a month, this is an extra book that members can cook through the whole year long, too. The group will have more time to cook through McFadden’s book, and members will always have this book as an option to cook from if they don’t have access to the book of the month.
If you're new to the Cookbook Club, here's a quick primer on how to join in the fun:
1) Get the Book(s)
Buy a book or two—they're available in our shop or from your favorite local bookstore. Or, if you’re not ready to commit quite yet, check them out from your local library or borrow a copy from a friend.
2) Read & Cook
Rather self-explanatory, as this is one of the most important parts of participating in a cookbook club, right? If you’re not sure where to begin, take a page out of our former Cookbook Editor Ali Slagle's playbook. When she reviews a cookbook, she reads through the entire introduction as well as 15 headnotes and recipes, and then cooks at least three recipes.
3) Share Your Opinions
We chat in our Facebook group all month long! Join the Cookbook Club here and post pictures of what you bake from the books and share reviews, too. Fill everyone in on what you thought of the dish (remember to share the recipe name and even the page number, if possible). You can share photos on Instagram as well. Just remember to tag them with #f52cookbookclub.