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Essential Tips for Weekend Cooking

Cal Peternell, author of the bestselling cookbook Twelve Recipes and now of the cookbook A Recipe for Cooking, joins the Clever Cookstr to talk about his food philosophy in the kitchen, at the dinner table, and beyond. 

By
Kara Rota,
December 6, 2016
Episode #129

Essential Tips for Weekend CookingIn his bestselling cookbook Twelve Recipes, Cal laid out the core building blocks that make a confident and competent home cook. He calls it a "weeknight cookbook," while A Recipe for Cooking is his "weekend cookbook"—for when you're having friends over, or having one special friend over, or just want to make a particular meal special in its own right. It's a cookbook for diving deeper into technique and enjoying the art and therapy of spending time in the kitchen.

A Recipe for Cooking is organized seasonally, and Cal has lots of tips for incorporating seasonal produce in your meals. Farmers' markets give a great opportunity to ask farmers for ideas about unfamiliar produce, and Cal suggests growing something at home, even if you just have room for a few herbs in windowboxes, to reap the benefits of just-picked fresh ingredients. He also thinks it's important, when you come across beautiful produce, not to do too much to them. Just a quick treatment in salted boiling water and a bit of olive oil goes a long way,

And how about entertaining a group with many different dietary restrictions or considerations? Cal welcomes those limitations, as they can be useful in inspiring a theme or menu. Vegetarian meals are a great starting point, and also highlight the seasonal produce that Cal seeks to honor in his cooking. He wants everyone at his dinner parties to eat the same thing without becoming a short-order cook, so he may include some optional add-ons as sides or condiments, in case some folks don't like bacon or simply can't stand mushrooms. 

Essential Tips for Weekend Cooking

Another strategy in Cal's food philosophy? Make simple sauces from scratch, incorporating fresh herbs like parsley, sage, and marjoram, for a worthwhile flavor boost.

For more tips and tricks, check out Cal's new book, A Recipe for Cooking

Listen to our interview with Cal Peternell in the top right hand player, or on iTunesStitcher, and Spotify (simply search the mobile app!).  Don't forget to sign up for the forthcoming Clever Cookstr newsletter, full of tips and tricks from the kitchens of the world's best chefs.

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