It’s cookbook season! It’s cookbook season! Which means I’m gleefully overwhelmed by all of the new dishes on my “to-make” list. I’d barely eaten my way through Amy Chaplin’s new book before being bombarded with this, this, this and this (which is old, but so new to me). Each of them beautiful and purposeful in their own right. Each of them deserving my full attention. I keep one on my night stand, one in the kitchen and one on the coffee table, flipping through each of them idly when gifted a spare moment. Paralyzed by indecision this Sunday, I followed my instincts and cooked exactly what I craved: bread and butter.
Saltie’s cookbook is a rare one – relatively thin, with illustrations in place of overly stylized photographs, it walks you through the daily operations of a tightly run, modern deli. The recipes range from the simplicity of a hard boiled egg, to a more complex beef shin and farro soup. The book rightfully begins with bread – the crux of a sandwich. But it’s not your average sandwich bread (seedy, boule, brioche), it’s far sexier.
Enter, naan. An exotic flat bread, scorched in a pan and bathed in butter until it shines. Normally an accompaniment to curries, Saltie re-appropriates naan as a wrap – the perfect compliment to any filling imaginable. I can attest to its versatility because I’ve eaten it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past three days. Alongside curried salmon and yogurt, stuffed with hummus and vegetables, slathered in almond butter and jam. It’s remarkable! And easy. One of the easiest breads I’ve made: equally forgiving and rewarding.
And because starch loves fat, and a good curry cries for ghee, it seemed obvious to make a batch. Sarah Britton’s new book opened my eyes to the simplicity of making your own. Infinitely shelf-stable, with a high smoke point and myriad health benefits – ghee is the golden girl of cooking fats. I basically boiled a pound of butter until all of the water cooked off and left a nutty, toasty freshly-baked-croissant smell wafting through my kitchen. It’s heaven in a jar, I tell you