Whether you're lacking inspiration after 18 months of home cooking; the type of cook that doesn't often consult recipes (we're jealous of your laid-back approach and creativity); or just after a recipe book that hits a little bit different, Ed Smith's new book Crave may well be the one that gets you back into cooking with recipes.
With dishes organised by flavour and mood, rather than style or season, it builds on the author and writer's penchant for immediately likeable dishes that inflame the imagination and make the reader want to cook them immediately. The recipes' influences are eclectic – from Italy to Thailand and beyond – but all are created with an eye on elegance, straightforwardness and flavour.
With so many of the recipes in Crave revolving around flavours to particular moods, it's probably unsurprising they wouldn't all be dishes to cook when you’re over the moon. But, while "so many of these cheesy and creamy recipes are ones that respond well to glum moods or glum weather," Smith says, "this one seems to call to me whatever the weather, and whether I'm down or I'm bouncing. It's just a base urge for the slight tang and umami notes of the pecorino or parmesan in a buttery sauce."
As Smith describes, the recipe isn’t complex, doesn't require many fresh ingredients, and can form more of a template than a recipe to be followed to the letter, and provides "something of a rapid, store-cupboard relief, including pre-cooked beans from a can to suit the speed. Those beans go with lamb in any form (whether roast leg, slow-cooked shoulder, breast, rump or rack) but chops are appropriately quick to cook. Serve with something like purple sprouting or Tenderstem broccoli, curly kale, or a side salad of bitter or peppery leaves."