Sarah spent the week pairing global comfort foods with tasty wine and took a quick trip into some deep 90s nostalgia.
I think Eric and I would be friends if our paths ever crossed.
I say that because we have a similar love of simple and comforting "grandma foods", we had the same first job as a sandwich artist at Subway, and we have a shared nostalgia for Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas.
But most importantly, because we both like to take things a little less seriously.
Eric doesn't claim to be a professional chef. He's just talented and loves eating, cooking, and sharing what he knows with the world. Better yet, his charisma so clearly comes through in the writing — which is increasingly rare in cookbooks. There is zero stress in this book and that's a downright miracle.
With the exception of fig leaves, most of the ingredients in these dishes are readily available at any grocery store or supermarket, and the recipes themselves come together in a little under 2 hours. Easy-peasy!
The only thing I would have adjusted in his recipes is timing. Giving a little extra time to marinate or simmer would have resulted in a more developed flavor in dishes like the green globe curry and in the mushroom sauce for those "bonk" (his words, not mine) chicken frites.
Between the tasty pizzas, smashburgers, simple pastas, and crunchy fried chicken, this book is super kid-friendly. What kid doesn’t want their own personal pan pizza!? I can almost taste the graveyard soda fountain concoction my brothers and I would make from the Pizza Hut down the street as I type.
This book is great for crowds too! Eric’s got tips and recipes devoted to building the ultimate snack plate, hosting caviar and shrimp parties, and even throwing a raclette party (think fondue but fancier). Even his simple recipes throw in crowd-pleasing add-ons like pairing champagne with your fried chicken to elevate it from delicious to showstopper.
Lastly, I love that Eric shares his inspirations with you. He'll name the places he first encountered a dish — from LA to Sicily to Thailand — and you better believe those are all going on my list of places I one day want to eat.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading and cooking out of this book. If you are a beginner to cooking, and the idea of trying your hand at an overnight pizza dough or a roast chicken and fries sounds exciting to you, I think you’ll also really like this book.