Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook


A modern approach to cooking at home, with more than 70 innately flexible recipes.
The indispensable recipes and streamlined cooking techniques in Where Cooking Begins is an open invitation to dive into Carla Lalli Music’s laid-back cooking style. The food director at Bon Appetit, her intuitive recipes are inspired by the meals she makes at home for her family and friends and the joy she takes in feeding them. Here, too, is her guide to the six essential cooking methods that will show you how to make everything without over-complicating anything—and every recipe includes suggestions for swaps and substitutions, so you’ll never feel stuck or stymied.

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Where Cooking Begins is also the first recent cookbook to connect the way we shop to the way we cook. Music’s modern approach—pick up your fresh ingredients a few times a week, and fill your pantry with staples bought online—will make you want to click on a burner and slide out a cutting board the minute you get home.
The no-fail techniques, textured recipes, and strategies in Where Cooking Begins will make you a great cook.
Fresh figs with manchego and wet walnuts
In a small skillet, toast the walnuts in the olive oil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown and toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in honey until dissolved. Season with salt and lots (and lots) of pepper. Season with 1 teaspoon rice vinegar and taste again. It should be sweet and fatty and lip smack and peppery. Adjust as needed with more honey, oil, salt, pepper, and/ or vinegar, until you’re pleased.

Break the Manchego up into pieces that roughly mimic the size and shape of the walnuts. Tear figs in half and place on a large plate or platter. Season with salt and remaining 1 teaspoon vinegar. Tuck in pieces of cheese here and there, then spoon walnut mixture over.

The best thing that might happen is that you’d get the perfect piece of fig with a wet walnut tucked into it and a piece of cheese attached, and you’d eat it with your hands. Keep eating until that happens.


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