Food52 Genius Recipes
By Kristen Miglore
Published by 10 Speed Press

Back Cover: There are good recipes and there are great ones—and then, there are genius recipes.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink the way we cook. They might involve an unexpectedly simple technique, debunk a kitchen myth, or apply a familiar ingredient in a new way. They’re handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacies. And, once we’ve folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. In this collection are 100 of the smartest and most remarkable ones.
There isn’t yet a single cookbook where you can find Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter, Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread, and Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake—plus dozens more of the most talked about, just-crazy-enough-to-work recipes of our time. Until now.
These are what Food52 Executive Editor Kristen Miglore calls genius recipes. Passed down from the cookbook authors, chefs, and bloggers who made them legendary, these foolproof recipes rethink cooking tropes, solve problems, get us talking, and make cooking more fun. Every week, Kristen features one such recipe and explains just what’s so brilliant about it in the James Beard Award-nominated Genius Recipes column on Food52. Here, in this book, she compiles 100 of the most essential ones—nearly half of which have never been featured in the column—with tips, riffs, mini-recipes, and stunning photographs from James Ransom, to create a cooking canon that will stand the test of time.
Once you try Michael Ruhlman’s fried chicken or Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s hummus, you’ll never want to go back to other versions. But there’s also a surprising ginger juice you didn’t realize you were missing and will want to put on everything—and a way to cook white chocolate that (finally) exposes its hidden glory. Some of these recipes you’ll follow to a T, but others will be jumping-off points for you to experiment with and make your own. Either way, with Kristen at the helm, revealing and explaining the genius of each recipe, Genius Recipes is destined to become every home cook’s go-to resource for smart, memorable cooking—because no one cook could have taught us so much.

REVIEW: Kristen Miglore is the executive editor of Food52 website. She says, “A genius recipe surprises us and makes us rethink cooking tropes. They’re handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacies. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we’ve folded them into our repertories they make us feel pretty genius too!”

A few of these recipes made me feel good at the fact I could create something so yummy and elegant looking. I tried the No Knead Bread by Jim Lahey. This changed the way I think about bread. The bread looked beautiful, tasted amazing and it was easy to make. Brilliant! Kristen said, “…it looked better than most breads you can buy, with a dewy, wide mawed crumb and dark crust that snaps under the knife.” It’s a technique anyone can do! My family and I were wowed by the heavenly taste, amazed by the texture and encouraged that we could create this again! It wasn’t a fluke.

The next recipe I tried were the Raised Waffles by Marion Cunningham. Again a technique that requires very little effort on my part to turn out great! Kristen has Genius tips throughout this books,  “the batter keeps and improves for several days in the fringe, if you want to get even more ahead (one to 7 days)….” I’m stunned at how far ahead you can make this and how great it tastes. It’s a crowd pleaser!

The last recipe I tried was the English Porridge by April Bloomfield. Again a brilliant recipe that allows you to have a party in your mouth with every bite. This recipe delivers an explosion of textures along with the salty sweet taste I and my family loved!

Kristen explains what they look for in Genius recipes and shares a little about the Chef for each recipe. She states that this is a collection of the 100 most essential ones – nearly ½ of the recipes have never been featured in a column on the Food52 food blog. James Ransom has taken stunning photographs that picture each recipe and some extra photos with step by step instructions.

Kristen says this book will help you “to create a cooking cannon that will stand the test of time.” I whole heartily agree!

The categories in this book start with Breakfast, Snacks and drinks, Soups and Salads, Meaty Meals, Meatless Mains, Vegetable and Desserts.

The dishes I anxiously want to try next are Hummus, Currant Cottage Cheese Pancakes, Roasted Applesauce, Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Crunchy Seeds, Chickpea Stew with Saffron, Yogurt and Garlic Soup, Cauliflower Soup, Potato Soup with Fried Almonds, Shrimp Grits, Rosemary-Brined Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Chicken Thighs with Lemon, Grilled Port Burger, Cauliflower Steaks, Grilled Pizza, Kale Panini, Garlic Green Beans, Gratin of Zucchini, Rice and Onions with Cheese … there are so many more I’d like to try.

These recipes and techniques have changed the way I’m going to make bread, porridge and waffles; can’t wait to see other things I’ll learn as I make the dishes in this astonishing cook book.

I know I’ll be referring to this beautiful hardback book often for everyday and special occasions. I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes to cook and for those just starting out. There are a variety of cooking skills in this book. The ones I tried were easy and flavorful. Many of the ingredients can be found in your local grocery store. Another thing to love about the recipes!

I received a free copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest opinion. There was no obligation to give a positive review. I'm a tell-it-like it is kind of person. This holds true to my review.

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine


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