Ever eat at a restaurant, and the food’s just so darn good that you convince yourself you must have the joint’s cookbook? Maybe not, but me personally? I’m a sucker for cookbooks, even if I rarely use them. Especially ones with pictures. Those are the best because even if I don’t ever getting around to staining the pages, I can still pull one off the stack and drool over the sultry photos hidden inside.
However, sometimes I get home with a restaurant’s cookbook and am so super pumped about the dinner I just ate, I’m ready to recreate last weekend’s meal ASAP. But then I flip through the pages, and GASP—it’s like “This is the Song That Never Ends” playing on every single page. There’s gigantic laundry lists of ingredients paired with directions that go on and on and on. What’s worse is when they start calling for things that I, even as a huge foodie, can barely recall what they are, let alone salvage enough money to doll out on such frills. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook. Extensive prep times don’t scare me nor do never-ending directions. But I’m also a super spread out, busy gal, which means in general, I like to keep things simple. Except for those occasional days where I let myself spend all day in the kitchen, (I do love those music-filled, taste testing-packed days), I don’t mind letting the busy restaurant chefs staying in charge of those types of tasks.
But not all restaurant cookbooks are like the ones I just described (ahem, Millennium, ahem). Take for instance, Horizon’s cookbooks, coming from one of my favorite restaurants (and it’s vegan!), which I’ve mentioned on here before. Horizons (whose owners are in the works for launching a new restaurant, Vedge) cooks up gourmet food at its Philly-housed restaurant, so one might expect that the recipes in its cookbook would be challenging or lengthy. While some are more extensive than others, most of the recipes are super easy to follow, yielding gourmet, yet manageable-to-attain results similar to what you’d get at the actual restaurant.
Take for instance the latest recipe I tried out for coconut and red chile broccoli. This was so easy and quick to make, I’ll definitely be whipping it up again. Creamy coconut milk fused with the flavors of curry, herbs, and a little spice, poured on top of broccoli = delish. I recommend pairing it with brown rice, as the grain makes a perfect way to sop up an of the too-delicious-to-be-wasted sauce.