I always look forward to Sam Sifton’s chatty cooking newsletter. I’ve come to trust his judgment in steering me toward recipes in their daunting database that I can confidently execute.
As The New York Times’ food editor and former dining critic, Sifton is surrounded daily by some of the most gifted culinary professionals in the business. He’s cooked alongside renowned chefs to learn their secrets. But what truly makes his food writing so relatable is that he’s a husband and dad who genuinely loves to gather people around his own table, and believes the world would be a better place if more of us got in the habit of it.
His new book, “See You on Sunday: A Cookbook for Family and Friends” (Random House, $35), is designed to help us do that.
He supports that thesis with personal recipe favorites more familiar and comforting than cutting-edge, each geared to feed roughly six, but easily scaled up to feed more.
Chapters are centered on crowd-pleasing themes such as Big Meats, Big Pots, Taco Night, and Pizza. Beyond the recipes, he works in tips for setting a nice table, carving a ham like a pro (and turning leftovers into split pea soup), roasting a chicken to perfection, and making the best garlic bread ever.
He won me over with cheddar-enriched Steak and Guinness Stew served over buttered egg noodles. And I can attest that A Good Meat Loaf lives up to its name — even moreso with mashed potatoes and the Quick-Cooked Collard Greens he learned from famed Alabama chef Frank Stitt.
The main trick to hosting a successful Sunday dinner? Don’t stress. Just do it. “Sunday dinner isn’t a dinner party,” he writes. “It is not entertainment. It is just a fact, like a standing meeting or a regular touch football game in the park. It makes life a little better, almost every time.”
That’s great advice, any day of the week.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
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