Fans of the Peabody Award–winning series Good Eats, which appeared on the Food Network from 1999 to 2012, might associate its host Alton Brown with puns and puppets—or perhaps with the lady who lived in his on-set refrigerator.
Though the series that cemented Brown’s culinary celebrity was as much about goofing around as it was about the science and history of food, his newest endeavor, EveryDayCook, brings something different to the table.
“These dishes were concocted because somebody (usually me) was hungry,” Brown writes in the cookbook’s introduction. “This is what I eat and, more important, what you’d probably eat if you came over for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or anytime in between.”
Unlike recipes featured in his past seven cookbooks or in his live shows, the 100 recipes in EDC are from Brown’s personal collection of favorite dishes. He doesn’t include them because they illustrate how fermentation works or the science of baking the perfect rustic loaf, but with the hope that they might become your favorite meals, too.
In the spirit of getting personal and making things easy, Brown organizes EDC’s recipes by time of day, so you can replicate his go-to on-the-go breakfasts, midday meals and snacks, or weeknight dinners. Overnight Coconut Oats and Buttermilk Lassi can be found under “Morning” and a recipe for a salt-packed snapper is in “Evening,” while Open Sesame Noodles (we never said this book was pun-less) play a starring role in the midnight-snack section simply titled “Later.”
While EDC focuses mainly on recipes, that’s not to say that Brown’s penchant for science and history is totally absent. The foodie fun facts and personal anecdotes he shares throughout make his recipes easy to get excited about. For example, Brown includes a brief history of Salisbury Steak (named for a physician who prescribed beef as a 19th-century Lipitor) and a Weeknight Spaghetti recipe prefaced by lessons Brown learned from watching The Godfather as a kid.
The “Methods” section, which gives tips for clarifying butter, seasoning a cast-iron skillet, skinning a mango, and more, supports Brown’s recipes. At the front of the book, handy “Hardware” recommendations help readers pull them off like the pros—flip through and decide the must-haves (a digital food scale) versus the cool-to-haves (a nitrous oxide foamer) for yourself.
Until we get Return of the Eats, the Good Eats reboot slated to debut on the Food Network later this year, we’ll have to prime our kitchens with EDC.