Awhile back, I signed up to test recipes for the forthcoming cookbook of a high school friend, Samin Nosrat, called Salt, Fat, Heat, Acid.
Let’s back up a bit further to share what prompted me to want to test her recipes. Samin and I both attended La Jolla High School and went to the Bay Area for college. She attended Berkeley and I attended USF. With Facebook and what not, we reconnected and I learned that she had gotten very into the culinary scene that abounds in the Bay Area. It was at a time that I was starting to test my home-cooking skills. In addition to her involvement in pop-up markets, she offered a series of cooking classes that taught some basic skills or a particular food.
I took her mozzarella class with a girlfriend. Samin creates experiences. It was not line cooking by any means, she taught each step of the process. By the end of the class we not only created fresh mozzarella, we also learned how to make burrata and rolls of mozzarella filled with prosciutto and basil. Suffice to say, we each ended up with enough to eat with our respective spouses as well as in my case share with our neighbors.
What I loved most about the class was that it ended with us all sitting around a table talking about the experience.
When Samin posted to her page requesting volunteers to test recipes for her cookbook, quite honestly I jumped at the chance.
A few months passed before I got my test recipes, but when I received them I just knew that they were calling for a dinner party.
- Parmesan Vinaigrette
- Five Spice Clay Pot Chicken
- Long-Cooked Broccoli Rabe
- Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding
- Toasted Coconut Cream
In Phoenix, we live in a community where neighbors get together as we are generally walking distance from each other. It seemed like perfection to host a dinner party where to really get a sense of how the recipes were received.
I’ll save you the drama, every single recipe received rave reviews. Now while I cannot share the actual recipes with you (sworn to secrecy, ya know), I can promise you that they are intuitive recipes that will change the way you cook. Keep your eyes open for Samin’s cookbook!
My only addition to the dinner party was based on a suggestion of something that would go well with the chicken, hence I Googled a quick cucumber side dish.
Here are the photos from the dinner party prep:
*note there are no photos of the dinner party as everyone miraculously put their phones on our photo table before dinner, talk about enjoying the moment!