Faithful to it’s title, NATHALIE DUPREE COOKS EVERYDAY MEALS FROM A WELL-STOCKED PANTRY, is a gathering of recipes that make the cooking process for the average cook easier. It’s true, as Dupree points out in her introduction, that one of the most tedious parts of cooking interesting recipes can be the extra shopping involved. Typical cookbook recipes require many fresh items or dry goods that the average cook does not normally have on hand. This means having to make a shopping trip for just that one meal and not knowing what to do with the unusual left-over ingredients. In this volume, Dupree makes a conscious effort to give recipes that include more of the average pantry’s stock, rather than the professional cook’s. For the most part, Dupree’s efforts are successful, but her ideas of a “well-stocked” pantry still means serious shopping, at least for the initial set-up. Dupree provides a detailed description of the must-haves, and the less important but necessary items to keep in the kitchen.
Dupree is known for her Southern style cooking, and the recipes in this collection, to a certain degree, reflect this specialty. Many dishes include curries, chilis and many are Caribbean based. But most recipes in this book are, as the title says, “everyday” meals so if the reader expects only Dupree’s flavorful, exciting Southern dishes, they may be disappointed. Most recipes are the regular basics: vegetable soups, grilled meats, cheesy appetizers and desserts. Some choice exceptions include Curried Cream and Tomato Soup, Tangy Chicken Breasts Baked with Black Bean Salsa, and Hot Carrots with Pine Nuts.
With easy to follow directions, plenty of tips and clear organization, this cookbook makes a useful addition to any kitchen. Dupree deserves applause for her attempt at this long-needed kind of cookbook that lets the average cook experiment with recipes but keep the grocery shopping less expensive and less frequent.