This Will Make It Taste Good
A New Path to Simple Cooking
An Eater Best Cookbook of Fall 2020
From caramelized onions to fruit preserves, make home cooking quick and easy with ten simple "kitchen heroes" in these 125 recipes from the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of Deep Run Roots.
“I wrote this book to inspire you, and I promise it will change the way you cook, the way you think about what’s in your fridge, the way you see yourself in an apron.”
Vivian Howard’s first cookbook chronicling the food of Eastern North Carolina, Deep Run Roots, was named one of the best of the year by 18 national publications, including the New York Times, USA Today, Bon Appetit, and Eater, and won an unprecedented four IACP awards, including Cookbook of the Year. Now, Vivian returns with an essential work of home-cooking genius that makes simple food exciting and accessible, no matter your skill level in the kitchen.
Each chapter of This Will Make It Taste Good is built on a flavor hero—a simple but powerful recipe like her briny green sauce, spiced nuts, fruit preserves, deeply caramelized onions, and spicy pickled tomatoes. Like a belt that lends you a waist when you’re feeling baggy, these flavor heroes brighten, deepen, and define your food.
Many of these recipes are kitchen crutches, dead-easy, super-quick meals to lean on when you’re limping toward dinner. There are also kitchen projects, adventures to bring some more joy into your life. Vivian’s mission is not to protect you from time in your kitchen, but to help you make the most of the time you’ve got.
Nothing is complicated, and more than half the dishes are vegetarian, gluten-free, or both. These recipes use ingredients that are easy to find, keep around, and cook with—lots of chicken, prepared in a bevy of ways to keep it interesting, and common vegetables like broccoli, kale, squash, and sweet potatoes that look good no matter where you shop.
And because food is the language Vivian uses to talk about her life, that’s what these recipes do, next to stories that offer a glimpse at the people, challenges, and lessons learned that stock the pantry of her life.
North Carolina chef, restaurateur, and PBS host Howard follows 2016's Deep Run Roots with a personal and playful introduction to her fare. Chapter titles and recipe names are upbeat and engaging (Herbdacious, Can-Do Kraut), and explained in a pun-packed, chatty voice. Dishes are introduced with frank confessions, including her struggle to correctly spell "hors d'oeuvre" and various kitchen failures. Recurring sidebars called "No Brainers" offer simple ways to use condiments such as the Community Organizer a sweet-sour paste of tomatoes, peppers, and onions as meatloaf topping or a flavor base for soups. Her palate is wide-ranging and incorporates flavors from global cuisines, evident in the Japanese-inspired seasoning she adds to her Quirky Furki Party Rolls and her conversion of Italian classics like pizza into spicy "mozzarella toast." Howard also shares a recipe for fried chicken, which she has only recently begun serving at her restaurants; in her version, she adds her signature pickling liquids and oils to punch up the batter. She also reveals details about her private life, including the strains of a two-chef marriage and going on book tours. Howard's enthusiastic exploration of her life in and out of the kitchen shows her at her best and most delightful.