These books give menu guidance to the angels and devils perched on the shoulders of the millions of Americans who eat at chain restaurants.
In this article, Witchel announces a new cookbook that's a spin-off of this series:
Last month brought the publication of “Cook This, Not That! Kitchen Survival Guide” (Rodale, $19.99), written, like the others, by [David] Zinczenko with Matt Goulding, a contributing nutrition editor at Men’s Health. In its first week on sale, according to Nielsen BookScan, it became the best-selling cookbook in the country, providing recipes for healthier home-cooked versions of dishes from restaurants like P. F. Chang’s, the Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen.
Although Witchel generally likes the new book, his attempt to replicate a dish from the menu of Olive Garden didn't go so well. He learned this lesson:
But when it comes to the home cooking event that is spaghetti and meatballs, that toothsome duet of comfort and luxe, I’ve got my eye on this month’s Bon Appétit. Its Spaghetti and Meatballs All’Amatriciana calls for ground beef, white wine and applewood smoked bacon. It serves eight. Which means next time, I will be cooking that, not this.