This might be surprising, but I’ve found that the best recipes for me as a home cook are from home cooks. Chefs have access to tools, ingredients, and time that most of us don’t have. I remember reading a recipe in (I think) Cook’s Illustrated that mentioned a chef who made a delicious beef stew. It was a multi-day, dozens-of-ingredients process. That’s cool if you can do it, but most of us can’t. (Also, some chefs who publish their recipes are publishing dumbed-down versions.)
Chefs also tend to get acclaim by being edgy, or by having interesting venues. Your family doesn’t need edgy- they need nourishing, and your venue is your house. The most reliable recipes I find are from average folks in average kitchens. That doesn’t mean they don’t require some precision or skill, but they won’t flop if I breathe wrong, and they aren’t relying on a trendy ingredient or beautiful presentation for “wow” factor. They just taste good.
(One exception to my “home cook” experience is professional cookbook writers. Dorie Greenspan, for instance, is more famous as a cookbook writer than a restaurant chef [although she has a sweet place in NY!], and I’ve had great results with her stuff.)
Just joining us now? To save you having to click “previous entry” too many times, you can read the intro here, take a little detour into realistic expectations, and read episodes one, two, three, four, and five.