Why We Were So Surprised By Chrissy Teigen's Cookbook

This article was originally published on Feb 24, 2016.

We already knew that Chrissy Teigen is a food lover. She gets real about her pizza cravings and if you simply take a scroll through her Instagram feed, you'll be met with the likes of pasta in giant cheese wheels and cake with fried chicken on top.

But after reading through Cravings, her new cookbook, we learned just how serious about food the model really is. She suggests we all keep at least three kinds of hot sauce in the house at all times (Sriracha, Cholula, and sambal oelek), and also wants us to eat, enjoy ourselves, and live in the food-filled moment.

"If you're expecting a model to write a cookbook full of diet recipes for you to perfect your bikini bod, I think you'll be a little surprised here," she writes in the intro.

And that, in a nutshell, is why we love this cookbook. It's full of things we actually want to eat. Think "Breakfast All Day" and "Sh*t On Toast" (those are real chapter titles), not to mention plenty of spice and a whole lot of cheese. Ahead, find three recipes from Cravings that have got you covered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Find more of our fave cookbooks here.

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Photographs copyright © 2016 by Aubrie Pick.
French Toast Casserole With Salted Frosted Flakes
Serves 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 30 minutes

"I am so proud of this dish I could cry," Teigen writes. "It took a lot of time to perfect it, but oh, was it worth it. I mean it has a freaking Frosted-Flakes-tossed-in-butter-and-salt topping. It is inner-fat-kid madness. The bread needs a lot of time to soak, so throw it all together before your night of debauchery and use its magical powers (rum) to cure yourself in the morning. (Afternoon. Who are we kidding?)"

Ingredients
For the base:
1 tbsp softened butter, for greasing the baking dishieg
1-lb. loaf French bread, cut into 1 1⁄2-inch cubes (stale or day-old is fine!)
8 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1⁄2 cup spiced rum (because rum for breakfast)
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp grated nutmeg
1⁄2 tsp kosher salt

For the topping:
3 cups Frosted Flakes cereal
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
1. Make the base: Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish (or a tall-sided 12-inch ovenproof skillet) and arrange the cubed bread in the dish. In a big bowl, whisk the eggs to combine. Then, whisk in the heavy cream, milk, rum, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until smooth. Pour the mixture over the bread, pressing on the bread to help soak it in the custard.

2. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 12. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Take the casserole out of the fridge and let it sit at room temp for 30 minutes.

3. Make the topping: In a bowl, combine the cereal, melted butter, and salt; toss to coat. Spread the mixture evenly over the casserole. Bake until the topping is golden and the bread cubes peeking out of the top are crusty and toasty, 50 to 55 minutes.

Reprinted from Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat. Copyright © 2016 by Chrissy Teigen. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photographs copyright © 2016 by Aubrie Pick.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Serves 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

"Every single time I make this dish, I find myself burying my head in the fridge all night, scooping and scraping for every chicken bit possible with my bare hands," Teigen writes. "Filling and healthy and freaking yummy. No bacon. No cheese. No starch. I am almost embarrassed to say I love it."

Ingredients
For the sauce:
3 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Sriracha
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 12 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

For the filling:
1 lb ground chicken
3 tbsp vegetable oil
8 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens kept separate
1 tbsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1⁄2 lb white mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned, and finely chopped
1⁄2 cup finely diced canned water chestnuts
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 heads butter lettuce, leaves separated

Instructions:
1. Make the sauce: In a bowl, combine the chili sauce, hoisin, soy sauce, Sriracha, vegetable oil, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, and ginger.

2. Make the filling: In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the sauce into the ground chicken. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When simmering-hot, add the chicken and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.

3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Then, add the scallion whites, garlic, and ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their liquid, 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Return the chicken to the pan, then add the water chestnuts, bell pepper, and the rest of the sauce and cook, stirring, until cooked through and the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the scallion greens. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set out with the lettuce leaves.

Reprinted from Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat. Copyright © 2016 by Chrissy Teigen. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photographs copyright © 2016 by Aubrie Pick.
Lemony Arugula Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe
Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

"Some say love conquers all, but I say cacio e pepe does," Teigen writes. "It’s true, John and I fell for each other and got married in Lake Como, Italy, but it’s also where I became a slave to this pasta dish, which is super peppery and cheesy and is basically the boss of me whenever I make it. At first, I was a little worried: Since I first tasted it when I was all gooey-romancey in Italia, would it weather the trip home? DID I HAVE PASTA GOGGLES ON? Thankfully, I adore it as much now as I did then — even more, actually. Which is a good thing to be able to say about pasta recipes as well as husbands."

Ingredients
Kosher salt
12 oz dried spaghetti
1⁄4 lb pancetta or bacon, finely diced (about 3⁄4 cup)
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp minced garlic (about 4 big cloves)
1 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1⁄2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
3 cups baby arugula

Instructions
1. In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti to al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water (it comes in handy). Drain the pasta.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until crisped, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the olive oil, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Add the lemon juice to the skillet, then toss in the drained pasta and toss to coat. Add the Parm and toss, adding the pasta water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, just to help the cheese coat the pasta. Add the arugula and toss until it wilts, about 1 minute.

4. Season to taste with additional salt, lots of black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Serve with more Parm.

Reprinted from Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat. Copyright © 2016 by Chrissy Teigen. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
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