BÄCO | RECIPE

130 recipes that redefine the way we think about flavour. Visually stunning and conceptually fresh, this is the cookbook of the season from Josef Centeno, the chef credited with capturing the myriad tastes of Los Angeles on the plate. Recipes span from simple to show stopping, exploring sauces, soups, mains, salads, and desserts, too. More than 130 vivid photographs convey the beauty and excitement of Chef Centeno’s extraordinary cooking. Josef Centeno is the chef and owner of Bâco Mercat, Bar Amá, Orsa & Winston, Ledlow, and P.Y.T. In Bäco, he draws on his multicultural heritage, formal training in top-notch restaurants such as Manresa and Daniel, a lifelong obsession with cookbooks, and his insatiable curiosity. Centeno’s cooking layers textures and explores how spices and sauces can be used to transform the most basic vegetables.

The following recipe is from Bäco by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock, photographs by Dylan James Ho


 

 

Photographs by Dylan James Ho
Photographs by Dylan James Ho
Sautéed peaches and shishito peppers
with goat cheese, cashews, and saffron honey

Peaches and shishito peppers seem an unlikely combination. But the ripe, oral fruit and the mildly peppery Japanese chile both peak in summer and are oddly great together—a little sweet with a little spice. They also make for an interesting textural contrast: one yielding and juicy and the other slightly crunchy. It’s easy to get a lot of good charred browning on shishito peppers because they’re especially thin-skinned compared with other pepper varieties. The edges of the peaches get nicely caramelised. Creamy, tangy goat cheese goes with the sweetness of the peaches and the smokiness and heat of the shishito peppers. They’re mixed with crunchy cashews, and the dish is finished with lemon juice and musky- oral saffron honey.

SERVES 4

  • 1/4 cup [35 g] whole cashews
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 5 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into wedges
  • 1 cup [70 g] shishito peppers
  • Salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 cup [5 g] fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup [4 g] fresh chervil
  • 1/3 cup [4 g] fresh tarragon leaves
  • 3 Tbsp crumbled fresh goat cheese
  • 1/2 Tbsp saffron honey (recipe follows)

Heat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a small baking dish and place on a middle rack in the oven. Roast, stirring the nuts once for even cooking, until toasty and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop and set aside.

Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter melts and begins to foam, add the peaches and shishito peppers and sear, turning once with a spatula, until the edges are well browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

Pour off the butter from the pan and transfer the peaches and shishito peppers to a bowl. Toss with a pinch of salt and half of the lemon juice. Transfer half of the peaches and shishito peppers to a platter and sprinkle with half of each of the parsley, chervil, tarragon, cashews, and goat cheese.

Top with the remaining peaches and shishito peppers and sprinkle the remaining parsley, chervil, tarragon, cashews, and goat cheese on top. Drizzle with the remaining lemon juice and saffron honey. Serve immediately.

Photographs by Dylan James Ho
Photographs by Dylan James Ho

Fennel honey

Infusing a savory element into honey makes it that much more versatile. In dishes where honey might otherwise be just a little too cloying, it is instead
a little more nuanced. Use fennel seeds, fresh thyme or rosemary, saffron threads, long pepper, cubeb pepper, Sichuan pepper, lemon zest, mint, ginger, or dried chiles—these all add another layer of flavor to oral honeys. I use saffron, fennel, or cubeb pepper honey mixed into yogurt or drizzled on fried dishes such as ricotta fritters or crispy battered boquerones (marinated anchovy fillets).

MAKES 1⁄2 CUP [150 G]

1/2 cup [150 g] honey 2 tsp water
1/2 tsp fennel seeds

Put the honey, water, and fennel seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 30 seconds, then immediately remove from the heat. Strain into a small lidded jar and discard the seeds. Store at room temperature for several weeks.

VARIATION

Cubeb honey, saffron honey, and fennel pollen honey: Substitute 1/2 tsp cubeb pepper or 1/2 tsp saffron threads (mixed with 2 tsp water). Or substitute a pinch of fennel pollen; stir in the pollen during the last few seconds of heating (do not strain).


Bäco by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock, photographs by Dylan James Ho is out now  – find out more here.

Vegetables on Fire | Recipe

Because grills are not just for meat eaters!

Vegetables on Fire

This is a grilling book dedicated to vegetables that eat like meat. The first of its kind, this cookbook features 60 recipes that star vegetables caramelised into succulence for satisfying, flavour-forward meals. Cauliflower steaks, broccoli burgers and beets that slow-smoke like a brisket are just three of the meaty but meatless meals to base a great cookout around. More than 30 stunning images showcase the beauty and variety of these recipes, each of which includes instructions for charcoal and gas grilling as well as using a grill pan on the stovetop or under the broiler. For vegetarians, those who love to grill, and anyone looking for more creative ways to prepare vegetables, this handbook is destined to live beside the grill.

The following recipe is from Vegetables on Fire by Brooke Lewy. 


 

SQUASH TACOS WITH BLACK BEANS, PICKLED ONIONS, AND PEPITA SALSA
© 2017 by Erin Kunkel

 

SQUASH TACOS WITH BLACK BEANS, PICKLED ONIONS, AND PEPITA SALSA
Serves 4

Like all good tacos, this version, made with butternut squash, is full of flavour, colour and texture. Be sure to make the pickles as their crunchy, salty bite brings out the best of the sweet squash.

  • Red onion and radish pickles
  • Pepita Salsa (recipe follows)
  • One 15-oz [425-g] can black beans
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1½ lbs [680 g] butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-in [2.5-cm] cubes, or yellow and green summer squash, cut into wide strips
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Make the pickles and the salsa.

Drain and rinse the beans and then add them to a small pot with the oregano, ½ tsp of salt, the red onion, and a ¼ cup (60 ml) water. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 to 15 minutes until beans are slightly thickened and flavours have melded, but the beans are still fully in tact. Keep warm.

In a large bowl, toss the squash with the oil, 1 tsp salt, cumin, and chili powder. If using a charcoal grill, make a medium-hot fire; otherwise heat gas grill to high. Using a grill topper, cook squash cubes over the hottest part of the grill and turn until they have grill marks on all sides and are a bit charred at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Once the squash has taken on color, move the whole grill topper to the cool part of the grill, cover, and cook until the pieces are tender but still offer some resistance when pierced with a knife, 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove from the grill.

Lightly grill the tortillas on the coolest part of the grill. When they’re heated through and soft, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel to transport them to the table. To assemble the tacos, top each tortilla with pepita salsa, squash, beans, and pickled onions and radishes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately.

INDOOR METHOD: Prepare the pickles, salsa, and beans as directed. Preheat oven to 400°F [200°C]. On a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet, oil and season the squash as directed. Roast until tender and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. Proceed with remainder of recipe as directed, using a medium dry skillet, or the microwave, to heat tortillas before serving.

PEPITA SALSA

Adding pumpkin seeds to the salsa adds a nice texture to the Squash Tacos. This salsa is also great in a bowl with tortilla chips or spread on a quesadilla before grilling.

  • 3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup [70 g] roasted, salted pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce,
  • plus 1 Tbsp adobo sauce
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes, pepitas, onion, chipotle, adobo sauce, cilantro, and garlic clove and blend until the mixture is well combined but still has texture.

Taste and adjust seasoning.


 

Vegetables on Fire: More Than 60 Recipes for Vegetable-Centered Meals from the Grill by Brooke Lewy is out 27th June 2017 – order your copy today.

 

Vegetarian Heartland | Recipe

 Eat well, wherever your ventures lead you

Vegetarian Heartland

Celebrated photographer and blogger Shelly Westerhausen presents 100 wholesome, meatless recipes for everything from drinks to desserts. Thoughtfully organised by the adventures that make a weekend special-picnics, brunch, camping and more-this gloriously photographed book will inspire folks to eat well, wherever their vegetarian ventures lead them. Celebrating a fresh perspective in food, here’s a new go-to that’s perfect for vegetarians and anyone looking for more delicious vegetable-forward meals.


The following recipe is an extract from Vegetarian Heartland by Shelly Westerhausen

Hiking_Excursion_Vegan_Chocolate_Chip_Chunkin_Bread
© 2017 by Shelly Westerhausen

Vegan Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin Bread

MAKES 1 LOAF

I really, really, really wanted to include a savoury pumpkin bread recipe in this book, but I served it alongside this chocolate pumpkin bread recipe and several of my recipe testers said that this sweet (and vegan!) recipe was just too good to pass up. The bites of coarse salt you taste every once in a while give the perfect savoury balance to the not-too-sweet, spiced bread.

  • 2 cups [280 g] whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup [200 g] packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2⁄3 cup [165 g] pumpkin purée
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1⁄2 cup [120 ml] melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup [60 g] chopped pecans
  • 1⁄2 cup [90 g] dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup [105 g] raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp coarse sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Line a 10-in [25-cm] loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, fine sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and add the pumpkin purée, maple syrup, water, and coconut oil into the centre. Fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the pecans, chocolate chips, and 1⁄2 cup [70 g] of the pumpkin seeds. (Be careful not to over-mix.)

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and top with the remaining 1⁄4 cup [35 g] of the pumpkin seeds and the coarse sea salt.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into slices and serve at room temperature. To store, wrap in aluminium foil and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.


Vegetarian Heartland by Shelly Westerhausen is on sale 20th June 2017 – order your copy today.

Pizza Camp | Recipe

Pizza Camp

The ultimate guide to achieving pizza nirvana at home, from the chef who is making what Bon Appetit magazine calls “the best pizza in America.”

Joe Beddia’s pizza is old school – it’s all about the dough, the sauce and the cheese. And after perfecting his pie-making craft at Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia, he’s offering his methods and recipes in a cookbook that’s anything but old school. Beginning with D’OH, SAUCE, CHEESE, and BAKING basics, Beddia takes you through the pizza-making process, teaching the foundation for making perfectly crisp, satisfyingly chewy, dangerously addictive pies at home.


The following recipe is extracted from Pizza Camp by Joe Beddia

© 2017 Randy Harris
© 2017 Randy Harris
Asparagus, Spring Cream, Onion, Lemon Pizza

Makes one 14- to 16-inch (35.5- to 40.5-cm) pizza

The first asparagus of the season is always a treat. Make sure you wash it, as it can be a little sandy. You also need to make sure that you get rid of the woodsy, inedible bottoms. The freshest cut stuff that you find at the farmers’ market is always best. I slice the spears into little coins. The thinner the better.

  • 1 ball dough: use your favourite dough or pick some up from a local pizzeria
  • ⅔ cup (165 ml) Spring Cream (See note 1)
  • 3 ounces (85 g) fresh mozzarella, pinched into small chunks
  • 2 cups (220 g) shredded low-moisture mozzarella
  • About 2 cups (270 g) chopped fresh asparagus
  • Fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons grated hard cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500°F (260°C) or, if possible, 550°F (287°C). To make the pizza, first follow the instructions on prepping and rolling out the dough included in the Make & Bake section (see below).

Cover the dough with the spring cream, then add the mozzarellas. Now I like to add a very liberal amount of asparagus. Season with salt. Bake as described in Make & Bake (see below).

Finish with the grated hard cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, a spritz of fresh lemon juice from the wedge, and the chives.

Note 1: Spring Cream

Makes about 4 cups (960 ml)

This pizza marks the end of winter, when the only in-season ingredients have been mushrooms and potatoes for a few boring months. Winter in Philly is the longest season: It’s cold, there’s no parking, and everyone is angrier than usual. So when spring arrives and you emerge, like Punxsutawney Phil, from drinking in dark bars and see your fat, bloated shadow, this pizza—highlighted by a few fresh herbs plus lemon juice and zest for acid—will make you feel better about the world again.

  • 1 handful of basil (10 to 20 leaves)
  • ½ cup (25 g) chopped fresh fennel fronds
  • ½ cup (25 g) chopped fresh chives
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • Fat pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups (960 ml) heavy cream
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until slightly emulsified. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Make & Bake

Use your favourite dough or pick some up from a local pizzeria.

Our goal is to replicate the brick oven we use at Pizzeria Beddia, which absorbs and radiates heat, for baking in your home. I recommend using a good baking stone. A thick stone will hold heat better and longer. If you don’t already have a stone (or a baking steel), you can always go to a home supply store and buy a bunch of terra-cotta tiles. They come in all different sizes, so just get enough tiles to cover the rack of your oven. They’re perfectly square so they fit together really well with no gaps—just find ones that fit your oven. Those work—trust me, I’ve tried everything.
Place your stone on the lowest shelf of your oven, then turn your oven to its highest temperature. Most ovens go to 500°F (260°C) and some to 550°F (287°C). Heat your stone for at least one hour before baking.
Now that the oven is good, we can focus on the dough. If you’re taking your dough out of the fridge, give it about 15 minutes or so to warm up a bit so it will be easier to work with. It should have doubled in size in the fridge. If it hasn’t, let it sit at room temperature, covered with a slightly damp towel, until it does.
Next you can set up your “pizza station.” Take the sauce out of the fridge. Then get your utensils ready: sauce ladle, dough scraper, and pizza cutter. You’ll also need a medium to large bowl with a couple cups of flour in it. This will act as a dunk tank for your dough and for flouring your workspace. You’ll also want a cup with a few ounces of semolina flour for dusting your pizza peel. Please do not use cornmeal. I find its texture distracting and don’t think it belongs on a pizza.
Rolling out the dough
Lightly flour your counter and your hands. There is a lot of moisture in the dough, so you want to keep your counter and hands well-floured at all times—otherwise the dough will get sticky and impossible to handle. Lift the dough from its surface or container. If it doesn’t seem to want to move, you’ll have to use a dough scraper. Flip the dough into the flour bowl so the top side of the dough ball gets dusted first. Flip it once more, making sure that the dough is completely coated. Press the dough down into the flour, then pick it up and place it on the floured countertop.
Pressing your fingers firmly into the dough, start by flattening the center and work your way out toward the edge to make it wider, until it’s about 7 to 9 inches (17 to 23 cm) wide. Pushing down on the dough will release some of the gas and actually begin opening up the dough. Be careful not to disturb the outermost lip. This will eventually become your crust.
The next step is a bit tricky. Your goal is to take this disc of dough and carefully stretch it to about 14 to 16 inches (35.5 to 40.5 cm) without tearing it or creating a hole. I pick it up with floured hands and begin to gently stretch it over my fists, letting gravity do most of the work.
Once you’ve stretched it enough, put the dough back on the counter, making sure there is a generous dusting of flour underneath. Take a few generous pinches of semolina flour and dust your pizza peel. Make sure it’s coated evenly. Gently lift and transfer your dough to the peel. Make sure both your hands and the peel are well-floured. You are now ready to dress your pie.
Baking the pizza
Now it’s time to put the almost-pizza in the oven. With a firm and steady hand, take the peel and insert it into the oven at a slight downward angle, touching the tip of the peel to the back edge of the stone. This may not come easy on your first try, and it will take some practice to gain confidence. Give the peel a short jerk forward so that the dough begins to slide off the peel. Once you have the front end of the dough safely on the stone, gently pull the peel out and close the oven.
The hard part is over. It’s time to let the oven do the work. Time your bake. It’s best when your oven has a window and a light for watching the bake. I like to watch.
Let it go for 4 minutes. The crust will rise significantly. Then change the oven setting from bake to broil, cooking the pizza from the top down until the crust begins to blister. The residual heat of the stone will continue to cook the bottom. (If your broiler is at the bottom of your oven, skip this step and continue to bake the pizza as described.)
I cook all my pizzas until they’re well done, which could take up to 10 minutes total (sometimes less). Just keep checking so you don’t burn it. Look for the cheese to colour and the crust to turn deep brown. It may blacken in spots, and that’s okay.
When the pizza is finished baking, slide your peel underneath it in a quick motion so that the pizza is sitting directly on top of the peel. Take it out of the oven and place it on a cutting board. There it is: a glorious pizza.
NOTE: Do not use your peel as a cutting surface. I made that mistake early on and ruined the peel. A cutting board or an aluminium pizza tray is best.

Pizza Camp by Joe Beddia is out now – order your copy today.

Five Ways to Cook Asparagus | Skinny Asparagus with Tomatoes and Hot Pepper

Today there seems to be less time to shop and cook, and yet the time eating together seems more important than ever. Five Ways to Make Asparagus is about making dinner in real time and under real conditions. Peter Miller argues that no matter how busy your day has been that you can still cook and eat well. The only difficulty is to recognise the possibilities.

Using the number five as a reference, Five Ways to Cook Asparagus (and Other Recipes) is built around a hypothetical five day workweek, offering a plan to make the best use of your time, materials and interest in good, healthy food. To help simplify the process of deciding what to cook and how, there are five exceptional ways to cook asparagus that best represent and celebrate the asparagus. The recipes range from the extremely basic, allowing the ingredient to truly shine, to more nuanced preparations. If you try them, you will know more about asparagus, and it will become a more versatile character in your plans for cooking – and so forth, with broccoli and cauliflower, with quinoa and lentils.

Peter has carefully selected a group of specific foods, focusing on vegetables, grains and legumes. As some of the most versatile and healthy foods, they form an easily adaptable arsenal that can be quickly converted into simple, delicious meals. While his recipes are vegetable centric, he also offers select preparations for incorporating fish and meat.

This week why not try out his recipe for Skinny Asparagus with Tomatoes and Hot Pepper:

Five Ways to Cook Asparagus
© 2017 Hirsheimer & Hamilton

Skinny Asparagus with Tomatoes and Hot Pepper

SERVES 4

At the very start of the spring season, you can get fresh, skinny asparagus, and you can cook it with a particular, sprightly abandon. Once the asparagus matures, you can still make the dish, but it will not have the same flourish as in the early first days. The same, of course, is true of spring garlic, or the first wild mushrooms, or the early beans and peas.

1 pound (455 g) skinny asparagus, trimmed, soaked, and drained (see below)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter

1 shallot or 2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 small dried red chile

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

6 to 8 cherry tomatoes

¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock, at a simmer

¼ cup (10 g) chopped fresh cilantro or basil leaves

First, trim the asparagus, cutting 1 or 2 inches (2.5 or 5 cm) off the woody ends. With a swivel peeler, shave the bottom 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) of the stalks, taking off the harder outer skin. As you work, set the peeled asparagus in a shallow dish filled with cold water. Soak it for 5 minutes, then drain. (This seems to rehydrate the asparagus and help it cook more quickly.)

Heat a big pot of water to a boil and toss the asparagus in. When the water comes back to a boil, quickly pull out and drain the asparagus.

Heat a wide sauté pan over medium-high heat for a minute. Add the olive oil, half the butter, and the shallot. After a minute, crush the dried red pepper into the pan and add the garlic. Toss and stir so the parts mix, then throw in the asparagus. Cook for no more than 3 minutes. The sauté cycle is a flash of exuberance for the first of the asparagus. You must shake the pan vigorously to get the asparagus to touch all the other elements. Add a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Throw in the tomatoes and stock and shake the pan even more, above the heat, to get the parts in contact. The stock will loosen and deglaze the pan’s contents, and the tomatoes will create even more disorder as they split and leak.

Add the last of the butter, swirl for a second, then lay the asparagus in a jumble on a warmed platter. Sprinkle with the cilantro and give one last grind of black pepper.


 

Five Ways to Cook

Five Ways to Cook Asparagus (and Other Recipes): The Art and Practice of Making Dinner by Peter Miller (Abrams, out April 11, £18.99)

Offering more than 75 recipes, adjustable menus, tips for giving new life to leftovers and detailed information on sourcing ingredients, with Five Ways to Make Asparagus you can cook a dinner with only one or two fresh ingredients and you can be confident that that will be more than enough.

 

Budapest Bowl | Recipe from Bowls!: Recipes and Inspirations for Healthful One-Dish Meals by Molly Watson

Budapest Bowl
© 2017 by Nicole Franzen

Budapest Bowl

Mushroom barley pilaf + paprika-braised chicken + dilled white beans + sweet pepper slaw + sour cream + dill

ORDER OF OPERATIONS

  1. Cook the chicken
  2. Make the pilaf
  3. Make the slaw
  4. Heat the beans
  5. Assemble the bowls
Paprika-braised chicken
  • 1 lb [455 g] boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp mild Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp hot paprika, or 1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup [240 ml] chicken, vegetable, or mushroom broth
Mushroom barley pilaf
  • 8 oz [230 g] button or cremini mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup [180 g] pearled barley, rinsed
  • 3 cups [720 ml] chicken, vegetable, or mushroom broth
Sweet pepper slaw
  • 3 bell peppers (a mix of red, orange and yellow is nice)
  • 3 Tbsp canola or olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper dilled white beans
  • One 141⁄2-oz [415-g] can white beans, rinsed and drained, or 13⁄4 cups [420 g] drained homecooked white beans
  • 1⁄2 cup [20 g] chopped fresh dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup [120 ml] sour cream
  • Chopped fresh dill for garnish

FOR THE CHICKEN: Preheat the oven to 375°F [190°C]. Pat the chicken dry. In a large frying pan or sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, undisturbed, until it starts to brown on the underside, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the pieces over and brown on the second side, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the butter to the same pan and melt over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about

3 minutes. Add the mild and hot paprika and cook, stirring, to coat the onion. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.

Return the chicken to the pan, cover, and transfer to the oven. Bake the chicken until it is very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover, and use a wooden spoon to separate the chicken into shreds (that’s how tender it should be). Place the pan on the stove top over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced by one-third, about 20 minutes.


FOR THE PILAF: Begin the pilaf while the chicken is in the oven. Trim off the stem ends from the mushrooms, then cut off the stems. Finely chop the stems and thinly slice the caps. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the mushroom stems and caps, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes.

Add the barley and stir to mix everything well. Pour in the broth and stir again to mix. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer, cover partially, and cook, stirring every few minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 30 minutes. If the liquid is absorbed before the barley is tender, add up to 1 cup [240 ml] water, 1⁄4 cup [60 ml] at a time.


FOR THE SLAW: Seed and thinly slice the peppers. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the peppers and toss to combine.


FOR THE BEANS: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the beans until hot (or put them in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them in the microwave). Add the dill, season with pepper, and toss to mix well. 


TO ASSEMBLE: Divide the pilaf among four bowls. Arrange the chicken, beans, and slaw in three separate and equal sections on top of the pilaf. Dollop the sour cream on the chicken and sprinkle everything with the dill.


NOTE: Want to gild the comfort lily? Try this with Mashed Potatoes instead of barley pilaf.


This recipe is from Bowls!: Recipes and Inspirations for Healthful One-Dish Meals by Molly Watson, published by Chronicle Books (£13.99)

Bowls

Pancake Day!

Branch out this Pancake Day, rather than lemon and sugar try these Lemony Ricotta Pancakes from The Short Stack Cookbook.

Lemony Ricotta Pancakes from The Short Stack Cookbook
Photograph © 2016 Noah Fecks

The following recipe is from The Short Stack Cookbook by Nick Fauchald and Kaitlyn Goalen • Abrams Books • Out Now

MAKES ABOUT 12 PANCAKES

  • 1 cup (245 g) ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups (330 g) hulled sliced
  • strawberries (from about 4 cups/ 580 g strawberries)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus more for garnish
  • 11/4 cups (155 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Unsalted butter or canola oil, for the pan

These puffy pancakes are a fixture on the brunch menu at Porsena, the Manhattan restaurant run by Sara Jenkins (Vol. 14: Prosciutto di Parma). Where normal pancake batter would get weighed down by ricotta cheese, here, beating the egg yolks and whites separately – as you would in a soufflé – makes the batter puff and rise as it cooks, yielding a very fluffy pancake with an extra-crisp exterior. Lemon – juiced into the batter and zested throughout – lightens these fluffy pancakes even further.

Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a small bowl. Add the ricotta and let it drain for 15 minutes; set aside.

In a small bowl, toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon of sugar and the lemon juice. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, the baking powder and salt.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg yolks, milk, lemon zest and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Whisk in the flour mixture until a smooth batter forms.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or bowl and handheld mixer, beat the egg whites and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar at low speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium high and beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff and glossy. Fold the beaten egg whites into the batter.

Heat a cast-iron griddle or large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add a spoonful of butter and heat until the foaming subsides. Working in batches, drop 1/3 cup (75 ml) of pancake batter onto the hot griddle and cook over medium heat until the tops of the pancakes are bubbling and slightly dry and their bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes over and cook through until browned on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a platter and repeat with the remaining batter.

Spoon the strawberries and their juices over the top of the pancakes, zest some lemon over the top and serve.

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and VOILÁ pancakes worthy of the day!

Share pictures of your pancake-masterpieces with us, we are on Twitter and Instagram @abramschronicle.

The Short Stack Cookbook

Five Cookbooks for Foodies by Jenny Linford

The Chefs Library

Jenny Linford, author of The Chef’s Library knows a thing or two about cookbooks; having interviewed more than 70 renowned chefs around the world about their favourite cookbooks. She is here today to share the cookbooks she cherishes.

FIVE FAVOURITE COOKBOOKS by Jenny Linford

Having blithely asked famous chefs around the world to choose their favourite cookbook, now that I’ve been asked to choose my own five favourites I realise what a tricky task that was! I am sitting at my desk in my study in London, surrounded by bookshelves filled with cookbooks.  Some of them are battered old paperbacks I’ve had for years, others recently published, handsome tomes by chefs and writers whom I admire and find interesting. Researching The Chef’s Library saw me adding considerably to my own library, as I encountered wonderful cookbooks new to me and succumbed to the urge to own them for myself. In short, I’m spoilt for choice! For my favourites, I’ve chosen books that are old friends. This is one of the charms of cookbooks – that they become our companions.

 

Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book

Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book

I mentally applauded when three of the great chefs featured in The Chef’s Library chose cookbooks by Jane Grigson. While pleased, though, I was not surprised. Their choice of her work is a tribute to enduring appeal of Grigson’s depth of knowledge and her special voice that speaks out from the pages of her books. My much-thumbed, Penguin paperback edition of Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book remains one of my favourites. Alphabetically arranged by vegetable, each chapter offers her characteristic blend of down-to-earth, practical culinary advice, evocative anecdotes, cultural references and clearly written recipes. An enduring delight.

 

The Classic Italian Cookbook
Marcella Hazan

A great food writer’s ability to promote a deeper understanding of a cuisine outside its native shores is  a very special thing.  Through her bestselling cookbooks, Marcella Hazan was a champion of Italian cuisine, noted as an authority on the subject. Unsurprisingly, works by her were chosen by a number of chefs for The Chef’s Library. Having lived in Tuscany as a teenager, I have a deep affection for Italian food. Hazan’s intelligent, lucid writing – laying down the rules as she saw them with absolute conviction – makes for a wonderful read. The clearly written recipes, offering readers salient, pithy insights, are a pleasure to cook from.

 

Roast Chicken and Other Stories Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham

Roast Chicken and Other Stories
Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham

As all the best cookbooks do, this makes me hungry whenever I look through its pages. Chocolate Pithiviers, Poached Cod with Lentils and Salsa Verde, Anchovy and Onion Tarts . . . I first came across this book during my early years as a food writer and was charmed by its character and sense of personality. The chapters are focussed on Hopkinson’s favourite foods, clustering together diverse recipes around ingredients as various as Tripe, Endive and Cream. What struck me when I first read I was the care with which the recipes were written. Hopkinson evokes the dish in its Platonic ideal form – specifying the desired texture and flavour he wants – then carefully takes the reader through the steps and work needed to achieve it. It is a book that makes me want to cook.

 

The Carved Angel Cookbook
Joyce Molyneux

There is a lovely, quiet conviction to this cookbook by British chef Joyce Molyneux.  The recipes are delightfully eclectic, reflecting Molyneux’s open-minded interest in ingredients and how to cook  them. Her practical thriftiness is evident in the recipes for dishes such as Goose Giblet Stew or the Apple Quince Tart, where the fruit trimmings are cooked and pureed in order to  make a flavourful glaze.  I was lucky enough to eat at Molyneux’s Carved Angel restaurant – enjoying a wonderful fish soup – and it was a relaxed, genuinely hospitable, thoroughly delicious experience that lives on in my memory. While the restaurant has now gone, her cookbook, in which her generous-minded approach to food comes through, remains to be read and used.

 

The Kitchen Diaries Nigel Slater

The Kitchen Diaries
Nigel Slater

The intimacy of the diary form gives a special charm to this chronicle of a year by food writer Nigel Slater.  Food shopping expeditions, the weather that day, the changing seasons,  his mood, ingredients, whether at their peak or in need to using up – all these offer inspiration for Slater when it comes to  creating recipes. It is a book in which I always spot something new when I look through it – a wry observation, an evocation of a summer Saturday morning, brief insights into his thinking about food.  The recipes, studded through the book, combine with the elegant yet vivid prose to make a cookbook with a special quality to it.

What are your favourite cookbooks? Let us know on twitter @AbramsChronicle using #TheChefsLibrary.

Festive Favourites from Erin Gleeson

Festive Favourites

Embrace the festive feeling, whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati or even Festivus with some delicious wintery treats from master foodie Erin Gleeson: author of The Forest Feast, The Forest Feast Gatherings and The Forest Feast For Kids.

Sweet Potato Latkes

Sweet Potato Latkes
Image © Erin Gleeson

Holiday Cider Mule

Holiday Cider Mule
Image © Erin Gleeson
Festive Cabin
Image © Erin Gleeson
DIY Citrus Menorah
Image © Erin Gleeson

Happy (Early) Hanukkah Erin!

What are you favourite festive traditions? Let us know on Twitter #FestiveFavourites.

Aunt Renee’s Chicken Soup

Aunt Renee’s Chicken Soup
© 2016 by Gentl + Hyers

Aunt Renee’s Chicken Soup

SERVES 6

My dearly departed Aunt Renee, who was quite a character, was famous for many things (from her fake Louis Vuitton bags to her stories about working in the hair salon in the basement of her Brooklyn apartment building), but her chicken soup looms large. When she left us, I put an obituary in the New York Times that read simply, “I will take care of the soup.” Here it is. It is unequivocally my favorite food in the world. The small victory here is not just carrying on traditions, but also learning how to make a good chicken soup; because in doing so, you learn to make chicken stock—the backbone (no pun intended) for so many things in the kitchen. You can put a whole chicken directly in the pot, but I like to separate it so that the white meat is easy to retrieve early on and, also, the whole pot is easier to stir during cooking.

  • One 4-lb [1.8-kg] chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thighs, and 2 legs), backbone reserved
  • 1 lb [455 g] chicken wings
  • 2 large yellow onions, unpeeled, roughly chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally so that the cloves are exposed
  • A handful of fresh Italian parsley sprigs, stems reserved and leaves finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-in [5-cm] pieces
  • 3 qt [2.8 L] water
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-in [5-cm] pieces
  • A handful of roughly chopped fresh dill

In the largest pot you have, combine the chicken pieces, chicken wings, onions, celery, garlic, parsley stems, peppercorns, and 1 Tbsp salt. Add half of the carrots to the pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the top, until the chicken breasts are firm to the touch, about 25 minutes.

Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts from the pot and set them aside in a bowl. Continue simmering the stock, stirring it every so often and skimming any foam that rises to the top, until everything in the pot has given up all of its structural integrity (the vegetables should be totally soft and the chicken should look well past its prime—this is all great, it means these things have given all of their flavor to the water) and the stock is a rich golden color, about 3 hours.

While the stock is simmering, let the chicken breasts cool to room temperature, and then discard the skin, remove the meat from the bones (discard the bones), and shred the meat. Set the meat aside.

Ladle the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot (or, if you don’t have another large pot, ladle it into a bowl, clean the pot you started with, and return the stock to the pot). Discard the contents of the sieve (everything in it will have given all it can by this point).

Bring the stock back to a boil and season to taste with salt (be bold, it will need quite a bit!).

Add the remaining carrots and the parsnips, lower the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the reserved chicken breast meat to the soup and let it warm up for a minute or two. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top each with some of the chopped parsley and dill. Serve immediately.

Note: This soup is even better the next day. Do not discard the hardened fat that will have formed on top after the soup has been refrigerated. The rich pools of chicken fat on top of your soup are essential (at least in my book, but no hard feelings if you would rather discard the fat).

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SPIN-OFFS

FOR ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP, leave out the parsnips and extra carrots and save the cooked chicken breasts for something else. Poach little meatballs in the soup and wilt in some chopped escarole right before serving. Each bowl should get lots of grated Parmesan cheese.

FOR THAI CHICKEN SOUP, add a crushed large piece of fresh ginger, a bunch of scallions, some cilantro stems, and a chopped chile to the broth. Adjust the water to 10 cups [2.4 L] and add a 13½-oz [398-ml] can of full-fat coconut milk. Leave out the parsnips and extra carrots and simply serve the broth with the shredded chicken. Top with sliced scallions and cilantro leaves.

My Colombian friend Luz Gerstein serves a grand meal of chicken soup known as AJIACO with assorted toppings. To serve your own, set your table with bowls of shredded chicken from the broth, fried onions, rounds of cooked corn on the cob, cubed boiled potatoes (regular and/or sweet potatoes), diced avocadoes, cilantro leaves, and lime wedges and then give every guest a large bowl of the hot chicken broth. Everyone can adorn their soup to their liking. Also put a small pitcher of cream on the table for anyone who wants to swirl a bit into their soup. This is a really fun meal, and everything can be done ahead of time.

FOR CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE SOUP, simply add whatever kinds of vegetables you like to the strained broth (with or without the parsnips and extra carrots). Add the shredded white meat or save it for something else, like chicken salad sandwiches. Some of my favorite combinations include diced beets and shredded red cabbage (stunning!), finely diced leeks and roughly chopped potatoes, and shredded Savoy cabbage with chopped tomatoes (serve with grated Parmesan).


 

This recipe is extracted from Small Victories by Julia Turshen.

“I can’t wait to cook my way through this amazing new book,” Ina Garten writes in the foreword to this cookbook of more than 400 recipes and variations from Julia Turshen, writer, go-to recipe developer, co-author for best-selling cook- books such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good, Mario Batali’s Spain…on the Road Again, and Dana Cowin’s Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen.

The process of truly great home cooking is demystified via more than a hundred lessons called out as “small victories” in the funny, encouraging headnotes; these are lessons learned by Julia through a lifetime of cooking thousands of meals. This beautifully curated, deeply personal collection of what Chef April Bloomfield calls “simple, achievable recipes” emphasises bold-flavoured, honest food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. More than 160 mouth-watering photographs from acclaimed photographers Gentl + Hyers provide beautiful instruction and inspiration, and a gingham spine elevates this entertaining and essential kitchen resource into a covetable gift for both beginners and accomplished home cooks.

Small Victories by Julia Turshen