THE COOK’S ATELIER | RECIPE

Mother and daughter American expats Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini always dreamed of living in France. With a lot of hard work and a sprinkling of fate, they realised this dream and founded The Cook’s Atelier, a celebrated French cooking school in the heart of Burgundy.

Combining their professional backgrounds in food and wine, they created a convivial international culinary destination. Their debut cookbook chronicles their life in a charming French village and their relationships with the region’s artisan food producers and winemakers. Featuring more than 100 market-inspired recipes, the book—like their school—teaches classic French techniques in a beautiful, approachable way. With more than 200 enchanting photographs, THE COOK’S ATELIER is a richly illustrated presentation of the family’s delicious world, and a practical primer for adopting elements of the French lifestyle at home, no matter where you live.

The following recipe is from The Cook’s Atelier: Recipes, Techniques and Stories from Our French Cooking School by Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini, photographs by Anson Smart. 


Lemon Soufflés

SERVES 6 TO 8

When we make soufflés, we can’t help but think of Julia Child. Inspired by her classic recipe, we begin with a sauce bouilli, a thickened mixture of milk, sugar, and flour, which makes them especially delicate. Light and airy with just a hint of lemon, they can be adapted using orange juice and zest or vanilla.

  • 7 tablespoons (90 g) granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (30 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the moulds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 6 large egg whites
  • ¹⁄⁸ teaspoon fleur de sel
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).

2. Butter the insides of eight individual 1-cup (240-ml) ramekins or one large 6-cup (1.4-L) soufflé mould. Using 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, sprinkle the inside of the mould(s), tapping to remove any excess. Set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, ¼ cup (50 g) of the granulated sugar, and the flour until well-combined. Place over medium-high heat and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let it cool for 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking until fully incorporated before adding the next yolk. While the mixture is still warm, add the butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice and whisk until fully combined.

5. In a large, very clean, preferably copper bowl, use a large balloon whisk to beat the egg whites with the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and the salt until firm peaks form. Stir a large spoonful of the whipped egg whites into the soufflé base to begin lightening it. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites, leaving some white streaks in the mixture and working quickly to keep the base light and airy.

6. Pour the finished mixture into the prepared mould(s), filling them just below the top rim. Run your thumb along the inside edge of the moulds to remove any excess and ensure a proper lift. Bake until the tops of the soufflés are golden brown and lifted about 2 inches (5 cm) over the tops of the ramekins, 15 to 18 minutes (25 to 30 minutes for the soufflé mould). Do not be tempted to open the oven during baking or the soufflés will fall. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.


The Cook’s Atelier is out now – find out more here.
Follow The Cook’s Atelier cooking school on Instagram and through their website.

PLATTERS AND BOARDS | RECIPE

This visual cornucopia of a cookbook is THE guide to entertaining with effortless style. Celebrated author and food blogger Shelly Westerhausen shares the secrets to creating casually chic spreads anyone can make and everyone will enjoy (and envy). Organised by time of day, 40 contemporary arrangements are presented with gorgeous photography, easy–to–prepare recipes, suggested meat and drink pairings and notes on preparation and presentation.

Helpful advice includes tips on portioning, picking surfaces and vessels, pairing complementary textures and flavours, plus a handy chart featuring board suggestions for a variety of occasions (from holiday parties to baby showers). PLATTERS AND BOARDS is an inspiring housewarming or hostess gift and resource for throwing unforgettable get–togethers.

Shelly Westerhausen is the author of VEGETARIAN HEARTLAND and the founder of the blog Vegetarian Ventures. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her boyfriend, Wyatt.

The following recipe is from Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion by Shelly Westerhausen with Wyatt Worcel


FONDUE SPREAD

Fondue (the French word for “melt”) was a popular party theme in the fifties, sixties, and seventies in the United States, and it’s still just as thrilling to have a fondue party today as it was back then! With little preparation required and a communal serving style, fondue is an interactive way to bring people together at the table.

STRATEGY: Dice and prepare as much of the food ahead of time as you can. Steam the vegetables and cook the fondue right before eating. Look for color-coded fondue spears
so that each guest can keep track of their own eating utensils (especially if guests are eating directly from the spears instead of transferring to their plates and using forks).

DRINK PAIRING: Serve with an aromatic white wine like a Riesling. If you want to serve something more unique, add a splash of Kirsch, a German cherry brandy, as it is traditionally added to many cheese fondue recipes.

WYATT’S MEATY SUGGESTION: Salami and cheese are already a delicious match, but when this salty meat is dipped in warm fondue, it reaches an entirely new level of mouth-watering.

SERVES 6

  • Triple Cheese Truffle Oil Fondue (recipe follows)
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 cups [170 g] snap peas
  • 3 apples, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cups [480 g] seedless grapes
  • 1 pumpernickel loaf, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 French bread loaf, cut into bite-size pieces

1. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and place in the centre of your serving table.

2. Working in batches, lightly steam the broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and bell peppers. Transfer the veggies to a platter with the snap peas and set on the serving table. Lightly toss the apple slices in lemon juice, place on a plate with the grapes and put on the serving table.

3. Combine the two breads on the last plate and place on the serving table.


Triple Cheese Truffle Oil Fondue

MAKES 1 1/2 CUPS [400 G]

  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup [240 ml] dry white wine
  • 11/2 cups [110 g] shredded white
  • Cheddar cheese
  • 11/2 cups [110 g] shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup [80 g] shredded Emmental cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 11/2 tsp white truffle oil

1. Rub the garlic all over the inside of a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and cornstarch and whisk together. Slowly pour in the white wine while whisking. Turn the heat to medium and let cook until simmering. Once simmering, add small handfuls of the shredded cheeses to the mixture, constantly whisking and making sure the cheese has completely melted before adding another handful. Once all the cheese has been added and melted, remove from the heat and season with pepper.

2. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and drizzle with truffle oil. Serve right away.


Platters and Boards is published on the 20th of March 2018. Find out more here

HEALTHYISH | RECIPE

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Healthyish is recipe developer Lindsay Maitland Hunt’s totally doable, delicious, and dead-simple cookbook, helping us to eat how we all want to eat – healthy, but with an occasional bit of decadence.

Lindsay Maitland Hunt is an expert recipe developer who has created recipes for everyone from college students to busy families to seasoned home cooks. Now, she brings her trademark skillset to her debut cookbook, Healthyish.

For anyone on the move, working long hours, and trying to eat a bit more healthfully, Healthyish offers 131 satisfying recipes with straightforward instructions, using as few pots and pans as possible and ingredients that won’t break the bank. Not to mention, you can find the ingredients at your everyday grocery store (no garam masala or açai berries here!).

Emphasising balanced eating rather than fad diet tricks, Hunt includes guilt-free recipes for every meal of the day, from breakfast to snacks to dinner, and yes, even Healthyish treats, such as:

  • Banana–Avocado Chai Shake
  • Peanut Butter Granola
  • Salty Watermelon, Feta, Mint, and Avocado Salad
  • Miso–Butter Toast with a Nine-Minute Egg
  • Pozole with Pinto Beans and Queso Fresco
  • Spiced Chicken and Chickpea Flatbreads with Cucumber–Dill Tzatziki
  • Single-Serving Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookie

Designed for novices and experienced cooks alike, Hunt’s meticulously considered recipes offer crowd-pleasing flavour profiles and time-saving tips and tricks, and her vegetable-centric dishes, with an occasional dash of meat, dairy, and decadence, are showcased in vibrant, mouthwatering photographs.

Destined to be an everyday kitchen essential, filled with splattered and dog-eared pages, Healthyish is a call for simple ingredients, food that makes us feel good, quick prep and even quicker cleanup, so we all can enjoy what’s most important at the end of a long day: getting back to the couch.

Lindsay Maitland Hunt is a recipe developer and food writer living in Brooklyn, New York. A former editor at Real Simple and BuzzFeed Food, her clients have also included Country Living, Delish, Food Network and Food & Wine. You can follow her on Instagram here.

The following recipe is from Healthyish by Lindsay Maitland Hunt.


Whole-Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

MAKES 24 BARS

These bars have a classic chocolate chip cookie flavour, but made Healthyish with whole-wheat flour. Instead of scooping individual cookies, you’ll save time by scraping all the dough into a pan and cutting after baking.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2¼ cups (9 oz/270 g) whole-wheat flour, spooned and levelled
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • teaspoons kosher salt, or ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1¼ cups (9 oz/250 g) packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (3½ oz/100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces (340 g) chopped bittersweet chocolate, or 2 cups (345 g) bittersweet chocolate chips

HOW TO MAKE IT

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF (175°C), with a rack set in the centre. Butter a 9-by-13‑inch (20-by-30-cm) baking dish and line with parchment; leave a 2-inch (5-cm) flap overhanging on two sides. Set aside. Whisk the flour, espresso powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Whisk both sugars in a large bowl, making sure to break up any lumps. Add the melted butter and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute, until the mixture forms one mass. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula.

3. Whisk 1 egg into the sugar-butter mixture, stirring until it’s fully mixed in. Whisk in the second egg and the vanilla and scrape the sides of bowl again.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with the spatula to fully combine until there are no streaks of dry ingredients left. Stir in the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.

5. Refrigerate the dough for at least 10 minutes while the oven preheats. Bake, rotating halfway through, for 25 to 30 minutes, until the bars are golden brown and the crust is matte (not wet or glossy looking). Cool completely before cutting into 24 bars.

You can make and refrigerate the dough up to 2 days in advance, or freeze the unbaked bars for up to 3 months. They’ll take longer to bake, 30 to 35 minutes.


Healthyish by Lindsay Maitland Hunt is out now – find out more here!

COOK BEAUTIFUL | STYLE YOUR WINTER TABLE WITH ATHENA CALDERONE

Athena Calderone cooks with internationally acclaimed chefs, hosts stunning dinner parties for luxury publications, and showcases it all on EyeSwoon, an online destination for food, fashion, and design. And in Cook Beautiful, she’s revealing the secrets to preparing and presenting gorgeous meals. Included are 100 seasonal recipes with step-by-step advice on everything from prep to presentation—from artfully layering a peach and burrata salad, to searing a perfect steak. Organised by season, each section ends with a menu for entertaining and ideas for table decor. Following in the tradition of EyeSwoon, this book is where design meets food, where culinary tradition marries food styling, where home chefs become experts. These are beautiful, tasteful dishes to make for friends and family, with advice that will inspire you to create visually stunning, and still wholly delicious, culinary masterpieces.

The following is an extract from Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone (ABRAMS Books)


THE WINTER TABLE

Rather than mourn winter’s waning light, embrace the darkness with lush, moody décor and a warm, cosy vibe. Here, saturated grey linen, rumpled for added texture, serves as the backdrop for simple black ceramics, mismatched brass candlesticks, and a rambling arrangement of delicate flowers and ferns. A handmade touch—no matter how small—is the best way to add warmth to a table. For this meal at home with friends, I made ink-stained paper menu cards, adorning them with fragrant eucalyptus leaves. The overall feel is intimate, refined, and just a little decadent—like the perfect winter meal. 

N o . 1 

O N  T H E  M E N U

There are few things more festive than handwritten menus—even when they’re not actually written by hand. Rather than hiring a calligrapher, select a scrolling script font and pop some pretty paper into your printer. Here, I used watercolour paper, tearing the edges and dabbing on watered-down ink, which bleeds to form a subtle, organic pattern.

N o . 2 

W E L L  S E A S O N E D

During citrus season, I love to flavour sea salt with a blend of zest and herbs. My recipe not only livens up roast fish or poultry, it also serves as a mouth-watering memento of the meal for guests to take home.

N o . 3 

D A R K  M AT T E R

We change our wardrobes with the seasons, so why not our dishes? These days, investing in darker, moodier place settings for winter isn’t particularly pricey. Chic—and cheap!—pieces can be found at stores like West Elm, CB2, and even IKEA.

N o . 4 

L E T  T H E R E  B E  L I G H T S

A matched pair of candlesticks in the middle of your table can feel a little predictable. Instead, add visual interest—and set a casual, modern mood—with an odd-numbered grouping of vintage finds in a variety of heights and styles. Dark-colored tapers are an especially cosy touch on cold nights.

N o . 5 

S P I C E  T H I N G S  U P

Whole spices like nutmeg, allspice, star anise, and cinnamon are too beautiful to keep hidden away in a drawer. And, especially during the holiday season, their sweet, warm scents feel festive without being overpowering. Here, I used the sculptural little gems to decorate a side table, alongside spicy sachets that guests can use at home to simmer mulled wine.

N o . 6 

P R I Z E  R I B B O N S

Words to live by: Never pass up a spool of pretty ribbon. If you keep some on hand, you’ll find many lovely ways to use it, from holding together cutlery to binding bouquets—and, of course, tying up presents. Velvet varieties add elegant texture and subtle sheen to winter décor.

N o . 7 

W R A P  S TA R

Gauzy linen, available at most fabric stores, can serve as a beautiful and unexpected alternative to wrapping paper. Simply cut or tear a large square—leaving the edges unfinished—place a gift in the centre, and form a loose knot on top, tucking in a few green sprigs for a decorative touch.

N o . 8 

C I R C L E  O F  L I F E

Get the look of a handmade wreath without the hassle of starting from scratch by purchasing the simplest evergreen option from your local market or nursery and embellishing it with seed pods, ornamental berries, feathers, sprigs, and other foraged finds.

N o . 9 

S AY  C H E E S E

When artfully composed, a cheese plate can double as table décor. The most inviting platters feel abundant, so fill in vacant areas with fresh or dried fruit. The cheeses themselves should look natural and gooey. Break up any pristine wedges by hacking off a few messy chunks and let soft cheese sit at room temperature until properly runny.


Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone is out now, find out more here.

A Beautiful Mess: Weekday Weekend | RECIPE

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This is a funny and relatable narrative vegetarian cookbook for home cooks of all skill levels from the extremely popular blog A Beautiful Mess (over 1.5 million readers). Eighty yummy-healthy recipes for accessible meals from a trusted source are organised into “weekday”–five days without refined flours, sugars, alcohol, and dairy—and “weekend”–indulgent, flavoured foods. The book is divided into four parts—breakfast, meals, snacks and sweets, and drinks–and each part contains both a weekday and weekend chapter. More than 75 bright, naturally lit photos show plated food and some Beautiful Mess style (outfits, kitchen décor, tools) and ambiance (ingredients, interiors, surfaces, textures). Intended for an audience that’s not feeding a family every night, these recipes serve two.

The following recipes are from A Beautiful Mess: Weekday Weekend by Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson.


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Toasts (weekday and weekend) 

Welcome to the world of toasts. If you haven’t yet discovered the joys of a hot, crispy, nutty slab of bread spread with a meal-worthy second layer, you’re in for a treat that will serve you (literally) for many a perfect breakfast—and an endless possibility for toppings lends them equally well to snacks or light lunches. A logical progression of the classic toast and butter and jam, you can make them whatever you want, according to time of day, time of year, and what might be in season, all in minutes.

Below are half a dozen recipes for the toast of the toasts, featuring homemade spreads and an updated classic composition or two. The first four are for weekdays and three more indulgent recipes are for the weekend. The homemade spreads make enough to cover a few rounds of toasting; the composed toasts can be multiplied for as many eager diners as you have lining up at your table. Use good-quality whole-grain toast for all (we like Ezekiel brand), or make your own, like our Whole-Wheat English Muffins. The weekend Caprese toast indulges in a traditional white Italian loaf to match the ingredients.

  • Cashew Cream and Berry Toast 

Sweet and creamy on hot toast, this spread makes the perfect weekday replacement for French toast. Add a few more berries and an extra drizzle of honey, if you like.

Combine 1 cup [140g] raw cashews, soaked in water to cover for 1 hour and drained; ¼ cup [30g] fresh or thawed frozen raspberries (if frozen thaw thoroughly first); 2 Tbsp safflower oil; and 1 Tbsp raw honey in a blender and blend to a completely smooth purée. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • Fried Egg and Avocado Toast 

This breakfast combo has become a new classic. So good and perfectly satisfying, it only takes about 10 minutes to make. For an even more no-fuss version, skip the egg and top with sprouts or toasted sun flower seeds.

Spread ½ tsp store-bought (no sugar added) or homemade mayonnaise thinly on warm toast. Scoop 1/2 ripe avocado on top and mash to cover the toast evenly. Sprinkle with pink Himalayan salt or sea salt. Top with 1 large egg, fried (or scrambled) however you like. Get it while it’s hot!

  • Red Pepper Hummus Toast

This healthy and satisfying spicy hummus is a bull’s-eye for a midweek craving. Spread on toast and drizzle with a little olive oil. It also makes a great snack paired with carrot sticks, celery, cucumber slices, or baked corn tortilla chips.

Combine 1 can [15 oz/430 g] chickpeas, rinsed and drained well; 1/2 cup [120 g] chopped roasted red pepper, homemade or drained jarred; 1/4 cup [55 g] tahini; 1/4 cup [60 ml] fresh lemon juice; 2 Tbsp water; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper; and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes in a blender or food processor and process to a completely smooth purée. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

  • Cinnamon-Almond Butter Toast

Making your own nut butters is way easier than you might think. This lightly spiced almond butter is amazing on warm toast. Top with a few fresh berries and it goes over the top!

Spread 2 cups [280 g] unsalted raw almonds on a baking sheet and bake in a 300°F [150°C] oven, until fragrant, about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Let cool, then combine in a high-powered blender with 3 Tbsp safflower oil. Process until the almonds are finely ground. Add 1 Tbsp raw honey, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt and process until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • Creamy Caprese Toast

This toast is one of my favourite weekend treats. I don’t want to get dramatic, but I believe it might be the mother ship of all toasts . . . I think it will float your boat, too.

Spread 1 Tbsp cream cheese on a thick slice of toasted Italian loaf. Top with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese, a slice of ripe tomato, a few torn basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, and a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

  • Goat Cheese, Fruit and Honey Crostini

I love how balanced and delicious this toast combo is—the sharp tang of goat cheese with honey and fresh fruit. Use whatever fruit is in season.

Spread a generous amount of goat cheese on each crostini. Top with your favourite seasonal fruits and a drizzle of honey.

  • Pink Cream Cheese Toast

This garlicky, savoury weekend spread is delicious, but the hot pink colour takes it to another plane of delight. Add slices of avocado or cucumber, if you like. You’re going to want to Instagram your breakfast—you may even want to paint its portrait!

In a food processor or blender, combine 8 oz [230 g] cream cheese, 1/2 cup [75 g] drained canned sliced beets, 2 tsp coarsely chopped garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt. Process to a completely smooth purée. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


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A Beautiful Mess: Weekday Weekend is out from 07 November 2017. Find out more here.

F*CK THAT’S DELICIOUS | RECIPE

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Part cookbook, part memoir, part travelogue, and wholly original, F*ck, That’s Delicious is rapper Action Bronson’s comprehensive guide to the food, chefs, food makers, regions, neighborhoods, and restaurants that every food obsessive should know. Organised as a full-colour illustrated guide with 100 entries, the book captures all the foods that get to him: When his mama makes him a good ol’ bagel and cheese with scrambled eggs. The tacos in LA. Dominican chimis. Jamaican jerk. Hand-rolled pasta from Mario Batali and Michael White. The best Chinese red-pork char siu buns in the world, found in London. And more, lots more. F*ck, That’s Delicious also includes 40 recipes inspired by Action’s childhood, family, tours, and travels—like the Arslani Family Baklava and Bronson’s Original Lamb Burger—and adapted from name-brand chefs and street cooks he’s met on his show. Richly visual, the book is layered with illustrations and photographs of Action’s childhood, food excursions, tours, lyric notebooks, and more.

The following recipe is from F*ck That’s Delicious by Action Bronson, with Rachel Wharton, photographs by Gabriele Stabile


Photographs by Gabriele Stabile
Photographs by Gabriele Stabile

Flatbreads with Ricotta and Pickled Jalapeño Honey

Olive oil before, during and after.

MAKES 4 FLATBREAD PIZZAS

This started as a Neapolitan-style pie I made for myself at my birthday party at Otto, but it is also banging as a flat-bread pizza on leftover Balkan bread like the ones on the previous page. I like to use La Morena pickled jalapeños as they have a good kick to them. Pair it with a ginger ale.

  • 1 12 ounce (340g) bear of clove honey
  • 3 pickled jalapeños, diced
  • Calabrian chile oil, optional
  • 4 Balkan flatbreads or thick pitas
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces (245g) good-quality ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup (135g) hazelnuts

1. Preheat your broiler and set out a sheet pan.

2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the clover honey and the pickled jalapeños. If you want, swirl in a little Calabrian chile oil for color too. Set aside.

3. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the breads, then spread each with of the ricotta cheese and sprinkle on of the hazelnuts. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil again.

4. Coat the bottom of a small skillet with olive oil, then heat it over medium-high. Add one of the flatbread pizzas and cook just until the bottom has toasted. Remove it to the sheet pan and repeat with the remaining 3 pies.

5. Toast the pies under the broiler until the edges of the bread and the top of the hazelnuts are well toasted. Drizzle on some of the pickled chile-honey (you’ll have some left over, but it keeps forever), then some more olive oil and eat right away.


F*ck That’s Delicious by Action Bronson, with Rachel Wharton, photographs by Gabriele Stabile is out now – find out more here. 

You could win a copy of F*ck That’s Delicious, a meal for two at Pitt Cue Co in London and a free bottle of Pitt Cue wine over at Munchies UK. Find out more here!

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.

 

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.

A Year Between Friends | Sweet Potato Biscuits

Sweet Potato Biscuits
© 2016 Stephanie Barnes and Maria Vettese

From SCB

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Adapted from a recipe I found in an issue of Martha Stewart Living years ago, these sweet and buttery biscuits are always a hit with the extended family at Thanksgiving but are also a staple at my house year-round. I serve them with cranberry butter, which is just 1/4 cup (60 ml) cranberry sauce blended in a food processor with 1/4 cup (55 g) softened butter. I almost always double the recipe and freeze half the biscuit dough, cut out and arranged on parchment-lined trays then sealed in a freezer bag. On a night when I need something to go with a pot of soup, I can pull them out of the freezer and bake as few or as many as I need.

Makes 18 small biscuits

  • 1 pound (455 g) sweet potatoes or yams
  • (1 large potato is usually sufficient)
  • 21/2 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk or cream

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (205°C).

Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and place them directly on a rack in the oven. Bake until soft to the touch, about 1 hour. Allow to cool completely. Slice the potatoes in half, scoop the flesh from the skin, and pass it through a food mill or potato ricer (or use a potato masher—you want a nice even mash, not a gummy puree). You should have about 2 scant cups (scant 480 ml) of mash. Stir together the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, and cayenne. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or use your fingers) until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix the milk with the sweet potato mash and add it to the flour and butter mixture. Mix the dough, just to incorporate (I use my hands). If the dough is really sticky, add a touch more flour.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat or roll it out into a ½-inch (12-mm) thick round. Cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter or glass. I find that smaller biscuits cook more evenly, so I keep them around 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter (for Thanksgiving, I share my love with a heart-shaped cutter). Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake until the biscuits rise and are slightly brown, 10 to 12 minutes (bake longer for larger or frozen biscuits). Serve warm.

This recipe was extracted from A Year Between Friends: 3191 Miles Apart by Maria Vettese and Stephanie Barnes, published by Abrams | Out Now.

A Year Between Friends

Midsummer’s Day Blackberry Thyme Cake with Honey–Goat Cheese Frosting

Summer means blackberry picking and we’ve got the perfect recipe for you this Midsummer’s Day from Hannah Queen’s Honey & Jam!

© 2015 Hannah Queen
© 2015 Hannah Queen

In late July my sister and I brave the thorny blackberry bushes in our backyard and are rewarded with baskets full of ripe berries. When we’ve had our fill of eating them by the handful, I like to use up whatever is left by making this cake.

Serves 8

For the cake and assembly:

3 cups (300 g) fresh blackberries, plus more for garnishing

¼ cup (60 ml) honey

1 teaspoon thyme leaves, plus more for garnishing

1²⁄³ cups (215 g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk

For the frosting:

4 ounces (115 g) goat cheese, room temperature

4 ounces (115 g) cream cheese, room temperature

¹⁄³ cup (75 ml) honey

About 2 cups (200 g) powdered sugar

To make the cake:

In a small bowl, stir together the blackberries, honey and thyme.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 6-inch (15-cm) round cake pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla.

Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the mixer bowl, beginning and ending with the flour.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, and top each with 1 cup of the blackberry mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans before turning the layers out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the goat cheese and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the honey. Reduce the speed and add the powdered sugar ½ cup (50 g) at a time.

To assemble the cake:

Place one cake layer on a plate and spread the top with frosting, then add the remaining blackberry mixture. Set the remaining cake layer on top and cover the outside of the cake with frosting. Top with fresh blackberries and thyme.

Text and Images from Honey & Jam by Hannah Queen published by ABRAMS Stewart Tabori and Chang.

© 2015 Hannah Queen