Thursday, July 30, 2015

Food52 Genius Recipes -- Interesting, Foolproof, Simple

Recently I gave a rave review to Kristen Miglore's Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes that Will Change the Way You Cook. (See my post of May 10, 2015.)

I have been cooking from this wonderful book and, as expected, the recipes have proved virtually infallible and simple. Since my post, I have made the following eight dishes -- three of them twice -- with the results described.

Rose Levy Baranbaum's Fresh Blueberry Pie (although I made a tart using my favorite crust from Clotilde Dusoulier). The secret of this recipe is cooking a quarter of the blueberries and adding the rest uncooked. This results in a wonderfully fresh tasting pie or tart with a perfect texture: holding together but barely. I made this twice, mixing some strawberries in the second time.

Fresh blueberry tart
Fresh blueberry and strawberry tart
José Pizarro's Salt-Crusted Fingerling Potatoes with Cilantro Mojo. While it is very salty on the exterior,  once you penetrate the skin, the interior is wonderfully creamy, resulting in a texture and taste bomb. Opinions were split on this between those who loved it and those who found it to be too salty. I liked it.

Roger Vergé's Fried Eggs with Wine Vinegar. I made this twice. The first time, with snazzy Banyuls vinegar, tasted too sweet, but it was great when I made it again with ordinary red wine vinegar.

Canal House's Chicken Thighs with Lemon Sauce. A simple method for incredibly crispy skin and perfectly cooked interior, with a nice sauce enhanced by salty, briny preserved lemons. This may become my go-to thigh recipe.

Richard Olney's Fresh Fig and Mint Salad. A seemingly bizarre recipe for very cold fresh fig, prosciutto, lemony sweet cream and mint. An absolutely compelling mix of tastes, easy to prepare and elegant on the plate.

Frexh fig and mint salad
Cory Schreiber's Salt-Baked Herbed Salmon with Red Onion Caper Vinaigrette. It's the tail end of wild salmon season, and I got a great piece of intensely red wild sockeye salmon, to great effect. This is not real salt-baked salmon in which the whole fish is encased in salt; here you just build a salt bed on which to cook the fish with just the right insulation from the heat of the roasting pan. Simplicity itself.

Salt-baked herbed sockeye salmon
Eric Ripert's Crispy-Skinned Fish Filets, with striped bass and with sea bass. This is quick but still a bit tricky. The first time I made it, with striped bass, it come out perfectly, with a magnificent crispy skin. The second time, with wild sea bass, was less successful; I think I sauteed the fish at a slightly too low temperature, and the skin was flabby (I used a brulé torch to crisp it up a bit). I am not deterred and will definitely use this method again.

Dan Barber's Cauliflower Steaks. A brilliant dish that highlights the various tastes that are inherent in this seemingly mild and boring vegetable. And a stunning sight on the plate.

Cauliflower steak on a bed of pureed cauliflower
In my earlier post I said that I plan to cook a majority of the recipes in the book, and I am making pretty good progress: I've already made 16 of the 100 recipes.

If you are going to buy one cookbook this year, this is the one!

Bobby Jay

1 comment:

John Hoppin said...

Looks good. My go-to cauliflower is batali's cauliflower ragu, from molto mario. I put this on reserve at the library.