Cook the Book Series

Anyone who's seen the Fifth Flavor Kitchen knows that I have a cookbook-collecting obsession/problem.

 

And while most of my books have at least a couple recipes that I cook repeatedly, there are a handful of books that I return to over and over and over... for inspiration, for reassurance, for sure-fire, never-fail dishes. Some are for Tuesday night family meals, others are for giving me fresh ideas for catered events.

Of course you can search websites and blogs and Instagram posts for ideas... and I do that plenty; but there's just something about holding a good old-fashioned cookbook in your hands. You get to know more about the chef herself when you take the time to read the introduction and the recipe headnotes. Seeing how the chapters are organized, the style of recipe photos... even the chosen type of paper and font not only deepens your knowledge of someone else's cooking style and philosophies, it also helps you to hone your own style in a way that scrolling through someone's feed will never do.

So if you are interested in expanding your cookbook collection, come see a few of my favorites.

Tuesday, April 2nd

6:30-8:30pm

Prune, by Gabrielle Hamilton

$75/person

Prune Restaurant, in New York, is one of my all-time favorite places to eat: deceptively simple, unfussy food, executed with precision. 

 

Although this book is not written for true beginners (it has a [admittedly somewhat-hokey] feel of a line cook's manual), no matter what your level, you will learn the importance of knife skills, ingredient editing, and showcasing single or few ingredients.

I've cooked many dishes out of this book, and have never been disappointed.

In class, I will be demonstrating:

baked mussels with escargot butter

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shaved celery, fennel + radish salad with buttered Valdeòn toasts

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roasted salmon with avgolemono rice, two kinds of peas + scallions

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buttermilk panna cotta with cold candied meyer lemon

*please note: this class does not include a copy of the book. If you'd like to purchase one, you can do so here, or from your favorite independent bookseller, of course.

Tuesday, April 9th

6:30-8:30pm

Zuni Café Cookbook by Judy Rodgers

$75/person

I'm admittedly a little biased about this restaurant in San Francisco- it's where my husband and I went on our first date (and after we got engaged, and after we got married), but it truly is a San Francisco institution regardless of my personal connection to it.

And this book! It's beautifully-written! I learned more in the 50 page introduction than in the first six months of culinary school. It has hundreds of recipes, and I feel like I would cook all of them (save for the ones that call for ingredients you can only get in Northern California). 

These recipes are often from humble ingredients, though- onions, potatoes, bread- magically transformed into ethereal dishes by Judy Rodgers' wizardry. Her classically French technique, updated for San Francisco (or the Seacoast of NH!), is what I aspire to put on a plate more often than not.

In class, I will be demonstrating:

piccolo fritto of radicchio, onions + lemons with homemade aioli

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ricotta gnocchi with spring vegetables

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Zuni Chicken and bread salad

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espresso granita with cornmeal biscotti

 

 

*please note: this class does not include a copy of the book. If you'd like to purchase one, you can do so here, or from your favorite independent bookseller, of course.

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