Like many of Gabrielle Hamilton's desserts in her new cookbook, Prune, the Calvados Omelette is both simple and strange, at least to our American palettes—sweet, enriched egg flambeed with apple brandy. We are not used to having our eggs for dessert, at least not served to us so unabashedly, instead of under the guise of custard or crepe or soufflé. And though the eggs here are mixed with a substantial amount of cream and a bit of flour, the end result is in fact just a plateful of sweet (buttery, boozy) eggs. But it comes off as elegant, urbane, and perfectly delicious.
Cook The Book
This potent, lively compound butter from Gabrielle Hamilton's cookbook, Prune, dresses up her cheeseburger, but would be delicious in myriad applications, from dolloped on a piece of grilled swordfish to rubbed under the skin of a chicken before roasting.
Grilled Hamburger With Cheddar Cheese on Toasted English Muffin With Parsley-Shallot Butter From 'Prune'
Gabrielle Hamilton's burger from her new cookbook, Prune, is obscenely good and feels quite fancy, despite being so simple. The name really discloses the whole recipe: chubby beef and lamb patties are topped with white cheddar and sandwiched in a Thomas's English muffin, dressed only with the parsley-and-shallot compound butter. The cheese oozes down the sides of the salty, fatty burger, and the bright and potent butter, slathered on the top and bottom of the English muffin, seeps into every 'nook and cranny' of the burger and bun.
Prune's brunch is known as being one of the best in the city, and is worth the two hour wait, even on a chilly, hungover morning. One of the big draws is the Monte Cristo, an outrageous, deep-fried, French-toast/ ham-and-cheese hybrid. Gabrielle Hamilton shares the recipe in her new cookbook, Prune. She builds the triple-decker sandwich on white bread with loads of butter, French ham, Swiss Cheese, and roasted turkey. This gets soaked briefly in eggs and milk and griddled in clarified butter. And THEN deep-fried.
Katherine Thompson's Impromptu Tiramisu from Downtown Italian, written with Gabriel Thompson and Joe Campanale, is the perfect sorta cheffy, sorta lazy dessert. Let me say right off, you'll have to make a separate sweet for the kids' table, because this one is strictly 21 and over.
Gabriel Thompson's branzino from his new cookbook, Downtown Italian, written with Katherine Thompson and Joe Campanale, is as simple as it is sophisticated, and delivers his trademark clean, bold, bright flavor. Branzino fillets are laid over what is essentially a fregola (tiny, toasted balls of semolina pasta) and tomato salad, doused with olive oil, wrapped in parchment packets, and baked.
Gabriel Thompson's recipe for Roasted Mushrooms with Bacon and Eggs, from Downtown Italian, written with Katherine Thompson and Joe Campanale, sounds innocent enough, but comes at you guns blazing, all garlicky, salty, and wild.
Recently, I posted about a kale gratin made with an obscene three cups of heavy cream. Well, gratin, this mac 'n' cheese from Marcus Samuelsson's new cookbook, Marcus Off Duty, will see you those three cups of cream and raise you coconut milk, bacon, crème fraîche, a stick of butter, and pasta. Oh, and over a pound of cheese.
Pickled in a solution of water, white wine vinegar, sugar, a bay leaf and a couple of allspice berries, these cucumbers from Marcus Samuelsson's new cookbook, Marcus Off Duty, are super basic and spot on. The paper thin slices of cucumbers, salted and rinsed, stay miraculously crisp, and are perfect for sandwiches, salads, or as a stand-alone side.
There's a reason why these meatballs have a permanent place on the menu at Marcus Samuelsson's Harlem hotspot, Red Rooster, and why they get mentioned in nearly every review of the place: his grandmother was on to something. In an act of kindness, he shares the recipe—her recipe—in his new cookbook, Marcus Off Duty, and it's a winner.
Marcus Samuelsson is downright obliged to love salmon, having grown up on the coast of Sweden. And he has a thing for the flavors of Southeast Asia, choosing the foods of that region to be his desert-island pick, so to speak. In this dish from his new cookbook. Marcus Off Duty, he combines both cuisines into one weird and weirdly wonderful bowl.
If you're of the 'judge a chef by his soup' mindset, this vibrant bowlful from Marcus Samuelsson's new cookbook, Marcus Off Duty, should earn him some high points. Bright as the autumn sun and perfect for a cold day, the warm earthiness of the parsnips and vaguely floral sunchokes fills your mouth at first slurp.
Most would agree, the best part of fried chicken is the skin. Evil-genius chef Sean Brock decided to skip the middle man—er, chicken—and go right for the good stuff. He serves these deep-fried strips of chicken skin as a bar snack at Husk, and was benevolent enough to share the recipe for them in his new cookbook, Heritage.
This basic vegetable stock from Sean Brock's cookbook, Heritage, is enticingly aromatic and deeply flavorful. The fennel, in particular, perfumes the broth and gives it distinctive character. The recipe makes slightly less than the 2 quarts indicated.
This farrotto—farro cooked in the style of risotto—from Sean Brock's new cookbook, Heritage, is the perfect foil to the artfully composed, modernist plates that make up most of the book: it's a warming, rustic potful of fall flavors.
Watermelon and Red Onion Salad With Bibb Lettuce, Pickled Shrimp, and Jalapeño Vinaigrette From 'Heritage'
Chef Sean Brock's salad from his new book, Heritage, hits all the right notes: the melon is sweet and juicy, the onions are bracing, the vinaigrette is spicy and tangy, and the pickled shrimp are...all of the above.
Chef Sean Brock makes his no-flour-no-sugar cornbread with Anson Mills Antebellum Coarse Yellow Cornmeal, buttermilk for tang, and a single egg, leaving it light and corny. He also adds crisp crumbles of bacon (preferably Benton's) to the batter, as wells some of the bacon grease, to give the bread a vague and pleasant smokiness and decidedly savory edge. It's a very classic cornbread that would be as at home with a country supper as gracing the table at Husk.
This savory cake from Yotam Ottolenghi's newest cookbook, Plenty More, is as beautiful as it is unusual: cauliflower florets are suspended in a golden cake with green flecks of basil and a load of parmesan cheese, with an orbit of onion rings on top and crunchy, aromatic seeds gilding the edges. And, as with most of Ottolenghi's out-of-the-box creations, it's just delicious.
Roasted Brussels sprouts were a thing of beauty in my book already, but in his book, Plenty More, Yotam Ottolenghi created a masterpiece with them, and they're unlike any roasted Brussels sprouts I've ever had.
This salad from Yotam Ottolenghi's newest cookbook, Plenty More, has a lot going on and everything going for it. A beautiful mix of grains, crunchy almonds and pine nuts, chewy dried cherries, silky onions, and enlivening arugula, basil and tarragon—every bite is fairly dazzling.