'cook the book' on Serious Eats

Cookbook Review: 'Baking Chez Moi' Marries French Technique and Homey Simplicity

The French prefer to leave the elaborate creations to the professionals, and what they make at home tends to be, in fact, homey. In her newest cookbook, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere, Greenspan shares the recipes that it took her five years to slowly coax from her Parisian friends, her hairdresser, and even strangers at the table next to hers at lunch. More

Gingerbread Buche de Noel From 'Baking Chez Moi'

Among the plethora of simple, straightforward French desserts that fill the pages of Dorie Greenspan's new Baking Chez Moi, there is a handful of more involved desserts, and those she reimagines in her own way. Her Gingerbread Buche de Noel is both. Yule logs are a staple of the French holiday season, but this version seems quite American, with it's cream cheese filling and sweet meringue frosting. More

Cookbook Review: 'Bar Tartine' Trades Hard Work for Show-Stopping Results

Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns are co-chefs at Bar Tartine, the San Francisco restaurant celebrated for its inventive, hard-to-define and harder-to-forget food. The amalgam of flavors that the duo delivers is so layered and nuanced that even studied palates often find the dishes impossible to decode. Complex but no longer mysterious, their food has been decrypted in the new Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes, the cookbook from Balla and Burns that keeps no kitchen secrets. More

Smoked Potatoes With Ramp Mayonnaise From 'Bar Tartine'

In Cortney Burns and Nicholaus Balla's new cookbook, Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes, they share the recipe for their Smoked Potatoes with Ramp Mayonnaise. This dish has been obsessed over and blogged about, and has a permanent place on their ever-changing menu. There's a lot going on with these spuds: The potatoes themselves are roasted and smoked, then smashed and deep-fried. They're tossed with herbs and a mushroom-infused black garlic vinaigrette—earthy, sweet, and tangy. The crowning glory is the bright and rich mayonnaise. Individually, each component is brilliant; together, they make you think you've died and gone to umami heaven. More

Calvados Omelette From 'Prune'

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. More

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. More

Monte Cristo From 'Prune'

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. More

Branzino Al Cartoccio From 'Downtown Italian'

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. More

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