By Michael Romano and Karen Stabiner
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35
This engaging, beautifully photographed book offers a behind-the-scenes peek at some of New York City’s top restaurants, including Union Square Cafe, Eleven Madison Park, and Gramercy Tavern. Even better, it provides recipes for the “family meals” prepared by the cooks for the restaurant sta to eat before each lunch and dinner service. You’ll find dozens of delicious and doable options like Caramelized Corn with Smoked Paprika, Capellini with Garden Tomatoes, and Black Bean Chili, as well as a smattering of more ambitious dishes like Mama Romano’s Lasagne (made with homemade meatballs and fresh pasta). Though the recipes are truly geared to home cooking, it’s home cooking at its very best. After all, family meal at a fine restaurant is a sous chef or junior cook’s chance to impress the toughest critics of all: their fellow cooks.
Escarole & Apple Salad (page 51) Toasted pecans, juicy Granny Smith apples, and mildly bitter escarole are tossed in a yogurt dressing seasoned with a touch of maple syrup, vinegar, and smoked paprika. The magic of this simple salad lies in the perfect harmony of the ingredients.
Dominican Chicken (page 150) This simple yet brilliant recipe adds heaps of pizzazz to roast chicken. A salsa-like marinade of celery, garlic, cilantro, bell pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, and capers becomes a scrumptious, tangy coating as the chicken roasts. So good!
|Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Rhubarb-Strawberry Compote||Turkey & Vegetable Potpie with Biscuit Crust||Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce|
Photos by Marcus Nilsson