The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart by Alex Guarnaschelli, EPUB, 030795658X

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 The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart by Alex Guarnaschelli, EPUB, 030795658X

The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart by Alex Guarnaschelli


  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter
  • Publication Date: September 26, 2017
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030795658X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307956583
  • File Format: EPUB





Snacks & Appetizers

Dips, Crudités & Pickled Vegetables

Soups to Start

Soup for Dinner

Italian American Pastas & Classics

New Chicken Classics

Stand-Alone Main Courses

One-Pot & Slow-Cooked Meals

Root Vegetables

Supermarket Mushrooms Made Sexy

The Onion Family

Sauces & Dressings

Salads for Every Season

Salad for Dinner

Grain & Bean Side Dishes

Italian American Cookies

Berries & Juicy Fruits


Pies, Tarts & Crisps

Quick Breads

Jams & Fruit Condiments







I think this book began in my head around the summer of 1992. I was cooking at Larry Forgione’s restaurant, An American Place, in New York City—my first restaurant job. Someone was making a batch of Parker House rolls, a staple of the bread basket. I remember trays of buttery rolls that made my mouth water. That afternoon, I sat down for the predinner family meal and tore open one of the rolls, still hot from the oven. It tasted like pure butter and salt and yeast all at once. I knew I had to learn how to make it, how to preserve the moment, how to re-create that flavor. When something excites the appetite to that level, it has to be a part of a collection of recipes to know by heart.

When I was growing up, my mother cooked avidly from books. To this day, she retains a voracious appetite for recipes both new and classic alike. But there were always certain books in a category of their own, a small special subset of her whole collection, that she would turn to again and again. We called them by their authors’ names: Fannie Farmer. Julia Child. Dione Lucas. James Beard. Craig Claiborne. Diana Kennedy. Marcella Hazan. And, of course, The Silver Palate Cookbook. I’d ask her to make cornbread or perhaps some gnocchi and she would reach for a book on this shelf. It was her go-to place for perfect recipes that would deliver on their simple promise. My mother pulls out an encyclopedia of knowledge, experience, and recipes every time she steps into the kitchen. As if that weren’t enough, my dad has his own separate bag of tricks in the kitchen, too. Intimidating. Sometimes I think I became a chef just to keep up with my family!

My Parker House roll moment was the first of hundreds of such instances where I began compiling my own go-to recipes for a cookbook to fit on that special shelf, a book that might stop you from flipping through five others to find the recipe you want, a book with reliable recipes for every need and craving: a house vinaigrette for everyday green salads, a whole roasted chicken, a luscious vegetarian main course, a layer cake for your best friend’s birthday, a the-bake-sale-is-tomorrow? treat that you can get into the oven in minutes with ingredients you most likely already have on hand. Whether you want a recipe that’s fast or slow, casual or impressive, healthy or indulgent, hot or cold, winter or summer, day or night—or some combination—you’ll find a match in these almost three hundred tried-and-true recipes.

I eventually moved to Paris to cook for a number of years, then back to New York, then on to California before settling in my hometown. This recipe collection has been a constant companion to me throughout my career. To this day, twenty-five years after that first cooking job, I still keep a tiny notebook and pen in my back pocket. When a Parker House roll moment hits, I jot it down, filing away the smells, flavors, and textures to re-create them later. Often a recipe leads me somewhere unexpected, like turning braised short ribs into an even more comforting bowl of soup. Sometimes a seed planted by one recipe morphs into something else.

My needs have also changed over those twenty-five years. My apartment is full of cookbooks; like many chefs, I collect them. I have fancy ones with glossy photos of one scoop of ice cream topped with a lacy gold leaf tuile. There are books that tell me how to pickle skate wings or make elderberry wine. I enjoy this mix of odds and ends—but I can’t say I have ever pulled one of them off the shelf and actually cooked from it. When I gave birth to my daughter, Ava, who is now nine, I made some changes. You have to remember that while the life of a professional chef is certainly difficult and physically draining, we do enjoy the luxury of a dishwasher who magically replaces all the sauté pans right where we need them. At home, with a baby and no sleep, I turned a corner in my home cooking. Why not have a one-pot meal where the sink is empty and dinner is on the table? I’ve written this book to strike a balance in my own collection. This is the natural extension of my work and of my life as a parent and daughter.

Generally, books that seek to cover all the bases don’t contain much seasonality. After all, there is great comfort in the evergreen nature of an omelet, pot roast, or rice pilaf. But that’s where the professional chef in me steps in. Some of these recipes will pull you toward one season or another, from fresh tomatoes in summer to root vegetables in winter. They will also push you to explore new grains, to seek out and enjoy less fancy cuts of meat, to tackle fish at home. That’s what this book seeks to achieve: to give you an entire repertoire for every “occasion”—whether that’s a Monday-night dinner or a weekend dinner party—and to have fun while you are doing it.

This book is organized roughly along the lines of an elaborate meal, from starters through sweets and extras—though I really can’t imagine anyone preparing a twenty-two-course meal with a recipe from each chapter (nor should anyone have to wait until the very end of the meal for a cocktail); that’s not the point. You should feel free to dip into any chapter for that vinaigrette, that roasted chicken, or whatever you need.

We begin with Snacks & Appetizers that range from the simple to one that is almost opulent. And honestly, as the daughter of two Italian Americans who avidly cooked cuisines ranging from Chinese to Indian to French, I can tell you that anything goes in this chapter, including dumplings and ribs. Dips, Crudités & Pickled Vegetables is one-stop shopping for a vegetarian snack, whether creamy or on the healthier side. Lightly pickling veggies that are destined to be dunked is a simple step that takes their flavor to the next level. Dips and pickles can also be prepped ahead of time. My father jokes that his mother would shop for and cook an entire meal from scratch, and, as soon as she was done, she would walk out into the living room as her guests were getting ready to leave. Making some of your appetizers and snacks in advance can buy you more table time with family and friends.

The topic of soup consumes two whole chapters here, with Soups to Start (both chunky and pureed) and Soup for Dinner. One of the ways I feel I really learned to cook was through the art of making soup. It’s a great way to keep a meal in the fridge that only improves as it sits for a day or two and can also be a great place to showcase beans and vegetables. My fondness for mom-and-pop red-sauce joints runs through Italian American Pastas & Classics, as does my heritage. The first time I had Pasta Puttanesca was at a little joint on Fifty-third Street and Ninth Avenue in Manhattan. It may be my first memory of one of my favorite natural salt bombs: the caper. I didn’t know my paternal grandparents well—I met them only a couple of times—but my grandmother’s signature lasagna, the layers laced with tiny meatballs, remains with me to this day. It’s a masterpiece that tastes just as good reheated and served in a sandwich the next day.

When I became the executive chef at Butter Restaurant in 2003, I went through a few “cheffy” phases, including a “no chicken” rule. I served duck, guinea hen, you name it—but not chicken, which felt boring. Then I went out to dinner one Sunday off and I scanned the menu for the comfort of roasted chicken to no avail. And it hit me. If I was looking for it, wasn’t everyone? New Chicken Classics aims to fill that void. Because I admire The Silver Palate Cookbook so much, tackling my own version of Chicken Marbella seemed a necessary rite of passage. Another favorite here is My Dad’s Lemon Chicken: crisp chicken drizzled with a lemony sauce that makes you want to eat twice what you normally would.

In Stand-Alone Main Courses, two standouts are Roast Beef with Dry Sherry Gravy and Cedar-Planked Salmon. Deep flavors are achieved with very few ingredients—one of my favorite ways to cook at home. Great for feeding a few friends or family, these recipes don’t really need side dishes and such: just set a platter in the middle of the table and everyone digs in.

For meals that are as comforting as my Lamb Tagine, head straight to One-Pot & Slow-Cooked Meals. These dishes are part of my parenthood revelation. In addition to the lack of pots and pans in the sink after dinner, there is also something magical about smelling something amazing cooking in late afternoon, feeling heat coming from the kitchen as Classic Pot Roast braises stovetop.

My parents instilled in me a love of humble often downright homely ingredients—including root vegetables, supermarket mushrooms, and all kinds of onions—that was reinforced working in professional kitchens in France and in the United States. You might think chefs are all about exotic mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns and, while we love those ingredients, there’s something beautiful about taking an ugly vegetable, cooking it simply, and turning it into an insanely tasty dish. How delicious are beets and rutabaga? A simple plate of Buttered Rutabaga or a Summer Beet Carpaccio can round out your repertoire. Raw White Mushroom Salad is such an unassuming yet actually edgy way to begin a meal. I love keeping on hand a batch of recipes like Grandpa Guarnaschelli’s Sweet-and-Sour Onions (so good as a quickie condiment or last-minute touch on a dish!) or Dry-Roasted Scallions with Romesco Sauce to round out a meal.

Great salads begin with a great dressing or vinaigrette; you have a couple dozen to choose from here. You’ve got The Sherry Vinaigrette I Use on Everything all the way to a yummy funky Miso Dressing. Most young cooks start at the salad station (myself included), where nothing is cooked to order, which makes these recipes especially home-cook friendly. Try the Beefsteak Tomato, Bacon, and Red Onion Salad or Fennel and Orange Salad with Walnut Pesto. Then turn to the salads I love as stand-alone meals, such as Thai Beef and Watercress Salad, or as companions to roasted meat or fish, like Crispy Brussels Sprouts Salad or Warm Candied Corn Salad.

I also love grains and beans. Mail-order stores like Kalustyans ( and SOS Chefs ( have helped me change my ingredient game, from wheatberries to French lentils. I love a bean or toasted-grain salad as a make-ahead side dish or even a light dinner. They really satisfy—and I have an appetite!

I am highly invested in the baking recipes in this book, beginning with Italian American Cookies. Two of my favorite recipes, Dark Chocolate Brownies and Thin Crispy Gingerbread Cookies, bridge the gap between afternoon snack and after-dinner dessert (and, if I am being honest, occasional breakfast treat). Cookies, fruit bars, and even chocolate bark are sweets we often buy—until we realize how simply they can be made at home.

The recipes in Berries & Juicy Fruits are all home runs. Some of my favorite fruits are showcased simply, such as Cherries in Red Wine with Frozen Yogurt. Pavlova with Fresh Strawberries is a light, fluffy dessert that doesn’t skimp on decadence and dramatic presentation.

Cake is a serious subject for me. It really is my favorite food group. Layer cakes are one of its most excellent subsets (see the classic Yellow Layer Cake with Chocolate Frosting or Carrot Parsnip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting—it’s amazing to me what a few parsnips do to make carrots taste like the best version of themselves). Pies, Tarts & Crisps addresses a cornerstone of American baking and contains recipes made from whatever is in season. I’ve got you covered on the Thanksgiving classics, of course, but Strawberry Ice Cream Pie with Balsamic ups the ante and Raspberry Crisp with a Crunchy Cinnamon Top celebrates the tang of berries melded with warm spices.

Quick Breads and Jams & Fruit Condiments make a nice pair. These are recipes to make on the weekend when you want your house to smell like Creamy Biscuits and Pumpkin Nutmeg Bread. The jams, jellies, chutneys, and marmalades are good to slather on warm bread you pull from the oven and also make nice accompaniments to other dishes in this book. Some of my favorites are the Lemon Marmalade and the Barely Cooked Blueberry Jam.

And, finally, there are Cocktails. You might think I should have started here, but I am really a cook first and not a professional mixologist. These happen to be some of my favorites to make and drink precisely because they do not require arcane bitters or any professional training. They are timeless and always feel appropriate.

Along the way, in various recipes, I encourage you to “taste for seasoning,” my way of reminding you to taste as you go. It’s about salt and pepper, for sure, but it’s also about spices and acid—whether citrus juice or vinegar. Make sure these ingredients have done enough to make your food punchy and delicious. If not, add more. You may like more tang than I do—or your lemons may be sweeter or more acidic than mine. What you cook should taste good to you.

All of this is preparing you to go and cook these recipes. Be the person who says, “I’m going to make my stuffed mushrooms for the office party” or “I think I’ll bake those tangy raspberry cookies for the potluck.” There’s a wonderful confidence in making great food and sharing it with others. Let these recipes be your guide, with your taste buds giving you additional direction. And please, put this book on your special shelf: the one with the sauce-spattered books that you take down and use all the time. I think it delivers.





Breaded Eggplant Fingers with Balsamic Sauce

Marinated Cerignola Olives

Stuffed Mini Peppers

Extra-Crispy Cheese Straws

Mini Goat Cheese Quiches

Individual Brie Sandwiches with Toasted Sesame Seeds

Warm Bar Nuts

Spicy Spinach Phyllo Triangles

Scallion Pancakes

Spicy Chinatown Pork Dumplings

Glazed Five-Spice Ribs

Veal Meatballs with Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese

A Basket of Drumsticks and Lemons

Spicy Baked Chicken Wings with Honey Vinegar Glaze

Trout Roe on Tiny Potatoes with Lemon Zest and Sea Salt

Grilled Chicken Satay with Cashew Sauce

Shrimp Toast Sandwiches with Garlic

Tequila-Cured Salmon with Grainy Mustard Sauce

Lobster Rolls







I love eggplant; it’s meaty and satisfying. I also love cooking it with the skin on and enjoying the texture and flavor contrasts between skin and flesh. I love to dunk these in a good dip or salsa. They are an adult answer to chicken fingers with way more flavor. The aroma of the eggplant, thyme, and bread crumbs also gives a pizzeria vibe to the kitchen. And that makes everyone hungry. This dish can be prepared in advance and then fried just before serving. The reduction of balsamic coats the eggplant nicely and provides that great balance of tangy and sweet.


1 cup balsamic vinegar

2 medium globe eggplants (about 1 pound each)

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

4 large egg yolks

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1½ cups plain dried bread crumbs

Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thyme

¼ cup canola oil


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Reduce the balsamic: Pour the vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and cook until it has reduced to ½ cup liquid, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the sauce aside to cool.

Prepare the eggplants: Slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1-inch-thick slices. Stack the slices and cut them crosswise into 1½-inch-wide fingers. Season the pieces liberally all over with 2 tablespoons salt and the oregano. In a medium bowl, mix the flour with 1 tablespoon salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs and yolks with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon water. In a third medium bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the thyme. One piece at a time, dredge the eggplant in the flour, then in the egg mixture, and finally in the bread crumbs. As the eggplant pieces go through the breading process, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Note: The eggplant can be frozen at this point and cooked another day.

Fry the eggplant: In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the remaining ¼ cup olive oil with the canola oil. When the oil begins to shimmer and smoke lightly, turn off the heat and add some of the eggplant pieces in a single layer. (It’s better to cook these in batches than to overcrowd the pan.) Fry on the first side until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully turn them over and fry until golden brown on the other side, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the baking sheet, arranging the pieces in a single layer, and season each piece with salt. Note: You can cover the eggplant with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 6 hours at this point and bake when ready to serve.

Bake the eggplant: Bake until the eggplant is tender when pierced in the center with the tip of a knife, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven and taste for seasoning. Drizzle with the balsamic sauce or serve it on the side for dipping. Serve immediately.






My favorite olive? Hands down, green Cerignola. They are big and meaty and green, with a large pit that I always roll around in my mouth for a minute after eating off all the olive meat. The flavors of this marinade linger and whet the appetite. I make these in advance so my friends can snack on something while they watch the main course bubble away on the stove. Some grilled or toasted sourdough bread, a couple wedges of cheese or some ricotta, and a bowl of these olives…yum. Put out just enough for your friends and watch how much better dinner tastes after a palate opener like this. The longer these sit, the more pronounced the flavors become: whole spices mixed with fresh thyme and orange zest.


¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon fruity extra-virgin olive oil

Leaves from 6 large sprigs fresh thyme

2 large garlic cloves, grated

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

3 light grates of orange zest (see Tip)

4 heaping cups green Cerignola olives

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds


Start the marinade: In a medium skillet, warm the 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the thyme leaves and cook until they bubble and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and scrape the thyme into a medium bowl; reserve the skillet. Stir the garlic and red pepper flakes into the thyme. Add the orange zest, remaining ¾ cup olive oil, and the olives to the thyme mixture and toss to combine.

Finish the marinade: In the same skillet, combine the vinegar with ½ cup water and warm it over medium heat for 1 minute. Then add the mustard and coriander seeds, and simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the spices to sit in the mixture for 20 to 25 minutes.

Marinate the olives: Pour the vinegar and spices over the olives and toss to blend. The olives can be served immediately, but their flavor improves if they are left to sit. Pack the olives into a jar, cover them with the marinade, and cover tightly. Refrigerate for 1 to 4 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving. TIP: When grating oranges, don’t press too hard. Grate lightly to get just the top layer of the floral-scented skin and leave the bitter white pith behind.






These stuffed peppers taste sweet and spicy at the same time. The texture of the pine nuts and the scallions contrasts with that of the creamy goat cheese and makes these little bites exciting to eat. These are a fun way to serve cheese—a change from the usual slabs on a board. I put out thick slices of Italian bread with this and marvel at how quickly the platter empties out.


16 fresh cherry peppers

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

8 ounces creamy goat cheese, at room temperature

4 medium scallions (green and white parts), thinly sliced

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Prepare the peppers: Lay each pepper sideways on a flat surface and cut off the top so it’s like a little hat for the rest of the pepper. Use a paring knife to carefully cut away any seeds that stick to the top. Use a paring knife or a small spoon to scoop any seeds from inside the pepper. In a large bowl, toss the tops and bottoms with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. When it is hot, drop in the peppers and tops and cook until they are browned and slightly wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Tilt the pan so the peppers spill out onto a baking sheet. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the filling: Use a rubber spatula to spread the goat cheese over the bottom and up the sides of a medium bowl so that you can season it evenly. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt, the scallions, and the pine nuts all over the cheese. Mix to blend. Taste to make sure the flavors are balanced.

Fill and bake the peppers: Use a small spoon to stuff the peppers with the cheese mixture, and then arrange them on a baking sheet with room between them. (Reserve the tops.) Bake until the filling is hot in the center, 8 to 10 minutes (test the center with the tip of a knife).

Make the vinaigrette and finish the dish: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, and the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil. Remove the peppers from the oven and drizzle with the lemon vinaigrette. Top each pepper with one of the reserved tops. Serve immediately.






I infuse these cheese straws with flavors that mimic those of a garlic knot from a New York City slice joint. I usually serve them with some cider, olives, and cheese or with a super-dry white or sparkling wine to get the party going. I love to make this dough by hand. I cut it with a pasta machine because it makes uniform straws, instead of ones in random lengths and shapes. To finish them, I take a page from biscotti bakers and dry the baked straws in a low-temperature oven to make them extra crisp. Arrange them in a single layer on a serving platter and grate additional Parmesan over them for a cheesy touch.


2½ cups bread flour, plus more for kneading and rolling

½ teaspoon active dry yeast

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

¼ cup finely grated aged Provolone cheese

½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, yeast, 1¼ teaspoons salt, the pepper, garlic powder, Provolone, and ¼ cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and mix to blend. Gradually pour in 1 cup water and mix only until the dough forms a loose ball. Do not mix beyond that or your dough will be tough. Put the dough on a floured surface and knead it gently, 2 to 3 minutes, until the dough feels smooth and cohesive. Add more flour if the dough is wet or won’t come together. Grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and add the dough. Turn the dough in the bowl so it gets coated with the oil. Cover the top with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature for 1½ hours or so; then gently press down on the top to deflate it. Leave the dough, covered, for another hour or two. It should double in volume.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Roll the dough: Transfer the dough to a floured flat surface and divide it into 4 equal parts. Roll each portion of dough with a rolling pin and then run it through the thickest setting on a pasta machine. Each portion should now be about ⅛ inch thick. Return the dough to a floured flat surface and use a sharp knife to cut it into ½-inch strips. Arrange the strips of dough, leaving some space between them, in a single layer on two baking sheets.

Bake the straws: Brush the dough strips with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt. Bake until light brown, 13 to 15 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and turn off the oven.

Finish the straws: Sprinkle the cheese straws with the remaining ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and return the baking sheet to the warm oven. Let the breadsticks dry out a bit more and the cheese melt slightly over them, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm. If you want to make these a few hours ahead, do so through step 4, let them cool, and then when you are ready, proceed with step 5 using a 250°F oven.






I used to make my quiche batter with cream cheese for added thickness and richness. Once, when making it at home, I dropped half a log of goat cheese in the blender as a substitute. I never looked back. The tang of goat cheese adds tremendous depth of flavor to quiche. I always love the effect hot cheese has on people.

One simple finishing touch separates this recipe from the pack: an easy red wine vinaigrette drizzled over the quiches at the last minute takes the flavor to the next level. Sometimes I drizzle some vinaigrette on the quiches and a little on some green leaf lettuce or arugula to go with them.


4 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

8 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into thick slices, at room temperature

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup whole milk

Few drops of Tabasco

Few drops of Worcestershire sauce, preferably Lea & Perrins brand

Kosher salt

30 mini (1½-inch) prebaked tart shells or mini phyllo shells

¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 small garlic clove, grated

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Make the quiche batter: In a blender, combine the eggs, egg yolks, goat cheese, cream, milk, Tabasco, and Worcestershire with 2 teaspoons salt. Blend on low speed (to avoid incorporating too much air) until completely smooth, 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the blender and blend for an additional minute.

Fill and bake the tart shells: Arrange the tart shells on a baking sheet with some space between them. Pour the filling into a pitcher, stir in the parsley, and then pour it into each of the tart shells as high as it will go without spilling over. Bake until light brown and just set, 15 to 20 minutes. The filling should not move when you shake the baking sheet gently.

Make the vinaigrette and finish the dish: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, and olive oil until combined. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the hot quiches. Serve immediately.







This recipe came about after I tasted a simple quiche made with Brie and leeks. The leeks really amplified the richness of the cheese. Sesame seeds add a nuttiness to round out the trio. I know it’s tempting to add a lot of ingredients to a grilled cheese sandwich—like bacon or pancetta and herbs. But these three ingredients are magic enough. And while there are cheeses that are far more distinctive than Brie, none ends up so creamy. These sandwiches can be cut in half to go with a bowl of roasted tomato soup for a warming lunch or quartered and devoured as an addictive starter.


1 medium leek (white and light green parts only)

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter

Kosher salt

8 large (¼-inch-thick) slices sourdough bread

16 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 16 thick slices

½ teaspoon hot paprika

4 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons sesame seeds


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cook the leek: Quarter the leek lengthwise and then slice it finely crosswise. Rinse thoroughly, as leeks can be sandy, and drain well. In a medium skillet over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter; then add the leeks and season them with 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool.

Prepare the sandwiches: Put 4 slices of the bread on a flat surface and arrange 4 slices of cheese in a single layer on each slice of bread. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt, and use a small strainer to sift an even layer of the paprika over the cheese. Top the cheese with the cooked leeks and the remaining 4 slices bread to make 4 sandwiches. Press down gently on each sandwich to help the ingredients adhere to one another and to the bread.

Cook the sandwiches: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. When it begins to smoke, add 1 tablespoon of the butter, and arrange half of the sandwiches in a single layer in the skillet. Cook the sandwiches until browned on the bottom, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn them over and cook until browned on the other side, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in half of the sesame seeds. Stir to coat the seeds with the butter. Remove the pan from the heat. As you remove the sandwiches, try to sponge up the sesame along the way. Transfer to an ovenproof platter and keep warm in the oven. Repeat the process with the remaining sandwiches.

Serve the sandwiches: Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut each one into 4 pieces. Season lightly with 1 more teaspoon salt. Arrange them on a serving platter and sprinkle with any remaining sesame seeds from the pan. Serve immediately.






I know it’s hard to believe I had close neighbors when I was growing up in bustling and impersonal midtown Manhattan, but I did. My neighbor Francine Pascal, author of the famous Sweet Valley High book series, had an amazing apartment and put out the kinds of snacks I wished we would eat at home. She always had a bowl of nuts, some shelled and some not: crunchy Brazil nuts coated with salt, and hazelnuts and walnuts in the shell. I loved the textures, the taste of the nuts and their skins. This is my adult interpretation of that childhood memory: a mix of nuts tossed together with a fruity and herby note. Warming nuts with herbs, red pepper flakes, and crunchy sea salt makes them even better. Simple yet special.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Leaves from 12 sprigs fresh thyme

1 cup peanuts with the skin on

1 cup whole almonds with the skin on

1 cup pecan halves

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 light grates of lemon zest

1 tablespoon Maldon sea salt


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Make the nuts: Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, remove the pan from the heat and add the thyme. The leaves will sizzle and fry a little. Immediately stir in the peanuts, almonds, pecans, and red pepper flakes. Mix to coat with the oil. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in the lemon zest and salt, and serve immediately—or let cool and then rewarm in a low oven.






My secret to a tasty triangle lies in salting both the filling and the exterior of each one. I often make these just through step 4, freeze them, and then bake as needed. Be patient while these are in the oven; even if they look cooked on the outside, the inner layers need time to bake.


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the baking sheet

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¾ cup finely chopped red onion

1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

½ teaspoon ground allspice

12 ounces creamy feta cheese, crumbled (2 cups)

20 (14 × 18-inch) frozen phyllo sheets (1 pound), defrosted

Maldon sea salt

1 lemon, cut into wedges


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a baking sheet with butter.

Start the filling: In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. When it is warm, add the chopped onions and the red pepper flakes. Season with kosher salt and cook until the onions are translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Finish the filling: Wrap the spinach inside a kitchen towel and twist the towel to squeeze all of the water from the spinach. Put the spinach in a medium bowl and stir in the eggs, ½ cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, the allspice, and the cooked onion. Season with 1 tablespoon kosher salt and gently stir in the feta. Do not overmix. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.

Make the triangles: Keeping the stack of phyllo dough covered with a barely damp kitchen towel (to prevent it from drying out) while you work with individual sheets, put one sheet of phyllo on a flat surface with a long side closest to you. Brush the dough with a light layer of the melted butter. Sprinkle with a little of the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano. Put a second sheet on top. Brush with butter and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Make two more layers in this fashion so there are four layers in all. Use a sharp knife to cut the stack in half lengthwise. Scoop about ¼ cup of the filling onto one end of one of the strips, about 2 inches in from the end. Fold the 2 inches of phyllo over the spinach, forming a triangle, so it covers the filling. Now that the spinach is enclosed, continue to fold, as though you’re folding a flag, until you have used up all of the dough and you are left with a triangle. Set it, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the second strip of phyllo. Then repeat the entire process four more times to make 12 phyllo triangles. Leave a little space between them on the baking sheet.

Bake the triangles: Bake until the phyllo is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon Maldon salt over the triangles. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges on the side.






I grew up eating scallion pancakes on special occasions and still get a thrill when I tear into one, dip it in sauce, and devour it when it is almost too hot to eat. These little pancakes are great with the dipping sauce or simply with a little soy sauce or spicy mustard. The scallions provide an unusual form of crunch that makes this snack exciting. I use cake flour for that extra fluff factor because a flat scallion pancake is not nearly as much fun as a puffy one.


1½ cups cake flour

½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

Kosher salt

Canola oil

1 cup boiling water

4 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

4 medium garlic cloves, grated

6 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2½ cups minced scallions (green and white parts; from about 16)


Make the pancake batter: Sift the cake flour, all-purpose flour, and 1 teaspoon salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in 2 tablespoons canola oil and the boiling water. Once the ingredients have been mixed, use your hands to work the dough into a ball, taking care that all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add a tablespoon or two of additional flour if the dough seems too wet. Spread a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface, put the dough in the middle of the plastic, and cover it loosely. Press the dough out so it flattens inside the layer of plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Make the dipping sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, red wine vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside.

Roll the dough: Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time on a lightly floured work surface and keeping the remaining dough covered, use a rolling pin to roll it out about ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle with ½ cup of the scallions, and fold the dough in half so the scallions are hidden. Roll it out again and then use a glass that’s about 2 inches in diameter (or a biscuit cutter) to cut out rounds. Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough, using ½ cup scallions for each piece. Note: If you want to make these ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Cook the pancakes: In a large sauté pan, heat ¼ inch of canola oil over medium-high heat. Line a baking sheet with a kitchen towel and set it near the stove. When the oil begins to smoke, use a pair of tongs to lower a few of the rounds into the oil. Fry until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pancakes to the towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the remaining pancakes, adding more canola oil as needed and letting it heat up before cooking additional pancakes.

Serve the pancakes: Sprinkle the pancakes with the remaining ½ cup scallions, season lightly with salt, and serve hot, with the dipping sauce on the side.






The zingy taste and textures of a homemade dumpling make the offerings from any dumpling joint seem pale in comparison. Most of all, that wonderful pork and sherry combination is addictive.


12 ounces ground pork shoulder

1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons kosher salt

4 scallions (green and white parts), minced

4 inner (yellow) celery stalks, cut into thin slices

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons dark soy sauce

2 teaspoons dry sherry

1 (16-ounce) package round dumpling wrappers, such as Twin Marquis or Twin Dragon brand

My Favorite Dumpling Sauce (recipe follows)


Make the filling: In a large bowl, spread the pork over the bottom and up the sides (the meat will be easier to season evenly). Sprinkle the pork with the salt, scallions, celery, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. In a small bowl, whisk together one of the eggs, the cornstarch, soy sauce, and sherry until smooth. Drizzle over the pork and use your hands to mix it into the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make the dumplings: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a flat work surface, arrange a few of the dumpling wrappers in a single layer. In a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg. Scoop a generous teaspoon of the pork filling onto the middle of each wrapper and brush the edges of the wrapper with the egg. Keep the remaining pork filling covered with plastic wrap while you assemble the dumplings. Fold the wrapper over the filling and seal it to form a closed half-moon shape, pushing out any air from inside before sealing. Transfer the dumplings to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat to make 32 dumplings, leaving a little room between the dumplings on the baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 6 hours to let the meat filling rest. Note: You can also freeze the dumplings at this point by arranging them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap.

Cook the dumplings: Prepare a steamer by bringing an inch or two of water to a boil in a pot. Arrange as many dumplings as will fit in a single layer in the steamer basket. Insert the basket, making sure the water is not touching the dumplings. Cover and steam over medium heat until the wrappers are tender and moist to the touch but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes (a few minutes longer if frozen). Transfer to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Cook the remaining dumplings. Serve immediately, with the dipping sauce alongside.






½ cup dark soy sauce

½ cup distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

6 scallions (green and white parts), thinly sliced


In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, and honey. Stir in the scallions just before serving.






I always gravitate toward recipes that make a juicy glazed rib, and this one has become my favorite finger-licking dish for entertaining. I toss the ribs in the vibrant flavors of five-spice: star anise, tingly cloves and Sichuan pepper, toasty cinnamon and fennel seeds. When these spices connect with the soy sauce and mustard, it’s dynamite.


2 tablespoons canola oil

3 pounds pork spare ribs (see Note)

2 medium shallots, cut into thin rounds

4 large garlic cloves, grated

1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons five-spice powder

1 cup dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


Sear and marinate the ribs: Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, and add the oil. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, add the ribs in a single layer and sear on each side, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a large bowl. Add the shallots and garlic to the same pan and cook until they become translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the five-spice powder, soy sauce, 1 cup water, the Dijon mustard, brown sugar, and ginger, and bring to a simmer. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and pour the marinade over the ribs. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or, ideally, overnight.

Cook the ribs: Transfer the ribs and marinade to a large sauté pan. Simmer them over low heat, stirring from time to time, until the ribs are tender and the meat starts to come away from the bones, about 1 hour. If you are not serving the ribs right away, remove the pan from the heat and let the ribs sit for up to 30 minutes. If longer, refrigerate at this point and reheat when ready to serve.

Serve the ribs: When you are ready to serve the ribs, strain the marinade into a saucepan, add the vinegar, and boil over high heat until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. (Reducing the liquid separately will prevent the ribs from overcooking.) When the sauce is thick, pour it back over the ribs to glaze them. Serve hot or at room temperature. NOTE: Buy spare ribs on the bone and have your butcher cut them into 1½ × 1½ × 2-inch pieces.







My dad always makes the meatballs in my house, and because he makes a lot, there are always leftovers sitting beautifully in the sauce in the fridge. I love unearthing one, like a flavor boulder on the moon, from the sauce and devouring it cold!



¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

2 plum tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes


8 ounces ground beef (15% lean)

8 ounces ground veal

Kosher salt

½ cup panko bread crumbs, toasted

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

About ½ cup canola oil

½ cup fresh basil leaves

1½ to 2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Make the sauce: In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onions, garlic, and 1 tablespoon salt. Cook for about 2 minutes and then add the fresh tomatoes, sugar, and oregano. Stir to blend, and then pour in the canned tomatoes and their juices. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes over high heat, stirring from time to time. Lower the heat and use a wooden spoon to break up the whole tomatoes. Simmer until the tomatoes are soft, an additional 15 to 18 minutes. Set aside.

Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, mix the beef and veal together with your hands. Spread the meat over the bottom and sides of the bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt, the bread crumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and eggs, and then mix again. Sprinkle the parsley, salt to taste, and the red pepper flakes all over the mixture. Use your hands to blend the ingredients completely without overworking the meat. Roll into 20 or so balls, each about 2 inches in diameter.

Cook the meatballs: Heat half the canola oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, remove the skillet from the heat (to avoid splattering) and add half of the meatballs in a single layer, spreading them apart a bit so they have a chance to brown instead of steam. Return the skillet to high heat and brown the meatballs on all sides, turning them as needed. Treat them like hamburgers and cook them until they are medium rare, 5 to 8 minutes. Touch them to make sure they are still tender in the center; they should have a little give. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer the meatballs to the pot of sauce. Repeat with the remaining meatballs.

Serve the meatballs: When all the meatballs have been added to the sauce, simmer them over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, and serve hot, with a lot of Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled on top.






My mother always fries chicken in corn oil in a cast-iron skillet. As a kid, I had this exhilarating feeling that the taste of the chicken was worth potentially burning the kitchen down. This is that recipe, and it’s great every time. I’ve added fried lemon slices for their wonderful bitter flavor, and lemon juice to cut through some of the richness.


1½ cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Kosher salt

16 chicken drumsticks

3 cups corn oil

3 large lemons

6 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons hot paprika


Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mustard, and 1 tablespoon salt. Toss the drumsticks in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 and up to 12 hours.

Fry the lemon slices: Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the corn oil and bring to 300°F, using a deep-frying thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil as it heats. Meanwhile, slice one of the lemons in half and then into thin half-moons, removing any pits. When the oil reaches 300°F, carefully drop a few of the lemon slices into the oil. Fry until they are crisp and browned, 2 to 3 minutes. (If they get overly browned, lower the oil temperature to 275°F before frying the remaining slices.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a baking sheet lined with a kitchen towel to drain. Repeat with the remaining lemon slices. Reserve the oil in the skillet.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the remaining lemons into wedges.

Bread the chicken: Fill a large paper bag with the flour, paprika, and 1 tablespoon salt. In batches, remove the chicken from the marinade, add the pieces to the bag of flour, hold it closed, and shake to coat. Arrange the floured chicken on a baking sheet.

Fry the chicken: Heat the reserved oil in the skillet to 375°F. To ensure that the oil is hot enough, test one drumstick first, placing it skin side down in the skillet. If it immediately starts to bubble and fry, use a pair of tongs to gingerly arrange a single layer of drumsticks in the hot oil. If the oil does not bubble, remove the drumstick and heat the oil for a few minutes more before adding the chicken. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry the drumsticks until you can see the underside browning, 10 to 12 minutes. Carefully turn the drumsticks over and brown the other side for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the drumsticks to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and season them generously with salt. Repeat with the remaining drumsticks.

Finish the dish: Transfer the baking sheet of fried chicken to the oven and bake until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Arrange the drumsticks in a basket with the fried lemon slices on top and serve with the fresh lemon wedges on the side.







No one can resist a tasty chicken wing—it brings out the kid in all of us. Here I combine wings with a trifecta of flavors: honey, vinegar, and hot sauce. Those flavors hit the corners of your palate like a pinball. Mix a refreshing cocktail or pour an ice-cold beer to go with this one.


½ cup honey

½ cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

16 chicken wings

Kosher salt

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce

6 scallions (green and white parts), thinly sliced

1 large lime, cut into wedges


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Make the honey vinegar glaze: In a small skillet, bring the honey to a simmer over medium heat. When it starts to foam and turn light brown, after 5 to 8 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and pour in the vinegar. Return the skillet to medium heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes so the vinegar melds with the honey and the sauce thickens slightly. Stir in the black pepper, remove from the heat, and keep warm.

Prepare the chicken wings: Cut each chicken wing at each joint to make 3 parts. You will have 48 pieces including the wing tips. Season them with 2 tablespoons salt. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and stir in the red pepper flakes and Sriracha. Put the wings on a baking sheet and brush them with some of the melted butter mixture. Bake until lightly browned on top, 15 to 18 minutes.

Broil the wings: Remove the wings from the oven and turn on the broiler. Turn the wings over and brush them with the remaining butter mixture. Broil the wings for 1 to 2 minutes on the first side. Turn them over and broil on the second side until browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

Finish the dish: Drizzle the chicken wings on all sides with the honey glaze, and sprinkle with the scallions. Squeeze the lime juice over them, transfer them to a platter, and serve immediately.








Imagine this bite: earthy, creamy potato, tangy sour cream, a burst of briny trout roe, a slight tingle from the scallion. The elegance and simplicity bring a fancy restaurant to your table in a humble bite-size package. Don’t worry if the potatoes aren’t all exactly the same size.


2 pounds medium fingerling potatoes

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme

Kosher salt

¾ cup full-fat sour cream

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

4 ounces trout (or salmon) roe

2 scallions (green and white parts), minced

Maldon sea salt


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cook the potatoes: In a large bowl, toss the potatoes in the ¼ cup olive oil and season with the thyme and about 2 tablespoons salt. Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet, and bake until the center of the potatoes is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Prepare the cream: In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream with 1 tablespoon warm water until smooth. Season it with 2 teaspoons salt. In another small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix half of the olive oil mixture into the sour cream. Reserve the rest.

Assemble the potatoes: Put the potatoes on a flat surface and cut them in half lengthwise. Slice off a bit of each rounded underside so the potato halves sit flat. Arrange them on a serving platter, and top each one with a little of the sour cream and roe. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil mixture. Sprinkle with the scallions and Maldon salt.







Chicken satay often cooks unevenly or the stick burns or breaks, which means I find myself more worried about the skewer than about the meat! In this recipe, I marinate the meat, cook it, slice it, and then skewer it. It allows for even cooking and a good dose of vinaigrette on each piece. Additionally, you can use more elegant wooden skewers because they never touch the heat or get scorched. If you don’t have a grill, sear the chicken in a single layer in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan or cast-iron skillet until cooked through.


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)

6 medium garlic cloves, grated

1 tablespoon dried oregano

6 (4- to 5-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Kosher salt

Cashew Sauce (recipe follows)


Marinate the meat: In a medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and oregano. Add the chicken and turn to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or, ideally, overnight.

Cook the chicken: Heat a grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt over the chicken breasts, seasoning both sides. Grill the chicken breasts until they start to char lightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a metal spatula to rotate them a quarter turn. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Then turn the breasts on their second side and cook, rotating them after a few minutes, for 8 to 10 minutes. The breasts should be cooked through. Check the internal temperature of the thickest piece: it should register 160° to 165°F.

Serve the chicken: Remove the chicken breasts from the heat and transfer them to a flat surface. Allow the breasts to rest for 10 minutes before cutting them lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices. Skewer each piece. Taste for seasoning. Drizzle with the cashew sauce.


The all-in-one cooking bible for a new generation with 300 recipes for everything from simple vinaigrettes and roast chicken to birthday cake and cocktails.

For Alex Guarnaschelli—whose mother edited the seminal 1997 edition of The Joy of Cooking, which defined the food of the late twentieth century—a life in food and cookbooks was almost predestined. Now an accomplished chef and author in her own right (and mom to a young daughter), Alex pens a cookbook for the way we eat today. For generations raised on vibrant, international flavors and supermarkets stocked with miso paste, harissa, and other bold condiments and ingredients, here are 300 recipes to replace their parents’ Chicken Marbella, including Glazed Five-Spice Ribs, Roasted Eggplant Dip with Garlic Butter Naan, Roasted Beef Brisket with Pastrami Rub, Fennel and Orange Salad with Walnut Pesto, Quinoa Allspice Oatmeal Cookies, and Dark Chocolate Rum Pie.


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