Now he's really gone and done it! Charlie Trotter, chef and owner of one of America's finest restaurants (of the same name), has already enriched our lives and decorated our coffee tables with volumes of recipes from his famed establishment. Here, in Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home, his signature style shines bright, but in recipes we won't be afraid to try.
The ingredients Trotter calls for are readily available, the techniques he describes are manageable, and the titles of the dishes describe what you'll be eating so well that there aren't any photographs at all. Who needs them to describe Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Asparagus and Roasted Red Onion Vinaigrette, Orange-Blossom Honey-Glazed Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potato Purée, or Cilantro-Crusted Tuna Loin with Bok Choy and Lemon-Sesame Vinaigrette? As you flip the pages, your mouth will water as though there were photos throughout.
"The Basics" chapter starts us off with recipes for stocks and suggestions on how to make and store them so that they are always on hand. The table of contents is really an index, organized by course rather than alphabet, with every single recipe listed. Then there are appetizers like Smoked Salmon Tartare with Horseradish Cream, soups like Sweet Corn and Shrimp Chowder, and salads like Chilled Orzo, Asparagus, Chicken, and Goat Cheese. The entrees are divided into seafood, poultry, meat, and vegetables, and the more than 25 desserts include treats like Molasses Spice Cake with Caramelized Apples, Jasmine Rice Pudding with Lemon-Caramel Sauce, and Warm Bing Cherries with White Chocolate-Bing Cherry Sorbet.
Of the over 125 recipes, only a handful are more than a page long. But every single one of them packs a Trotter punch. They're inventive, fresh, and absolutely beautiful. In his introduction, Trotter acknowledges the home cook's time constraints and limited access to gourmet ingredients, and promises that "with a few basic foodstuffs and a touch of bravado, home cooks can create flavorful dishes that will impress even the most ardent gourmet." He delivers. --Leora Y. Bloom
From Publishers Weekly
Noted for his famous collections of challenging yet incomparably lucid recipes, Chicago chef Trotter (Charlie Trotter's Desserts) offers 150 examples of his restaurant fare made considerably more accessible to the home cook. Starters range from the ultraeasy Smoked Salmon Tartare with Horseradish Cream to the more demanding Lobster and Sweet Corn Ravioli with Sweet Corn Broth. True to form, however, Trotter does not forego his customary style of combining unexpected flavors with finesse. Such recipes as Cantaloupe, Mango and Asian Pear Salad with Key Lime-Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette, and Cardimon Beef Stew with Potatoes, Celery Root and Parsnips exemplify his reach beyond the everyday routine. Along the way, he explains his savvy if uncommon preparation techniques. Slow-Roasted Salmon with Garlic and Thyme Risotto calls for skinned fillets to rest in a 225-degree oven atop aromatics for a longish 35 to 45 minutes. When Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Risotto is on the menu, he suggests how to partially cook the risotto earlier in the day to relieve mealtime pressure. Desserts include the intriguing Fresh Strawberry Tarts with Basil Cr?me Fraiche. Having already established a loyal following with his beautifully photographed, eye-catching volumes, Trotter is sure to attract newcomers with this book of simpler recipes. (Nov.)
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