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Essential Emeril: Favorite Recipes and Hard-Won Wisdom From My Life in the Kitchen Hardcover – October 6, 2015
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Before there were Food Network icons and cultish produce, before farm-to-table was a philosophy and cake decorating became a competitive sport, there was Emeril Lagasse.―Associated Press
At the heart of [Essential Emeril] is Emeril's mission to teach people to cook. He presents the recipes, techniques, and tools in a way that gives any cook the confidence to tackle [his recipes]...Even if you consider yourself a skilled cook in the kitchen, there is plenty to take away from this cookbook.―The Daily Meal
This is a fitting summation of Lagasse's impressive career and his influence on American food culture.―Publishers Weekly
Recipes are clear and concise with tons of tips and techniques, along with full-color photos...[Essential Emeril] is a novel of recipes along with storytelling in between.―Detroit Free Press
[Emeril's] recipes work. Every time. No guess work, no substitutions necessary. And there's always a little something extra. These are not just simple recipes, there's always a small twist or addition. In other words, if you do what [Emeril] says, you will end up with delicious things to eat...[Essential Emeril is] a sweet meditation on his career, with essays about the late great Charlie Trotter, an ode to Roy Choi's tacos, and much more.―Epicurious
[Essential Emeril] includes instructions on technique, a list of basic cookware for every kitchen, what to have in the pantry, and step-by-step photo tutorials, making it the perfect starter cookbook or gift for a more experienced home cook.―New Orleans Magagazine
Ever since he lied about his age in middle school so he could sign up for a cooking class, Emeril Lagasse has been collecting recipes. All 100 recipes in this book have stories - served with valuable tips, step-by-step tutorials, and a lifetime of lessons in technique.―Southern Living
Lagasse's latest [cookbook] showcases his skill. Emeril fans will savor these delicious and iconic dishes.―Library Journal
If you're a longtime fan of Emeril Lagasse -his food, his cookware, his restaurants, his television shows- the chef's new book, Essential Emeril, will be an essential addition to your library as well as great entry point into Emeril's user-friendly world of home cooking.―Glamour
The delicious lessons and recipes of a lifetime, told side by side in the way only Emeril can.―Cooking Light
Recipes [are] clearly and concisely written for the home cook...This cookbook is a definite keeper.―The Advocate
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Just the other day, I was lamenting that I really miss Emeril Lagasse's Food Network show. That was back in the day, when the Food Network actually had great chefs who taught you how to cook. Unfortunately, FN let him go because of how much he was being paid, and because they felt he was dated. Dated, Schmated. FN lost one of it's shining stars, and that show has gone downhill ever since. He's a classically trained chef, and I really like his recipes. I put him in a similar category to Tyler Florence-- both professional chefs, who develop recipes that are sophisticated, but written so that someone like me believes I can make this, too.
This is not a cookbook for someone who is learning to cook, by any means. I consider myself to be an amateur, but experienced cook and baker. So, when I saw that Emeril had just released this cookbook, I immediately downloaded it into my kindle. I was not disappointed! I was so anxious to see all the recipes, that I skimmed past the preface, speed reading about Emeril's life, his mother's influence and all kinds of great cooking tips (I will return to that later). This cookbook is loaded with so many recipes, that I bookmarked at least half of them-- probably more.
For the appetizer section, Emeril presents a few recipes that uses both truffle oil and truffle butter. At least he understands that the average Joe Schmo can't afford to buy real truffles! The portobello-truffle emulsion sounds amazing, and I think this will go on our Christmas Eve party menu. The House-Smoked Salmon Cheesecake with Parmesan-Panko Crust and Chieve Creme Fraiche looks a bit fussy, but one I'm totally willing to tackle. When I read the directions, it's explained well, and I'm confident I can do this. Oh, there are step-by-step photos, too that I found to be very helpful throughout the cookbook.
There are cocktail recipes...soup recipes like double chile spiked tortilla soup that sounds delicious.
There are MANY entrees that I want to make. The grouper chowder has my name all over it. The Barolo-Braised short ribs with mascarpone polenta...come to mama! (If I can't find Barolo, Emeril gives substitute ideas. Nice.) The Roy-Choi-Inspired Korean-Style Pot Roast Tacos sound doable with ingredients I won't have to drive to San Francisco China Town to find. There are so many recipes with Asian, Indian, Creole, French influence... Rack of lamb, turkey roulade, Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pepper Jelly Drizzle, Lousiana-Style Cassoulet...oh, and how to make your own chicken confit, or duck confit! Oh, yes!
There are plenty of crab and shrimp recipes to choose from, too.
Risottos...potatoes, sweet potato souffle, Lemon-Garlic crusted Cauliflower, Cheddar, Bacon, Apple and Pecan Spoonbread... good grief I my taste buds were working overtime with longing.
I love it when a chef likes to bake as well. Emeril has some beautiful desserts to try-- some very unusual, some his twist on classics. Blueberry Beignets, Portugese Doughnuts, Banana Cream Pie with Caramel and Chocolate Drizzles (I was dying at the full color picture of that dessert), Portuguese Custard tartlettes (these are high on my priority list to make). The Mile-High Icebox Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie... I'm not the biggest fan of peanut butter in desserts, but this recipe definitely has a bookmark on it! The triple coconut cake with seven-minute coconut frosting...classic Southern, and one I need to try (already blogged 3 other coconut cake recipes, why not one more?)
I like the way Emeril shares a short story about a fellow chef, how that person influenced him and then a recipe he developed in honor of that person.
The photos of each dish are well done-- not over-the-top food styled, but definitely done in such a way that you want to make that recipe.
I'll be reading this one from the beginning all over again.