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The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem Hardcover – October 18, 2016
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Obama’s Short Ribs from The Red Rooster Cookbook
Short ribs marry with many flavor combinations, and they taste much more expensive than they are. I chose plum sauce as an accent to this super-delicious braise; it adds an elusive flavor. We served this as part of a special menu when President Obama came to the Red Rooster, and it’s a hit every time we put it back on.
You’ll have extra braising liquid. Freeze it in ice cube trays, and you’ll have flavor bombs to use in pan sauces or pasta.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Pat the meat dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and pepper.
Heat the grapeseed oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the short ribs and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Put them aside on a plate.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, lemongrass, garlic, and ginger to the pot. Season with salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring to dissolve any of the brown bits that may still be on the bottom of the pot. Add the broth, plum sauce, soy sauce, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Return the short ribs to the pot, along with any of the juices, cover, and slide the pot into the oven. Braise until the meat is fork-tender, about 1½ hours.
Transfer the meat to a plate. Strain the braising liquid into a fat separator. Discard the bay leaves and put the vegetables into a food processor. Process until smooth. Add 1½ cups of the defatted braising liquid to the processor and pulse to combine. Return the sauce to the Dutch oven and check for salt and pepper. Bury the short ribs in the sauce, cover, and leave on the back of the stove until you’re ready to serve.
Reheat the short ribs in the sauce.
Divide the short ribs between four shallow bowls. Top each with a spoonful of sauce. Put the rest of the sauce in a bowl for passing at the table, along with a bowl of horseradish if you’d like.
- 4 (8-ounce) boneless short ribs
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed, smashed, and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 3 cups beef or chicken broth
- ½ cup plum sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- Horseradish, preferably freshly grated, for serving
"Samuelsson’s unorthodox Red Rooster Cookbook is a literary love letter to Harlem...he goes beyond recipes to write an ode to the neighborhood—and the people, places, and problems in it—that made him."
“[T]he Red Rooster Cookbook is more than a collection of recipes and anecdotes from [Samuelsson’s] Harlem restaurant. It is a tribute to this world-renowned New York neighborhood and the people who live and work there — just as Samuelson so proudly and happily does.”
"Mr. Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, but he has made Harlem his home, and it’s clear in 'The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem' that he has found magic there. The restaurant, which opened in 2010, was a meditation on modern Harlem, an embrace of its past and a vision for its future — vibrantly diverse, effortlessly cool...the book’s real charm lies in what it captures: the spirit of this particular place."
—The New York Times
"Samuelsson sheds light on what compelled him to leave the world of foie gras and foams to cook, literally and figuratively, closer to home. The result is a restaurant-and now a cookbook-featuring his style of soul food, embracing American, Ethiopian, and Swedish comfort dishes... [M]usic, specifically jazz, informs Samuelsson's neighborhood, his writing, and given its many riffs and collaborations, his cooking style, too."
“While Harlem has long occupied a mythical place in the American imagination, it is also a place where human beings live, work, raise and educate their children, and eat. The revitalization of Harlem is one of the most important social and economic developments of this generation, and the role of cultural institutions is central to that process. To a list including the Studio Museum and the Schomburg Center, one must add the Red Rooster, which has rapidly become the gathering place for the cultural glitterati, where conversation and music are nourished by Marcus’s sublime cuisine. Who would have thought that Ethiopia and Sweden and the American South would meet on a menu in Harlem?”
—Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard University
“I met Marcus Samuelsson when he was just twenty-four years old and already a three-star chef at Aquavit. His humility and humble ways impressed me so much. Marcus taught me how to appreciate the work and the cooking that I do. His inclusive cuisine served at Red Rooster personifies Harlem and the gumbo pot of this country.”
—Leah Chase, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, New Orleans, Louisiana
“Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster Cookbook has all the honesty, heart, and good taste that we have come to expect from this great chef. As I read this book, I felt immersed in Marcus’s glorious Harlem-centric universe. And then when I cooked from the book, I felt as if I got to make a little of his magic into my own.”
—Dana Cowin, Creative Director, Chefs Club International, And Former Editor-In-Chief, Food & Wine
“In the Red Rooster Cookbook, Marcus will show you in a very tasty way his passion and talent for soul food and his love for music. The book is full of colorful images and original recipes inspired by the melting pot of his life in Harlem. Marcus’s celebration of American cuisine will take you on a tantalizing journey that has transformed the dining scene in his legendary New York neighborhood.”
—Daniel Boulud, Chef/Owner, The Dinex Group
"His new book, The Red Rooster Cookbook, celebrates the place where his pickled herring gets along well with cornbread. Vibrantly eclectic is an understatement for the mix of recipes here, from Fried Yardbird and Brown Butter Biscuits to Puerco en Cerveza, Trout with Ginger and Citrus and Ethiopian-Spiced Lamb. As a delicious treat, Samuelsson walks us through the lively Harlem scene in lyrical essays studded with photos."
“[With Red Rooster,] the chef was embracing his adopted neighborhood, and the cookbook that comes out of that project is a way to further it: the forward is by Hilton Als, the photography encompasses not only food but the people of the neighborhood, and the pages include other voices as well, from a local jazz pianist, and from a man who’s worked at the Apollo Theater for half a century. But you are here for the food, and Samuelsson does not disappoint.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Takes us into [Samuelsson’s] kitchen and his neighborhood. There are stunning portraits of local denizens, a foreword by Hilton Als, playlists for each chapter. The recipes draw on soul food, Samuelsson’s Ethiopian heritage, and more — from fried yardbird to lamb and grits with grilled chile vinaigrette to Obama’s short ribs, part of a menu when the president came to eat. As much as it is a cookbook, this is a paean to a place.”
"Chef, restaurateur, James Beard Award winner, and frequent Chopped judge Samuelsson presents the recipes that helped make his Harlem restaurant Red Rooster a must-dine destination."
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1) Obama’s Short Ribs – p168, Spicy Sweets and Green Beans with Spiced Butter – p170 & 62, and Cornbread with Honey Sage Butter – p63. Holy wow! Is that ever a terrific dinner! The ribs braise in wine, stock, ginger, lemongrass, etc, and they’re tender as can be. The cornbread is easily the best I’ve ever had, and the sweet potato green bean dish is face meltingly spicy, and yummy, packed with Berbere seasoning and fresh jalapeños.
2) Mac and Greens – p119 with Killer Collards – p123 in Spiced Butter – p62. I can see why customers wouldn’t let him take it off the menu. Two pounds of collard greens simmer in a half pound of the spiced butter. I thought it was excessive til I tasted it. Ridiculously, wonderfully decadent.
3-4) Shrimp Bird and Grits – p 204. I was flipping through the book at the library, and noted about 50 recipes I wanted to try, and then saw this one. You fry two chicken thighs, then immediately separate the meat from the skin and toss it on a cooling rack. The meat gets shredded and tossed into grits with pimento cheese. Top that with a poached egg and tomato-y shrimp. Then you blitz the chicken skin with Saltine crackers and parmesan in the food processor to create “bird dust” that gets sprinkled over the whole thing. Chicken dust?! That’s the stuff of fairies, and the sort of fairies that you really want to visit. I hit the buy button on Amazon right in the middle of the library, and I’m so glad I did! This is beautiful. Do you write in your books? If you do, this is a time sensitive one, so I find it really helpful to scribble out a timeline.
5-6) I think this could win over the biggest brussels-phobe. Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Dip - p295, and Peanut Bacon Pork Chops - p214. The dip is a homemade bacon mayonnaise made with the bacon grease, then the bacon is folded back in. 😳 Best dinner so far! Total wow!
He starts with a Foreword by a friend, Hilton ALS, that gives us a feel for the chef. And, then, Marcus gives us the story of how he came to a Harlem, how he named his restaurant, and how and what The Red Rooster came to be. These kinds of stories teach us about the man, his principles, his philosophies and his trademark. Fascinating and filled with everything we need to know.
The nitty gritty of this cookbook is perfect. Each chapter begins with a story or several stories to give us a feel for what is about to come.13 chapters starting with The Pantry, and his is filled with everything and anything you need to know, through It's Always Sweet In Harlem. In between are the Lucious recipes he favors. Birdland gives us his famous fried chicken recipe and how he came to put his recipe together. My favorite chapter is Family Meals. These are the foods the staff and his family eats. Lucious foods that make our mouths water. And, because I am a dessert person Sweets From Harlem. His whoopie pies are made from pistachios and wonderfully whipped cream cheese. Does it speak to you? I love the recipes, but my favorite part were the stories. Marcus Samuelsson is a fabulous writer. I know I would like this man were I to meet him in the street, infectious personality, and the man works hard.
If you have ever wondered why Marcus Samuelsson named his restaurant, The Red Rooster, you will learn it here. Many wonderful photos of the people he meets, greets and loves. He provides a Playlist for his chapters, and I streamed many of his favorites from Amazon while reading this book. This is a must have, people!
Recommended. prisrob 02-11-17