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Steak with Friends: At Home, with Rick Tramonto Hardcover – April 27, 2010
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"Tramonto's seventh book showcases steak and the "friends" (sauces, glazes, and side dishes) that complement it. Readers can feast their eyes on full page close-ups of finished dishes like grilled T-bone steaks alongside a bright green streak of pesto as well as smaller photos highlighting the cooking process. Pictures of Tramonto shopping, cooking, eating, and relaxing with friends and family make it easy to imagine what it might be like to spend an afternoon with the famous Chicago restaurateur." --Library Journal
"A couple of porterhouse steaks grilled to medium-rare and topped with a Gorgonzola crust rendered us speechless with delight" --Chicago Sun-Times
"Rick Tramonto's seventh cookbook, Steak with Friends: At Home, with Rick Tramonto, takes you inside the north suburban Chicago home of the executive chef/partner of Tru and Tramonto's Steak & Seafood. The cover depicts the author with his family, seated by a platter of hefty steaks and "friends"-natural pairings with steak-in the chef's ample home kitchen." --Publisher's Weekly
About the Author
Food writer and editor Mary Goodbody has co-written five of Rick Tramonto's cookbooks. She lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.
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"The title of this book says it all: This is about eating steak dinners with good friends and enjoying all that implies," states Tramonto. Except it doesn't stop at steaks. It also includes hot and cold appetizers, salads, soups and sandwiches, fish and seafood, sauces, stocks, dressings, marinades, and syrups, other meat and poultry, side dishes, and desserts. Shew! The book does devote a number of pages to steak, in fact, there are three chapters alone on the subject. There are enough recipes in this book (150) to cook complete meals from starters to desserts for at least a year. (I didn't do the math so maybe it's only six months.)
In addition to the recipes Chef Tramonto throws in many 'how-tos,' and 'abouts' such as 'About Oysters,' followed by 'How To Shuck an Oyster,' or 'Notes on the Steak Recipes,' with 'How to Choose a Great Steak.' Helpful color photographs and diagrams are also sprinkled throughout. Cocktail recipes usually thematically tied to the recipe on the same page also pop up. Music and cooking play an important part of Tramonto's cooking process; something I understand as most professional kitchens I've worked in usually played very loud, heart-thumping music during the many hours of prep. He is a proponent of cooking to music and periodically makes recommendations of specific artists. His taste seems to be fairly run of the mill pop and rock. For example his recommendations for cooking cold appetizers are: Billy Joel, Elton John, The Doors, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, The Goo Goo Dolls, and The Allman Brothers. Hmmm, not exactly cutting-edge choices! Still an interesting, and unique, addition to the recipes.
I was only able to try a handful of recipes, and since steak is the star of the book I tried those first: Filet Mignon with Béarnaise Sauce, Bone-In Rib Eye with Bordelaise Sauce, and Steak au Poivre. The first two were cooked on an outdoor grill, and turned out beautifully; the old-fashioned French sauces included (separate recipes). The Steak au Poivre was prepared on the stove top. All three preparations are familiar steak standards. Tramonto's cooking instructions including how long to cook for medium rare, medium and well done were spot on. It had been awhile since I'd make a Béarnaise, or Bordelaise, or even an au poivre sauce and it was fun. There's a reason eating beef this way is so popular -- it's really, really good.