January 13, 2015

Home Cooking: Prune & More

Thanks to a heads up from this guy, one of my favorite new cookbooks is Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton. It's like no other cookbook I own in that it is a copy of Hamilton's notes to her cooks and staff. No flowery introductions to the recipes, just the lists of ingredients and Hamilton's pointed commands as to how to plate the dishes during restaurant service. There are countless interesting recipes, and I look forward to tackling the whole book. However, being that I am recovering from the post-holiday haze of over-eating and over-drinking, I was drawn to some of the vegetable dishes in the book. Above is a dish of pre-salted and pan-fried zucchini strips dressed in chili oil. Nothing too amazing here, it's just tasty. Thin strips of zucchini are salted for an hour to remove water and then pan-fried to browned and crispy in spots. I would like to get the zucchini crispier next time.
Whole roasted cauliflower with capers and brown-butter bread crumbs. My new favorite way to prepare cauliflower. After roasting for 50 minutes you top with the caper-brown butter crumbs. The whole roasting leaves renders a tender head of cauliflower that falls apart with a little pressure allowing you to scoop up spoonfuls of cauliflower, bread crumbs, and capers. Yum.
Turmeric stewed lentils with chard braised in cardamom and cream, and top with fried shallots. Replete with deep and earthy flavors of India, this side dish is easily hearty enough to be work as a main dish on veggie night.
Finally, I dove back into another favorite book, Sean Brock's Harvest. One could never have enough variations on fried chicken in the repertoire. Brock brines his chicken in a salt/sugar mix with the addition of traditional black tea. I tweaked the recipe by replacing the black tea he uses in the brine with lapsang souchong smoked tea. It added a very mild smokiness in the background that played nicely off the salty-corn meal/flour crust. A winning fried chicken that I will add to my regular rotation.

No comments:

Post a Comment