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Chef on a Shoestring: More Than 120 Inexpensive Recipes for Great Meals from America's Best-Known Chefs

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Chef on a Shoestring: More Than 120 Inexpensive Recipes for Great Meals from America's Best-Known Chefs Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Mario Batali's Mushroom and White Bean Bruschetta

Serves 4

Mario Batali is the ponytailed chef-proprietor (chef-general might be more accurate) behind a growing New York City restaurant empire that includes Po, Babbo, and Lupa, with plans to culinarily conquer additional neighborhoods as well. Discussing his recipes, he exudes such effortless charisma, charm, and smarts that one gets the impression that if he hadn't discovered chefdom, he might have become the hippest history professor on the planet. Ask him about an Italian dish, and without a moment's hesitation, he fires off a historical and geographic context that adds intellectual interest to the most deceptively simple composition of ingredients. He even makes bruschetta beguiling, explaining that the name derives from the Italian word buscare, or "to cook over open coals," and refers to the toasted bread that forms the base of this starter.

This bruschetta evokes the white bean version Batali offers up at many of his outposts in New York. Among its attributes are that it may be reproduced over and over again with great consistency, a crucial quality in a restaurant dish and not a bad thing at home either.

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed, wiped clean with a damp cloth or paper towel, TK

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 16-ounce can cannellini beans

8 1-inch-thick slices Italian peasant bread, toasted in the oven (preferably while cooking the mushrooms)

In a medium sauté pan, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes until wilted.

In a mixing bowl, gently stir together the cooked mushrooms, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, basil, and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Drain the water from the beans and gently mix them with the mushrooms. Arrange 2 warm toast slices on each plate. Divide the mushroom mixture evenly among the slices and serve.

Copyright © 2001 by CBS Worldwide

Terrance Brennan's Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

Serves 4

In this salad from Picholine chef Terrance Brennan the succulent sweetness of pears contrasts with the creamy richness of Gorgonzola cheese. Rather than using mesclun greens, Brennan plays this combination against the slightly bitter flavor of crisp watercress.

2 ripe Bartlett pears

1 lemon (optional)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

8 ounces Gorgonzola or goat's milk cheese, at room temperature, cut into 4 same-shape wedges

2 bunches watercress, tough stems trimmed and discarded, washed and dried

16 walnut halves, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted

Cut the pears in half and remove the cores and stems with a melon baller. Cut off a thin slice of the round part of each pear half so it will sit flat on a plate. Set aside. (If not serving immediately, rub all cut surfaces of the pears with lemon juice to keep it from oxidizing and turning brown.)

Whisk the olive oil into the vinegar. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Set a pear half in the center of each salad plate. Lean 1 cheese wedge against each pear half or stack it on top of the pear. Drizzle a total of 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette evenly over the pears. Toss the watercress with the remaining vinaigrette and mound it on top of the pears, being careful not to topple the cheese. Sprinkle with the walnut pieces and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

Copyright © 2001 by CBS Worldwide

Bobby Flay's Saffron Risotto with Sautéed Shrimp

Serves 6 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course

"I make my risotto exactly opposite of the way the great Italian chefs do," says Bobby Flay, who adds stock to his rice in three or four large installments, rather than in smaller ladlefuls. The result is a creamier-than-average risotto with a firm al dente core at the center of each grain. And how did Mr. Flay hit upon this technique? "It's called 'I'm-from-New-York-City-and-I don't-have-time-to-wait,'" he says.

5 cups lobster or shrimp stock

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 medium Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups dry white wine

2 cups Arborio rice

1 tablespoon saffron threads

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

12 large shrimp, shelled and deveined

Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan.

In a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until soft but not colored, 3 to 4 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the wine. Cook, stirring constantly, until the wine reduces and the pan is almost dry. Reduce the heat to medium, add the rice and saffron, and stir until the rice is well coated, approximately 2 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the stock to the rice and cook, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with a second cup, stirring until the additional stock has been absorbed. Continue to add stock in 1 cup increments, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed and the rice is plump but still a bit al dente. Add the honey and the tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Spoon the risotto into a large serving bowl. Arrange the shrimp over the risotto and serve immediately.

Copyright © 2001 by CBS Worldwide

Charlie Palmer's Seared Chicken Breast with Red Onion Vinaigrette

Serves 4

The tangy red onion vinaigrette that dresses the chicken in this recipe will haunt your taste buds. When cooking the chicken, be sure to get the pan very hot before adding the chicken to it.

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup finely diced red onion

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups canned unsalted chicken broth, defatted

3/4 cup red Burgundy

3 plum tomatoes, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 sachet

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 whole boneless chicken breasts, skin on

1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon corn oil

Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small sauté pan and warm over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion to the pan and sauté for 10 minutes until the onion is well browned and caramelized. Stir in the thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Sachet

Using a sachet is a convenient way of infusing a liquid with herbaceous flavor while facilitating the removal of the herbs at the end of the cooking process. You may vary the contents of a sachet in other recipes to suit your own taste.

1 bunch parsley stems about the width of your little finger

10 peppercorns

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves

Tie all ingredients in a cheesecloth bag.

Combine the broth, wine, tomatoes, garlic, and sachet in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes until the liquid is reduced to 3/4 cup. Remove from the heat, discard the sachet, and pour the liquid into a heatproof bowl. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Alternately whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil and the vinegar until just emulsified. Stir in the caramelized onion. Keep warm in the top half of a double boiler set over simmering water until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Split the chicken breasts in half and trim. Generously season with salt to taste and the cracked pepper. Heat the corn oil in a large, ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts, skin side down, to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes until golden brown. Turn the breasts and transfer the pan to the preheated oven. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a stovetop burner over low heat. Add the vinaigrette to the pan and baste to coat. When the chicken is well coated, serve the chicken with the vinaigrette spooned on top.

Copyright © 2001 by CBS Worldwide

Erica Miller's Chocolate Banana Terrine

Serves 4

The ingredients for this simple dessert say it all — heavy cream, semisweet chocolate, and bananas — plenty of ammunition for a potent and simple confection. It may, of course, be made with other fruits. Try those you enjoy dipping in chocolate, such as strawberries, orange sections, or cherries.

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup very finely chopped semisweet chocolate

2 ripe bananas

Special equipment: 1 terrine mold, or 4 6-ounce ramekins, greased with butter or Pam and lined with sugar and refrigerated for at least 1 hour

In a small saucepot, bring the cream to boil. Stir in the chocolate until well incorporated; it will melt very quickly. Remove from the heat immediately and cover to keep warm.

Peel the bananas and place whole in the terrine mold or cut them in half and place a half in each of the ramekins. Pour the chocolate mixture over the bananas. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 1 hour.

To serve, unmold the terrine and cut into 4 equal slices or unmold the ramekins onto chilled plates.

Copyright © 2001 by CBS Worldwide

Foreword

In the hours before sunrise on Saturday mornings, midtown Manhattan is a dark and desolate place. If you walked the streets at 5 A.M., you might wonder whether New York really deserved the nickname "the city that never sleeps." But there are signs of life even in these wee hours — a few errant cab drivers, deli-counter people, regally attired doormen, and the crew of the CBS News program that I've been producing since 1997.

All television shows evolve over the years and ours is no exception; we've even changed the title from the original CBS News Saturday Morning to The Saturday Early Show. But there's one component of the program that's been a constant since the first morning we took to the airwaves — the weekly segment called "Chef on a Shoestring" on which we invite a well-known restaurant chef or food personality to prepare a three-course meal for four on a budget of just $20.

The concept for Chef on a Shoestring grew organically from our formative days of a show on a shoestring; when the broadcast was first conceived, we were short on money, personnel, and time. It seems amazing in hindsight, but we had just two and one-half months to pull the whole thing together.

Cooking segments are an unofficial prerequisite for weekend morning shows, and when it came time to devise ours, I found myself taking a self-pitying view of my own understaffed and time-starved circumstances. But then a delicious idea hit me — put a chef in similar straits and see what happens. "Chef on a Shoestring," I whispered to myself, and the segment was on its way.

Of course, I didn't want just any chefs. I wanted the best chefs the city — and the country — had to offer. And their response was gratifying. Most of the chefs have appeared on other shows and in numerous print articles and, of course, they create food in the country's best restaurants. But this was a new challenge for them — one as it turned out they were eager to meet.

At our next staff meeting, I ran the "Chef on a Shoestring" concept by the staff hoping that a producer would want to take it on. A young associate named Kelly Buzby modestly offered to "give it a shot." Well, her first shot ended up setting the tone for what today, three years later, remains the model every Saturday segment. For our fast-approaching first week, Kelly lined up Michael Lomonaco, who ran the kitchen at the '21' Club and now has a show (Epicurious) on the Discovery Channel and is at Windows on the World. This was the first real test. We gave Michael just $20 and sent him to the Union Square Greenmarket to purchase the ingredients as our camera watched. This shopping trip became the signature opening of "Chef on a Shoestring." (I have to point out that the segment is currently produced by the equally talented Jee Park.)

For our debut on September 13, 1997, Michael demonstrated how to make Tomato and Basil Salad and Chicken Fricassee; he served apples and cheese for dessert. At the end of the show, our cohost Russ Mitchell invited viewers to write in for the recipe. The following week, we got our first inkling of how popular this segment would be as bag after bag of mail came pouring in. Our staff and interns gradually worked their way through the piles, sending printed recipes to viewers around the country. It was a phenomenon that grew every week, and continues to grow today. Eventually we began posting the recipes on our Web site, but — even though we get 20,000 hits per week — the letters continue to pour in. And we love it.

The "Chef on a Shoestring" TV segment reflects the times in which we live and, by extension, the times in which we cook. Though the economy (at least at the time of this writing) is booming, I still think that people generally feel on the losing end of things. We all seem to have less and less free time, and sometimes we feel we're getting less for our money, whether it's in diminished service or the quantity and quality of the goods we buy. When the chef of an upscale restaurant shows up on our program, shopping in a regular supermarket or grocery store and then preparing uncommonly accessible recipes, it offers a very comforting and affordable view of the world and delivers something that is too often lacking in our lives today: value.

Thanks to this segment, we've been privileged to meet and work with some of the most respected chefs in the country. They have graciously donated their time, creativity, and personality to our show. The budget may be on a shoestring, but our chefs have done everything to ensure that the recipes in this book are rich in every other way.

Hal Gessner

Executive Producer

The Saturday Early Show

April 2000, New York City

Copyright © 2001 by CBS Worldwide

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743211437
Editor:
Maas, Rita
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Author:
Maas, Rita
Author:
Friedman, Andrew
Subject:
Regional & Ethnic - American - General
Subject:
Methods - Quick & Easy
Subject:
General Cooking
Subject:
Low budget cookery
Subject:
Cooking and Food-US General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B102
Publication Date:
May 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 pp 4/c insert - canceled
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.12 x 7.38 in 16.835 oz

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Related Subjects


Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Quick and Easy » Time Saving
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » United States » Ethnic
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » United States » General

Chef on a Shoestring: More Than 120 Inexpensive Recipes for Great Meals from America's Best-Known Chefs Used Trade Paper
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$17.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743211437 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This unique culinary adventure for taste and budget-conscious home cooks offers the best of the best from the popular "CBS Saturday Early Show" segment in which a prominent chef is given thirty dollars to create a three-course meal for four.
"Synopsis" by , andlt;Bandgt;You Don't Have to Break the Bank to Cook Restaurant-Quality Mealsandlt;/Bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Cooking great meals doesn't require spending a fortune on ingredients. Each week on the CBS andlt;Iandgt;Saturday Early Showandlt;/Iandgt;, a prominent chef is given thirty dollars to create a three-course meal for four. andlt;Iandgt;Chef on a Shoestringandlt;/Iandgt; collects some of the best of those culinary delights to benefit Share Our Strength, one of the nation's leading antihunger, antipoverty organizations. These recipes, created by some of the most celebrated chefs in the country, are produced on a budget but are rich in every other way.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;The recipes are organized into convenient categories to allow you to mix and match various courses from different chefs. You can begin a meal with Sara Moulton's Miniature Pumpkin Soup, serve Bobby Flay's Saffron Risotto with Sautand#233;ed Shrimp as your main course, and finish with Don Pintabona's Polenta Lemon Cake with Fresh Berries. Or try the Asparagus and Bean Sprout Salad with Dill Pesto from Aquavit's Marcus Samuelsson, Crispy Fried Snapper with Chili Ponzu from Tom Douglas, and Coconut Rice Pudding with Fresh Mango from John Villa, chef of Dominic Restaurant andamp;amp; Social Club in New York City. These and other delectable recipes from Mario Batali, Terrance Brennan, and Waldy Malouf are sure to liven up your weekday or weekend dinners.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Filled with advice on stocking your pantry, buying in season, shopping on a budget, and avoiding the temptation to be andlt;Iandgt;tooandlt;/Iandgt; frugal, andlt;Iandgt;Chef on a Shoestringandlt;/Iandgt; is a unique culinary adventure for taste- and budget-conscious home cooks.
"Synopsis" by , You don't have to break the bank to cook restaurant-quality meals!

Here's a sample of the more than 120 delicious and surprisingly economical recipes from America's finest chefs, as featured on the popular Chef on a Shoestring segment of the CBS Saturday Early Show:

Mario Batali's Mushroom and White Bean Bruschetta

Terrance Brennan's Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

Roe Di Bona and Sue Torres's Chilled Avocado and Grapefruit Soup with Chipotle Chile Purée

Sara Moulton's Miniature Pumpkin Soup with Ginger and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Bobby Flay's Saffron Risotto with Sautéed Shrimp

Michael Lomonaco's Pan-Roasted Halibut with Spring Vegetables

Alfonso Contrisciani's Pepper-Crusted Turkey "London Broil" with Mushroom Confit

Matthew Lake's Grilled Pork Chops with Black Bean Salsa, Grilled Sweet Potatoes, and Roasted Corn

Linda West Eckhardt's Beef and Tomato Stir-Fry with Whiskey and Black Bean Sauce

John Doherty's Irish Tiramisù

Don Pintabona's Polenta Lemon Cake with Fresh Berries

Erica Miller's Chocolate Banana Terrine

Robert Bruce's Un Deux Trois Quatre Cake

Cooking great meals doesn't require spending a fortune on ingredients. Each week on the CBS Saturday Early Show, a prominent chef is given twenty dollars to create a three-course meal for four. Chef on a Shoestring collects the best of those culinary delights to benefit Share Our Strength, one of the nation's leading antihunger, antipoverty organizations. These recipes, created by some of the most celebrated chefs in the country, may have been produced on a budget but are rich in every other way.

The recipes are organized into convenient categories, such as Finger Foods and Small Plates, Salads, Pasta and Risotto, Poultry, Meats, and Desserts, to allow you to mix and match various courses from different chefs. You can begin a meal with Salmon Corn Cakes from Walter Staib of Philadelphia's historic City Tavern, serve Seared Chicken Breast with Red Onion Vinaigrette from Charlie Palmer of Aureole in New York as your main course, and finish with Beacon restaurant's Waldy Malouf's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. Or try the Asparagus and Bean Sprout Salad with Dill Pesto from Aquavit's Marcus Samuelsson, Tom Douglas's Crispy Fried Snapper with Chili Ponzu, and Coconut Rice Pudding with Fresh Mango from John Villa. Spice up your favorite burger or grilled chicken with Barbecued Onions from John Schenk of Clementine, and from '21' try Erik Blauberg's Baby Arugula Greens with Watermelon "Croutons" and Caesar Dressing, to jump-start a weeknight dinner.

Illustrated with eight pages of beautiful color photographs, with advice on stocking your pantry, buying in season, shopping on a budget, and avoiding the temptation to be too frugal, Chef on a Shoestring is a unique culinary adventure for taste-conscious, budget-conscious home cooks.

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