Monday, September 23, 2013

50 Chefs for 50 Years, Max and Eli Sussman

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This is fun cooking!
Welcome back to the 50 Chefs/Cooks for 50 Years.  My project, of sorts.  Today's chefs, Max and Eli Sussman are part of the new food revolution (this is a current book...not Dinah Shore era!).  I first came across them when their book This Is A CookBook came into the store.  I did a Saturday class on this book making a couple of recipes, and decided I had to own it.  This doesn't happen a lot.  There are dozens of cookbooks passing through my hands every year, and I buy maybe one.  But, as a mother WITH A CHILD GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE, in December, I knew he was going to want a little guidance in the kitchen, and this is that book.  The food is real.  Not fussy.  For one or 8, the recipes are easy and hit the sweet spot.  Fried egg sandwich, meatball sandwich, peanut butter really is a cookbook for real life.  It is colorful, well written, maybe a little snarky (which we all know I love) and delicious.  I have to get my cooking done with it so I can hand it off to Nic, my college grad, in a few months, and I was delighted to make a few more recipes.

First off, lets talk about the intro, written by Rob Delaney, whom I follow on Twitter.  He is hilarious.  And then scattered throughout the book are little quips from the boys, ideas, thoughts, just good stuff, even menus.  Pages on making pizza, pasta and sandwiches, ideas that spark other ideas.  Perfect first cookbook for a guy.  Really.

I had a few more of my fantastic Iowa chops in the freezer, which I would only ever buy from Fareway Grocery.  I guess I better plan a road trip to grocery shop soon!  Since this is the most flavorful meat in the world, I just brine it and grill it.  But I needed a few things to go with dinner.  So I made the Apple Chutney from the Sussmans, as well as the Pear Tart.  And decided heck, why not make their grilled Romaine Salad and the Wild Mushroom and Rosemary Potatoes while I was at it.  Really, fuss free, easy to make, great results too.  All these recipes are the Sussman's with my changes.  I am terrible at following directions.  And my apologies for the photos.  I can't use a flash, and it was a late dinner, so no natural light.  Sorry.  Trust me, it was yummy!

This chutney was easy and a great fall accompanient to grilled pork chops!
Apple Chutney

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 white onions chopped
3 apples, cored and chopped (I used a Granny Smith and 2 Fujis)
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon allspice
zest and juice of 1 lemon 

Saute onions in oil, and turn down heat and cook for about 30 minutes until caramelized. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cook the apples and water until the apples are softened.  Mush up half of them, and leave some chunky.  Add the caramelized onions, and the spices and lemon.
Serve warm or at room temp.  I loved this, however, the skin on one of the apples was a little tough.  I think it needed a little more ginger, I used all I had, but it was a little short.  I think I would like a dash of cinnamon in it as well.  I cooked it hours ahead and let it stay at room temp.

Creamy goodness.  These were seriously decadent.

Wild Mushroom And Rosemary Potatoes

1 pound white and baby portobello mushrooms (I cleaned out the fridge), stemmed and halved
2 Tablespoons butter 
salt and pepper
1# fingerling potatoes, halved and quartered if there are larger ones
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 a lemon squeezed

Saute the mushrooms in a little bit of the bacon fat from the bacon you cooked for the salad.  Why dirty another sauté pan?  Stir until they begin to brown.  Season with salt and pepper and add butter and stir to melt in.  Add wine to deglaze pan.  Empty the mushrooms into a bowl, and add a little more oil and the potatoes.  Cook, stirring frequently.  Add the garlic and tarragon (it calls for rosemary which I don't eat), and a little of the cream.  Stir well.  I then added the mushrooms back in and added enough cream to keep it moist and covered the pan. I cooked it on low until the potatoes were cooked through and then turned off the heat until ready to serve.  I reheated, added a little more cream, seasoning and the lemon.  These are the most amazing side dish ever.  I ate the leftovers for breakfast.  Next time, more mushrooms, maybe a variety, and less potatoes.  I have the only husband who doesn't like potatoes. 

We love grilled salad, everyone thought this was so tasty!

Grilled Romaine and Bacon Salad

Clean and tear from the head enough romaine lettuce for your guests.  Then add a little more, as it really shrinks.  Toss with a little olive oil and kosher salt and grill the pieces until they have a little char and are wilted.  Lay on salad plate and top with toasted pumpkin seeds, bacon and the dressing. (I skipped the apples)

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 Tablepsoon bacon fat (I know, but it really makes it good!)
salt and pepper

Mix well and drizzle on wilted lettuce.

This was a bit of a delicious failure, but we devoured it anyway!

Pear Tart

Make dough ahead
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup butter, cut into chunks and cold
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup ice water

4 pears, peeled, seeded and cored and chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup diced, candied ginger
1 Tablespoon cinnamon 
dash salt

In a food processor, mix flour and sugar and salt.  Add butter and pulse until coarse and gravel like.  Mix the eggs and the ice water and add to the dough pulsing until it comes together.  Do not add all the liquid unless you need it.  My dough was way too wet and troublesome to roll.  When dough comes together, flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours.  

Mix filling ingredients. 
When ready to roll, preheat oven to 375˚.  On a floured surface, roll out dough. My dough was really moist and stuck quite a bit.  I did more pressing than rolling, and then tried to freeze it for 15 minutes before baking to firm it up.  The juice still oozed all over the pan, but it was still yummy.  I didn't measure or shape it much, I worked with it as a rectangle so I could bake it on a jelly roll.  Place the filling in the center, not mounded, and fold up the edges.  Bake about 20 minutes until the crust is golden.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!  I am going to try this one again, and this easy dough will be a great vehicle for any fruit.

So we knocked out 2 more chefs on the list of 50.  These guys should be on a lot of lists.   44 to go!  So what are you waiting for?  Get in there and cook!

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