I am thrilled to announce the publication of my 15th book, My Master Recipes: 165 Recipes to Inspire Confidence in the Kitchen.
For the past two years – when I have not been teaching classes and updating The Food Lover's Guide to Paris app – I have been totally immersed in creating this cookbook, in close collaboration with my excellent and able assistant, Emily Buchanan. Over the years, as an intensive week’s cooking class wound up, I would often hear students exclaim that the experience had given them much more confidence in the kitchen. I was inspired to record my most treasured recipes, ones that teach fundamental techniques and encourage useful practices in the kitchen, the little things that can make us all better cooks. In many ways, this project has influenced my cooking more than any of my other works, helping me to think systematically about the secrets to confidence and success in the kitchen, how I cook and why, which techniques I use, and why they really achieve the best results.
The book covers 17 essential techniques, from blanching, searing, braising and roasting, to infusing, baking and folding. For each blueprint recipe, many variations are offered, and dozens are possible. Once the fundamentals are learned, the cook can become the master of the recipe, not the other way around, freeing us to experiment and become truly creative, offering endless pleasures in the kitchen and at the table.
We worked with the wonderfully creative French team, photographer David Japy and stylist Elodie Rambaud, to create gorgeous color photographs for the book. The result is stunning and I can’t wait for all of you to see it and cook from it! My publisher, William Morrow, will be releasing My Master Recipes on March 7, 2017 but you can pre-order it now from Amazon, Indiebound and Barnes and Noble.
Here's a quick sneak preview and a recipe from the book:
CHESTNUT HONEY MADELEINES
Makes 24 madeleines
I guarantee these madeleines – which would make fabulous holiday gifts – are like none you have ever tasted before: dense, rich, and sumptuous, made with ground almonds, beurre noisette (brown butter), and an intensely flavored honey. For this recipe, stay away from light-colored, overly sweet honeys such as acacia and go for one that is dark in color with deep, nuanced flavors that will stand up to the nutty aroma of the brown butter.
EQUIPMENT: A fine-mesh sieve; a pastry brush; two 12-cavity 2 x 3-inch (5 x 7.5 cm) madeleine mold tins; a baking sheet.
3/4 cup (6 ounces/180 g) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons intensely flavored honey, such as chestnut, buckwheat, or mountain
1-1/2 cups (165 g) almond meal (also called almond flour or almond powder)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140g) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 g) unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 large egg whites, free-range and organic
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. In a small, heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, stirring as it melts. Turn the heat to low and simmer the butter until the milk solids begin to brown and you have a warm, nutty aroma. Be careful, as the milk solids can burn quickly at this stage. The butter should have no specks of dark brown or black. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl to stop the cooking process. Whisk the honey into the brown butter. Set aside to cool.
3. With the pastry brush, use some of the butter to thoroughly butter the madeleine molds. Place the madeleine pan on the baking sheet.
4. In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, sugar, flour, and salt. Mix to blend. Add the egg whites and mix until thoroughly blended. Add the slightly cooled brown butter mixture and mix until well incorporated. The mixture should be like a thin, pourable cake batter.
5. Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them almost to the rim. Bake until the madeleines are golden brown and spring back when pressed with a finger, 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Let the madeleines cool in the molds for 10 minutes. Unmold. (Note:
If using metal molds, wash immediately with a stiff brush in hot water without detergent, so they retain their seasoning.) The madeleines may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
Happy holiday season to everyone, and wishing you many enjoyable hours in the kitchen and around the table with loved ones.