Entertaining at Home With a Four-Star Chef
by Daniel Boulud
your pick. There's restaurant Daniel, db
bistro moderne and Café
Boulud. They're as different from each other as they
are delicious. And Daniel Boulud doesn't stop with restaurants.
He is a prolific entrepreneur with a line of cookware and
gourmet food products. Somehow, in the midst of all that,
plus television appearances and charity work, Boulud has
managed to write a stack of cookbooks, and Letters
to a Young Chef.
Dish: Entertaining at Home with a Four-Star Chef offers
a compilation of recipes from Boulud's "Elle Décor"
articles, as well as new recipes and updates. While the
dishes reflect his trademark finesse and style, they are
geared for the mainstream audience. Some of the recipes
can be time-consuming and a bit laborious, but they are
straightforward and the results are impressive.
four cocktails in the first chapter are luxurious. A classic
Bellini becomes a Berrini by way of strawberry-mint syrup.
We'd be happy to squander calories on Crème Boulud-a
cognac and Frangelico-infused vanilla custard with praline
paste. There's no fussiness in the Small Bites and Starters.
When you see the rich photographs you'll want to make everything.
The chapter includes such standards as Chicken Satays with
Spicy Peanut Sauce, Blini with Caviar, and Baked Littleneck
Clams, but there's no room for complacency. Next up is a
Melon Salad with Lemongrass Shrimp—layers of watermelon
and honeydew in a martini glass with shrimp, in a sparkling
ginger, lime and lemongrass dressing.
Fish and Shellfish chapter pays tribute to scallops, soft
shell crabs, skate, cod, swordfish and more. One minute
it's Eggplant Wrapped Swordfish with Tomato and Meyer Lemon,
the next it's Boulud's take on the New England Lobster Roll—his
Lobster Roll Sandwich. Leave it to him to improve the classic
with fennel, radishes cornichons—and line the roll with
could live on the Meat, Poultry and Side Dishes chapter
and never get bored. Daniel's Casual Cassoulet takes just
a few short hours from start to finish. You won't have to
schedule this one. There's a rosemary and orange-scented
Lamb Stew with plenty of carrots, turnips, fennel and celery
root, and an Alsatian Potato Gratin that is layered with
a surprise of carrots and Savoy cabbage. If you skip the
bacon layers (don't) there's only a tiny amount of added
fat—from some olive oil and butter. Then again, who's counting
are lovely. End your meal with the Chocolate Bread Pudding
with Dried Fruit. The bread part, by the way, is croissants.
Or the Chocolate-Ginger Pound Cake. Or the Spiced Chocolate
Soup that gets its heat from Szechuan peppercorns. If you're
not leaning toward chocolate, there's a handful of nice
choices like a Passion-Fruit Soufflé paired with
a Caramelized Pear-Passion Sauce, and an interesting composition
of Squash Panna Cotta, Cranberry Compote and Walnut Tuiles.
it would be nice to have an up-front idea of time requirements
for each recipe, Daniel's Dish does not skimp on
other details. Instructions are clear and concise. Suggestions
for beverage pairings include wines and spirits that venture
beyond the ordinary. Boulud provides four pages of menu
suggestions: Menus for Entertaining and Seasonal Menus.
The Pantry Basics and Basic Equipment for the Kitchen lists
are useful, and the Kitchen Source guide will help if you
don't have a great gourmet market nearby.
RECIPE: CRÈME BOULUD
Reviewed by Kevin Schoeler