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Home Cooking with Charlie Trotter

Modern Elegance Meets Home-Style Cooking

By Charlie Trotter

Home Cooking with Charlie Trotter




In his latest cookbook, chef Charlie Trotter brings a whole new dimension to modern American cooking. Trotter believes that gourmet cooking is not limited to fancy, inaccessible ingredients, but that a show-stopping table spread comes from how you use what you have in the pantry. With over 130 recipes that bring style and elegance to basic, home-style recipes, this cookbook is the perfect companion for the amateur cook who wants to wow audiences with culinary works of art.

Trotter begins with a how-to section which takes the mystery and intimidation out of cooking with sauces and reductions. He then moves on to wine-pairing and even provides eight different menu options with the right wine for each course and flavoring. In the appetizer section, Trotter combines traditional, expected items with surprising elements such as Key Lime-Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette for salad and Lobster & Sweet Corn Ravioli. The entrée section is divided in to seafood, poultry, and meat and each section has its own savory dishes, for example Steamed Sea Bass with Yukon Gold Potato Puree and Asparagus or Almond Crusted Chicken with Spinach and Citrus Vinaigrette. For dessert, classics are mixed with decadent surprises such as Chocolate-Praline Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Cream. To top it off, each recipe is accompanied with notes about recipe substitutions, other foods and wines that pair well, history, and helpful hints to make the cooking experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.

SAMPLE RECIPE:

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4

Beef:
8 thick slices of bacon
4 6-ounce beef tenderloin fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wild Mushroom Risotto:
2 pounds button mushrooms, cleaned
3 cloves garlic
2½ cups chopped yellow onions
3 quarts cold water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup arborio rice
1½ cups mixed roasted wild mushrooms, with cooking liquid reserved
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare beef: Wrap 2 slices of bacon around the outside of each fillet and tie with kitchen string. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.

To prepare the mushroom stock for risotto: Combine the button mushrooms, garlic, 2 cups of onions, and water in a large stock pot. Simmer over medium-low heat for 2 hours and strain through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids.

To prepare the risotto: Cook remaining ½ cup onion and the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Slowly add ¼ cup of the mushroom stock and stir until it is completely absorbed. Add the remaining mushroom stock ¼ cup at a time, stirring continuously with a smooth, gentle motion, until the liquid is completely absorbed, reserving ½ cup for drizzling the beef. (The risotto will take 40 to 50 minutes to cook completely.) Cut the roasted mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and stir into the risotto. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are warm. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and chives and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To cook the beef: Prepare a medium-hot grill. Grill the steaks over a medium flame for 4 minutes on each side, or until medium-rare or cooked to the desired doneness. Remove string before serving.



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