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New American Table

More Than 300 Recipes for Dishes from All Over America

By Marcus Samuelsson

New American Table by Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson, celebrated chef and co-owner of Aquavit in New York City, gives new meaning to America’s "melting pot" metaphor with his third English language cookbook. New American Table features flavors from every culture within the country, from Creole in New Orleans to Lebanese in Detroit.  Samuelsson uses different cultures’ ingredients to create new dishes like Yellowtail Ceviche with Soy Jelly, which combines Japanese and Peruvian influences, as well as his own versions of classics like Crab Cakes with Spiced Corn and Pistachio Aioli.

More than 300 recipes comprise this exploration of the nation’s melding cultures through the tastes and diverse ethnic influences that have shaped American cuisine.  The recipes are organized into standard categories like Salads, Soups, Fish and Seafood, etc., with a few additional sections like "Everyday," "Weekend," "Staples" and "Holiday."  Each section introduces you to the foods, the history, and the people who inspired Samuelsson with their recipes and passion, like British expat Jonathan Burnham and his Rhubarb Pudding or Fari’s (one of his friends’ mom) Persian Spiced Rice.

When it comes to cookbooks, many will jump right into the recipes without even a glance at the stories or anecdotes.  With New American Table, readers should take the time to read about Samuelsson’s journey of food from his Swedish upbringing, to his formal training of French cuisine at Georges Blanc, to the knowledge he acquired after taking a job on a luxury cruise ship, stopping at each port to take in the flavors of places like Barcelona, Casablanca, Trinidad, Rio de Janeiro, Rhodes, Singapore and Sydney.  His story, along with the stories of those he has met along the way, will inspire and instill a new appreciation for the craft, as well as for the cultures involved in shaping it.  Samuelsson embraces the diversity of America, and expresses that enthusiasm through a medley of flavors for every culture’s palate.

Reviewed by Cara Trump

"Diversity, Delicious, Passion"
We asked the chef about his favorite places to travel and top three must-haves in any kitchen, among other things.


Yellowtail Ceviche with Soy Jelly Ceviche

8 ounces yellowtail thinly sliced
1 poblano chile seeds and ribs removed, chopped
½ tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove thinly sliced
Soy Jelly

1. Arrange the yellowtail in a single layer in a shallow dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

2. Combine the chile, sugar, wasabi, lime juice, mirin, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl and pour over the yellowtail.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  To serve place 1 teaspoon soy jelly on each slice of yellowtail.

Soy Jelly:

2 gelatin sheets or 1 ½ teaspoons powdered gelatin
One 2-inch piece ginger peeled
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon chopped chives

1. Soak the gelatin sheets in 2 cups cold water until softened, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the water and squeeze out any excess water.

2. Combine the ginger, sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and mirin in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

3. Remove and discard the ginger and stir in the gelatin sheets.  Pour the mixture onto a plate and refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.  Stir with a fork and fold in the chives.

(Updated: 11/25/09 AR)

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