Eleven Madison Park at Home
We’ve seen so many great cookbooks come out in 2011, books for every palate and skill level. In the weeks leading up to the holidays, we wanted to share a few of our favorite selections that would also make great gifts. From cocktails to carnitas, from sauté to sous-vide, the books range from gorgeous coffee table additions to workhorses that will never leave your kitchen.
As our holiday gift to you, our reader, we’re going to be giving away a copy of each book that we feature over the coming weeks. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see how you can win!
Congratulations to Kat, the winner of our Eleven Madison Park cookbook giveaway!
Speaking of coffee table additions, one of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year is from Eleven Madison Park, a restaurant that was recently awarded a prestigious three Michelin stars.
Filled with amazing recipes and even more amazing photos, the book, written by Chef Daniel Humm and manager Will Guidara, is as classic and awe-inspiring as the restaurant itself, where we’ve been lucky enough to spend some of our greatest nights.
Despite having a kitchen staff of just the two of us, and an 80-square-foot kitchen, we dedicated ourselves to making a dish from the book.
The book is divided into sections by season, so after looking through the Fall section, we chose to make a Beet Salad with Chèvre Frais and Caraway, with just a few minor substitutions.
Channeling our inner Chef Humm, our first task was to head to the Union Square Greenmarket to find the three varieties of beets and fresh goat cheese necessary to complete the dish.
Unable to find Chioggia beets, we had to make do with only red and golden beets. The original recipe also calls for a dill blossom garnish, but we substituted pea shoots.
Each recipe in the book consist of multiple components, many of which are complete recipes within themselves. Ours was no exception, calling for salt- and sugar-encrusted beets roasted in a red wine vinegar, caraway tuiles, a rye crumble, beet vinaigrette, and of course, a goat cheese mousse.
Everything seemed simple enough, until we started on the goat cheese mousse. There’s one thing our fairly well-equipped kitchen is lacking: a nitrous oxide canister, for “charging” the mousse. (Think Reddi-Wip.) Still undeterred, we simply whipped our mousse the old-fashioned way.
All of the other components of the dish came together extremely easily by comparison. If you have basic knife skills and a relatively basic knowledge of cooking techniques, you’ll be just fine. Before we knew it, all the components were completed and we were ready to plate.
We first placed several of our colorful roasted beets (now peeled, sliced and cut into perfect rounds of various sizes) on a plate, followed by the delicate tuiles. Next, we dolloped on the mousse, drizzled the tangy vinaigrette around the beets and sprinkled the crumble. Topped with a few pea shoots, we were plated and ready to go.
On our first bite, we were immediately struck by the strong, earthy flavor of the beets. The golden beets were softer and more tender to the bite than their red counterparts, but both were extremely good. The goat cheese mousse brought more tang and salt to the dish, while the tuile and crumble added a unique textural component.
Even though our execution might not have been on the same level as Chef Humm and his talented kitchen, we definitely experienced the full range of flavors and textures that he intended to create. Not surprisingly, after falling in love with this dish, we’re even more dedicated to continue cooking from this exciting, gorgeous book.
Want your own copy? Leave a comment telling us: are you brave enough to attempt a recipe from this book, or would you be content to just let it grace your coffee table? Thanks to all who entered!
- Ryan and Laura