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Book report: Balthazar &Chef Interrupted

Ballottine's picture

Balthazar – when this book first came out I decided not to pay $37.50 for recipes I already have, however, I got it from Zooba for $9.95 and I am so glad I did.  Indeed, most recipes in the book are familiar old friends, but with very interesting twists.   


 


For instance, I usually make gravlax with salt, sugar, dill, sometimes cognac or brandy or Tequila. Balthazar takes 5 days to make gravlax using15 ingredients; including vodka and star anise.  They put grape oil in their mustard sauce to serve with gravlax.  Very interesting, IMHO.


 


When making dish for the first time I always follow the recipe verbatim, I will certainly do the same with Balthazar’s 5 day gravlax  instructions.  LOL


 


Instructions for Day 2 and Day 4


 


Day 2 : Meet friends for lunch , followed by dinner in a large, bustling brasserie.


 


Day 4 : Sleep through the morning appointments, wake up around 2:45 for lunch  in a large, bustling brasserie. 


 


Melissa Clark’s  Chef Interrupted” is a major disappointment for me,  thank God I only paid $9.95 on Zooba for it. The book was highly recommended, but IMHO FWIW  it is nothing else but upscale version of the  “Top secret restaurant recipe” books and such.


 


For $32.50 (full price) she is selling bowdlerized versions of famous chef recipes. Tom Coliccio and Claudia Fleming collaborated on Mushroom Tarte Tatin, a tart, made with  mushrooms and onions. Melissa Clark states:  I paired this recipe down…by eliminating a delicious but time-consuming onion confit.” 


 


She takes  Rick Moone’s “White Gazpacho with Crab, Green Grapes, and Almonds” and states: “Rick Moonen, seafood genius that he is, adds crabmeat-stuffed avocado dumplings and a  roster of  lovely summery garnishes like perfumed almond oil and little purple chive blossoms.  Of course, I deconstructed the dumplings and made the garnishes optional in my version.” 


 


I rest my case.  Bal


 


 


 


 


 


 


So much to cook; so little time.

 

So much to cook; so little time.

wisekaren's picture

(post #62670, reply #1 of 7)

Thanks for the warning -- I had Chef Interrupted on my wish list.
Karen

Pomona's picture

(post #62670, reply #2 of 7)

Definitely try the Duck Shepherd's Pie in the Baltazar book -- only takes two days and the result is divine. I also have a freezer full of veal stock as a bonus.

Ballottine's picture

(post #62670, reply #3 of 7)

 


 


 


This would be great for Chritmas dinner.   What else would you serve with it?


If  I can't get Moulard legs locally, can I  use "regular"  duck?  Thanks and welcome back.  Bal


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


So much to cook; so little time.

 

So much to cook; so little time.

Pomona's picture

(post #62670, reply #4 of 7)

We used two whole ducks, and just reserved one of the breasts for another time.  Since shepherds pie already has the starch and veggies, we just added a salad course for afterwards.  Also did the mushroom soup from the book as the starter.

Ballottine's picture

(post #62670, reply #7 of 7)

How many people did your two ducks minus to breasts served?  Sorry for bugging you.  I am just trying to nail this.  Bal


 


So much to cook; so little time.

 

So much to cook; so little time.

Wolvie's picture

(post #62670, reply #5 of 7)

thanks for the reviews!

If, 2 1/2 years in, you don't control the only road linking your military airport to your headquarters, you don't control much of anything


Lewis Simons

 

Ballottine's picture

(post #62670, reply #6 of 7)

My pleasure.  Stand by for a few more, so far I received 5 books  from Zooba.  Bal


 


So much to cook; so little time.

 

So much to cook; so little time.