Taste & Technique was the first book I used for the cookbook challenge. I’ve had it a while, I received a free copy from Blogging for Books to review a few months ago (ok a lot of months ago…). It’s really a stunning book, it’s big and the pictures are all gorgeous. The recipes are well planned and cover a lot of ground and many techniques.
As a fan of creative cookery I was drawn to the detailed recipe instructions and sometimes elaborate techniques. This isn’t the book you want if you’re looking for quick and easy dinners on the table with one pot and one knife to wash. It is however perfect if you’re looking to improve your cooking technique and become a better home chef vs someone who just follows recipes. Not that there is anything wrong with cooking that way, I’m just a terrible planner and the better I am at cooking the more likely I am to get a meal on the table with the random odds and ends I find in my kitchen.
During the first week of the cookbook challenge we cooked several dishes from Taste & Technique:
- Cabbage Veloute – we left off the fancy garnish but oh man… When you think sexy soupy goodness I know cabbage isn’t even close to the first thing on your mind. But the steaming process turns the cabbage and onion into a sweet soup base and the lemon and sour cream…. This is definitely on the list of dishes to make again
- Escarole Caesar Salad – I’m not a rookie to the raw egg – homemade Caesar dressing but this was the first time I did it by hand. I think it was a touch to rich for me but it was good and I’m sure we’ll make this again with a little less cheese
- Blistered Cauliflower with Anchovy, Garlic and Chili Flakes – Oh. My. Goodness. Hands down this is the favorite dish. I’ve even made it a second time already. Cauliflower is one of my true loves and when it’s browned under the broiler until it’s soft and sweet I practically swoon. The best part of this is the spicy paste you top the broiled cauliflower. My husband and I finished it off (literally 2 heads of cauliflower) with no leftovers and he doesn’t even like vegetables
- Porcini Braised Chicken Thighs – Recipes like this really show off the true value of this book. The skin down searing followed by the slow braise in flavorful broth is a great way to turn chicken thighs into a fancy meal. As a family that buys chicken quarters by the 40 pound case having a new technique to cook them is a God send.While we won’t be following this recipe verbatim again we’ve already modified it once to cook up some chicken I accidentally bought.
- Olive Oil & Black Pepper Crackers – I have a pasta roller, got it at my bridal shower. I’ve used it… three times? But now I can use it to make crackers. And make craskers I will. There is a bit of a break in the middle (there is yeast) but other than that they whip of quickly and bake into delightly crunchy, spicey morsels that disappear too quickly. Especially sereved with a nice cranberry sharp white cheddar