The cooking of Jean-Georges Vongerichten–sophisticated yet startlingly uncomplicated, hinting at French and Asian influences yet entirely original–has earned endless raves and accolades from every quarter. Why? Because Vongerichten has invented a culinary style that is highly creative and intensely flavorful but uses few ingredients and is remarkably simple.
Now, Jean-Georges, with award-winning coauthor Mark Bittman, brings this extraordinary cuisine to the home kitchen. There are no mile-long lists of instructions, the recipes use readily available ingredients, and many can be prepared in thirty minutes or less. Some of the recipes are taken directly from the kitchens of Vongerichten’s three restaurants–Jean Georges, Vong, and JoJo. They not only sound simple but are simple–and irresistible. Fennel and Apple Salad with Juniper. 10-minute Green Gazpacho. Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro. Warm, Soft Chocolate Cake.
Jean-Georges’s signature dishes are all here and made easy for the home cook. Scallops and Cauliflower with Caper-Raisin Sauce. Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk and Lemongrass. Salmon and Potato Crisps. Looking for simple, midweek fare? Try the quickly-put-together Savoy Slaw with Citrus, Ginger, and Mustard and the Dill-Stuffed Shrimp with Baked Lemon. For weekend entertaining, start with Beet and Ginger Salad, move on to the Gently Cooked Salmon with Mashed Potatoes, and dazzle your guests with the spectacular Apple Confit.
This long-awaited cookbook makes it easy to turn your kitchen into a four-star restaurant. All it takes is the inspired recipes and innovative techniques of Jean-Georges.Interested in terrific food? Good. The first thing to do is buy this book. Then clear your calendar for the next 150 days. At a recipe a day, that’s how long it will take to go from cover to cover. Your old life? Buy this book and kiss your old life goodbye. You won’t regret it.
Most recipes that come out of high-end restaurant kitchens either aren’t feasible in a home kitchen with home cooking skills, or they produce the kind of contrived food you wouldn’t think to serve–the kind of food you go out to a restaurant to have served to you.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten, on the other hand, has moved in the direction of ultimate, minimal simplicity with heightened, surprising flavors as the payoff. His Steak with Red Wine Reduction and Carrot Purée, a popular restaurant dish, simply asks that the cook reduce a bottle of red wine to a single cup, stir in carrot purée, and use this as a sauce on a grilled steak. If that sounds like a gimmick, consider that his Manhattan restaurants–Jean-Georges, Vong, JoJo–receive lavish, stunning reviews. And it’s all about the food. It’s all about finding flavors and textures in your mouth that have never been there before.
In his life and career, Jean-Georges Vongerichten has moved from the foods of his home in France, across Asia, and finally to New York. When the food media was first beginning to talk about “fusion” cuisine, that all-too-often forced marriage of classic French and Asian cooking techniques and ingredients, Jean-Georges had already blown on by into a realm of his own making.
The results of his insight and energy are in this book. This is easy, elegant, flavorful food: Cold Tomato Soup with Cucumber and Cantaloupe, for example, or Salmon in a Cardamom Broth. You won’t cook, eat, or taste anything the same old way once you tuck this book and this food experience under your wing. –Schuyler Ingle
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