Michael White's Classico e Moderno, Our Cookbook of the Week

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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All photos courtesy Ballatine Books
Publishers love to send us cookbooks here at Fork in the Road, and often those books come straight from the chefs at some of New York's best restaurants. So we decided to share the love, and each week, we'll feature a new book, a recipe, and a few thoughts on cooking from the authors. Check back every Tuesday for a new book.

Classico e Moderno
By Michael White and Andrew Friedman, 405 pages, Ballantine Books, $50

In 1991, a young, still very-much-Midwestern Michael White sat down with a bowl of herby potato and leek ravioli with Parmesan cream and took a bite. That moment, he says, marked the beginning of his journey to Italian food. And he hadn't even been to Italy yet.

Two years later he landed in the storied kitchen of the San Domenico, where he rose to chef de cuisine in 1997; by 2002, he was in New York, opening Fiamma at 206 Spring Street with Steve Hanson.


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Chelsea Market Cookbook, Our Cookbook of the Week

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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All images courtesy Stewart, Tabori & Chang.
Publishers love to send us cookbooks here at Fork in the Road, and often those books come straight from the chefs at some of New York's best restaurants. So we decided to share the love, and each week, we'll feature a new book, a recipe, and a few thoughts on cooking from the authors. Check back every Tuesday for a new book.

Chelsea Market Cookbook
By Michael Phillips with Rick Rodgers, 223 pages, Stewart Tabori & Chang, $29.95

Few culinary destinations inspire such awe and ire as the Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Avenue), a labyrinthine web of shops and storefronts on the edge of one of New York's most storied food neighborhoods. But in the 21st century, most of the meatpacking in its namesake district involves clubby bridge-and-tunnelers, sodden with drink, perhaps preceded by dinner at one of the area's celebrity-cheffed mega food halls or an afternoon shopping high-end retail. The market, in all its overwhelming glory, offers a tasty respite from these tawdry temptations.


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Sorella Restaurant Cookbook, Our Cookbook of the Week

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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All photos courtesy Olive Press.

Publishers love to send us cookbooks here at Fork in the Road, and often those books come straight from the chefs at some of New York's best restaurants. So we decided to share the love, and each week, we'll feature a new book, a recipe, and a few thoughts on cooking from the authors. Check back every Tuesday for a new book.

Sorella: Recipes, Cocktails & True Stories from our New York Restaurant,
By Emma Hearst and Sarah Krathen, 239 pages, Olive Press, $35

On a devil-may-care stretch of Allen Street, Emma Hearst and Sarah Krathen, both fresh out of culinary school, opened Sorella (Italian for "Sister") the night before Thanksgiving, 2008. They were barely 25, but mature dishes like braised oxtail risotto and roast guinea hen with a rounded wine list to match seduced early diners and garnered accolades from critics and neighborhood residents alike. Their little restaurant--its three dimly lit, narrow rooms tucked into the fringe of Chinatown--quickly became a standby for dates, celebrations, or Tuesday night dinner: a twinkly jewel among fixture shops and dumpling houses.

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The Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant Cookbook, Our Cookbook of the Week

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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Image courtesy Abrams Books
Publishers love to send us cookbooks here at Fork in the Road, and often those books come straight from the chefs at some of New York's best restaurants. So we decided to share the love, and each week, we'll feature a new book, a recipe, and a few thoughts on cooking from the authors. Check back every Tuesday for a new book.

THE GRAND CENTRAL OYSTER BAR & RESTAURANT COOKBOOK
By Sandy Ingber with Roy Finamore, 223 pages, Stewart Tabori & Chang, $35

This summer, New York's iconic Grand Central Oyster Bar celebrated its 100th Anniversary in the belly of Grand Central Station, no small achievement in a city that habitually devours new places within months and a single address can be home to five failed restaurants in as many years.

The restaurant is known for shucking a wide wide variety of the freshest oysters and clams and for serving up time-honored dishes like Oysters Rockefeller and Manhattan clam chowder alongside creative seasonal plates showcasing the catch of the day. Chef Sandy Ingber joined Grand Central in 1990 and has helmed the kitchen ever since. In the interview that follows, he dishes on classic Oyster Bar recipes, an esteemed French chef, and his love of crabs.

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Throwback: 10 Lessons from 55-Year-Old Betty Crocker's Dinner for Two Cookbook

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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All images from Betty Crocker's Dinner for Two Cookbook, General Mills, 1958
A lot has happened since Betty Crocker published her Dinner for Two cookbook in 1958.
Betty Crocker never actually existed in flesh-and-blood form, but long before she started churning out boxed cake mixes and frostings, she was used for an ad campaign for Gold Medal flour in 1921. Shortly thereafter, the company used her name to answer all manner of baking questions posed by women around the country and even gave her a radio show.

She went on to publish several cookbooks, including The Betty Crocker Cookbook, which debuted in 1950 and remains in print to this day. Lesser known is Betty Crocker's Dinner for Two, published in 1958, which is tailor-made to city-living whether you're in a couple or not; recipes are simple, easy to source, and short, and they make only enough food for two people. So if you're single, you'll have some leftovers; if you live with another, it's just enough for one meal.

But that's not to say the book isn't hilariously dated (although the illustrations by Charles Harper remain fantastic). And despite sweeping changes in how we think about ingredients, cooking and gender roles, there is still plenty that rings true in Crocker's classic take on cooking.

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Gotham Bar & Grill's Chef Alfred Portale on His New Book and Love of Peaches

All photos courtesy Gotham Bar & Grill
Gotham White Peach Salad
Four years ago, Gotham Bar & Grill chef Alfred Portale decided to celebrate summer with Greenmarket to Gotham, a weekly prix fixe lunch sourced almost entirely from the Union Square Greenmarket. Spotlighting seasonal ingredients allows Portale to highlight a different local farmer every week for 12 weeks, June through August. These summer lunches follow a strict vegetarian diet; each dish hinges on fresh fruits and vegetables, without leaning on meat for substance.

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Check Out All Hands on Deck, Red Hook's New Benefit E-Cookbook

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In the months since Hurricane Sandy left some New York-area communities in a state of panic and disaster, no neighborhood has stepped up in a more inspiring and positive way than Red Hook.

Today All Hands on Deck, a cookbook containing 25 recipes from Red Hook's restaurants, bars, bakeries, and supper clubs, is available online for $15. All proceeds from the book's sales will directly benefit Restore Red Hook, a group founded by small business owners in the wake of the Hurricane.

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Fat Chance: Michael Ruhlman Releases an iPad Cookbook on Schmaltz

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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via Ruhlman.com
Looking for 23 ways to use schmaltz in your holiday recipes? Michael Ruhlman's got an app for that.

The Book of Schmaltz: A Love Story to a Forgotten Fat is the James Beard Award winning author's ode to the "heart attack food." Ruhlman, who details his new appreciation for self-publishing on his blog, fell hard for the rendered chicken fat after being passed a family recipe from a Jewish neighbor. The book features old-world recipes, as well as more modern ones -- so you can serve your kreplach with a side of Parisienne gnocchi. Ruhlman also describes how to make "the best chopped liver you've ever had," which might cause a few neglected grandmothers to reconsider how they describe themselves.

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A Brownie Recipe Found in Motherless Brooklyn

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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A recipe and an artifact, from Michael Popek's new book

Following up on our post about bookseller Michael Popek's charming collection, Handwritten Recipes and Forgotten Bookmarks, here's a quick look at three recipes and the books they were found inside.

Above, the Blonde Brownies found in Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn. The fat called for in this recipe is melted shortening, which dates the recipe a bit, but the book was published by Vintage in 1999.


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One Bookseller's Fascinating Found Recipes

Categories: Cookbook Corner

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A recipe for corn muffins found in "Cat's Cradle"

Those of us who spend a lot of time rifling around old books are always finding unexpected treasures in the pages -- handwritten shopping lists, photographs, candy wrappers, receipts. What about recipes?

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