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Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    See Eat Me Daily's review of this cookbook. They also selected it as one of the Best Cookbooks of 2009.

    This cookbook was listed as one of the Best Cookbooks of 2009 by Omnivore Books of San Francisco, The Chicago Tribune and Cooking With Amy.

  • ellabee on March 27, 2013

    Everything I hate about a cookbook in one package. First and worst, way bigger and heavier than it needs to be: obscene amounts of white space on heavy paper -- 5.5lb vs outer-limit Madison Veg Literacy 4lb, and just enough bigger along each dimension to move out of the manageable zone. [Have to grant that the composition of many photos is outstanding.] BUT: teeny page numbers IN THE CENTER OF THESE HUGE HEAVY PAGES, And no overall or chapter ToC, so have to use the [decent to good] index to find recipes. Go straight to hell, Artisan Books (and Level Design of Calistoga, California). I'm unloading this overblown production as soon as chow's April Cookbook of the Month is over.

  • ericam on February 13, 2011

    I agree with slowfoodie, I made the wedge salad one night and found that I for this recipe alone, I had to make oven-dried tomatoes, make the croutons, crisp the bacon and make the dressing, so about an hour for a salad. This happens with a lot of recipes I've encountered though, not just in this book. I'd recommend if you need one of pre-made recipes, check for other recipes in the book using those items, make the make-ahead items on your day off and use them throughout the week. But this book is pretty great for comfort food and is 10x easier than the French Laundry cookbook.

  • slowfoodie on August 21, 2010

    Excellent recipes. The only drawbacks with this book are that many of the recipes call for pre-made condiments (recipes given), specialty ingredients and/or things to do a day ahead. If you have the time to deal with those requirements this is a top-notch book and the results are worth the effort.

  • memagee on January 14, 2010

    As usual Thomas is very thorough.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Apricot-currant compote

    • ellabee on March 30, 2013

      p.243 AND p.246. The designers of this book should be condemned to cook with it for six months straight.

  • Beef stroganoff

    • Breadcrumbs on September 10, 2011

      p. 42 - While I'd never turn down an opportunity to dine as any of TK's restaurants, I've come to the conclusion I'm not a huge fan of his cookbooks. Every time an enticing recipe appears in an EYB search, inevitably I pull the book from the shelf only to read the recipe and get totally frustrated by overly-complex process to make it. This recipe is no exception. While the ingredient list was relatively short and, seemed promising, I pulled the book only to find that before you can even make this dish, you first must prepare TK's Braised Beef Short Ribs recipe that spans pgs 41 and 42. Thanks but no thanks TK. While we do love beef stroganoff, we'll be living vicariously through others experiences in making this version!!

    • Trackypup on December 03, 2011

      Unbelievably good. Definitely a day off or weekend meal as it does take time but I can't imagine a better Beef Stroganoff recipe. I braised a bunch of beef so the rest will be used for meat pies in the week with the braising liquid. Highly recommend.

    • ellabee on March 21, 2013

      Recipe online: http://momofukufor2.com/2010/04/thomas-kellers-ad-hoc-beef-stroganoff-recipe/

  • Blowtorch prime rib roast

    • Cheri on December 25, 2013

      Didn't use his method for the roast, but the horseradish sauce was perfect.

  • Blue cheese dressing

    • okcook on August 31, 2010

      This dressing has a very nice balance of flavours. I made it with my homemade mayonnaise.

    • smtucker on April 01, 2012

      To date, this is the best blue cheese dressing we have tried. Used homemade mayonnaise and had to do a yogurt/sour cream mix to sub for the creme fraiche. The creme fraiche would have been even better, just have to remember to make some two days earlier.

  • Brownies

    • usingSpoons on September 04, 2011

      This recipe calls for 61 to 64% dark chocolate, not milk couverture chocolate as it says in the tags to this entry. This is cut up for chips, and cocoa is used for the brownie batter.

  • Buttered farro

    • bgood on November 08, 2010

      Depending on farro you'll probably need to cook it longer than the recipe

    • meggan on April 04, 2012

      I thought this was pretty bland.

  • Buttermilk biscuits

    • britt on September 24, 2010

      These are good and, this may be blasphemy, remind me of Popeyes' biscuits. They didn't keep past the first day.

    • twoyolks on April 02, 2012

      The original recipe calls for too much salt for my taste. I cut the salt by half and end up with a much better biscuit. It also works well to replace both the all purpose and cake flour with white lily flour.

    • chef_ub on April 15, 2012

      Why would you expect anything from a restaurant cookbook to KEEP past the first day? And then, what biscuit recipe was EVER meant to last past the completion of the meal? This guy crafts world class food and is recognized by world class critics.

    • sturlington on March 25, 2013

      Made previously and liked but not as much as Foster's Mkt biscuits.

  • Buttermilk dressing

    • bgood on November 26, 2011

      The aioli base is fantastic Converts to a blue cheese dressing just great for his Waldorf variation

  • Buttermilk fried chicken

    • slowfoodie on August 23, 2010

      Brine makes the chicken salty. It's seasoned perfectly, but has a little too much salt when trying to restrict salt intake. Try slightly less salt in the brine.

    • mceuen on February 11, 2012

      I made this for friends and we all thought it was delicious. I made the brine ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge for a day before I added the chicken. I strained out most of the solids before adding the brine to the chicken, and it only sat in the brine for 8 hours instead of the recommended 12. The quality of the final result didn't seem to suffer because of this.

  • Caramelized fennel

    • ellabee on April 02, 2013

      p.194. Possibly the simplest recipe in this book: blanch quarter-inch wedges 3 min, let cool (can be stored at this stage for later caramelizing) then pan-fry a few minutes on each side until well colored.

  • Catalan beef stew

    • ellabee on March 30, 2013

      p.46. Requires substantial advance prep: uses as ingredients soffrito (5 hours) and already braised beef short ribs (3 hours).

  • Chicken potpie

    • Miquette on January 12, 2013

      This potpie is worth the effort, homemade crust is a must! I add sautéed shiitake mushrooms.

  • Chocolate chip cookies

    • okcook on August 31, 2010

      The different types of chocolate is interesting

    • DKennedy on June 21, 2013

      Made these for Father's day 2013 and would describe them as unremarkable. Good, but nothing special.

    • Melanie on March 28, 2014

      I thought these had a great taste. I didn't remove the chocolate 'dust' as suggested though as it felt like a waste of flavour for aesthetics.

  • Cream of cauliflower soup with red beet chips

    • smtucker on April 02, 2012

      Note, Keller's medium heat during the initial covered cooking time is either too hot for our stove or our vegetables didn't have as much moisture. A layer of veggies burned, but not so much that we needed take out. Subbed a very light homemade chicken stock for the cream. Served with garlic croutons and pepitas. No beet chips. NOTE: this recipe also has onions.

    • fprincess on April 02, 2012

      This is really delicious. I followed the recipe as is and didn't have any problem with the cooking temperature/time. My only shortcut was to use store-bought beet chips for the garnish. The soup was quite thick and very flavorful. Picture here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/88017382@N00/4177008457/

  • Creamed baby spinach

    • DJM on January 13, 2012

      Unlike any other creamed spinach. Onions, shallots, Comte cheese. Exceptional recipe.

    • ellabee on March 30, 2013

      p.206.

  • Creamed summer corn

    • ellabee on December 03, 2012

      page 189. Made from a version on a food blog, before acquiring the book. Unbelievably great. Perfect for that third or fourth batch of corn, when the pure excitement of fresh sweet corn has passed, but the corn is still coming. Especially good with black bean fritters.

  • Crispy braised chicken thighs with olives, lemon, and fennel

    • C5D on July 28, 2012

      Great recipe and technique. Crisping technique and timing useful for other recipes

    • biondanonima on October 11, 2012

      This was fine but I'm not wild about the texture of braised fennel. The overall flavor was good though, with nice crisp skin on the chicken.

  • Curried cauliflower-chickpea salad

    • nickdavis on June 23, 2010

      I had to substitute romaine for the endive, as I needed to scale the recipe for 80 and could not find a good local source. Very good recipe.

    • okcook on June 23, 2012

      This salad has very interesting textures and flavours. If it was on a buffet table it would probably get passed by because it doesn't have a lot eye appeal. But it is well worthwhile making.

    • ellabee on April 02, 2013

      p.152-153. Advance prep required: red onions pickled in vinegar and sugar at least 24 hours ahead, dried chickpeas soaked for 12 hours.

  • Duck confit

    • okcook on August 31, 2010

      Very easy to make and the herbs add a nice touch. To clarify the duck fat after use, heat to 250 and let it bubble until you hear no more sizzling. This means you have driven off all the moisture. Strain and save the drippings in the bottom the pot.

  • Fall salad

    • Miquette on November 03, 2013

      Really nice combination of flavors.

  • Farro and black rice with roasted autumn squash

    • Jane on December 06, 2011

      This discovery was one of those times "I have these ingredients for Sunday night supper and what recipe can I find". Although I didn't have everything in Keller's ingredient list - only one type of squash (delicata), no dandelion greens and pancetta rather than applewood smoked bacon - it worked really well. It looked pretty with the brown farro, black rice and orange squash. The mix of texture and flavors was good, the mustard dressing gave it some zing.

  • Fig and balsamic jam

    • vinochic on August 23, 2011

      Easy to make and delicious. Great with cheese!

  • Flatbread

    • Melanie on March 28, 2014

      This is a great recipe - rolls out to be super thin and crisp with use of a pasta machine.

  • Fresh tuna salad

    • sturlington on October 16, 2013

      Served with bacon vinaigrette from the same cookbook.

  • Garlic confit and oil

    • okcook on August 31, 2010

      Oh my goodness, are these ever good. I have a jar in the fridge and use them all the time. Used them for a garlic mayonnaise to go on our hamburger, yummy.

  • Glazed sweet potatoes

    • twoyolks on February 17, 2014

      The instructions for this are not particularly clear as to what orientation the cut sweet potatoes should be cooked at. Also, there is a large amount of butter used that mostly seems to melt and disperse around the sweet potatoes.

  • Grilled asparagus

    • Zosia on June 21, 2014

      Grilling the asparagus and adding croutons, prosciutto and a drizzle of balsamic to the plate updates this classic dish nicely.

  • Leek bread pudding

    • JulietTaylor on July 04, 2013

      This is a heavenly! Great for parties and a wonderful dish for the holidays, goes with all the traditional holiday fare.

  • Lentil and sweet potato soup

    • ellabee on March 29, 2013

      p.121. Make half. Uses two 'sachets' (bouquets garnis) and parchment lid.

  • Meatballs with pappardelle

    • Zosia on November 22, 2013

      Simple (especially if the butcher grinds the meat for you) but tasty meatball recipe that I decided to try based on cooking method: baking. Worked beautifully; I'll never fry another meatball again. I made them half the size but the baking time was the same as for the large size.

  • Nantes carrot stew

    • adrienneyoung on October 19, 2012

      Keeper. Easy, delicious. Not as fast, in our case, as recipe describes. Would be a great addition to a turkey dinner.

    • okcook on October 29, 2012

      Fantastic

    • bching on July 25, 2014

      use vadouvan instead of madras curry

  • Pan-roasted duck breasts

    • okcook on February 17, 2014

      A very easy recipe to make pretty much perfect duck breasts. The orange zest adds a nice note to the dish. We had them with a blackberry risotto. This is my go to duck recipe.

  • Pan-roasted halibut

    • owaint on May 20, 2011

      With good quality fish this is truly delicious. A very simple recipe but the timings used give a beautiful golden crust with perfectly cooked inner meat. It works just as well with skin-on fillets as it does with the skinless ones shown in the book. In fact, using the skin side for most of the cooking gives a great textural/flavour boost. For nice thick pieces of fish, plenty of salt before cooking is a good idea. The recipe doesn't mention it but DON'T use a non-stick pan, plain steel is perfect and will give a much better crust. Just be patient and, when it's time to turn the fish, gently loosen it first by shaking the pan while supporting the fish - it will come away nicely and have deep golden crust that you'd never get in a Teflon pan. The Mushroom and peashoot side is perfect with it (though both benefit from a little acid - lemon for the fish and a good vinegar for the mushrooms - to pep them up).

    • Eydie on July 05, 2011

      Thomas Keller is a great teacher, and the technique he uses to cook the halibut is genius. I've used the exact same technique on many types of fish, just decreasing the amount of searing depending on the thickness of the fish. I loved the Chanterelles and pea shoots as a side, as well as the asparagus with tomato bacon stew.

  • Porterhouse steak with herb and shallot butter

    • okcook on August 31, 2010

      The herb and shallot butter is very good. Keep it in the freezer for your next steak.

  • Roasted pork short ribs

    • twoyolks on February 17, 2014

      I made this with spare ribs cut into 3 rib sections instead of short ribs and they were very good.

  • Roasted spring leg of lamb

    • Ladyberd on November 22, 2013

      Once again, Keller gets it just right. This lamb came out pink, juicy and perfect. My husband claims it was the best leg of lamb he's ever had so I have a new go-to lamb roast.

  • Sautéed chicken breasts with tarragon

    • Trackypup on December 19, 2011

      Very good. You wouldn't in a million years think the chicken had been marinated in curry. I mixed the breasts in the curry/paprika mix in the am for dinner that night. Nice quick, easy meal.

    • DJM on January 07, 2013

      Tarragon and chicken are a match made in heavenand the touch of curry and paprika enhance it. I have also made this with bone-in, skin on chicken breasts-saute briefly, then into a moderate oven until done, then continue with the sauce.

    • ellabee on April 01, 2013

      p.27. A perfect way to make use of fresh tarragon, whenever it's available to you. Dead easy for two, a bit more work for six as written, because both the pounding and sauteeing of the chicken breasts can only be done a few at a time. Use written quantity for sauce even if cutting down on chicken servings. Equally good with veal scallopini and veal stock.

  • Sautéed lamb loin chops

    • JoanN on June 10, 2013

      Good, but probably won't make again. Prefer my loin chops simply broiled. See online recipe for reducing servings from 6 to 2.

  • Sautéed red and green cabbage

    • okcook on August 31, 2010

      It tasted good but the presentation was not very appealing.

  • Sautéed shrimp with garlic

    • hbroad on June 11, 2010

      Delicious, fast and easy.

  • Scallion potato cakes

    • ellabee on March 29, 2013

      p.230. Recipe specifies Russet potatoes. Try with 1 lb potatoes (resulting in one pan cake to be fried) rather than 3, especially since I'll be grating by hand rather than with food processor.

  • Slow-cooker apple butter

    • sturlington on October 23, 2013

      This is a reasonable recipe for apple butter. I actually made the apple sauce earlier and then started the slow cooker recipe after the point of pureeing the apples. It takes a long time and is not quite as thick as I would like, but it is all done in the slow cooker rather than the oven, a big bonus.

  • Split pea soup with ham hock, fresh peas, and mint

    • Cheri on December 18, 2010

      this was good. Took much longer to cook - 2+ hours after split peas were added. Used frozen green peas. Mint is very nice touch. Richard was not crazy about this one

  • Summer vegetable gratin

    • Cheri on September 05, 2010

      Skipped the eggplant. Made in oval cassarole dish. 1st sauted onions and garlic, then layer of squash (green and yellow), then layer of tomatoes (romas) then one more layer of squash, finish with bread crumbs. Guests LOVED it. Nice flavor balance. Does take 1.5 hours to bake.

    • twoyolks on August 24, 2014

      The tart is really pretty but the flavor of the various vegetables doesn't really meld together.

  • Sun gold tomato gazpacho

    • bgood on September 02, 2010

      Very bright, alive flavours

  • Tomato and handmade mozzarella salad

    • cafrin629 on October 09, 2010

      I'll admit I didn't make the mozzarella, bought burrata, but this was a wonderful salad to make at the peak of tomato season.

  • Tomato-basil marmalade

    • ellabee on April 02, 2013

      p.248. Good for early fall, as it specifies slightly under-ripe tomatoes and fennel and leeks along with basil. Especially recommended with lamb.

  • Vanilla ice cream

    • Rachaelsb on October 30, 2013

      I think this could be vanilla icecream perfection! I added oreos--beyond yummy. Keeping in fridge overnite is essential.

  • Waldorf salad

    • ellabee on April 02, 2013

      p.136 ...sort of. An example of sub-recipes gone wild: blue cheese dressing p.182 made with aioli p.333 which is made with oil from garlic confit p.266.

  • Yellow curry powder

    • ellabee on March 29, 2013

      p.336. Surprisingly, does not call for toasting the whole spices before grinding. This is the curry powder called for in many of the recipes in the book, referred to in those ingredient lists as Madras curry powder. I adapted, based on what I had on hand and the proportions of spices in other recipes, and toasted the whole spices until some of the mustard seeds popped before grinding in mortar.

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Reviews about this book

  • Los Angeles Times

    Many of the recipes in the chapters titled "basics" and "life savers" represent the "extra step" that makes a dish outstanding... They're the chapters that I keep turning back to.

    Full review
  • NPR

    Interview on Morning Edition.

    Full review
  • Food52 by Grace Parisi

    The 2010 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks vs. The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook

    Full review
  • Fine Cooking

    Please don’t park this handsome hardcover on your coffee table... This is real, uncomplicated home cooking based on the food served at Ad Hoc... He offers everything you could want...

    Full review
  • Kate Cooks the Books

    Almost every recipe in this book called out to me to be made, and that is why I will buy the book and why I’m recommending it. A cookbook that leaves you wanting more is a keeper.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Leek bread pudding

    • Eats Well with Others

      ...asking me if I could healthify Thomas Keller's absolutely luscious leek bread pudding for her. I took one look at the recipe...and replied with a loud and resounding ABSOLUTELY.

      Full review
    • I Made That!

      ...it was fabulous. There was so much cream in the custard that it was super rich, which is not so perfect for every day, but just right for a Thanksgiving tummy blowout.

      Full review
    • Kate Cooks the Books

      The dish is truly delicious and satisfying as only rich, rich bread, cream, and cheese can be.

      Full review
  • Grapefruit cake

    • Not So Humble Pie

      The cake, despite its rather humble appearance, is delicious. Low on fuss but high in flavor, each slice is moist and sticky with bitter-sweet ruby grapefruit syrup.

      Full review
  • Buttermilk dressing

    • Running With Tweezers

      My batch of dressing had more herbs and more buttermilk than called for in the recipe, as well as more lemon and a pinch of heat – feel free to tweak it to your taste.

      Full review
  • Caramel ice cream

    • Arctic Garden Studio

      I saw that it had 10 egg yolks I figured at the very least it would be rich enough, and it was. This recipe was "just right" in texture and flavor.

      Full review
  • Cream of cauliflower soup with red beet chips

    • Lisa Is Cooking

      Yes, it is a little bit of a process to follow the recipe exactly, but it all came together nicely to make a velvety smooth soup with crispy, crunchy, and tasty toppings.

      Full review
  • Buttermilk fried chicken

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      I’m here to tell you that this is some very, very good fried chicken, although it requires a lot more planning and effort than my go-to recipe.

      Full review
  • Grilled asparagus

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      The verdict from the family (and me) is that this is delicious and really very pretty despite my amateurish eggs and messy asparagus.

      Full review
  • Creamed summer corn

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      This is an easy, uncomplicated dish that takes best advantage of wonderful summer corn.

      Full review
  • Crab cakes

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      This is the kind of recipe that gives gourmet cooking a bad name and demonstrates my number one pet peeve with any cookbook.

      Full review
  • Coffee ice cream

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      I can definitely recommend this recipe as being easy and completely delicious.

      Full review
  • Hamburgers

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      Keller’s burgers are amazingly uncomplicated, which is surprising from a man who was willing to ask so much of me for a humble crab cake.

      Full review
  • Fingerling or sweet potato chips

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      You’re really going to be sorry I told you how to make these. Because they’re good. And easy. And mildly addictive.

      Full review
  • Cherry pie

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      Cherry, my absolute favorite kind of pie. And this one is amazing.

      Full review
  • Braised oxtail and mushroom tartine

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      The Tartine was delicious and reminded me of an open-faced brisket sandwich.

      Full review
  • Brioche

    • Kate Cooks the Books

      This brioche was, as you might imagine, absolutely delicious and my house smelled amazing.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 1579653774
  • ISBN 13 9781579653774
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 07 2009
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 384
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Artisan
  • Imprint Artisan Division of Workman Publishing

Publishers Text

Keller showcases dishes that can be made every day (and not just for special occasions). Invaluable lessons, secrets, tips and tricks - as well as charming personal anecdotes - accompany recipes for such classics as the best fried chicken, beef Stroganoff, roasted spring leg of lamb, hamburger, the crispiest fried fish, chicken soup with dumplings, potato hash with bacon and melted onions, and superlative grilled cheese sandwiches, apple fritters, buttermilk biscuits, relishes and pickles, cherry pie - 200 recipes in all.

Thomas Keller received yet another James Beard Award in 2006 (this time for Outstanding Restaurateur), and is the only American-born chef to have two three-starred Michelin restaurants. His restaurants are The French Laundry, Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, and Ad Hoc, all in Yountville, California, as well as Bouchon in Las Vegas, and per se in Manhattan.



Other cookbooks by this author

Ad Hoc at Home

Member Rating

Average rating of 4.5 by 22 people

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