Dinner at the Long Table - Andrew Tarlow & Anna Dunn

In Dinner at the Long Table, rambling poetry-like prose, story-telling and delicious food gather together and produce a book that will blow your cookbook-loving minds. Andrew Tarlow, is a rock-star chef in Brooklyn with six restaurants, a hotel, a bar and a bakery, that comprise his empire. 

The authors deliver a year's worth of menus in this title that range from the simple, yet stunning, Carrot Cues, with Pistachio & Parsley to an elaborate Rabbit & Chorizo Paella. Beautiful full page photographs fill the book and menus are quaintly named - such as Cold Night Cassoulet or I Love, You Love, We All Love Bluefish. This cookbook is fun, elegant, quirky, sophisiticated and simply beautiful.

I have compiled a list of recipes to make which is not limited to the following examples: The Sweet Corn Arancini sounds wonderful but as this recipe calls for 12 ears of corn (for corn milk) - this dish will have to be put on hold as corn is dwindling here in Colorado. The Hasselback Apple Cake looks comforting while presenting like a showstopper dessert. Olive & Rosemary Focaccia will be made sometime this winter to warm the house with its aroma. The Yellow Tart will bring sunshine to a day dampened by skies of gray. There are such a varied range of recipes that there is something for every level cook.

I appreciate that Tarlow's pastry chef gives options for items we might not be able to procure - such as silver-strength gelatin in The Yellow Tart (recipe below). Best of all, It is refreshing to see a chef admit to having anxiety over a dish - and Tarlow's nemesis is aioli which is why he aptly titled that recipe "I Almost Always Fail".

I made the Drunken Sailor Chocolate Cake because I love rum and I love sailors, not necessarily in that order. Seriously, I made it because it looked wonderful and I had everything on hand to whip it up. Fast, easy and totally decadent -- it will be my go-to dessert that is sure to impress. My son had to have a piece immediately and as usual his declaration was "this is the best cake you have ever made".

Dinner at the Long Table will be one of the best books of 2016. I have no doubt. Special thanks to the authors and Ten Speed Press for allowing us to share The Yellow Tart recipe. We all could use a little sunshine in our kitchens and lives.

The Yellow Tart

Lemon custard tart feels a little like eating sunshine when you're longing for the summer, conceptual sunshine. Neale Holaday, the pastry chef at Marlow & Sons and Diner, wrote this recipe for us.

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 3⁄4   cups all-purpose flour
1⁄4  teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 sheet silver-strength gelatin
12 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1 scant cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
18 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Silver-strength gelatin acts just like powdered gelatin but dissolves more evenly. If you can't find it sheeted, powdered is fine. A tablespoon powdered gelatin will equal 3 sheets gelatin.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. To make the tart shell, cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat until fully combined. Fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto the counter and form into a ball. Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until it's about ¼ inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart shell. Trim any overhang with a sharp knife and prick the bottom with a fork. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool while you make the custard.

To make the custard, soak the gelatin in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes to bloom. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and cold water and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Transfer the egg yolk mixture to a pot and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the heat immediately. Wring the gelatin of any excess water and whisk it into the egg yolk mixture along with the butter until the gelatin dissolves and the butter melts. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and set the bowl in the ice bath. Stir constantly until the custard cools, then pour into the prepared tart shell. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 1 hour before serving.

Reprinted with permission from Dinner at the Long Tableby Andrew Tarlow & Anna Dunn, copyright © 2016. Photography by Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.

Photograph of the Drunken Sailor Cake which was tested for this review - Jenny Hartin who is neither a sailor, nor a drunk as of this writing.

4 Comments

  • bryrube323  on  10/2/2016 at 2:46 PM

    Brilliant Review, I will hurry to purchase this book, The first thing I will make is the Drunken Sailor cake for my husband who is a retired sailor and loves rum.

  • Jenny  on  10/2/2016 at 5:36 PM

    Ho ho ho and a bottle of rum! It's really good! Thank you.

  • annmartina  on  10/3/2016 at 12:48 PM

    I buy my gelatin sheets at http://www.modernistpantry.com. A pack is $3.99. They have a lot of other fun things to experiment with there. It's not just for chefs.

  • Nancith  on  10/3/2016 at 7:28 PM

    Sounds like a great book to read & cook from. Put that on my wishlist.

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