The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne

The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School: Recipes and Inspiration to Build a Lifetime of Confidence in the Kitchen by Alison Cayne is not another run of the mill book devoted to the basics of preparing a meal. It is a cookery course designed to teach techniques and perfect skills in the hope that the reader develops their own style and instinct - all geared to to building confidence in the kitchen.

The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School contains nine chapters centered on a key lesson: in the eggs chapter, readers will learn about timing and temperature while poaching, frying, and scrambling; in the soups chapter, they will learn to layer flavors through recipes like Green Curry with Chicken. The rigorously tested recipes - including wholesome lunches, dinner-party showstoppers, and delectable desserts - will become part of readers' daily repertoires. Beautiful photographs show both the finished dishes and the how-to techniques, with helpful illustrations offering further guidance.

The recipes here are far more than the fundamentals - learn to make dashi, ribollita, braised parsnips with white wine and vanilla, pakora, and mujaddara along with stocks, ratatouille, poached eggs and other basics. This book will appeal to both the novice and someone with a higher skill level. 

Special thanks to the publisher for sharing this Summer Panzanella recipe with our members today. Our contest page shares a giveaway for three copies of this book open to our US members. 


Summer Panzanella

Serves 6 to 8

1 small ciabatta loaf (about 6 cups cubed)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, ideally a variety of heirlooms
1 small red onion
1 English cucumber
Grated zest and Juice of 1 lemon
½ bunch of basil, leaves torn
½ bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut or tear the ciabatta into 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss the bread with the ¼ cup olive oil and a pinch of salt until coated. Let the oil soak into the bread for 3 minutes.

Place the bread pieces on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

While the bread is toasting, prepare the tomatoes by cutting them into fork-sized wedges and tossing them in a large bowl with a few pinches of salt. Salting the tomatoes creates a liquid, which gets absorbed by the croutons, softening them a bit and giving them flavor.

Cut the red onion down the middle from pole to pole, peel, and then cut into thin slices. Soak in ice water until you are ready to toss and plate the salad; this helps maintain the crunch and tempers the pungency. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, cut off the ends and discard, then slice into 1/4-inch half circles.

Add the croutons to the bowl of tomatoes and toss gently to combine.

Drain the red onion and place in the bowl with the tomatoes. Add the cucumber and lemon juice, and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss gently with your hands.

Add the basil and parsley and toss gently again.

When ready to serve, season the salad with grated cheese and lemon zest. 

Excerpted from The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Con Poulos.

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  • PennyG  on  7/26/2017 at 4:32 PM

    I would like to learn how to prepare raw artichokes for cooking! I never feel like I do it correctly.

  • abihamm  on  7/26/2017 at 5:47 PM

    I would like to learn how to make a perfect steak

  • Siegal  on  7/27/2017 at 9:30 AM

    I want to learn to laminate dough

  • kitchenclimbers  on  7/27/2017 at 10:17 AM

    baking bread

  • lgroom  on  7/27/2017 at 11:16 AM

    I can't quite do a perfect fried egg.

  • LaurenE  on  7/28/2017 at 10:05 AM

    Cooking fish perfectly

  • sgump  on  7/28/2017 at 11:45 AM

    What one cooking technique would I like to perfect? I guess it would be baking bread (in agreement with kitchenclimbers).

  • EmilyR  on  7/28/2017 at 6:00 PM

    Laminating dough - patience, butter, and incredible pastries.

  • elysek  on  7/29/2017 at 10:50 PM

    I'd like to learn how to properly poach an egg.

  • matag  on  7/30/2017 at 11:59 AM

    I would like to make hand pulled noodles

  • lhudson  on  7/31/2017 at 6:31 AM

    Butter lettuce with blue cheese, dried cherries, and candied walnuts

  • ebs  on  8/1/2017 at 8:54 PM

    Fish chowder

  • horselady57  on  8/2/2017 at 2:59 PM

    I would love to cook more healthily and use more vegetables. This cook this beautiful

  • HMSHoney24  on  8/3/2017 at 12:50 AM

    I want to learn how to cook perfect eggs in each form (fried, scrambled, poached, etc...) and unserstand his to layer flavors!

  • rusthawk  on  8/4/2017 at 6:35 PM

    I would love to expand my knowledge of sauces and gravies and pick up some new recipes.

  • christineleong  on  8/5/2017 at 8:14 AM

    I'd like to learn how to roast chicken perfectly.

  • RSW  on  8/6/2017 at 7:27 PM

    cooking a perfect steak.

  • Ordinaryblogger  on  8/7/2017 at 6:31 AM

    poaching an egg for me too! one of the things i have NOT mastered in the kitchen.

  • love2chow  on  8/9/2017 at 10:07 AM

    grilling and smoking

  • WSMcHarge  on  8/10/2017 at 2:30 AM

    I'd like to learn how to cook fish correctly!

  • BlackStang1011  on  8/10/2017 at 2:53 AM

    Honestly, even though my Mom tried to teach me how to cook, I wasn't interested in learning then and didn't pay attention. Now I have a steady girlfriend and would love to learn how to cook just about anything decent for her.

  • t.t  on  8/13/2017 at 11:18 PM

    either laminated dough or handmade pasta/ noodles

  • lpatterson412  on  8/19/2017 at 12:55 PM

    I have honestly never made an omelet, and well, I think it is time I tried!

  • orchidlady01  on  8/24/2017 at 12:26 AM

    I would like to learn how to make ribollita.

  • KarenDel  on  8/26/2017 at 12:53 PM

    I would like to perfect homemade vegetarian chili

  • AnnaZed  on  8/31/2017 at 1:46 AM

    I would like to learn how to make a perfect souffle.

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