The Farm Cooking School

The Farm Cooking School: Techniques and Recipes for Inspired Seasonal Cooking by Ian Knauer and Shelley Wiseman is one of the titles that made my best of 2017 list. Ian and Shelley run The Farm Cooking School in New Jersey and their schedule of classes can always be found on our Calendar.

Ian has written or co-written three other books: The FarmField & Feast and the Short Stack Edition Volume 1: Eggs. I have the first two titles and love them and need to catch up on all the Short Stack volumes I'm missing. 

The Farm Cooking School: is gorgeous, full of the chefs' combined knowledge hitting on the foundations of cooking with inspirational, rustic and thoughtful recipes. I love the seasonal theme that carries throughout the book. For instance, the section on the 4 seasons of panna cotta share recipes for Vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb syrup, Lemon verbana panna cotta with summer fruit, Maple panna cotta with apple cider syrup and Honey panna cotta with candied orange zest. Other subjects covered in this style include pasta, pavlova, savory tarte tatins and more.

The Fennel tarte tatin is a show stopper and so easy. I also made the mustard sauce for the Braised rabbit recipe for a chicken dish and it was flavorful and elevated the simple roasted bird to new heights. Beautiful photographs, rustic dishes and technique driven narrative make this book a keeper. Special thanks to Burgess Lea Press who is sharing the Hot-smoked oysters recipe with us today and for providing three copies of this book for our contest below. 


Hot-smoked oysters with harissa butter

Add this recipe to your bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button)

The simplicity of this first course is deceptive. Once you slip these buttered bivalves into your mouth, you'll get hit with 1,000 percent umami. The pantry ingredients, combined to make a compound butter, are doing the heavy lifting here, adding balance and depth to the already briny oysters. (Try this butter dotted on a grilled steak-incredible.)

Serves 6

  • 12 large oysters
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Smoked Fermented Harissa (below)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Preserved Lemon (below)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Light a fire in the grill using hardwood or hardwood charcoal, and when the wood has burned down to coals, spread the glowing coals to create a direct and indirect grilling area. Shuck the oysters, keeping them in their bottom shells.

Stir together the butter, harissa, and preserved lemon until combined, then taste a little and season to taste with salt and pepper. Dollop the compound butter over the oysters.

Grill the oysters over indirect heat, covered so they pick up more smoky flavor, until the butter is melted and the oysters are barely cooked, 1 to 2 minutes. Place a pile of salt on each serving plate, then transfer the oysters to the plates, taking care not to spill their liquid as you nestle them in the salt.

Smoked fermented harissa 

The fathoms of flavor that we coax from just peppers and salt is, well, unfathomable. This recipe will dramatically change the dishes that come out of your kitchen-it is well worth the days (of hands-off time) it takes to make. After they are smoked, the peppers are puréed with enough salt to ward off any bad bacteria and then fermented before the purée is dehydrated, concentrating their smokiness and funky fermented complexity. We stir harissa into stews, soups, tagines, and anything else that could benefit from a real umami boost.

Makes about 1 pint

  • 5 pounds mixed red sweet peppers, such as bell peppers, Jimmy Nardello sweet peppers, or Red Marconi peppers
  • 2 to 3 fresh hot red chiles
  • ¼ cup kosher salt

A smoker

Hardwood chips such as apple, cherry, or oak

Soak the wood chips in water for several hours. Start the smoker over low heat. Remove the stems from the peppers and chiles and halve the peppers and chiles lengthwise. Cut out and discard the ribs and seeds, which would cause a bitter aftertaste in the harissa. Smoke the peppers and chiles, adding more wood chips as needed, for about 1 hour. The temperature of the smoker doesn't matter too much as long as it doesn't get too hot-at or under 200°F is fine. Remove the peppers and chiles from the smoker and cut them into pieces small enough to catch in your blender, about 1 inch. Purée the peppers and chiles with ¼ cup salt, in batches if your blender is small, until smooth. Pour the purée into two 1-quart plastic or glass containers with lids. (We use the kind of plastic containers that you get when ordering Chinese takeout.) Place a small piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the purée; this helps prevent any mold from developing as the purée ferments. Seal the containers with their lids and place them in a cool dark place, such as a pantry, to ferment. Stir the purée once a day for 10 days. Don't worry if the purée starts to bubble-that is part of the fermentation process. After 10 days, taste the purée; it is ready when it is gently sour. If you prefer an even more sour flavor, age the purée for another 1 or 2 days. When you are ready to stop the fermentation, spread the fermented purée evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting, about 175°F. Place the purée in the oven to dehydrate, stirring it every hour or so, until it is paste-like. This can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. Transfer the harissa to an airtight container and cover. Refrigerated, it will keep for 1 year or more. Any spice from the chiles will mellow over time.

Preserved lemon

Right around Christmas, a box of citrus often arrives in the mail from one friend or another, boasting about their sunny California or Florida weather. Taking things in stride, we save some of the fruit by preserving it in both sweet and savory ways. This preserved lemon can keep in the fridge until next winter.

Makes 1 pint

  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or as needed

Quarter the lemons lengthwise, remove any visible seeds, and stuff them into a pint jar. Add 4 teaspoons salt and top off with additional lemon juice so that the lemons are covered with juice. Seal and refrigerate for at least 1 week before using. Preserved lemons will keep in the fridge for up to 1 year.


The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and Canada. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on February 15th, 2018.


  • catmommy9  on  1/8/2018 at 5:47 PM

    Pomegranate marinated leg of lamb with fresh pomegranate sauce

  • Angryyew  on  1/8/2018 at 5:48 PM

    I would try the carrot puree.

  • lpatterson412  on  1/8/2018 at 5:50 PM

    Sour Cherry Sorbet!!!

  • Kristjudy  on  1/8/2018 at 5:51 PM

    Provençal roast chicken

  • southerncooker  on  1/8/2018 at 6:11 PM

    Cherry tomato garlic scape tart tatin.

  • AnnaZed  on  1/8/2018 at 6:54 PM

    Pressure cooker-braised pork shoulder with mushroom and pearl onion cream (

  • eliza  on  1/8/2018 at 8:25 PM

    Bacon and leek flatbread.

  • heyjude  on  1/8/2018 at 10:35 PM

    Elvis Pavlova

  • stef  on  1/9/2018 at 6:19 AM

    Maple Joanna cotta with apple cider syrup

  • love2laf  on  1/9/2018 at 7:09 AM

    Smoked harissa!!!

  • Linda41  on  1/9/2018 at 8:40 AM

    I would try the Elvis Pavlova.

  • kmn4  on  1/9/2018 at 9:37 AM

    Maple panna cotta with apple cider syrup

  • Karla123  on  1/9/2018 at 9:46 AM

    Potato pizza with herbs...I can see this twist on a classic Italian pizza becoming a favorite weekend meal with a beautiful Caesar salad.

  • ravensfan  on  1/9/2018 at 10:31 AM

    Elvis Pavlova

  • sgump  on  1/9/2018 at 12:17 PM

    I'm a sucker for lobster bisque. Bring it on!

  • motherofpearl81  on  1/9/2018 at 12:30 PM

    Grilled dry-aged rib-eye steaks

  • lean1  on  1/9/2018 at 2:59 PM

    Fennel tart tartin sounds wonderful

  • Sueskitchen  on  1/9/2018 at 4:41 PM

    Sour cherry sorbet? I'm interested!

  • skipeterson  on  1/9/2018 at 6:39 PM

    Bacon and leek flatbread

  • ktwalla  on  1/9/2018 at 6:44 PM

    Classic Summer Berry Pavlova

  • matag  on  1/9/2018 at 7:02 PM

    Potato gnocchi with ramp butter sauce

  • EmilyR  on  1/9/2018 at 7:32 PM

    Lemon chiffon mousse

  • percussion03  on  1/9/2018 at 8:24 PM

    Vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb syrup

  • contest718  on  1/9/2018 at 9:52 PM

    Herb-stuffed chicken breasts with white wine reduction sauce with Celery and green apple salad with toasted almonds and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • jmay42066  on  1/9/2018 at 10:12 PM

    Grilled dry-aged rib-eye steaks

  • GreenMantleFarm1  on  1/10/2018 at 11:53 AM

    charred-octopus-salad Nom Nom Nom

  • infotrop  on  1/10/2018 at 9:09 PM

    Demi-glace and glace ...I've always wanted to try making this.

  • rchesser  on  1/11/2018 at 1:30 PM

    Lobster Bisque

  • vinochic  on  1/11/2018 at 1:50 PM

    Fennel tarte Tatin

  • tarae1204  on  1/11/2018 at 4:10 PM

    Very curious about the "square" spaghetti recipes

  • sarahawker  on  1/11/2018 at 7:00 PM

    Pavlova with ginger-roasted rhubarb

  • Steben  on  1/12/2018 at 10:52 AM

    Potato gnocchi with ramp butter sauce

  • daniellespinato1  on  1/12/2018 at 12:42 PM

    Greensapcho sounds interesting!

  • rstuart  on  1/12/2018 at 6:38 PM

    pavlova with ginger roasted rhubarb

  • Marcia1206  on  1/12/2018 at 9:52 PM

    Ooh the lamb with the pomegranates intrigues me. Love lamb

  • Julia  on  1/12/2018 at 10:54 PM

    Seared scallops with melted leaks and balsamic drizzle.

  • Dannausc  on  1/13/2018 at 7:00 AM

    Elvis Pavlova

  • peacheater  on  1/13/2018 at 8:09 AM

    Tossup between lamb with pomegranate and Provencal chicken

  • Laura.Chicago  on  1/13/2018 at 12:52 PM

    Pressure cooker-braised pork shoulder with mushroom and pearl onion cream

  • LaurenE  on  1/13/2018 at 3:05 PM

    Sour Cherry Sorbet

  • robynsanyal  on  1/13/2018 at 8:56 PM

    Pomegranate marinated leg of lamb with fresh pomegranate sauce

  • cheftina888  on  1/14/2018 at 9:21 AM

    going for the more a slightly more adventurous pasta - Square spaghetti with crab and uni butter. I love the taste of uni. There's a is restaurant\market that sells and prepares fresh sea urchins for you. I might just try it this out now.

  • lgroom  on  1/14/2018 at 1:42 PM

    Bacon and leek flatbread

  • Lmocooks  on  1/14/2018 at 3:57 PM

    Fennel stalk mostarda

  • PennyG  on  1/14/2018 at 4:59 PM

    Bacon and leek flatbread!

  • SnarkyLarane  on  1/14/2018 at 5:21 PM

    That Smoked fermented harissa is getting made after my next grocery trip.

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  1/14/2018 at 5:33 PM

    I'd like to try making the Pomegranate marinated leg of lamb with fresh pomegranate sauce.

  • Shelley.b  on  1/15/2018 at 10:27 AM

    Bacon and leek flatbread

  • RoseMGenuine  on  1/15/2018 at 1:55 PM

    Carrot rum ice cream

  • ljsimmons  on  1/17/2018 at 2:34 AM

    Bacon and leek flatbread

  • slcrose  on  1/17/2018 at 2:19 PM

    Herb-stuffed chicken breasts with white wine reduction sauce

  • lauriesk  on  1/17/2018 at 2:19 PM

    Savory eggplant and lamb pie

  • Maefleur  on  1/17/2018 at 6:51 PM

    Pomegranate leg of lamb!!

  • Kerreydp  on  1/18/2018 at 2:59 PM

    Fennel tarte tatin.

  • mpdeb98  on  1/18/2018 at 7:59 PM

    Cheddar and caramelized onion pizza

  • trudys_person  on  1/18/2018 at 11:14 PM

    Cherry Tomato Pie, in the summer with freshly harvested tomatoes from our deck garden!

  • antpantsii  on  1/18/2018 at 11:44 PM

    chilled summer seafood-tomato soup Yum yum

  • Scotsman61  on  1/20/2018 at 12:17 AM

    Pomegranate marinated leg of lamb with fresh pomegranate sauce

  • RSW  on  1/20/2018 at 1:57 PM

    Pressure cooker-braised pork shoulder with mushroom and pearl onion cream (

  • rstaudt  on  1/20/2018 at 4:03 PM

    Pavlova with ginger-roasted rhubarb. Can't ever get enough ginger!

  • FireRunner2379  on  1/20/2018 at 4:08 PM

    Wow, count me in on the Elvis Pavlova!

  • sequoia55  on  1/20/2018 at 4:31 PM

    Bacon and leek flatbread

  • Bakersdozen  on  1/21/2018 at 1:03 AM

    I want to try the Vinegar-braised chicken leg.

  • annieski  on  1/21/2018 at 8:16 AM

    Cherry tomato pie (page 237)

  • BMeyer  on  1/21/2018 at 9:00 AM

    pavlova recipes

  • rlmiller  on  1/21/2018 at 10:05 AM

    Fennel tart tartine. Yum.

  • fbrunetti  on  1/21/2018 at 11:32 AM

    Frisée salad with poached eggs and lardons

  • Julia  on  1/21/2018 at 8:37 PM

    Roasted whole carrot tart tatin.

  • RickPearson54  on  1/22/2018 at 6:57 AM


  • PeavineBlues  on  1/22/2018 at 8:43 AM

    Homemade capers

  • fiarose  on  1/22/2018 at 9:11 AM

    eggplant brownie cake??? yes!

  • gloriole  on  1/22/2018 at 10:32 AM

    Seared scallops with melted leeks and balsamic drizzle

  • lisambb  on  1/23/2018 at 7:32 AM

    Those oysters look amazing. Everyone at my house would love that.

  • tararr  on  1/23/2018 at 7:26 PM

    Pomegranate leg of lamb

  • Sfgordon  on  1/23/2018 at 7:46 PM

    seared scallops with melted leeks

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  1/24/2018 at 10:53 AM

    beef, an all-time favourite, must try the grilled dry-aged rib-eye steaks found on page 40

  • henare  on  1/26/2018 at 12:46 AM

    Bacon and leek flatbread ...

  • SheenaSharp  on  1/27/2018 at 9:33 PM

    its the first recipee, i know, but "Celery and green apple salad with toasted almonds and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano"

  • Jenamarie  on  1/27/2018 at 10:07 PM

    Chilled summer seafood-tomato soup

  • Marcia1206  on  1/27/2018 at 11:49 PM

    I love lamb so I’d make the one with the poeraa

  • rachael_mc  on  1/28/2018 at 5:15 PM

    Chicken liver pate

  • janv  on  2/1/2018 at 12:45 PM

    would love to try those Cocoa-beet croissants

  • abihamm  on  2/3/2018 at 5:03 PM

    Lemon chiffon mousse

  • schesshire  on  2/3/2018 at 6:50 PM

    spring vegetable and herb soup, although I might have to wait a couple months!

  • HelenB  on  2/3/2018 at 10:38 PM

    Chicken stock. Must conquer it!

  • t.t  on  2/3/2018 at 11:59 PM

    Salt-roasted golden beets with sunflower sprouts and pickled shallots

  • Berryd  on  2/4/2018 at 9:34 AM

    Rhubarb chutney

  • cambridgecook  on  2/5/2018 at 2:50 PM

    cherry tomato pie

  • KarenDel  on  2/6/2018 at 2:27 PM

    I'd like to make the Classic summer berry Pavlova

  • lebarron2001  on  2/9/2018 at 11:29 AM

    Seared scallops with melted leeks and balsamic drizzle

  • soffner  on  2/10/2018 at 9:02 PM

    Seared scallops with melted leeks and balsamic drizzle

  • choppergirl  on  2/11/2018 at 10:02 AM

    Vinegar-braised chicken legs

  • Veestar14  on  2/11/2018 at 11:35 AM

    Herb-stuffed chicken breasts with white wine reduction sauce

  • Siegal  on  2/13/2018 at 8:30 PM

    The chicken liver pate sounds great

  • orchidlady01  on  2/15/2018 at 1:02 AM

    Seared scallops with melted leeks and balsamic drizzle

  • AAhertzog  on  2/15/2018 at 10:57 AM

    Sour cherry sorbet

  • dkolbow  on  2/15/2018 at 11:03 AM

    Lobster Bisque

Post a comment

You may only comment on the blog if you are signed in. Sign In

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!