From Scratch – Cookbook Giveaway

Enter our US/CA giveaway to win one of three copies of From Scratch: 10 Meals, 150 Recipes, and Dozens of Techniques You Will Use Over and Over by Michael Ruhlman.

When I first received this title, I was gobsmacked. It is stunning – filled with beautiful imagery, illustrations, and Ruhlman’s best from-scratch recipes. One would think that most cooks would know how to make French fries, you know from potatoes? But admit it. Are there times when your “hand-cut fries” look pale and lack that perfect crispness? Ruhlman takes you step-by-step to create frites worthy of any Parisian bistro.

There are ten chapters here. Each one focusing on a particular subject as well as full dishes that stem from that focused subject including variations and more. Chapters are broken down as follows: Roast chicken; The omelet; Lasagne; Steak frites; Paella; Cassoulet; Slow-roasted pork shoulder; Curry; The bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich; and The profiterole.

The chapter on the BLT includes details on growing your own produce, baking bread, conquering homemade mayonnaise, and curing bacon. Yes, you read that correctly. You can choose how far you wish to scratch the surface of these recipes up to and including making the entire sandwich from the ground up.

Text by Michael Ruhlman, illustration by Deb Wood

The step-by-step photos are especially helpful. There are eight process photos on how to make a lattice pie crust, how to create Pâte à choux puffs, and more. In From Scratch, Ruhlman delivers a cooking school between two covers and we can decide how much of his vast knowledge we can absorb.

Special thanks to Abrams for providing the following recipe for our members to try now and offering copies of this special book in our giveaway below. Other recipes available online: Chocolate tart and Chicken pot pie.

Seriously from-scratch five-layer lasagna
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Serves 12 to 15

This is the simpler of the two lasagna variations presented here, but it’s every bit as delicious—pasta layered with a Bolognese-béchamel sauce and topped with mozzarella. For this recipe, I used a 10-by- 15-inch/25-by-38-centimeter pan, because I began this book after marrying a woman who had a lovely Le Creuset baking dish of that size. Otherwise, I would have used my standard 9-by-13-inch/ 22-by-33-centimeter pan, and I might have been able to build the lasagna higher with the same amount of pasta. Everyone has pans of different sizes, so use your common sense.

The lasagna can be assembled ahead, refrigerated, and then baked. Or it can be baked and kept for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature and reheated. Or it can be baked, cooled, and refrigerated, then reheated. Regardless, it’s important to let it rest at least 45 minutes before cutting into it, or it will be too runny. This recipe will serve at least twelve. Because I rarely cook for that large a crowd, this means half can be frozen and reheated for a great last-minute weeknight meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds/900 grams lasagna noodles, dried, fresh, or homemade
  • 6 cups/1.5 liters Bolognese Sauce (recipe below)
  • 2 cups/480 milliliters Béchamel Sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 cup/240 milliliters plain tomato sauce (a good store-bought version is fine)
  • 1 pound/450 grams mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 cup/80 grams grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 ̊F/205 ̊C.
  2. Cook the pasta until it’s al dente, according to the type you’re using (fresh pasta needs only a few minutes). Drain and chill in an ice bath or in plenty of cold running water.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the Bolognese and béchamel sauces (if they are cold and stiff, heat them to ensure they mix uniformly).
  4. Spread a layer of tomato sauce evenly across the bottom of your baking dish. Put a layer of pasta on top, cutting the sheets as needed to fit the pan. Spread a quarter of the Bolognese-béchamel mixture across the pasta. Repeat three more times, then cover the final layer of pasta with the mozzarella and then the Parmigiano.
  5. If your baking dish is filled to the brim, put it on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any sauce that might bubble over. Bake the lasagna for 1 hour, or until piping hot.
  6. Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes before cutting and serving. The longer you wait, the better. Room-temperature lasagna can be cut, and individual slices can be reheated in a hot oven.

Bolognese Sauce

Makes 7 to 8 cups/1.75 to 2 liters

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 pounds/900 grams coarsely ground meat (preferably a mix of pork, veal, and beef)
  • 2 cups/480 milliliters milk
  • 1 cup/240 milliliters dry red wine
  • 6 cups/1.5 liters plain tomato sauce (a good store-bought version is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (if you have it on hand; optional, needless to say)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until softened, 5 minutes or so. Hit them with a four-finger pinch of salt as they cook.
  2. Add the meat, and cook, breaking it up as much as possible. When it has lost all its pinkness, add the milk and simmer until all the liquid has cooked off and the milk solids begin to brown.
  3. Add the wine and stir. When the wine has come to a simmer, add the tomato sauce, oregano or bay leaves, and fish sauce (if using). When it has resumed a simmer, taste it and add more salt if needed. Simmer the sauce for 45 to 60 minutes, until thick.

*For a vegetarian version, sauté 2 pounds/ 900 grams diced cremini mushrooms, as described on page 77. Make the sauce without the meat, then add the mushrooms about 5 minutes before serving and allow them to simmer in the sauce.

Béchamel Sauce

Makes about 3 cups/720 milliliters

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons/60 grams unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, cut into small dice
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons/45 to 60 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart/1 liter milk
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
  • Grated fresh nutmeg to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine the butter and onion in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to coat the onion with the melting butter. Add a four-finger pinch of salt. When the onion is translucent and tender, add the flour and cook for a minute or so.
  2. Whisk in the milk (and add the bay leaf if you’re using it), then stir continuously with a flat-edged wooden spoon or spatula until the milk comes to a simmer, making sure no flour sticks to the bottom of the pan and scorches. Add the black pepper. Add the fish sauce, cayenne, and/or nutmeg (if using). Cook very gently for 15 minutes or so. Taste it—if you can taste raw flour, cook it a little longer, skimming any foam that gathers on one side of the pan.

Special thanks to the publisher for offering three copies of From Scratch in our giveaway open to US and Canadian members only.  Entry options include answering 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 and this forum post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries. 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 July 7th, 2020.

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94 Comments

  • Kristjudy  on  May 14, 2020

    Chicken salad with fine herbs

  • Lem9579  on  May 14, 2020

    Lamb vindaloo

  • lauriesk  on  May 14, 2020

    Chicken pot pie.

  • nvernon  on  May 14, 2020

    The seriously from-scratch version of fines herbes omelet with toast and Champagne

  • hbakke  on  May 14, 2020

    Pozole verde

  • jenlhawes  on  May 14, 2020

    Classic bistro steak frites

  • mcrimmins  on  May 14, 2020

    Roasted Broccoli with Garlic. The Lasagna looks amazing.

  • MarciK  on  May 14, 2020

    Kung pao chicken

  • nancycg56  on  May 14, 2020

    Lasagna!

  • kmn4  on  May 14, 2020

    Corn risotto

  • BookWorm53  on  May 14, 2020

    This recipe looks delicious. Added to my library for when cooler days return.

    In the same spirit, I would love to try the Hungarian goulash recipe.

    Good luck to me! And thank you to you.

  • rivergait  on  May 14, 2020

    Nixtamal Corn….because I grow corn for drying, mostly for flour, polenta, etc.

  • matag  on  May 14, 2020

    Char siu pork in lettuce wraps

  • Shelley.b  on  May 14, 2020

    Fried chickpeas

  • tamiejean  on  May 14, 2020

    Lamb vindaloo

  • bdmltm  on  May 14, 2020

    Homemade pretzels caught my attention, but there are plenty of recipes I’d like to try!

  • Shannon2705  on  May 14, 2020

    chicken salad base

  • miggsy  on  May 14, 2020

    Kung pao chicken

  • lean1  on  May 14, 2020

    Roast chicken with salsa verde.

  • ravensfan  on  May 14, 2020

    Curried chicken salad

  • cbrowne  on  May 14, 2020

    The 3-2-1 pie dough – always need better dough!

  • jaburg  on  May 14, 2020

    Five Layer Lasagne!

  • Lkitchings  on  May 14, 2020

    Steak with sauce Bordelaise

  • InstantJo  on  May 14, 2020

    Chicken pot pie

  • ebs  on  May 14, 2020

    Stir-fried beef with broccoli

  • DarcyVaughn  on  May 15, 2020

    Hot, sweet, crispy stir-fried chicken

  • twinreader  on  May 15, 2020

    Chicken Pot Pie. I am a sucker for a savory pie.

  • NannieStearn  on  May 15, 2020

    I am a member of East Your Books. It is totally free but is a fantastic way of saving thousands of recipes from cookery books from the internet. It also is a great way to find out all the new cookery books that have just been published and read reviews on 1,000s of cookery books, so if you are thinking of purchasing a book, you can see the owners comments/review.

  • JRumi  on  May 15, 2020

    Hungarian beef goulash

  • KarenGlad  on  May 15, 2020

    Any one or all of the pasta dishes

  • dbranigan27  on  May 15, 2020

    Tis was a hard choice, but I would try Asparagus risotto with asparagus ribbons and lemon zest .

  • Pizzacat13  on  May 15, 2020

    Apple Streusel

  • kennelgirlbev  on  May 15, 2020

    the quintessential Chicken Pot Pie recipe calls my name!

  • MiMi60  on  May 15, 2020

    Roasted broccoli with garlic

  • isabelle  on  May 15, 2020

    Classic paella with shellfish because I’ve always been nervous about trying that dish!

  • riley  on  May 16, 2020

    One-hour beef stock

  • stepspior  on  May 16, 2020

    Classic Paella with Shellfish

  • BMeyer  on  May 16, 2020

    chicken salad with fine herbs

  • roxlet  on  May 16, 2020

    Char siu pork

  • kennelgirlbev  on  May 16, 2020

    I’m excited to get into the cured bacon and all that is involved.

  • DominoP33  on  May 16, 2020

    It would HAVE to be the Beef and Pork Raised Pie. !!!!!

  • PeavineBlues  on  May 16, 2020

    Kung Pao chicken

  • t.t  on  May 16, 2020

    Ventrèche

  • theBlackbird  on  May 16, 2020

    The Last Dessert: Chocolate & Whiskey! (And probably the 321 dough)

  • TammyDee  on  May 16, 2020

    I’d most like to try the Potato Skins with Scallions & Cheddar Cheese. It sounds good.

  • jhatchard  on  May 17, 2020

    Simple gravy

  • Breithjf  on  May 17, 2020

    homemade pretzels sound great! I would love to try making them

  • sarahawker  on  May 17, 2020

    Egg foo yong

  • Siegal  on  May 17, 2020

    Dry cured bacon

  • fmd518  on  May 17, 2020

    Roast chicken with salsa verde.

  • ennsee  on  May 17, 2020

    I’d make the Asparagus risotto with asparagus ribbons and lemon zest recipe first. Sounds delish!

  • amylou61  on  May 17, 2020

    I’d try the Mashed baked potatoes

  • Callison  on  May 17, 2020

    Five layer lasagna…I mean, come on!

  • LydiaR  on  May 18, 2020

    Asparagus risotto. Risotto is one of my favorite things to make and somehow I’ve never made it with asparagus

  • vhfvhf  on  May 18, 2020

    chocolate tart

  • angwill  on  May 18, 2020

    the lasagne for sure. I love lasagne!

  • mph993  on  May 18, 2020

    Asparagus risotto with asparagus ribbons and lemon zest

  • oreganoca  on  May 18, 2020

    Char siu pork in lettuce wraps

  • debbiehb  on  May 18, 2020

    Lightning version: roast chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans, and gravy

  • Maefleur  on  May 18, 2020

    chicken salad with fine herbs

  • gilmonster  on  May 18, 2020

    lamb vindaloo

  • JLZ9697  on  May 19, 2020

    Roasted Chicken Au Jus… Looks like a cookbook with recipes that would definitely appeal to my whole family!

  • mpdeb98  on  May 19, 2020

    Jerked chicken salad

  • dbielick  on  May 19, 2020

    Hungarian beef goulash

  • bethbaye  on  May 19, 2020

    Toulouse style sausage

  • Arborist8  on  May 20, 2020

    Curried chicken salad

  • Apepin  on  May 20, 2020

    Asparagus risotto, great for spring!

  • thecharlah  on  May 20, 2020

    Jerked chicken salad

  • LeMinou  on  May 21, 2020

    Roasted broccoli with garlic

  • chefthomas  on  May 21, 2020

    Easy overnight chicken stock

  • Steben  on  May 21, 2020

    Lamb vindaloo

  • calguire  on  May 21, 2020

    Weeknight vegetable paella

  • Blackeyedsusans  on  May 22, 2020

    Tortellini en brodo

  • Lafauvette  on  May 23, 2020

    Spatchcocked chicken Provençal

  • rrwrites  on  May 23, 2020

    Chicken with salsa verde

  • Scotsman61  on  May 25, 2020

    From Scratch Five Layer Lasagne

  • edyenicole  on  May 25, 2020

    chicken pot pie 😀

  • fujirw  on  May 25, 2020

    The french dip and the chicken pot pie!

  • Dannausc  on  May 25, 2020

    Easy overnight chicken stock

  • monasli  on  May 27, 2020

    Hungarian beef goulash.

  • rchesser  on  May 27, 2020

    Corn Risotto

  • Pamyoungvb  on  May 27, 2020

    Pavlova with whipped cream and blackberry-blueberry compote

  • banba1  on  May 27, 2020

    Spatchcocked chicken Provençal

  • sedm3949  on  May 27, 2020

    Chicken pot pie!

  • blazin  on  May 27, 2020

    Chicken pot pie

  • roseryan1972  on  May 27, 2020

    Suvir Saran Birbal Kee Khitcheree, yum

  • missboots  on  May 27, 2020

    lasagna

  • Fyretigger  on  May 28, 2020

    Lamb Vindaloo

  • kgearity  on  May 28, 2020

    Lasagna, both versions! I have the same pan so I am ready to go!

  • Jenjeanh  on  May 28, 2020

    I would try Suvir Saran’s birbal kee khitcheree because I have never heard of this dish before and I love lentils and veggies included in this dish

  • Jenjeanh  on  May 28, 2020

    I would try Suvir Saran’s birbal kee khitcheree because I have never heard of this dish before and I love lentils and veggies included in this dish.

  • Sandra64gcr  on  May 28, 2020

    Roast Chicken

  • LEKcookbooks  on  May 30, 2020

    Chana masala

  • APrivateSupperClub  on  May 30, 2020

    I’m looking forward to making the a Green Curry Paste to have on hand for quick weekday dinners.

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