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Berry leaves GBBO; Hollywood remains

Mary Berry's Foolproof CookingIn an update to the drama surrounding The Great British Bake Off's move from BBC to Channel 4, host Mary Berry has announced that she will not be involved with the new show. However, Paul Hollywood has signed a three-year deal with the network, making him the only original host making the move.

Berry said that loyalty to the BBC, which had "nurtured her and the show", influenced her decision. Hollywood tweeted that he was "staying in the tent with the bakers where I belong" although he did thank the BBC and his co-hosts "for making my time in the tent great fun and really rewarding."

Opinion is divided on whether the GBBO will be successful without popular hosts Berry, Mel Giedroyc, and Sue Perkins. Michael Grade, former BBC and ITV chairman, is one of the skeptics. "It's a huge gamble in my view," he said, noting that the chemistry between the hosts played a large role in the success of the show.  Others, like former contestant Tamal Ray, think the switch can be good. "About time there was a bit of a shake-up," says the ex-finalist.

T. Susan Chang's new podcast

T. Susan Chang

T. Susan Chang, who you likely remember wrote weekly EYB blog posts about cookbooks and whose work regularly appears in the Boston Globe, on NPR and other major news outlets, has an exciting new project: her very own podcast. Called The Level Teaspoonit's all about our favorite subject - cookbooks.

Each week Susie will look at several of the latest cookbook releases, discuss what's happening in the world of recipes, and test a couple of recipes from the selected books with a friend who likes to cook. Three episodes have been released so far, and you can find the podcast on iTunes,  Stitcher and Google Play.

The latest episode reviews The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen  by Yasmin Khan, Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China  by Fuchsia Dunlop, and Simple: Effortless Food, Big Flavors by Diana Henry (US version, UK version here.) In addition, Susie and her guest, Christina Barber-Just, make a few recipes and discuss other notable releases. 

Books reviewed in previous episodes include Samarkand: Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & The Caucasus by Caroline Eden and Eleanor FordITSU 20 minute suppers: Eat beautiful with noodles, grains, rice and soups by Julian Metcalf and Blanche Vaughan, and All Under Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China by  Carolyn Phillips.  The podcast has been received rave reviews; we're sure you will enjoy it too.

A look at online cookbook clubs

Many cookbook lovers attempt to start a cookbook club but discover that schedules are difficult to coordinate, folks back out at the last minute and unless you can develop a core group of committed individuals, it becomes more of a headache than a delicious experience.

One of the ways to lessen the headache and still enjoy the camaraderie of discussing recipes is by forming an on-line group. One such group is Wok Wednesdays on Facebook. This group was started by Matt Lardie in 2012 to bring together stir-fry lovers. Recently, the nearly 2,000 members have completed all the recipes in Grace Young's Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge. But they aren't stopping there, today they begin cooking their way through The Breath of a Wok

In The Cookbook Junkies, a group I created to share the love of cookbooks, we offer advice on cooking, cookbooks, encouragement and friendship. Through this group, I've created a few cook-through-the-book groups. Recently, I started the Taste & Technique group to cook through Naomi Pomeroy's new title. The reason I chose this title was it is the perfect book to help hone our skills.  Be sure to enter EYB's giveaway and check out the piece on the book that shares three delicious recipes.

A web based live cooking group,  Cook the Book with Denise and Jenni, picks a recipe or two from a favorite cookbook, secures the author (who travels to Jenni or Denise's home) and then broadcasts a live feed at a set time (with playback options for those who can't participate during the live broadcast). It's a fun experience and offers the opportunity to cook along your favorite authors and other members.

Another wonderful way to organize a cookbook club or share experiences is through an Eat Your Books membership.  If your cookbook group sets up an EYB membership, group members can share their experiences with the book they are cooking from, read recipe reviews from others in the group (as well as from other EYB members).  Another advantage of setting up an EYB Account for the group is that we link to recipes from cookbooks available online (if they have been reproduced with permission from the publisher). 

The benefits of an individual membership is multi-fold. Access to your book titles, recipe indexes, giveaways, author interviews, reviews and the forum alone holds valuable information and the ability to interact with other cookbook fans. There are several cooking along topics in this section of the forum that hold great information.

There are many ways to share your love of cookbooks and cooking on line. Cookbook lovers unite! 



Remembering Dorothy Cann Hamilton

A Chef's Story by Dorothy HamiltonOver the weekend, the culinary world lost one of its most influential, if not its most well known, members. Dorothy Cann Hamilton, 67, founder of the International Culinary Center (formerly known as the French Culinary Institute), died in an automobile accident on September 16

Hamilton founded ICC in 1984, as an extension of her family's mechanical trades education institute. First as FCI then as ICC, the intensive six-month program trained some of the US's most acclaimed chefs, including Bobby Flay, Wylie Dufresne, Christina Tosi, and David Chang. Hamilton was also the host of "Chef's Story," a public television program that profiled chefs. 

In 2015, she  received the Legion of Honor award from the French government for her work in promoting French cuisine in America, one of only a handful of Americans to receive the honor. Hamilton was also a former chairman for the James Beard Foundation. She is survived by her daughter, Olivia Hamilton. 

Cookbook Giveaway - The Happy Cook

Daphne Oz is one busy woman. A co-host on the wildly successful daytime cooking show, The Chew, a wife and busy mom of two small children, yet she still has time to write a beautiful book, The Happy Cook: 125 Recipes for Eating Every Day Like It's the Weekend

The global flavors sprinkled throughout this title are appreciated by this cook. Thai Vegetable Curry with Coconut Rice, Pan-Fried Calamari with Charred Jalapeño Chimichurri and Harissa and Mint Chicken Samosas are just a few of the recipes that struck me as must make. Each turn of the page, greets you with yet another unique and vibrant dish that while totally delicious is made with thoughtful ingredients and with concern for our well-being. This book surprised me in a good way - I love that healthier choices can still result in flavorful and craveworthy dishes. The Happy Cook will be well used in my kitchen.

You can learn more about The Happy Cook in our author's article post. We're delighted to offer 15 copies of this book, signed by the author along with a notebook to EYB Members in U.S.  One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post:

What makes you happy in the kitchen?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends October 20, 2016.

Author Interview with Daphne Oz

Affectionately called the Fresh Face of Healthy Living by her co-hosts of The Chew, Daphne Oz, has somehow found time to write another cookbook amidst a television career and two small children. The Happy Cook: 125 Recipes for Eating Every Day Like It's the Weekend is truly impressive. I am a fan of international flavors and Daphne has packed global dishes in this collection of easy, quick, healthy and most importantly delicious meals for the whole family.  

Daphne was gracious enough to answer a few questions for our Eat Your Book members. Be sure to enter our giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 15 prize packages that include an autographed book and a notebook from the author as well as more information on this title. 

What is your definition of a "happy" cook?

A happy cook is someone who has fun with her food and makes her kitchen her kingdom. My original happy cooks are my mother and grandmother: they never let cooking meals for their families feel like a chore. Instead, they made it a liberty, a time to explore and create and make a mess and relax. Their food is as much about their ability to be creative on the fly as it is about keeping it simple, thoughtful, and above all, delicious!

This is your third cookbook. They each represent a stage in your life's journey - college life, progressing into a career and marriage and now parenthood. How much has your cooking and eating changed over that time?

At its core, the way I cook and eat has not changed much. I am always after that perfect intersection of happy and healthy. I make smart substitutions when I can to make my food more wholesome and healthy for our family, but I am always thinking of my taste buds first: if it's not delicious, I don't care if it's healthy. What has changed significantly in the way I cook is that I am focused on maximum results for minimum effort now more than ever. I am focused on simple food that feels simply elevated. Anytime you eat your own food should feel like a celebration, that's what makes it worth taking the time to cook at home. With that in mind, even easy meals have to feel thoughtful and like a little bit of an adventure on the plate. That's also how I'm hoping to teach our kids to love foods that love them back - I always have them fooling around in the kitchen with me. Sometimes it works like a charm and they're dying to eat whatever daddy and I are eating. And some nights, they just want cereal and milk. I try not to stress about it too much.

You are one of the hosts on The Chew, you've written this new book and you have two young children so presumably you are very busy - what are your tips for making time for healthy shopping and cooking?

I do a lot of my dry goods shopping in bulk online so it ships right to me from places like Thrive Market and Amazon. I am pretty terrible at shopping for a family of 4 - somehow I always overbuy. I am working on only shopping for a day or 2 of meals at a time, because it seems to be the best way to ensure I use up everything I buy and it also means everything is a bit fresher. I definitely find it's easier to make healthy choices when I have lots of tempting healthy choices on hand. Of course, I definitely let myself 'indulge for a good cause,' too - like homemade cookies whenever my daughter wants to bake, which is most nights.

The Chew won a Daytime Emmy Award earlier this year (for the second year in a row) - congratulations! Are there any food trends or techniques you have covered on the show that are now included in your home cooking?

It's been a very exciting ride with The Chew, and such an honor to be recognized at the Emmy Awards. We all say we get paid to eat delicious food and hang out with our friends - it's crazy! One trick was a method for reheating cold pizza that changed our lives: put it in a cold, non-stick pan over medium heat uncovered. In about 90 seconds, you have perfectly crisp crust and melting cheese - it might even be better than fresh!

You are of Turkish heritage and your husband is Serbian. What influences from those cuisines are in the new book?

My mother in law Nada's baby back ribs are featured in the book! They're not necessarily Serbian, but they are the easiest and juiciest ribs ever! I feature a lot of my Turkish heritage in the book - from Lamb-Stuffed Peppers to Pistachio Cakes with Rose-Cardamom Icing - because Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines to me represent an incredibly elegant and simple way to create bright, bold meals. With their focus on fresh herbs, crunchy nuts, and sweet dried fruits, or olive oil, lemon and salt as finishing touches, they inherently understand how to take home cooking and elevate it to something that is a celebration of flavor without requiring much additional effort or time. That's how I love to cook.

What is your go-to recipe in the book when you need to get a healthy satisfying dinner on the table quickly?

The Italian Style Turkey Meatballs are a favorite!! They are the perfect lean, high-protein meal or snack for me and John after a workout, and the kids love them on their own, crumbled into spaghetti sauce, or dipped in ketchup!

Even if we eat healthily we still sometimes need sweet treats. What are your tips for keeping desserts healthy (or at least not actually unhealthy)?

The Chewy Coconut-Chocolate Chip Cookies have half the butter and sugar of the regular recipe and are somehow even more delicious. I don't understand! I think it's all about keeping enough of the real deal - whether that's butter, sugar, eggs, flour - and swapping in more nutritious alternatives when you can. The Better Brownies are a perfect example of this: you actually get denser, fudgier, richer brownies by getting rid of the flour and using black bean flour and pureed sweet potato instead - double win!

Has your family cooking changed since the children arrived or are you trying to get the kids to eat the same food as you and your husband? If the latter, how have you managed it (a question from me and many other mothers out there!)?

Haha, I hear you! My grandmother told me not to make forcing my kids to eat a battle of wills where they're resisting me as much as they are resisting eating my food. I do my best to show them by example what their father and I like to eat so they ultimately want to join in and have what we're having. I also get my kids in the kitchen cooking with me as much as possible: John in his high chair and Philo on a stool beside me so she can get involved. But I also recognize when some nights I am just not going to win, so I let them eat the cereal and milk they want and move on to the next day. Parents have to fight the good fight! But there's something to be said for making it less of a fight and more of a privilege: that old thing about catching more flies with honey comes to mind.



Exhibit on Ferran Adrià opens in Florida museum

 El Bulli cookbooks

His restaurant may be shuttered, but you can learn about the work of Ferran Adrià, from his groundbreaking el Bulli restaurant and beyond, in a new exhibit hosted by the Salvador Dalí museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. In an email Q&A, Bloomberg Business News asked Adrià to discuss the exhibit.

The museum will highlight Adrià's"culinary work from tabletop pieces and flatware he's designed to detailed notebooks he's kept throughout his cooking career." The exhibits appear juxtaposed with Dalí's food-focused paintings. This is the chef's final museum exhibition before he opens his much-anticipated culinary center at the site of the former elBulli restaurant in Roses, Spain. The center is set to open in 2018. 

The Q&A covers many topics, including which chefs Adrià feels best exemplify his cooking philosophy. When asked about whether the media emphasizes chefs too much, Adrià had this to say: "The chef as a rock star? It's as illogical as cooks being sports stars or actors, etc. In an ideal world, it would be much more relevant to be a scientist or someone who makes tangible contributions to society. But that's the way the world works."

China: The Cookbook

Phaidon is known for their dedication to publishing epic tomes focusing on international cuisine for the cookbook loving public. One of their latest releases, China: The Cookbook, presented a daunting task for its authors.

The authors, Chan Kei-lum, 75, and his wife, Diora Fong Hui-lan, 65, initially declined Phaidon's offer to write this title. They felt that attempting to define the cuisine of China in only 650 recipes would not do justice to that immense culinary history. 

The couple's initial list of 1,200 recipes had to be whittled down and it proved to be a difficult job. To accomplish this they removed recipes that required special equipment or weren't particularly tasty. Testing 1,200 recipes, while certainly overwhelming for the authors, proved delightful for Fong and Chan's friends who were the beneficiaries of the leftovers of the trial dishes. "We ask our friends to come and take it. We tell them to come at 5pm and bring their own boxes," Chan stated. You can read the full article on the Phaidon website.

China: The Cookbook focuses on the eight regional cooking styles of China including remote areas such as Xinjiang and Tibet, which are lesser known to those outside the area. I was able to take a look at a few of the recipes and photographs and am anxious to have this volume in my hands. 

This title promises delicious and authentic Chinese dishes for the home kitchen and showcases the culinary diversity of the world's richest and oldest cuisines with recipes from the 33 regions and sub-regions.

Interesting snippet from our indexer - 60 new ingredients had to be added to the database for the recipes in this book. You would think after 7 years and 34,000+ ingredients that we would have every ingredient already listed. But no - we didn't have grass carp belly, osmanthus sugar, salted toon shoots, ganba fungus and 56 others.

The book is published today. Phaidon has a special deal for EYB members - 30% off every cookbook in their online store.


The resurgence of Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri's pigs in the blankets

Guy Fieri's career has had its ups and downs, but the chef and television host is currently enjoying an upswing in popularity, says Grub Street, which chronicles his recent positive press. It's a bit of a turnaround for the colorful Fieri, who has been ridiculed by the likes of Anthony Bourdain and restaurant critic Pete Wells. But despite this, Fieri's show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives - "Triple D" to fans - is enjoying a resurgence. 

Recent articles have praised Fieri's perceived populism. Esquire just published a story titled "The Unrecognizable Genius of Guy Fieri", and The New Yorker ran a similar piece called "The Accidental American Genius of Guy Fieri." Both stories emphasize that Fieri chooses to highlight everyday foods, not far-flung locations or exotic cuisine. Says Esquire's Jason Diamond, Fieri "takes every plate piled high with burgers and fries as seriously as you might an entry in the Bocuse d'Or. Simple food-diverse American Food, in all styles, made by Americans - is Fieri's rallying cry and religion."

While Grub Street agrees with the sentiment that good food doesn't have to be fussy or pretentious, the site doesn't think that it is the "genius" of Guy Fieri that has made his show so hugely popular. Rather, they posit that Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives isn't successful because of Fieri, but in spite of him, and that "Triple D" would benefit from a host that wasn't quite as flamboyant. However, that scenario looks as unlikely as a four-star review of Fieri's restaurant. 

Photo of Guy Fieri's pigs in spicy blankets from Food Network Magazine 

Taste & Technique - Naomi Pomeroy

Naomi Pomeroy's debut cookbook, Taste & Technique, has been well worth the long wait. I have been waiting for this award-winning chef to release a cookbook since her Top Chef Masters' appearance in 2011.

Taste & Technique: Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking is, in my estimation, the equivalent of an at-home culinary course in nearly 400 pages. Those pages contain 140 recipes, beautiful photographs and the chef's vast culinary knowledge that began at the age of seven when her mother taught her how to make a soufflé. The book is simply brilliant.

Details on every aspect of cooking: from ingredients, equipment, teaching the building block fundamentals of techniques and understanding balance of flavors are set out to ensure our success in recreating these dishes and honing our skills. Pomeroy taught herself to cook by working her way through the classics and knows that the best recipes make us better cooks. I firmly believe that anyone who wants to learn to cook, loves to cook or wants to perfect their skills should work their way through this title. 

Special thanks to the author and her publisher, Ten Speed Press, for sharing three recipes that can be dinner tonight. Be sure to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this title. 

Porcini Braised Chicken Thighs

This is a rustic one-pot meal to serve directly out of the Dutch oven in which it is cooked. Porcini mushrooms have an earthy, savory quality that combines with the stock, wine, and concentrated meat flavor from the thighs to create a lovely richness. The contrast of crisp skin against tender braised meat and soft vegetables is fantastic as well.

I recommend using this recipe to learn how to braise. If you don't have a Dutch oven, it's possible to sear the chicken in a large sauté pan, transfer it to a roasting pan to finish cooking in the oven, and serve it in a pretty casserole dish.

This simple meal is all about balance, and people are always impressed by how delicious it is. I don't always save the vegetables from a braise because they often wind up limp and soggy, but these are very much worth eating.

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cups sliced, peeled carrot, on the bias in 3-inch pieces
3 cups roughly chopped yellow onion, in 1½-inch pieces
1½ cups roughly chopped celery, in 2-inch pieces
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
10 cloves garlic
3 thyme sprigs
2 fresh or 4 dried bay leaves
12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, at room temperature
2 to 3 tablespoons salt
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 cups homemade stock or other high-quality stock
1 cup dry white wine

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, and celery and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables get some color. Add the porcini, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves and mix to combine. Turn off the heat but leave the Dutch oven on the burner.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Season each chicken thigh with 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 teaspoon salt (depending on its size; a large thigh will weigh about 10 ounces and a small one about 6 ounces) and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper.

Heat a black steel pan over high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat until the surface is rippling but not smoking. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, add 4 chicken thighs, skin side down, and lower the heat slightly, to medium-high. Weight down the thighs with a heavy plate to create an even sear across the entire surface and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until evenly golden but not too dark in any spots. Check after the first 1 to 2 minutes to ensure no black spots are forming and lower the heat as needed. Place the thighs, skin side up, in a single layer in the Dutch oven and repeat two more times with the remaining oil and chicken thighs, rinsing the pan and wiping it completely dry after each batch.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock and wine to a simmer. Pour the stock mixture into the Dutch oven; the edges of the chicken should be submerged but the skin should be exposed. It's important not to cover the chicken skin completely or it won't get crisp.

Cover with a tight-fitting lid (or with aluminum foil if using a roasting pan), place in the oven, and cook for 11⁄4 hours, or until the chicken is completely tender. Turn up the oven temperature to 400°F, remove the cover, and continue to cook until the chicken skin is crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, discard the thyme sprigs as best you can, and serve directly from the pot.

Potato Dumplings

I wanted to include a dumpling recipe in this book because dumplings are a versatile, easy comfort-food dish to make year-round. I did a lot of research, testing dozens of traditional dumpling recipes, but none of them were quite right. Eventually I settled on this simple potato version, which is a creative and somewhat unexpected way to serve potatoes.

This is similar to what you'd find in a dish like chicken and dumplings, but less floury and more potato-forward. These dumplings would also be wonderful with a light tomato sauce and some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or with a little brown butter and fried sage alongside roast pork.

This is a sensitive recipe, so it's important to use a kitchen scale to measure out 24 ounces (11⁄2 pounds) of riced potatoes. If you use too much potato, the mixture might not bind properly and the dumplings may fall apart; if you use too little potato, the dumplings will be too heavy with flour and egg. It's wise to buy a few extra potatoes just in case.

You will need a potato ricer, as a potato masher will not yield a fluffy enough result. The dumplings are at their best and lightest when the potatoes are riced a day ahead of time and allowed to dry out on a baking sheet in the refrigerator overnight. But if you're making this recipe the same day you want to serve it, you can freeze the riced potatoes for 25 minutes to achieve a similar effect.

2 pounds russet potatoes
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons potato starch
1⁄4 cup plus 21⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄16 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 quarts water
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely minced chives

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork, set them on a baking sheet, and bake for about 1 hour, until they can be very easily pierced with a skewer or sharp knife. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool briefly until they can be handled but are still quite warm to the touch, then use a kitchen towel to peel the skin from the flesh. Rice the potatoes and weigh out 24 ounces. Save any leftover potato for another use.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the riced potatoes across the pan. Place the pan, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight to dry out the riced potatoes, or in the freezer to cool for 25 minutes if making the dumplings the same day.

In a small cup or mixing bowl, lightly beat together the eggs and egg yolks until blended. In a another mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, potato starch, 21⁄2 teaspoons of the salt, the pepper, and the nutmeg.

Place the chilled potatoes in a mixing bowl 8 to 10 inches in diameter. Lightly dust the flour mixture across the surface of the potatoes all at once and, using a fork, gently mix to combine (do not overmix). When the mixture looks uniform, add the eggs.

Use the fork to mix until everything once again looks uniform. Then, using both hands, form the mixture into a ball. Very lightly knead it a few times until it forms a homogenous dough.

In a large saucepan, combine the water and the remaining 1⁄4 cup salt and bring to a boil. Taste the seasoning water and remember how salty it is. As you cook the dumplings, some water will evaporate, leaving the cooking water saltier, so it's important to add fresh water as needed to bring it back to this level of seasoning. Break off a small piece of the dough and roll it between your fingers to make a dumpling about the size of a Ping-Pong ball. Don't smash or compact it too much; keep the pressure light and even throughout.

Add the dumpling to the boiling water. When it floats, set your timer for 6 minutes. Allow the dumpling to simmer (not boil) until the timer sounds, then remove it with a slotted spoon or a spider (see page 374) and taste it. The dumpling should be fluffy and well seasoned and not soggy or sticky. It will firm up as it rests. If the dumpling seems too loose and is falling apart, mix another 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour into the potato mixture.

If the tester dumpling turns out well, shape about 12 more dumplings the size of Ping- Pong balls and add them all at once to the water. When the dumplings float, set the timer for 6 minutes, and then leave them to cook, turning them occasionally as they expand. Make sure the water isn't at a hard boil or the dumplings may break apart.

Transfer the dumplings to a Dutch oven. Replenish the boiling water with additional fresh water and adjust the salt as needed. Using the remaining dough, shape and cook a second batch of dumplings. You should have about 25 dumplings total.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Add the butter, parsley, and chives to the dumplings and mix gently to distribute evenly. Cover and heat in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, until warmed through. Serve immediately.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Pickled Mustard Seeds  SERVES 6 TO 8

2 1⁄2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 13⁄4 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons pickled mustard seeds (page 350)

I always liked cooking Brussels sprouts at my old communal dining space, Family Supper, because I love to get people excited about things they think they don't like. A certain generation of people (mine included) grew up with a poor impression of sprouts based on the way they were (over)cooked, but something magical happens when you blast brassicas with hot, direct heat. They caramelize, with a blistery, crackly outside, a tender interior, and a deeply satisfying flavor. The addition of pickled mustard seeds brings just the right amount of acid and sweetness to round out the dish.

Place an empty baking sheet on an oven rack as close to the heat source as possible and preheat the broiler.

Cut the base off of each Brussels sprout, and then cut each sprout in half lengthwise, discarding any floppy outer leaves.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the sprouts with the oil. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper and toss well to combine (this is a good place to practice the aerial salting method described on page 375).

Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the broiler (use a double layer of kitchen towels or oven mitts) and lay the sprouts in a single layer across the pan. Return the pan to the oven and set a timer for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, stir the sprouts and rotate the pan 180 degrees to ensure the sprouts caramelize evenly. Set the timer for another 6 minutes. The sprouts should have a nice char on some areas and be vibrant green.

At the 12-minute mark, add the mustard seeds to the baking sheet and stir well. Broil for an additional 2 minutes. The sprouts should now be ready. When you taste one, it should be tender but not completely soft. I like to test one big sprout and one little sprout to get an average. (The sugars in the pickled mustard seeds will have caramelized a bit and can burn your mouth if you're not careful.) Remove the finished sprouts from the hot baking sheet and serve immediately.

Pickled Mustard Seeds

This recipe makes a fairly large batch, but the seeds will last a long time in the refrigerator. Use them for any kind of relish (feel free to substitute them for dried mustard seeds in Savory Tomato Confiture on page 11), throw a few spoonfuls into roasted vegetables, or add them to Hollandaise (page 32).

3⁄4 cup sugar
21⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 cup water
3⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
1⁄4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1⁄4 cup brown mustard seeds
1 clove garlic

In a small saucepan over high heat, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 35 minutes, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of syrup (but is not as thick as honey). Let cool, transfer to a nonreactive airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Reprinted with permission from Taste & Technique: Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking by Naomi Pomeroy with Jamie Feldmar, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography credit: Chris Court © 2016

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