Naomi Pomeroy's debut cookbook,
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.
& 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
Special thanks to the author and her publisher, Ten Speed Press,
for sharing three recipes that can be dinner tonight. Be sure to
giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this
Porcini Braised Chicken
SERVES 6 TO 8
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
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
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
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.
SERVES 6 TO 8
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
2 pounds russet potatoes
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
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
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
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
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
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
Pickled Mustard Seeds
MAKES ABOUT 1
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