Roasting: A Simple Art by Barbara Kafka

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    1996 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award Winner

  • wester on September 10, 2012

    Every recipe I've made from this book so far has turned out great. The recipes are quite simple, and all the details that you should pay attention to are worked out. I am very happy with this book.

  • crjoburke on December 26, 2009

    Kafka adapts vegetables poultry and meat to high temperature roasting. Despite temperatures of 500 degrees, these recipes work!

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Beef hash with tomatoes and fresh spinach

    • Jane on April 03, 2010

      Good use of leftover roast beef or brisket. I would need a much better non-stick pan to be able to turn it out though as it was well-stuck though tasty.

    • Cheri on May 08, 2012

      This is a very good use of leftover roast beef. I had a tri-tip roast that had a pretty spicy dry rub on it, and had been roasted. I used that, substituted fresh sugar plum tomatoes that I quartered, used some german butterball potatoes (did not pre-boil) and for lack of other necessary ingredients, a bit of ketchup to bind as well as the spinich. Very satisfying!

    • ldemeter on January 13, 2021

      I have made this a number of times. Very tasty, although I think the onions should cook for a shorter time at the beginning since they get quite brown by the end.

  • Basic turkey stock

    • wester on January 04, 2013

      Excellent, flavorful stock. You just need the carcass of your turkey and a lot of simmering time.

  • Best roast duck

    • wester on October 30, 2014

      You need a very large pan to make this recipe - the duck is poached before the roasting. Don't try to make it without - I tried to improvise and it didn't work out. Hence no rating. ETA: Nigella Lawsons improvisation on this recipe looks more promising. In How to Eat.

  • Simple roast pheasant

    • wester on December 25, 2013

      This recipe got the outside of the pheasant so brown I was afraid it would burn, while the inside was still too pink for my liking.

  • Simple chicken breasts, legs, and thighs

    • wester on February 01, 2014

      Very basic, but excellent: succulent meat, crispy skin. Also works with less than the amount of chicken she uses - I only had 4 legs, less than 2 pounds altogether, and I got great results.

  • Roast chicken with crispy potatoes

    • wester on September 10, 2012

      Easy, easy, easy. Just plop a chicken and potatoes in the oven together, and everything comes out just right. Lovely chicken, wonderful potatoes. I used a slightly smaller chicken with the timing adjustments given on page 22. I'm not too sure the onion is needed. Next time just chicken, potatoes and some rosemary.

    • pitterpat4 on June 21, 2015

      Easy and tasty recipe. I left out the onions and extra garlic. Used new potatoes, they came out crispy on the outside.

  • Chicken salad with crunch

    • wester on June 28, 2020

      I enjoyed this: simple, tasty and summery. Unfortunately, the children didn't care for it.

  • Basic chicken stock

    • wester on September 10, 2012

      Very long very slow simmering makes very flavorful stock. If you want to simmer overnight like I did, make sure you add enough water and use a real low flame - it reduces quite a lot in a night! I did not bother skimming the stock, and I was still very happy with the result.

  • Simple roast leg of lamb

    • wester on December 16, 2011

      Cooking from a new cookbook when you have guests is always a bit scary - but when else am I going to roast a 6-pound leg of lamb? And these high temperatures make it even scarier. However, it worked out fine. The lamb was fine and juicy with a nice crispy brown skin. It also needed very little hands-on time, a good thing when you have guests. The hour given would have produced very rare meat. I am happy I used a meat thermometer and the chart on page 130 and left it in the oven for another 25 minutes.

    • rionafaith on November 12, 2017

      p. 186 -- Timing for 5lb bone-in butt end leg: 500* for 10 mins, lowered to 425* for 35 mins, then tented with foil for an additional 10 mins. I inserted 3 garlic cloves cut into slivers, slathered with dijon mustard and S&P, and rolled and trussed it into a more uniform shape. Ended up perfectly medium rare in the center after resting for about 20 mins. Nice basic roasting technique.

    • anya_sf on April 23, 2019

      I roasted a trimmed semi-boneless (just one major bone) short leg of lamb, about 4 lbs. I rubbed it with a garlic-rosemary-olive oil-salt-pepper mixture about 8 hours before roasting. I did not make the jus. The lamb needed an extra 10 minutes to reach medium-rare where I tested it, although I discovered that the temperature varied widely. After 30 minutes of resting, some parts were medium-well (although tender), while the part near the bone was still very bloody. The lamb itself lacked seasoning, but that's not part of this recipe. So I had mixed results with this roasting method.

  • Mildly cardamom cabbage

    • wester on February 15, 2019

      This had an excellent balance of bitter, creamy, salty, acidic and sweet (roughly in that order). I'm not sure the cardamom really adds anything though. Roasting time is slightly too long - I halved the second roasting.

  • Toasty Treviso with mozzarella and anchovies

    • wester on December 29, 2014

      Can substitute endive or Verona radicchio for Treviso radicchio.

    • wester on January 08, 2015

      I made this with endives, and it was pretty good. Next time roast longer and use more mozzarella.

  • Roasted rutabaga wedges

    • wester on December 29, 2014

      These were quite acceptable, which I feel is probably the highest appreciation attainable for rutabagas/swedes.

  • Zucchini chunks with citrus and mint

    • wester on August 28, 2012

      Fresh, summery, easy. Great when you have too many zucchini, and still worth making if you don't.

  • Mahogany roasted endives

    • wester on December 16, 2011

      This is going to be my recipe for endives from now on (unless I want to make a salad, of course). Soft, buttery and full of roasted flavor. I made 4 of them, which according to the recipe should feed 2 to 4 people. I ate them all by myself. And it is so easy as well. I used all butter instead of butter and another fat. I definitely will experiment with other fats. I added some fish stock, as I served them with fish. I'm not sure the stock is really needed, just with salt it is delicious already. The outside is even better than the inside, so use small endives or cut them in half.

  • Roasted sliced fennel bulb

    • wester on December 16, 2011

      Wonderful soft fennel with a brown, almost crisp, outside. Lovely. ETA: I find the fennel stays together better if cut into wedges instead of slices.

  • Roasted pork tenderloins Tangiers

    • sheepishjen on June 08, 2017

      Very good and very simple - roasts in 20 minutes.

  • Roasted broccoli with lemon-garlic bath

    • sheepishjen on June 08, 2017

      This is one of my favorite ways to make broccoli. I thought at first that the lemon-garlic bath might be too much liquid for the amount of broccoli, but I did as the recipe instructed and was glad I did. Somehow it all works out better than the sum of the parts. It reminded me of a dish at Industrial Eats in Buellton.

    • rionafaith on November 12, 2017

      p. 323 -- Nice change from my usual basic roast broccoli. Slightly different technique -- I liked the higher temperature this uses, but I don't really understand the whole cutting the head into strips thing, since it basically just crumbles into florets anyway? Maybe I'm missing something. I used the juice of one lemon, didn't bother measuring it, and it was a good amount of flavor. I'll make this again but will probably just cut the broccoli into florets next time.

  • Chicken wings with Asian glaze

    • foolcontrol on February 05, 2018

      The marinade and the sauce were really good. However, next time I will grill the wings until the skin is bubbly and crisp.

    • JKDLady on July 18, 2015

      Absolutely terrific. The oil in the bottom of the pan is to help them brown, I think. The sauce is a rather dull looking brown. I used two pans. The ones I cooked in a glass pan were much prettier than the ones in a Le Creuset pan. The family loved these.

  • Simplest roast chicken

    • JKDLady on July 15, 2015

      Very good, but set off the smoke detector

    • pitterpat4 on December 02, 2021

      Very good. Do use a good vent fan and open the windows. It will create a lot of smoke.

  • Simple rib roast

    • JKDLady on July 15, 2015

      This is my go to dish for Christmas dinner. I pull it out at 105º.

  • Yorkshire pudding

    • JKDLady on July 15, 2015

      I make a medium batch with 6 eggs, 2 cup flour, 2cup milk, 1.5 tsp salt, 1/4 cup fat.

  • Perfect beef stew

    • JKDLady on July 15, 2015

      I used boneless arm roast. This was excellent.

  • Elegant Asian beef soup

    • Rinshin on December 27, 2016

      Quite tasty using only leftover cooked beef bones from the rib roast along with shrimp shells. In the end though, I added some dried shitake mushrooms to increase the savory taste. Somewhat similar to beef pho broth. Good with rice, kudzu or bean noodles.

  • Roasted flank steak with potatoes and portobello mushrooms

    • bching on July 30, 2020

      Excellent weeknight meal. I use shiitake rather than portobello mushrooms.

  • Lamb soup with lentils

    • rionafaith on April 27, 2020

      Made the lamb stock last time I roasted a leg a month or so ago and reserved it in the freezer along with 8oz of meat in preparation to make this recipe somewhere down the line. Today was the day! Recipe does not specify a type of lentils to use and unfortunately the brown "horse gram" lentils I had in the pantry (purchased from Dual Specialty) took well over an hour and a half to soften as opposed to the half hour that the soup is supposed to cook. Clearly this is the fault of the lentils I used and not the recipe -- I didn't realize this was such a weirdly long-cooking lentil variety and I guess it should have been soaked at least, but I never do that for lentils and the package had no instructions to do so. Now I know. Anyway, the flavor of this is very rich and while the broccoli rabe may have suffered slightly for being cooked so long it's a very tasty soup. I added a splash of sherry vinegar at the very end to brighten it up.

  • Beef salad with horseradish dressing

    • ldemeter on January 13, 2021

      One of the few recipes in this wonderful cookbook that I did not like. Didn’t like the leftover beef cloaked in mayonnaise.

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  • ISBN 10 0688131352
  • ISBN 13 9780688131357
  • Published Feb 13 1997
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Imprint William Morrow

Publishers Text

Barbara Kafka minces herbs, not words. She opens her remarkable book with a straightforward credo. I believe, she writes, in hot ovens, short roasting times, and rare meat. With passion and with Kafka confronts many of the sacred cows of home cooking custom -- not to mention chickens, pheasant, swordfish and summer squash -- and roasts them all at a blazing 500 degrees.

Kafka can take the heat. As she has in her previous award-winning cookbooks-- and in her popular commentary in Vogue, Gourmet, and now on the national Television Food Network--Kafka proposes a bold new change in American cooking habits. In Roasting, she introduces a fundamentally different way to use conventional ovens, detailed in precise techniques and more than 230 meticulously tested recipes. Her high-temperature roasting method produces delicious results -- for vegetables and fruits, as well as poultry, fish and meats -- often in half the usual time.

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