Stir: Mixing it Up in the Italian Tradition by Barbara Lynch

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    This cookbook was listed in Publisher Weekly’s Best Food Books of 2009.

  • AOski on August 01, 2011

    A fantastic Italian cookbook to add to any collection. Smart recipes that deliver great taste and a good variety of commitment. (Some days i want delicious but i dont want to try that hard.) Its our go to book when we know company is coming over.

  • Breadcrumbs on February 22, 2011

    Love this book. Everything I've tried has been straightforward, well-received and delicious. Beautiful photography, clear and thorough instructions, some unique recipes. Wonderful!

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Seared salmon with white beans and spinach

    • Jane on March 28, 2014

      I've made this with both cod and salmon. The recipe would work with any fish that can be pan-fried. I think without the Olive-lemon relish this would be rather dull - there isn't any added flavor in the recipe - just fish, spinach, white beans, salt and pepper. I added some garlic to the spinach which boosted the flavor too. The relish is really what makes this dish - BL says it "adds an exclamation mark to each bite" and she's right. I had the relish already made and used canned white beans so this dish took about 5 minutes to make.

  • Olive-lemon relish

    • Jane on March 28, 2014

      Breadcrumbs did a great job describing the recipe. I made this to go with the Seared Salmon with White Beans and Spinach (though I used cod). I didn't have any green olives so used black Kalamata but everything else was as the recipe though I used regular lemon rather than Meyer. It had a good combination of flavors and would work with any fish. BL also suggests using it with roasted chicken, grilled eggplant of lamb and I could see that working too.

    • Breadcrumbs on March 14, 2014

      p. 187 We loved this relish! BL suggests this relish be served with a salmon dish on the preceding page and I can certainly see the brightness and acidity of the lemon working beautifully with the richness of salmon. Unfortunately, I didn’t have salmon so I opted for snapper. I dusted my snapper with seasoned flour and fried it in a little olive oil to give it a little extra richness and to compliment its sweet nutty flavour. Of all things I didn’t have Italian parsley (well I did but it was brown!!) so I brightened the otherwise olive-colored mix with a combination of chopped chives and fennel fronds. I have to say that the fennel was really nice with the lemon and complimented the fish as well. We especially liked the subtle sweetness of this recipe. It’s definitely something I’d make again. I can imagine it would be lovely atop some smoked salmon in an appetizer course as well. Delicious! Photos here:

  • Braised chicken thighs with rosemary and garlic

    • Jane on March 30, 2014

      The prep time as a weeknight dish was fine for me (though I no longer have hungry children impatient for dinner). I thought it was OK as an everyday chicken dish but I don't think of it as guest-worthy. The sauce was good, not great, though it may be better using her roasted chicken stock as I had to use stock from a carton. I served it with the Tuscan kale on p.276

    • westminstr on March 20, 2014

      The sauce was so delicious! However I did feel the preparation was not quite streamlined enough for the weeknight. There is a lot of adding liquids and then reducing them which is a bit annoying and will probably prevent me from repeating the recipe, though I have to say the results were very good.

    • chawkins on March 20, 2014

      You can't go wrong with the rosemary and garlic combination. I halved the recipe. Very simple and straight forward steps, only liquids used were wine and chicken stock and the reduction was fairly quick for me. The lemon and parsley added at the end brought a note of brightness to the dish.

    • stockholm28 on March 24, 2014

      Good basic chicken recipe with flavorful sauce. Works for a weeknight.

    • br22 on April 27, 2015

      The basic simplicity of this recipe produces an other worldly experience when decent wine and chicken stock are used. I've tinkered with this a bit as it's so quick and easy and like it best with dry white wine as written and using Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base. I use a large 6qt flat (14" x 2") covered skillet; the reduction takes only a few minutes and BOY is it worth it. The concentration of the simple flavors is amazing.

  • Braised Tuscan kale

    • Jane on March 30, 2014

      I used lacinato/Tuscan kale and thought the result was OK. As mentioned before, after 15 mins the kale still had some structure and wasn't mushy. I did have to add more water during the cooking time. I served it with the Braised Chicken Thighs with Rosemary and Garlic on p.213

    • lizwinn on December 24, 2010

      What's not to love about kale? It's one of our favorite veggies. Instead of the red pepper flakes, I have begun using cholula hot sauce. The vinegary heat adds to the enjoyment of the dish.

    • DKennedy on March 23, 2014

      This is a good basic recipe for kale. I served mine topped with pork confit (Cooking from the SW France/Worfort) tossing in roasted potatoes, runny egg, radishes, and a dressing of duck fat, mustard and lemon juice. Quite good as modified.

    • Delys77 on February 28, 2014

      Pg. 276 This was very good. I often find braised greens over cooked but her suggested time of 15 minutes was just right. I did cover for a few minutes at the beginning to get my greens going, but then I uncovered and stirred as per her suggestion. The balance of the seasonings was just great.

    • chawkins on December 09, 2015

      Like Jane, I had to add quite a bit of water during the 15 minute braise, it was a perfect side for the lemon-herb roasted chicken drumsticks from serious eats.

  • Spicy clam stew

    • westminstr on March 20, 2014

      Made with canned beans. The end result was delicious but IMHO there was way too much liquid in this dish, the beans and clams didn't amalgamate properly. 1/2 c wine and 2 dozen clams would have created more of a "stew."

  • Red wine-braised short ribs

    • jumali on December 19, 2010

      Wonderful flavor--probably the best short rib recipe I've tried.

    • chawkins on August 25, 2019

      I quartered the recipe and cooked it in the counter top oven. Generally, the oven runs higher than the regular oven, I should have lowered the temperature by 25 degrees, but I didn't. The ribs fell off the bone at 3 and a half hours, the beef were a little bit dry and very little sauce left, so I added more beef broth for more sauce. Taste-wise, it was great, the coriander seeds added a certain je ne sais quoi.

  • Salmon with roasted ratatouille and saffron aioli

    • Breadcrumbs on March 09, 2014

      p. 182 - We usually have salmon at least once per week so I decided to make the Aioli and Ratatouille for this dish the day ahead so all I needed to do on a work night was to cook the salmon. The dish was light and flavourful and with much of the work done in advance, it made for a quick and satisfying weeknight meal. This was a lovely dish and we were particularly impressed with the salmon. I haven’t cooked it stovetop in quite a while and it was a nice change of pace to do so. The salmon was sweet and extremely moist. Even though I was only preparing 2 salmon filets I did prepare the full quantity of vegetables. We both ate quite a lot of the veggies but there were a few left over for mr bc’s lunch the next day. While we thoroughly enjoyed the roasted vegetables I do think it’s quite a stretch to call them “ratatouille”. I doubled the roasting time of the veggies. Photos here:

  • Blue cheese butter

    • Breadcrumbs on March 16, 2014

      p. 242 - Oh my goodness this was delicious! Since mr bc and I are garlic heads, I couldn’t resist the urge to toss in a little finely chopped garlic as well. The mixture is then rolled and refrigerated until needed. I’ve used the butter in two applications. mr bc grilled some lovely porcini crusted veal chops and we served a pat of this atop each to the delight of our guests. I’d highly recommend adding the garlic. Somehow the combination of butter, salt, chives and the cheese just screamed steakhouse. It really did take the grilled meat from good to great. I also used some of the leftover butter to coat some freshly made (at a local Italian market) porcini ravioli. Both were excellent. I’m with herby, we love this stuff!! Photos here:

  • Pappardelle with tangy veal ragu

    • Breadcrumbs on January 05, 2011

      p. 138 -This was my first use of this recipe and, the book. Veal shanks are seasoned, floured and browned then removed from the pan to make room for the trinity of carrot, onion and celery, which are softened. Lots of red wine and some balsamic vinegar join in to bubble away until syrupy. The veal is then re-introduced to the pot along with tomatoes, beef stock, water and herbs and I then popped the pot into the oven to simmer away. In the hours that followed our home smelled so delicious! Though Lynch suggests that the braising liquid be strained to remove solids, we couldn’t part with them so we just broke up the meat and served as is. Aside from being truly scrumptious, what I really like about this dish is that it could be made ahead in stages so it would be an excellent company dish, especially at this chilly time of year!

  • Cheese agnolotti with butter sauce, celery, apple, and prosciutto

    • Breadcrumbs on February 19, 2012

      p. 140 - Yet another fabulous recipe from this book. We loved the harmonious flavours in the sauce where the celery and apple blended beautifully and added a welcome crunch to the dish. The sauce is also terrific because it is made ahead w the final ingredients being added just as the pasta cooks. We served this alongside some chicken cooked in a similar style to Saltimbocca chx cutlets w a sage leaf and prosciutto slice atop that were dredged w seasoned flour then browned and cooked. Lovely. We'll definitely make this dish again.

  • Chicken meatballs

    • Breadcrumbs on March 12, 2014

      p. 149 Lovely! BL suggests you form the meat into ¾” balls – “the size of a grape”…the size of a grape!!! When I read this I thought, are you kidding me?!!!! I’ll be here all day shaping these blasted balls. It reminded me of a day many years ago when a neighbour of mine met me in the driveway one Sunday morning knowing I’d just watched Martha Stewart Living (my Sunday morning ritual at the time) she said “breadcrumbs…Martha’s lost it!! She’s cooking fish on GRASS!!!” That’s kind of how I felt about shaping meatballs into grape-sized balls. Madness! In the end, I opted for golf ball sized meatballs and all was well in the world! I used basil vs thyme. I served these atop spaghetti with Odd Fellow Marinara. The texture of the meatballs was more dense than my usual veal/beef/pork meatball recipe, likely attributable to the fine texture of the meat and the lack of fat. Photos here:

  • Ricotta gnudi

    • Breadcrumbs on March 16, 2014

      p. 153 – Outstanding! I’ve never made gnudi before so I was surprised how well this came together. I was a little concerned about the stickiness of the dough but a little flour on my hands made all the difference and I was soon in business. Once I got the swing of using the gnocchi board I got my rhythm the gnudi-making process sailed into full swing. I will say the little balls of dough were incredibly light and tender and the tough part for me was learning the appropriate amount of pressure to apply as I rolled them down my board. Freezing to ensure a successful cooking process is a must. I have to say we were blown away with the final product – so airy, super tender & really just seemed to melt in your mouth. The gnudi don’t need much in the way of sauce, as you really want to be able to enjoy the sweet subtle flavour of the ricotta, which the hint of Parmesan somehow seems to draw out. One of my favourites from the book. Photos:

  • Lemon aioli

    • Breadcrumbs on March 19, 2014

      p. 47 - Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time before I discovered a recipe that disappointed and it seems this was it. I’ve made a lot of Aioli but this is the very first time I’ve ever had an issue with the Aioli emulsifying. I’m not sure what the issue was…perhaps too much olive oil? I use a whole egg in my usual recipe but only ½ cup of oil. BL calls for 2 yolks but ¾ cup of oil. In any event, all was not lost and I was able to revive the soupy mess by whisking while drizzling it slowly into a bowl to which I added another egg yolk. I then split the recipe in half and added some Sriracha (an optional ingredient) to one bowl so mr bc and I could do a taste test. No surprise that I preferred the Sriracha version and mr bc preferred the plain one! The end product was too eggy and rich for my taste. Photos here:

    • twoyolks on December 12, 2015

      I also had an issue with the aioli emulsifying the first time but I think I added the oil too quickly. The aioli is very lemony. I made it with the optional harissa but had to add more so that I could taste any heat. This is also very thick and could use something to thin it out.

  • Tomato confit

    • Breadcrumbs on March 14, 2014

      p. 28 Though I’d love to try this in the summer, my love of tomatoes got the better of me and when I saw organic Roma tomatoes at the Italian market yesterday, I just had to toss some into my cart to give this recipe a try. As I read through it this morning, I appreciated that BL had anticipated that folks may be preparing this dish off-season and for those circumstances, she offered and adapted recipe. This is quick and easy to prepare. I prepared these in advance to accompany an iceberg salad recipe later this week but with the wonderful aromas wafting from the oven, we couldn’t resist a little try today. These off-season tomatoes were sweet and deeply flavoured. As BL suggests, I’ve reserved the oil to re-purpose…likely in a pasta sauce. BL’s off-season secret you ask? Sprinkle the tomatoes w a little sugar before baking. Yum! Photos here:

  • Mixed greens with fresh herbs

    • Breadcrumbs on March 14, 2014

      p. 60 - A big bowl of springtime on a blustery winter snow day! With a foot of snow on the ground so far today and more on the way mr bc and I were desperate for a dose of something to brighten our spirits and this salad with its spring & summer herbs (basil and chives in my case) was just the antidote for the never-ending misery of winter! The basil and chives just seemed to brighten the overall green flavours in the salad and the subtle sweetness of the maple syrup in the otherwise fairly traditional vinaigrette dressing seemed to really draw out the sweetness of the greens and herbs. We really enjoyed this little burst of springtime and I’m happy to have lots of dressing leftover for another night…if the snow keeps up, we’ll be in need of another dose tomorrow!! Photos here:

  • Bibb lettuce with creamy Parmesan dressing and cheese crisps

    • Breadcrumbs on March 16, 2014

      p. 62 - mr bc was craving a Caesar salad and when I saw this recipe, I figured it should satisfy his craving and would work perfectly with our grilled veal chops this evening…and it did! I’ve never added oil to my frico in the past and I don’t think I’d do so again, I thought it bound the Parmesan together too much and compacted the cheese. That said, it did serve to quicken the browning process. brown and bubbling, the photo in the book shows very anemic looking frico. BL suggests drizzle the dressing atop the greens but in the spirit of the Caesar, I dressed them before plating. This salad not only looked beautiful but it tasted incredible. mr bc is salad-averse and he said he’d give it a 9.5 out of 10. I’ll say no more…other than there was quite a bit of dressing leftover after serving 4. BL says it will keep in the fridge for “a couple of days”. Photos here:

  • Roasted eggplant with golden raisin-pine nut vinaigrette and feta

    • Breadcrumbs on March 16, 2014

      p. 75 - Wow! This is an appetizer that dazzles. Such a unique flavour and textural profile. I subbed sliced almonds for the pine nuts but otherwise made as set out. Salty, sweet, creamy, crunchy, tender…you name it, this dish has it all, in spades. BL suggests that this recipe is ideal with fairly eggplants and you can bet that I’ll be seeking them out this summer but let me tell you, even with cubed Italian eggplant, off-season, this dish was sensational and totally impressed our guests. A dish that is far, far greater than the sum of its parts. So different and flavourful. I love it when a cookbook introduces you to something you’d never have come up with yourself and believe me, this was one such occasion. Because individual components can be prepared in advance this is a perfect company dish. Beware though, it is quite rich…but worth every calorie. Photos here:

    • IsaSim on June 19, 2014

      This was a mega hit with our small family. Cannot add much to Breadcrumbs note, except it works too with pine nuts!

  • Odd Fellow marinara

    • Breadcrumbs on March 14, 2014

      p. 120 – Yum! Marinara is a dish w so many variations. What sets this apart from my own recipe is the inclusion of onions and the chopping vs slicing of garlic. This was a nice Marinara that deepened in flavour and colour as it spluttered away atop my stove. Mr bc loved the inclusion of onions. I want to try this atop the Ricotta Gnudi (perhaps later this week as I purchased fresh ricotta today). I served this w fresh rigatoni and the chicken meatballs. We really enjoyed this dish. …for anyone interested, this dish gets its name from the “Odd Fellows” building across the street from BL’s restaurant. Photos here:

    • chawkins on November 13, 2013

      Solid marinara with a little kick, very good and quick.

  • Butcher shop Bolognese

    • Breadcrumbs on February 19, 2011

      pgs. 121/2 - What separates this Bolognese from others we’ve tried is the combination of meats used. Ground veal, pork and lamb are added to sage and finely chopped chicken livers that have been browned and seasoned along with the usual onion-carrot-celery mix. Wine, chicken broth, chopped tomatoes are then added in to simmer away and, perfume your home with their meaty, delicious aromas! Prior to serving,1/2 cup of heavy cream is stirred in. The lamb and livers really did deepen the flavors of this sauce that was almost "stew-like" in flavor. This is a real stick to your ribs meal that just hit the spot on this very cold, snowy Toronto evening. Oh, and the red wine played an excellent supporting role!

    • mirage on October 02, 2015

      It was very good but we prefer Hazen's

    • AOski on September 16, 2011

      Agree with Breadcrumbs ...the difference is in the liver. It gives a rich, deep flavor...but doesn't cross the line into metallic or the other profiles often associated with offal. Also, don't short change the time! If your making bolognese, take the time to let it reduce and do it right. In the words of Alton, "Your patience will be rewarded."

    • Delys77 on March 20, 2014

      Pg. 121 I let this simmer for about 4 hours, at which point it had reduced to a very meaty mass. The colour isn't as lovely as the picture, but the flavour is very good. It is full of meaty umami goodness, without any hint of offal. I might add a touch of basil at the end to liven the herbal flavour up a bit, but otherwise this is very good as written. I served with dried tagliatelle and it was a good combo. I did go with about 1 lb of dried pasta and the ratio of sauce to pasta was good for us (we like a lot of sauce).

    • Rinshin on March 15, 2014

      I skipped liver (don't eat offal) and used chopped turkey ham in it's place. I used home ground beef chuck and pork shoulder. Added 3 cloves garlic. I have my own Bolognese that I like very much but wanted to try other versions. This was excellent and first time using sage in the sauce. Also, first time I did not use nutmeg. I cooked for 5 hours total. Awesome taste. Great with homemade pasta.

  • Pasta with potatoes and pesto

    • Breadcrumbs on July 08, 2012

      p. 126 Amazing! Though this combination of ingredients didn’t seem to be an obvious choice for a pasta dish, I put my faith in Ms Lynch as she’s never let us down and this time was no exception. The preparation method allows the flavours and textures of the vegetables to shine through and the finished dish was exceptional, it really surprised us. The sauce was rich and somehow creamy tasting – so much so that it reminded us a little of Carbonara. I ended up cooking the potatoes along w the pasta to save a step and, some time. This was so good we’re having it again this week. Scrumptious! photos here:

    • Delys77 on March 26, 2014

      Pg. 126 A very hearty dish with good flavours, but I do suggest adding a touch of parm and cream to the pesto to really take it to the next level. Timing and cooking instructions worked well. The one note is to make sure your pasta is piping hot and that your pesto has been warmed a bit as the potatoes and green beans are going in cold.

  • Rigatoni with spicy sausage and cannellini beans

    • Breadcrumbs on February 21, 2011

      p. 135 On a cold winter’s day we were in need of some heat and this dish came to mind. Funny that Lynch comment’s that the dish 'is perfect for a chilly night' and I didn’t read this until after dinner! This pasta has a lot going for it in that it’s quick to pull together w minimal chopping, primarily relies on pantry ingredients and, tastes fabulous. I prepared as directed and in hindsight, I’d taste the sauce prior to adding the suggested amount of chili flakes since our final dish was pretty darn spicy. Obviously our Italian sausages were spiced more aggressively than usual! No pasta water was added to the sauce, it was loose enough as is. Lynch has this as an optional step. Fresh basil was a nice touch. I’d make it again, w less heat, especially for K.

    • Gio on March 31, 2013

      Pg. 135. Made this on a chilly Spring night, 3. 30. 13, and it was, simply stated, Perfect. Tons of unmistakable Italian flavors especially with a reduction of a 2009 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico DOCG in the sauce. Used all the required ingredients without substitutions. One half teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes was just right for us. Hot and spicy in-house (local It. market) made Italian pork sausages, De Cecco rigatoni, Pomi chopped tomatoes, imported Parmigiano, Goya tinned cannellini. G had three helpings!

    • Delys77 on March 04, 2014

      Pg. 135 Much as everyone else is saying, we quite liked this dish. the combination of pasta and beans is always good, and the sauce is lovely. I would however suggest upping the parm and basil a bit, and also I often reserve about 1/4 cup of wine to be tossed in toward the end of cooking. It spikes the sauce a bit and makes it a bit more assertive. Lastly, the quality of your sausage is critical.

    • chawkins on April 16, 2013

      So very good, the sauce was just perfect, not too thick, not too thin and the cheese and butter added creaminess, I did not have to add any of the reserved pasta water. Had trouble finding a 19oz can of cannellini beans in the supermarket, Cento is the only brand available here. Will see if there are others available next time I visit a specialty store.

  • Cheese risotto

    • mirage on May 13, 2020

      Best closer to room temperature.

  • Pork chops with caramelized apples, celery and spiced walnuts

    • mirage on July 18, 2014

      A quick week-night friendly dish suitable for company. Delicious.

    • Kduncan on March 03, 2020

      Overall I wasn't that impressed by the recipe (used the online version). I think without the puree it just wasn't a full dish. The apples were delicious though.

  • Pearl onions au gratin

    • mindyb on November 14, 2018

      This has become a Thanksgiving staple in our family. If you buy already peeled onions it is a breeze.

  • Steam-roasted asparagus with fresh herb vinaigrette

    • smtucker on March 22, 2014

      Excellent and unexpected. Use FAR less oil for the steaming. Cut vinaigrette in half. Full recipe is too much for the asparagus.

    • lorloff on March 20, 2018

      The fresh herb vinaigrette is great. It does make a lot. I made the herb vinaigrette with tarragon, chives, dill and a small amount of parsley and have served it later as a sauce for salmon. I too used less oil for the roasted asparagus. They were in season so I also added fresh morels which went with this beautifully.

  • Corn off the cob

    • smtucker on March 22, 2014

      Another great success from this book. Recipe also calls for onion. Shallot might be even better. Cut butter in half; half tablespoon per ear of corn. Very fast recipe and doesn't need the oven!

  • Slow-roasted clams with spicy tomato sauce

    • DKennedy on July 28, 2013

      Outstanding. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

    • blintz on April 19, 2014

      Roasted clams! Who knew? So much easier than worrying about clams opening while shaking them in a skillet. Next time I might try cooking the tomatoes a bit before adding the clams. Seemed like they could have used more roasting.

  • Spicy tomato soup with crispy grilled cheese

    • DKennedy on July 28, 2013

      The grilled cheese that accompanies this soup is outstanding.

    • stockholm28 on December 06, 2015

      I only made the soup. This recipe also appears in Food52's "Genius Recipes". This is a perfectly acceptable tomato soup, but adding red pepper flakes to what is a very basic tomato soup does not raise the soup to a genius level in my opinion. My red pepper flakes were very fresh and the resulting soup definitely had some kick. I did strain the soup and I think this helped. Mostly seeds were left in the strainer. Straining gave it a soup "mouth-feel" rather than a sauce "mouth-feel". I froze the leftovers in 1 cup portions so will be eating this again this winter.

  • Peaches and cream

    • DKennedy on July 28, 2013

      This was delicious.

  • Prune-stuffed gnocchi with foie gras sauce

    • L.Nightshade on October 07, 2015

      These gnocchi require freezing after assembly. So I made them a couple days in advance of our dinner. I used madeira, as opposed to vin santo. The dough yields cloud-like gnocchi. The recipe makes quite a bit more dough than the prunes and madeira supply for stuffing, and I only used about 1/2 tsp per gnoccho, as opposed to the 1 tsp called for. I rolled some of the remaining dough on a gnocchi board, sautéed them in butter with a little parm, just great. Making foie butter by pushing raw, room temperature foie gras through a sieve, then blending it with butter, was easier than it sounds, and it blended beautifully with the reduced madeira, thyme, shallots, peppercorns, and coriander seeds. Once strained, it becomes a wonderfully smooth, rich sauce. When it’s time to serve, the gnocchi only take a few seconds to cook. Oh yes, these are something special. Photo here

  • Chicken meatball lasagnettes

    • AOski on September 16, 2011

      Crazy good! In fairness we substituted bolgenese for the chicken meatballs. But the sauces and method for free form lasagnettes are delicious.

  • Torn pasta fagioli with shrimp polpettini

    • Delys77 on March 12, 2014

      Pg. 133 Very hearty dish that hits the spot, even with regular dried pasta such as tagliatelle. I would use a bit more herbs in the white bean sauce and season heavily. The polpettini are lemony and just right the way they are.

  • Brioche pizza with black olives and fresh ricotta

    • Delys77 on March 10, 2014

      Pg. 51 The olive spread was lovely, as was the ricotta in combination with it. My only challenge was that the brioche didn't crisp as much as I would have liked. That said, I believe this is due to the fact that I overworked the dough and added far too much flour to it. I would likely try again as this has promise.

  • Pan-fried cod with chorizo and clam ragout

    • Delys77 on March 24, 2014

      Pg 180 I almost didn't score or write notes on this one as I totally forgot to buy one of the core ingredients, clams, but went ahead with it anyway. With the clams it would likely have been better, but on the whole even without I found this to be good. The chorizo really takes it up a notch both in terms of flavour and heat. It turns a rather common pairing of ingredients into something a touch more special.

  • Lemony breaded chicken cutlets

    • Delys77 on February 28, 2014

      Pg. 208 This was good but I do think it is a bit odd to sauce the crisped panko at the end. The flavours of the breast, the topping and the sauce are very nice, but then you ruin the lovely crisp panko by saucing it. I might consider serving the sauce on the side next time. Also, be careful with the amount of salt you are using as she has you season at each step so go easy each time you salt. Lastly, I had to broil for a few minutes to get the panko just right.

  • Lamb stew with sweet potatoes and barley

    • Delys77 on March 19, 2014

      Pg. 251 Definitely follow the suggested liquid amounts as the barley absorbs lots of the water. Overall a good dish, but I think it does need the optional topping of salad and likely would be best served with a starchy side like orzo or couscous. Mostly to cut the pungency of the flavours, which are good but can be overwhelming on their own.

  • Braised lamb shanks with winter root vegetables

    • Delys77 on March 24, 2014

      Pg. 255 The lamb and its jus were both delicious after cooking for about 2h45. The balance of flavours was great and the lamb was succulent. I did find the jus a bit thin and might add a touch of beurre manié next time. Vegetable wise I went with celery root, carrot, potato and rutabaga. A good combination which I cooked all at once in a large pot with the suggested butter and water. It took about 35 minutes for it cook to the right braised consistancy. Lovely dish.

  • Cornish game hen cacciatore with creamy mascarpone polenta

    • Delys77 on March 13, 2014

      Pg. 218 I substituted 7 medium sized thighs weighing about 2.5 lbs for the hens. I also didn't have any Italian peppers so I went with pickled jalapeño, about 2 tb chopped. I found this recipe delicious. No need to reduce the wine and stock separately. In my case I also partially covered while the chicken was cooking for about 20-25 minutes. I also went with slightly lower heat ranges on the whole. The result is a lovely braised chicken with plenty of luscious jammy sauce for saucing, as opposed to my usually cacciatore which is more of a chicken swimming in a stew like sauce. On the whole this is a winner.

    • chawkins on November 09, 2013

      The cacciatore could used a tad more heat. I substituted 2 serreno and one jalapeno chiles for the hot italian chiles called for. Other than that, it was quite tasty.

  • Citrus-cured salmon

    • twoyolks on March 20, 2016

      The citrus flavor actually comes through in the salmon. It compliments the salmon without overpowering it.

  • Fried calamari with spicy lemon aioli

    • twoyolks on December 12, 2015

      These were good but not any different than well-fried calamari. I needed a lot more flour mixture than the recipe calls for. When putting the calamari in the oil, they will spit and pop quite a bit because of the large amount of liquid so be aware.

  • Linguini with spicy clam sauce

    • chawkins on June 02, 2013

      Used a mix of littleneck and cherrystone clams and dried multigrain linguini. Heed her warning about the saltiness of the clam liquid and be judicious with the addition of the Parmesean.

  • Spicy lobster Bolognese

    • chawkins on May 23, 2013

      Quite a bit of work but well worth the effort. I halved the recipe, used a 1.45 lb lobster, and used whole wheat linguine instead of spaghetti. After simmering the lobster stock for 45 minutes, I wound up with 2 cups of stock, doubled what BL said should be left. I went ahead with the rest of the recipe using all the stock to make the sauce and I cooked 6oz of pasta instead of the 4 oz called for (my husband is a hearty eater), and there was just the right amount of sauce for the pasta. Will make again next time lobster is on sale.

  • Roasted chicken stock

    • chawkins on November 09, 2013

      I made this with the cornish hen carcases. Intensely dark in color, looks like a beef broth. The wine taste was still quite dominate. This is a reduction of 4 qts of water and 2 cups of wine to 1 qt of stock.

  • Slow-roasted beef tenderloin with thyme

    • chawkins on July 15, 2013

      I scaled everything down for my 2-lb piece of tenderloin and cooked it for 2 hours on my little counter-top oven. The internal temperature was slightly higher than the recommended 130 degree F, covered and sat for 1/2 hour then sliced. The beef was cooked to perfection. Served with red wine sauce. Simple and delicious.

  • Red wine sauce

    • chawkins on July 15, 2013

      Another simple and tasty recipe form this book. Went well with the slow roasted beef tenderloin with thymes.

  • Creamy mascarpone polenta

    • chawkins on November 09, 2013

      This is simply wonderful.

  • Fresh pasta dough

    • Rinshin on March 15, 2014

      Excellent recipe. Very easy to follow. It's been a while since I've made homemade pasta but this went really well and tasty. I halved the recipe thinking if I fail, I can do it again, but first time no problem. Made into fettuccine.

  • Chicken and vegetable soup with caraway gnocchi

    • MWFhome on May 15, 2014

      This recipe makes an easy, delicious and chiken-rich soup. Add the caraway seeds in the gnocchi only if you really like that flavor.

  • Caraway gnocchi

    • MWFhome on May 15, 2014

      As reported, the gnocchi are very easy to make. You have to really like caraway flavor, which is the highlight of this dish and the soup that it appears alongside of in the book.

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Reviews about this book

  • NPR by T. Susan Chang

    So often [chef's first cookbooks) are flashy, ambitious and about as useful to your home cook as, say, a biplane, which is why so few of them end up on my top 10 lists. But [this one did].

    Full review
  • Fine Cooking

    ...the cookbook her admirers have been hungering for. Her contemporary French/Italian-inspired food is refined but approachable... Helpful sidebars inspire, instruct, and ensure happy results.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 0618576819
  • ISBN 13 9780618576814
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Apr 01 2010
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 352
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publishers Text

"How a working-class Irish girl from South Boston became a chef with a national reputation is one of those virtually unanswerable nature-vs-nurture questions. But to watch Barbara Lynch as she mixes dough with her to see a young woman with the soul of an Italian grandmother."
--Mark Bittman, New York Times

The food of Barbara Lynch's Boston restaurants is so beguiling that many critics think it rivals that of Italy. In Stir, the James Beard Award-winning chef shows how to make the robustly flavored dishes that have won her national acclaim. The 150 recipes--from Torn Pasta "Rags" with Spicy Clams to Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Taleggio--combine primarily Italian food season with a New Englander's practicality, with some French techniques for deepening flavor. Lynch offers forthright opinions on how she simplifies dishes without sacrificing flavor. Full-color photographs throughout by Deborah Jones, who has made Thomas Keller's books so successful.

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