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The A.O.C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin

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Notes about this book

  • DKennedy on November 30, 2013

    Cooking class consideration: speck (p.49), grilled arctic char w/ arugula and cherry tomatoes (p. 116); skordalia (p. 186), cheesecake (p. 329) - but will need to make a second cake (because it needs to firm up 4 hours before serving). Served with walnut biscotti but I think it might be nice to crush a biscotti on the base of the plate so when you cut off a bite, your cake picks up traces of it like a crust. I like this menu b/c of the simple techniques it showcases and also its use of traditional ingredients in ways we don't normally see them. Techniques: grilling, vinaigrette, knife skills, baking, plating, balancing flavors.

  • DKennedy on November 29, 2013

    Bday gift from my kids for my 50th birthday. Spent the day devouring it and marking recipes to try. The bacon wrapped dates and curried cauliflower are favorites from the restaurant. Instructive tips such as keeping a cheese diary (p. 19) are reminiscent of Zuni and are not to be missed. Intro to salad section is the best I've ever read.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Grilled Arctic char with arugula and cherry tomato-anchovy brown butter

    • DKennedy on December 02, 2013

      Excellent. This is the first recipe I have tried out of this book. This fish grills beautifully. Similar taste and texture of salmon, only tastier. The butter sauce came out a little salty. If using canned anchovies, omit the salt in the butter sauce recipe.

    • L.Nightshade on May 17, 2017

      No arctic char around here, Coho salmon is said to be similar, so that is what I used. No luck with arugula either, so just served it on tomatoes with basil. This is one of the easier recipes in the book, no imbedded recipes requiring back and forth page-turning. It’s very quick, but dinner-party worthy. One of our guests declared it the best salmon she’d ever had.

  • Beef brisket with slow-roasted Romano beans and black olive aïoli

    • DKennedy on December 17, 2013

      Made this for dinner and served it alongside potato latkes. A really delicious recipe, the balsamic adds a distinctive layer. Browning the top makes for a fantastic presentation.

    • amoule on February 09, 2014

      Fabulous. A fair amount of work for brisket. Recipe needs to be started 2 days in advance, though, honestly, I started the morning of the day I served and it was still great.

    • smccandless on August 07, 2016

      My guests raved. Directions are perfect. Substituted green beans for Romano, which worked out fine. Use touch less salt in green beans.

    • clcorbi on May 10, 2017

      Phenomenal. I marinated my brisket (a 3-lb one) for 18 hours, then braised it the morning I intended to serve it, and reheated it at dinner time. I lowered the braise time to account for my smaller piece of meat, but by the time it was done, it was already too tender to slice nicely like in the picture. I shredded it and browned it in the oven, which is a really nice step to get a bit of crust. I didn't make the black olive aioli, but rather doctored some good-quality storebought mayo with crushed black olives, lemon juice, garlic, and cayenne to taste. I am not a huge olive fan so I added about half the amount called for, and to my taste, that was perfect. The flavor really does compliment the brisket in a nice way so I'm glad I didn't skip them.

  • Skordalia

    • DKennedy on December 17, 2013

      Served alongside the arctic char.

  • Young goat cheese with dried figs and saba

    • DKennedy on December 17, 2013

      The technique for caramelizing the shallots is the key to this recipe.

  • Roasted pear crisp with cranberries and yogurt sherbet

    • ncollyer on January 03, 2014

      A bit more work than a regular crisp, but well worth it.

  • Chickpeas

    • westminstr on March 05, 2014

      These took about 3 hours to cook as opposed to the 1.5 given in the recipe. They were, however, fantastic. Lovely broth!

  • Roasted cauliflower with curry and red vinegar

    • westminstr on March 05, 2014

      I took the weeknight shortcut of using preground spices, plus I subbed regular pimenton for bittersweet paprika, which I think took some of the oomph out of the dish. I liked the cauliflower but I think I was expecting something a bit more special out of this dish. At the end of the day it was just spiced roasted cauliflower.

    • TrishaCP on October 13, 2014

      This was fine but not as special as a typical Suzanne Goin recipe. As Westminstr said, it is just a simple spiced roast cauliflower dish. The flavors work well together, and this would be a good side to a richer main dish.

  • Long-cooked cavolo nero

    • Melanie on May 26, 2014

      I loved the techniques used in this recipe - flavouring the oil before cooking the cavolo nero. Overall cooking time is about 45 min.

  • Peach and arugula salad with burrata, cumin, and toasted almonds

    • TrishaCP on August 30, 2014

      Absolutely brilliant and delicious combination of flavors. The cumin flavor is subtle and mixes nicely with the pop of toasted almonds.

    • fprincess on September 28, 2016

      This normally called for arugula which would have been an ideal choice (bitterness to counteract the sweetness of the peaches & burrata), but I had forgotten to buy some and used a lettuce & radicchio mix instead. The dressing was a bit heavy on the cumin. Otherwise this is a super tasty salad when peaches are in season. Interestingly, the mix of cumin with mint strongly evoked shiso to me, which I actually realized is a type of mint. I wonder if that was intentional. Picture here: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/152641-salad-2016/?do=findComment&comment=2074553

  • Arugula and autumn grapes with goat cheese, pecans, and saba vinaigrette

    • TrishaCP on September 13, 2014

      Another great salad from this book and one I hope to make frequently this fall. All of the flavors balanced perfectly. I used only about half of the olive oil called for in the dressing, and found that to be sufficient.

  • Pork confit with caramelized apples and cabbage in red wine

    • billreiland on December 09, 2014


  • Albacore crudo with avocado, cucumber, and ruby grapefruit

    • DKennedy on February 28, 2015

      Made this last night for dinner using both ahi tuna and sea bream, for a beautiful red and white presentation. I did not make the avocado puree, instead I chunked up the avocado along with the cucumbers and poured this over the fish. This is my first attempt serving a crudo and it was a huge success. While the meal was on the expensive side, it was a snap to put together and made for an impressive meal, worthy of entertaining (no surprise there). We served it with a Kenneth Volk Vineyards 2011 Verdelho which matched perfectly. The tuna was ready to go, the sea bream needed to be gutted and deboned by my fishmonger. Next time I will dice the shallots and jalapeno in the food processor then add the lime, s and p, and oil for a more expedient prep.

  • Brioche with prosciutto, Gruyère, and a sunny-side-up egg

    • bktravels on May 18, 2015

      Excellent for Sunday brunch.

  • Spring vegetable salad with farro and Meyer lemon

    • pluralcow on June 05, 2015

      This is a nice hearty salad that keeps well, and is good for lunches or for a large crowd. I found the recipe made as written makes significantly more than the portions described.

    • swegener on June 05, 2015

      On-line at http://www.cbs.com/shows/the_talk/topics/show/1002095/

    • clcorbi on May 15, 2017

      This recipe really does make a TON of salad, and while it's fairly tasty, I don't know that the result is good enough to merit all the effort this salad requires. I will note that I found one pretty egregious error here--the 10c of water called for to cook 2c of farro was way, WAY too much. I thought it might be, and wish I would have trusted my gut, because I ended up having to pour the soggy farro through a sieve to get rid of about 3c of excess water. This resulted in losing almost all the thyme leaves and seasoning SG has you add to the farro to begin with. Otherwise, the rest of the instructions are straightforward. I cut my veggies into smaller pieces than called for--since most are left raw, I didn't want to bite into any huge, hard chunks of fennel or carrot. I also blanched the asparagus, because 2" lengths of raw asparagus didn't sound appealing to me. We will certainly finish this salad for lunches, but I don't know. I wouldn't make it again,with so many other salad recipes.

  • Corn, summer squash, and avocado with chile-lime dressing

    • TrishaCP on September 06, 2016

      This involves a lot of vegetable prep, but it is totally worth it because this is a very delicious summer salad. The squash gets almost lightly pickled tasting from the vinaigrette, which is really nice. We served it with simply grilled shrimp, but it is a pretty substantial salad on its own.

  • Slow-roasted Romano beans

    • blintz on October 16, 2016

      Really good and easy. I cut each bean in half at an angle. The look is not fresh-from-the-garden-green, but roasted forever is the only way these huge Romanos could have been chewed. They were olive-colored and delicious.

    • clcorbi on May 10, 2017

      I made this to accompany the brisket, subbing green beans for romano beans. These are certainly delicious with the brisket, and easy, so I wouldn't skip them. But they didn't wow me enough that I'd make them again by themselves. I haven't had romano beans before (my farmer's market never seems to get them), so I'm not sure if that would take these over the top for me.

  • Sweet potatoes with bacon, spinach, and romesco

    • Frogcake on November 19, 2016

      Yum. Will be making this again. I used pine nuts in place of hazelnuts as I did not have hazelnuts handy, and only sage in place of sage and thyme. Serve as a side with brussel sprouts and lamb chops.

  • Atlantic sea scallops with saffron potatoes and blood orange-Meyer lemon salsa

    • MmeFleiss on March 27, 2017

      This was seriously good. The potatoes were out of this world.

  • Coq au vin with bacon, potato purée, cipollini onions, and black trumpets

    • clcorbi on May 01, 2017

      My writeup is here: https://www.chowhound.com/post/2017-cotm-aoc-reports-meat-vegetables-1049580?commentId=9979081 To make it succinct, the final result of this dish is certainly luscious, but I do think there are steps that are unnecessary in the recipe. Also, the final dish lacks a variety of textures, which for all the multiple dishes used, seems a bit sad. Next time I'd consolidate the recipe and serve with crusty bread, just to introduce another texture to the dish. All that said, the flavor is great! If you love coq au vin, this is a good one.

  • Grilled orata with cauliflower, fregola, and persimmon-pomegranate salsa

    • mrshalf on May 01, 2017

      Just spoke to the fishmonger at Whole Foods. Said they consistently sell Branzina which is similar to Orata. You buy the fish whole, they filet it for you. You get to keep bones and parts to make stock if desired. According to the book and the clerk I spoke to, for 6 filets, we would be looking at roughly 3 to 4 fish depending on size, and cost would end up somewhere around $35 to $40.

  • Crushed fingerlings with crème fraîche and chives

    • clcorbi on May 03, 2017

      OKAY. Okay. Don't let the simplicity of this recipe fool you; it is so unbelievably good that I could have eaten the entire thing by myself. Luckily, with the amount of butter and creme fraiche that's added, I was able to restrain myself, but it wasn't easy. You essentially boil some fingerlings (we used new potatoes) until tender, mash them slightly, then stir in a ton of butter, parsley, chives (we used spring onions), and dollop with creme fraiche to serve. Rather than dolloping it on top, I mixed in the creme fraiche along with the other ingredients. What you're basically doing is making the easiest, most luscious potato salad in the entire world. The slightly smashed new potatoes got a bit more mashed up as I stirred the rest of the ingredients in, but that only contributed to the silky sauce. Yum. We ate this while it was still slightly warmed, but I'm sure it would be great cooled down too. I can't recommend this enough.

  • Mustard-grilled chicken with spinach, pine nuts, pecorino, and soft egg

    • MmeFleiss on May 03, 2017

      This was divine, with the salad being my favorite part.

  • Young broccoli with garlic and chile

    • clcorbi on May 05, 2017

      I made a half-recipe, subbing kale blossoms for broccoli. This is a delicious technique. My kale blossoms were still a little too tough towards the bottom, but that was my fault for not trimming them before cooking. I subbed red pepper flakes for a chopped up dried chili because I didn't want to have to fish chunks of dried chili out of the final dish. The huge amount of olive oil used is obviously what makes this so luscious, but since I served this as part of a vegetarian dinner, I didn't feel too guilty. I'll definitely repeat this with broccoli.

  • Green harissa

    • clcorbi on May 15, 2017

      This is a delicious condiment. I used serranos rather than jalapenos, and I only used 1.5 to get this to the spiciness I wanted (mildly spicy so that the spice and herb flavors could still come through). I also didn't measure out the quantity of olive oil used, and just added it to the blender until I reached my desired consistency. Man, is this good. I made it to toss with some leftover pulled pork for tacos, and my BF said "this is so good it makes me want to wake up early tomorrow and eat it on fried eggs before work." I imagine we'll be spooning this onto many different things in the coming weeks. I'm glad I made a full recipe.

  • Pan-roasted halibut with blue crab, Early Girls, and horseradish crème fraîche

    • L.Nightshade on May 17, 2017

      My crab was Dungeness, and my tomatoes were a smattering, not early girls. I seem to have depleted the local supply of arugula, so I subbed some baby lettuce. All these changes worked well. We were quite pleased with this dish. I loved the lemon zest and the herbs on the halibut (ours marinated for 24 hours), and the zing of the hot horseradish in the crème fraîche. Both the halibut and the crab went beautifully with the tomatoes and dressing.

  • Poached cherries

    • Smokeydoke on May 20, 2017

      This is one of my favorite recipes from the book. Do not skip this step! Please do not buy the horrible cherry filling they sell at the grocery store and substitute it for this. This sauce is so much better, it is refined and elegant. All the spices come together, but it's the prevalent taste of tart, fresh cherries that steal the show. It's great with the grilled pork chops, but it would taste good alone or on vanilla ice cream.

  • Carrot purée

    • Smokeydoke on May 20, 2017

      Time consuming but worth it. It really needs the pistou and creme fraiche to make it pop.

  • Grilled duck breast with preserved citrus peel and sweet potato purée

    • L.Nightshade on May 23, 2017

      My sauce reduced by almost half (I measured) but it never got thick and glossy as described, and was a bit runny on the plate, but still tasted great. Allow more time next go-around. Puréeing sweet potatoes in the FP was a revelation for me, as I always thought you couldn’t do sweet potatoes in the FP, just like you can’t do white potatoes. But it produced the creamiest, silkiest purée. Just lovely. No dandelions here; my arugula was not quite so graceful, but it was, at least, green. There are several steps to this, but most can be done in advance, so it’s not very difficult to get on the table with a little re-warming of the sauce and potatoes.

  • Torta Gorgonzola with walnuts in honey

    • L.Nightshade on May 23, 2017

      Walnuts need to be prepped a day ahead. No torta gorgonzola, or even gorgonzola around, so I made my own version. I started with cambozola, but thought it was a bit too mild compared with gorgonzola, so added layers of a strong blue cheese, and spread mascarpone between each layer. It was all pressed into a bowl and chilled overnight, then taken out a while before dinner to come to room temperature. I used buckwheat honey, one of the recommendations. This honey was so thick, I had to repeatedly heat it to do anything! It was like working with dulce de leche, even thicker. I served this as a dessert, un-molding the torta and pouring the honey and walnuts on top (after reheating yet again). A coarse grind of black pepper went on top. To make it feel more dessert-y, I made up a crunchy little cookie to go along, with cardamom and orange zest. This is a very simple dessert, cheese course, or appetizer. And everything is done in advance.

  • Bacon-wrapped dates with Parmesan

    • L.Nightshade on May 23, 2017

      Served these as a standing bite with cocktails before a dinner party. Mine took much longer, nearly 30 minutes, with a turnover halfway through. The last five minutes may have been overkill, but I’ve had guests who hate unrendered bacon, so I was reluctant to underdo them. I used a local, organic, uncured bacon, and I don’t know if that made a difference. I actually think these might work better with a larger date, like the medjools. Not because they needed more date flavor, but because they would have allowed for more cheese in the stuffing. Can’t go wrong with the date-cheese-bacon combination, but I think I prefer those I make stuffed with blue cheese. However, my dessert course was blue cheese, it was nice to have a different option.

  • Sweet pea pancakes with Dungeness crab and red onion

    • L.Nightshade on May 23, 2017

      As soon as I saw this recipe I knew it had to go on my splurge-weekend menu, and I started making crème fraîche right away. We’re lucky to live in Dungeness country. Well, nothing to disappoint here, how could there be? These little pancakes are so cute and tasty. As one of our guests and I sampled them, we thought of so many other ways they could be used. A little smoked fish? Some salmon roe? Those are just the fishy ideas. I made them rather large about three inches diameter. You could make them half dollar size and have a bunch of bite size munches. The recipe calls for Meyer lemon juice, none were to be found, so I used half lemon and half Satsuma. I think plain lemon would be fine too. The thin slices of sugar snap peas added a nice crunch to the crabmeat. I made a big platter of these, part of a several course meal. Not one left.

  • Slow-roasted lamb sirloin with skordalia, lima purée, and cucumber yogurt

    • L.Nightshade on May 23, 2017

      Which was actually grilled lamb sirloin chops for us. They were chilled for a few hours with the seasonings, then came to room temp, and were brushed with melted butter, as the recipe called for roasting with slices of butter. I used frozen baby limas for the purée, no fresh available. The yogurt sauce is simple, just sliced cucumbers, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper. You are supposed to stir in the reserved limas, but I kept them out to toss over the final dish. Now, I love skordalia, but to me it’s a garlic sauce that uses potato merely as a vehicle for delivery. This was more like mashed potato with a faint hint of garlic. I added lots of garlic to bring it back to my expectation of skordalia. We liked this well enough, with the added garlic. I ate the leftover lima bean purée the next day and it was somehow more delicious. So maybe a make-ahead would work.

  • String and shell bean ragout with tapenade

    • DKennedy on May 27, 2017

      Made to accompany the lamb osso buco in Sunday Suppers. We subbed fresh peas fro shell beans - very delicious and held well for leftovers.

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52 by Tad Friend

    The 2014 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks vs. Roberta's Cookbook by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy, Chris Parachini, & Katherine Wheelock

    Full review
  • Food52 by Sam Sifton

    The 2014 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks winner vs. Balaboosta, by Einat Admony

    Full review
  • The Kitchn

    Lovers of Sunday Suppers at Lucques will not be disappointed as the same attention to detail and beautifully structured dishes is offered here.

    Full review
  • Fine Cooking

    Her secret to delivering deliciousness is so simple that it's mind boggling: She chooses excellent ingredients and combines them in brilliant ways.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 030795823X
  • ISBN 13 9780307958235
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 29 2013
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 448
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Knopf Publishing Group
  • Imprint Knopf Publishing Group

Publishers Text

Since her James Beard Award-winning first book, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, Suzanne Goin and her Los Angeles empire of restaurants have blossomed and she has been lauded as one of the best chefs in the country. Now, she is bringing us the recipes from her sophomore restaurant, A.O.C., turning the small-plate, shared-style dishes that she made so famous into main courses for the home chef. Among her many recipes, you can expect her addictive Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Parmesan; Duck Sausage with Candied Kumquats; Dandelion and Roasted Carrot Salad with Black Olives and Ricotta Salata; California Sea Bass with Tomato Rice, Fried Egg, and Sopressata; Lamb Meatballs with Spiced Tomato Sauce, Mint, and Feta; Crème Fraîche Cake with Santa Rosa Plums and Pistachios in Olive Oil; and S’Mores with Caramel Popcorn and Chocolate Sorbet.

But The A.O.C. Cookbook is much more than just a collection of recipes. Because Goin is a born teacher with a gift for pairing seasonal flavors, this book is full of wonderful, eye-opening information about the ingredients that she holds dear. She takes the time to talk you through each one of her culinary decisions, explaining her palate and how she gets the deeply developed flavor profiles, which make even the simplest dishes sing. More than anything, Goin wants you to understand her techniques so you enjoy yourself in the kitchen and have no problem achieving restaurant-quality results right at home.

And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C., there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne, Goin’s business partner and the wine director for her restaurants, presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she’s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well—showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you’re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine. At the back of the book, you’ll find Goin’s amazing glossary of cheeses—all featured at A.O.C.—along with the notes that are given to the waitstaff, explaining the sources, flavor profiles, and pairings.

With more than 125 full-color photographs, The A.O.C. Cookbook brings Suzanne Goin’s dishes to life as she continues to invite us into her kitchen and divulge the secrets about what makes her food so irresistibly delicious.

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