The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony
(Pub date Oct 29, 2013; ISBN 9780307888334.)
I routinely scour the “recently added” section on my local library website because I’m always on the lookout for new cookbook additions…when I saw “The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook”, of course I had to see what it was. Not living in New York and not being keen on traveling overmuch, I’ve never been there and don’t recall hearing about it, so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect – I just know that pub food is usually wonderful.
I just sat and paged through the book: thank you Michael Anthony! While I try not to attach the verb “love” to non-living things, I think I might very well be in love with this book. Its size and glorious photos present as a coffee table book, but page after page of recipes show up that are exciting, elegant, and eminently executable for the advanced home cook. Our household tries to eat Paleo and definitely gluten-free, and I’ve found many dishes that seem to fit into that lifestyle with only some tweaking…others need no tweaking at all because of how focused this book is on fresh vegetables and meat prepared to ensure you get their full flavor. The book is divided by season so you’re getting the proper recipes for what will be at your local farmer’s market or stand. The book is also replete with tips to improve your cooking skills. He even lets you in on how he chooses names for his dishes.
Like the spiky-haired chef Anne Burrell promises during her Food Network program, “You don’t have to be a restaurant chef to cook like one.” Yay! You do need more than basic cooking skills to stay away from being frustrated, in my opinion.
Items that I look forward to making:
Chicken soup with Spring Vegetables — yes, a chicken soup recipe – because the broth recipe, made from roasted chicken wings, ginger, and other aromatics, sounds heavenly
Pickled shallots and Pickled Rhubarb — and Michael generously provide tips for the best flavorings for different vegetables/roots
Duo of Braised and Roasted Beef — two times the beef in a dish? Happy dance.
Chocolate Pudding served with Salted Caramel Sauce and Caramelized Brioche Croutons — will have to forgo the croutons, but will definitely spend my bi-weekly sugary dessert allowance on this
Summer (there are several tomato & eggplant recipes, but I don’t do well with nightshade veggies – for those of you who aren’t nightshade intolerant, the dishes sound and look AMAZING)
Chilled Corn Soup – no, corn isn’t usually considered paleo-friendly, but this is something I would make as a treat
Marinated Arctic Char and Cucumber Broth — if you’ve ever had cucumber water, you know how good this is going to be
Lemon Verbena Granite with Blueberry Sorbet — he admits the dessert looks plain, but the flavors pop. I believe him and can’t wait for our verbena to start growing again
Mushroom Lasagna — another eat-only-a-few-times dish since it has dairy; will make with home made gluten-free pasta sheets, of course
Sea Scallops with Grapes and Verjus — so delicate and pretty-looking
Lobster with Fennel Sauce and Salsify — herbs, leeks, fennel flavor the cooking liquid. Yum.
Country Terrine — I always feel like I imagine eating in a Paris countryside would feel when I eat terrine at a restaurant…imagine making my own 🙂
Duck Confit — because I’ve always wanted to try it
Bacon Broth — really!?! How did I NOT know this existed? (I really need to read Theresa Gilliam’s “Bacon 24/7” cookbook again)
If you want to see Gramercy Tavern’s current menu (the website is a lovely as their book): http://www.gramercytavern.com/menu/