"Cook the sauce another minute, then add just a touch of olive oil," urges Daniel Boulud in his kitchen at Cafe Boulud in New York City. "Not too much. That's it," he exclaims. His voice carries his passion as he swirls the copper pan holding the finished dish. Over the tops of his glasses he assesses the color and takes in the aroma of the sauce. Then he brings a few drops of it to his lips. After thirty years of cooking in France and America, the chef knows what he wants. "I'm looking for balance," he explains. "A hint of herb, a little acidity -- sweet seafood needs a bit of sharpness -- and all the brininess and flavor of the scallops." It is a simple but perfect recipe and it has been given all his attention, commitment, and talent -- as have each of the recipes in this simple but perfect cookbook.
"Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook" contains all his creative cooking skills made accessible. By means of Dorie Greenspan's expertly written recipes, Daniel accompanies you into your home kitchen, where his inspiration becomes yours and his instructions are easy to follow. With little effort, you find yourself reproducing his magic on your own stove.
One ingredient for a perfect dish is family tradition. In the book's first section, La Tradition, we are transported to the original Cafe Boulud run by Daniel's grandparents on the outskirts of Lyon -- France's culinary capital. Daniel's education as a cook began with his grandmother and the Poulet Grand-mere she lovingly prepared for her guests. It continued with great chefs that shaped his unique interpretation of home cooking. Recipes such as Skate with Brown Butter and Capers, Hanger Steak with Shallots, and splendid Pommes Frites reveal the influences of his French roots.
But tradition also includes respect for seasonal ingredients. In the next section, La Saison, Daniel accompanies us through the market. We select peas and sugar snaps that are ready to tumble into the pot for the Chilled Spring Pea Soup. Fresh corn becomes the surprise ingredient in Lobster with Sweet Corn Polenta. Complete the celebration of the seasons with Ruby Grapefruit with Pomegranate Sabayon or a milk chocolate-cherry tart like no other.
In the third section, Le Voyage, "Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook" takes us on an exploration of many of the world's cuisines with dishes as varied as Italian-style Veal Gremolata, Spanish Gazpacho with Anchovy Toast, or a fast and easy Asian salad of crab, cucumber, and mango. Imagine yourself under the warm Middle Eastern sun as you taste Daniel's Coffee-Cardamom Pots de Creme.
In the last section, Le Potager, Daniel offers an extraordinary selection of vegetarian dishes, from easy starters like Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad to main courses such as Lemon-Lime Risotto with Asparagus or bone-warming Root Vegetable Cassoulet, and, of course, sublime desserts to cap any meal.
"Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook" opens wide the door of his kitchen and invites you in with 150 recipes that will unfailingly stimulate your passion for flavor while offering a healthy, easy, and modern approach to good eating. He also provides a collection of basic recipes that are used at Cafe Boulud; a glossary of terms, techniques, and ingredients; and a short batterie de cuisine, a guide to pots, pans, and a few gadgets. He even provides a list of trusted suppliers so you can find the same ingredients he uses at Cafe Boulud. Thirty-two pages of color photographs of finished dishes prepared personally by Daniel will allow you to see, and almost smell and taste, what you are cooking. Watch as this book becomes the extension of your own hands. Whether making a salad for one or a dinner for eight, let "Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook" be your reliable guide to great food.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten chef-owner Jean-Georges, Jo Jo, Vong, and The Mercer Kitchen, New York City, and Prime, Las Vegas I salute Daniel's talent for creating classic French dishes in his signature style. This book brings this gift of his to life, enabling the reader to create these delicious meals in their home kitchen. Thomas Keller chef-owner, The French Laundry, Napa Valley, California Daniel Boulud has influenced chefs for years with his innovative methods and flavor combinations. Now his inspiring cookbook proves that great French cuisine doesn't have to be complicated cuisine. Colman Andrews editor, Saveur It is a measure of how genuine and refreshingly unpretentious the Cafï¿½'s cooking is that Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan have been able to present it so accessibly and temptingly, in book form, to those of us who can't enjoy it in situ every night. Charlie Trotter chef-owner, Charlie Trotter's, Chicago Well, of course Daniel Boulud is a food genius. Everybody knows that! What he's done with the Cafï¿½ Boulud Cookbook, though, is utterly tremendous. Home cooks will be bowled over by his passion for the simple and straightforward. These are the kinds of recipes that truly make cooking fun! Patricia Wells author of Bistro Cooking and Patricia Wells At Home In Provence Daniel Boulud is a rare breed of chef, one who seamlessly merges the best of French cuisine with the modern flavors of America. In this new book, he is at his best: It's cafe fare with imagination, focus, purpose, and massive depth of flavor.