Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking American
Charlie Palmer's Casual Cooking: The Chef of New York's Aureole Restaurant Cooks for Family and Friends
Published: January 1, 2001
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Charlie Palmer may be most famous for the sumptuous meals he plans and prepares at Manhattan's Aureole and his other restaurants, and for the James Beard awards that he has won, but what does he make at home for his wife and four young boys?
As anyone with children knows, kitchen time needs to be relaxed and flexible, ingredients must be easy to find, and one must always be aware of finicky eaters. By updating his most memorable childhood meals, and borrowing from those comfortable dishes to
make almost any dish "comfort food," Palmer offers solution after solution without having to go to any extra trouble to make "special" meals for pintsize picky eaters.
Palmer is "crazy about deep, rich flavors," and he offers such satisfying
dishes as Baked Lemon Chicken, which he recommends serving with lots of warm garlic bread with which to sop up the cooking juices, and Chicken Fricasee with Dumplings, a real old-fashioned, stick-to-your-ribs kind of dish that appeals to the child in
everyone. He likes the "clean, clearly defined taste of a simple grill or roast," and shares recipes including Flank Steak with Grilled Vegetables and Perfect Roast Chicken.
For those who want to be inspired by Palmer's European style, there are
wonderful savory dishes to learn from, such as Pappardelle with Rabbit Sauce, Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions with Mustard Vinaigrette, and a wonderfully soothing and comfortable Winter-Vegetable Shepherd's Pie. Palmer's Super Macaroni and Cheese is
well flavored with white wine and three cheeses; you'll fight your kids for the last luscious serving.
Because he is, after all, Charlie Palmer, even his casual cooking is perfect for entertaining. Roasted Wild Mushroom Salad, Saffron-Mussel Soup
with Fennel, The Best Butternut Squash Soup, and Whole Roasted Salmon with New Potatoes and Leeks become manageable with Palmer's clear, easy-to-follow instructions. His lists of ingredients are remarkably concise, and the vast majority can be found on
any supermarket shelf. And with desserts as old fashioned as Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, and Fresh Fruit Cobbler, and as newfangled as Brioche Bread Pudding and Oven-Roasted Fruit with Caramel Sauce, this book has everything you
need to make your family and friends happy, without getting too elaborate nor taking time away from those you love the most. --Leora Y. Bloom
What does Aureole's award-winning chef whip up for his family and friends when he
has to do all the shopping and cooking just like the rest of us? Food that's easy, delicious, and casual.
Charlie Palmer shows how to make comfort foods that are comfortable, but with a new level of taste and sophistication.Sunday supper suddenly
becomes sensational. And those quick mid-week meals are still quick to prepare; they just don't taste that way. Corn chowder is heartier, more intense. Traditional tuna melts become untraditional with fresh tuna, tapenade, and Fontina. That childhood
favorite, Waldorf salad becomes a modern classic with apple cider, walnut oil, and a pinch of curry powder.
Baked Lemon Chicken with a pile of garlic bread, a bowl of cheesy orzo or rice and a big salad of romaine will become a Saturday night
favorite, just as it is in Charlie's house. Turn Sunday's leftover Perfect Roast Chicken into Monday's Chicken Noodle Soup or Aioli Chicken Salad.
When company comes calling and you're looking for something a bit more sophisticated, try Charlie's
Whole Roasted Salmon with New Potatoes and Leeks and Baked Wild Mushroom Salad or Lamb Shanks with Tomatoes, Lentils and Olives. Or, if you want to treat company just like family, feed them Charlie's Mom's Barbecued Chicken, Perfect Pot Roast or a
heaping platter of Linguini with Eggplant Ragu.
And what about desserts? Charlie has something to bring out the kid in everyone. Try his Brownie-Ice Cream Sandwiches or Apple Pizza with Cider Sorbet. His Pumpkin Custard is so easy and versatile,
it can be baked family-style in one large dish or in individual souffle cups when company is expected. Serve
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