"Cook the sauce another minute, then add just a touch of olive oil," urges Daniel Boulud in his kitchen at Café 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 Café 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 Café 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-mère 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 Café 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 Crème.
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 Café 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 Café 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 Café 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 Café Boulud Cookbook be your reliable guide to great food.