Cooking

Greens Named Desire

Jean-Georges turns to the home

Jean-Georges Vongerichten has been pretty busy cooking for all of us diners.

So busy in fact, he's only recently allowed himself two-day weekends.

With glittering restaurants found from New York to Shanghai, he's our go-to chef for inspired special-evening-out dining. But now, thanks to the just-released Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes ($40), we're starting to think of his food on a more every-evening basis.

The book, a product of those weekends spent at his upstate New York home, is filled with family favorites, from his wife's mac and cheese to a warm Alsatian potato salad.

But the best part is the backdoor access to ABC Kitchen's recipes. The hallmarks are all there, specifically fresh ingredients piled high on bread (such as crab toasts with Sriracha mayonnaise) and vegetables that get the high-end treatment (as in a salad of cumin-roasted carrots with pumpkin seeds and sour cream).

Vongerichten even taught us our favorite new technique: butter-blanching. Mustard greens (or any hearty green such as kale or collard) are briefly dunked in a pot thick with boiling water, salt and a stick and half of butter (click here for the recipe). Far from overwhelming the greens with fat, the technique softens and lightly coats each peppery leaf with a sheen of butter.

We've found ourselves reusing the butter-bound water with pile after pile of hefty greens. Thanks, chef.

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