Title: Cooking with Power
Author: Emeril LaGasse
258 pages; Soft semi-gloss cover, $25.00 US
Publisher: William Morrow, NY NY
Reviewed by, Chef John Vyhnanek The review---
Emeril s Cooking with Power, 100 Delicious Recipes Starring Your Own Slow Cooker, Multi-Cooker, Pressure Cooker, And Deep Fryer is now at your bookstore. Wow what pictures, nice paper stock and nice recipes! This is a case of Emeril getting better with age-BAM!
You must know by now that celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse has written quite a few cookbooks. You should also know that he has never written a bad one either. I know this because I have reviewed some of his past works and tested the recipes that were to my liking. The same goes for this oneit's a great book for satisfying dishes, easily made at home.
One thing about good cooking, it involves good technique, quality products and a certain knowledge of what to expect for results. Emeril can't help you buy the ingredients at you grocery store nor does he recommend quality brands, that's up to you. He can help you understand the techniques he uses and guide you to a successful result because of his easy-to-follow and excellent procedure written for each recipe.
Before you get over-confident, let it be known that this cookbook is all about slow cooker, multi-cooker, pressure cooker and deep fat fryer cooking. With these styles, don't just throw everything in a pot and turn it on! There is a certain amount of preparation ahead of time that still needs to be done, yes washing, peeling, slicing or dicing and blanching are still part of this cooking process. You also need to open your mind as some dishes can't be cooked in the traditional way, that's the case with these specialized cooking devices. I must say, at first, I was a bit put off by the "selling" of the Emeril brand of electric cookware in the early pages of the book. There's obviously some sort of an agreement with T-fal the manufacturer of the products and the marketing company and publisher on this. Not for me to worry aboutI only review the cookbook and recipes.
I had great results with the four recipes I tested. Slow Cooker: Rustic Tomato Soup with Basil Oil and Croustades (See below); Pressure Cooker: Emeril's Fastest BBQ Brisket (See below). Two additional recipes from the book are listed below, one fried and one cooked in a multi-cooker.
Rustic Tomato Soup with Basil Oil and Croustades
About 4 quarts
There is a wonderful tomato-bread soup made in Tuscany called pappa al pomodoro. This is my version, which simmers away in a slow cooker while you crisp bite-size pieces of crusty Italian bread in the oven and make a quick basil olive oil puree for drizzling. Not exactly like Mama might make it, but wow, this soup could star at your next dinner party.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 large yellow onions, sliced lengthwise (root to stem) into thin strips
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoon crushed red pepper
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
Four 28-ounce cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained, crushed with your hands
8 cups homemade chicken stock (see page 5) or packaged low-sodium chicken broth
6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 large sprigs fresh basil
One 3-inch piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
8 cups torn bite-size pieces of rustic bread, such as ciabatta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
Freshly ground black pepper, for Serving
1. Start the soup: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the onions, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 3 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and continue to cook, stirring, for 3 minutes longer.
2. Transfer the sauteed vegetables to a 6-quart slow cooker and add the tomatoes, chicken stock, thyme and basil sprigs, the remaining tablespoon salt, and the Parmesan rind.
3. Cook on high for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. While the soup is cooking, make the croustades: Preheat the oven to 400 F.
5. Place the torn bread pieces on a large baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss with your hands to evenly distribute the oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and bake until golden brown and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
6. To make the basil oil, combine the olive oil, basil leaves, and minced garlic in a blender or processor. Process in short bursts until the leaves are finely chopped don t over-process or the leaves will lose their bright green color. Transfer to a small bowl and season to taste with salt.
7. When you are ready to serve the soup, remove and discard the Parmesan rind and thyme sprigs. The basil sprigs should be very soft and can be left in or discarded, as preferred. Taste the soup, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Ladle the soup into wide shallow bowls and garnish with some of the croustades and Parmesan shavings. Drizzle the basil oil over the soup to taste, and then sprinkle with pepper.
Recipe from the book
These crabmeat beignets are like a marriage of a crabcake and a fritter . . . light and airy but chock-full of jumbo lump crabmeat. The batter is a little wet, so handle with care when frying.
1 cup diced red bell pepper
(1 small pepper, small dice)
1 jalape o, stemmed, seeded, and cut into small dice
2 green onions, minced
1 teaspoons salt
teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
teaspoon hot sauce
/ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup whole milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 cup instant flour, such as Wondra
Tartar or r moulade sauce, for serving
1. In a small bowl, combine the bell pepper, jalape o, green onion, teaspoon of the salt, the Worcestershire sauce, and the hot sauce. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the allpurpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and cayenne and mix well. Stir in the milk and eggs. Fold in the bell pepper mixture and the crabmeat. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 350 F. Preheat the oven to 250 F. Position a wire rack over a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.
4. Combine the instant flour and the remaining teaspoon salt in a shallow dish or baking pan.
5. Using a small ice cream scoop or a measuring spoon and working in batches, drop 2 rounded tablespoonfuls of the beignet batter into the instant flour and toss to coat. Gently drop the beignets into the fryer. Do not overcrowd the fryer. Cook the beignets until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain the beignets on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining beignet batter, keeping the drained cooked beignets warm in the oven.
6. Serve the beignets immediately, with tartar sauce or r moulade sauce.
Emeril s Fastest BBQ Brisket
6 to 8 servings
Here s an easy, quick, and delicious way to satisfy even the biggest brisket aficionado. The pressure cooker does all the work and you enjoy all the benefits.
4 pounds beef brisket, trimmed and quartered
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 medium yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
One 12-ounce bottle lager beer
1 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
cup light brown sugar
Slider buns, for serving
Classic Coleslaw (page 158) or your favorite coleslaw, for serving
1. Place the brisket in a large bowl, add the Worcestershire sauce, paprika, mustard, chili powder, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and toss. Let the brisket marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
2. When ready to cook, season the beef with the salt.
3. Set a 6-quart pressure cooker to the browning program. When it is hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown the beef in batches. As it is browned, transfer the beef to a baking sheet and set aside.
4. When all the brisket is browned, add the onion and garlic to the pressure cooker and cook for 6 minutes, or until the onion is soft and slightly translucent. Return the beef to the pressure cooker and add the beer, barbecue sauce, and brown sugar. Close and lock the lid, and set to high pressure for 1 hours.
5. Open the pressure release valve, allow the steam to escape, and carefully unlock and open the lid. Transfer the beef to a baking sheet, and when it is cool enough to handle, thinly slice it across the grain.
6. Set the pressure cooker to the simmer program. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the cooker and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Serve the brisket on slider buns, topped with the coleslaw.
8. The brisket can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Recipe from the book
S mores Pudding
Everybody loves s mores they re an all-American classic! This smores pudding, made with milk chocolate, is topped with ooey-gooey toasted marshmallows and crushed graham crackers. Your kids will love you for this one.
cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup roughly chopped graham crackers
12 to 18 large marshmallows
1. Sift the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt into a medium bowl. If there appear to be any lumps, sift until the lumps have disappeared. Pour the dry ingredients into a multi-cooker and whisk in the milk, vanilla, and chocolate. Set the multi-cooker to the white rice program and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook uncovered, until the pudding begins to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Remove the bowl from the multi-cooker. Working quickly, pour or spoon the pudding into six 4-ounce ramekins or cups. Allow them to set up in the refrigerator, about 2 hours. The puddings can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
3. Melt the butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the graham cracker crumbles and toast for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until golden brown.
4. To toast the marshmallows, preheat the broiler. Place the marshmallows on a lightly greased baking sheet, and broil them for 30 seconds. Using tongs, carefully turn the marshmallows over and broil for another 15 seconds. Remove from the oven and set aside. (Alternatively, you can toast them over a gas burner; see Note.)
5. When you re ready to serve the pudding, spoon about 1 tablespoon of the toasted graham cracker crumbles on top of each serving. Place 2 or 3 toasted marshmallows on top of the graham crackers, and serve immediately.
Note : To toast the marshmallows on a gas stove, place 2 or 3 marshmallows on each of six long wooden or metal skewers, far enough down so that they will not easily fall into the fire when roasting. Place the skewers of marshmallows close to the flame of a gas burner for a charred result, or hover them above it for a more golden brown. Turn the skewers slowly, cooking all sides of the marshmallows.