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Old-School
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The Way I Learned to Cook

Alex Guarnaschelli

Pur
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OL
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CLARKSON POTTER

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Copyright © 2013 by Alexandra Guarnaschelli

= Photographs
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= Fox copyright
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by Squire Fox

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All rights reserved.
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Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/

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Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing
Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
www.crownpublishing.com
www.clarksonpotter.com

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CLARKSON
and POTTER
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with colophon is a registered trademark of Random
House, Inc.

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= FOOD NETWORK
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and associated

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trademarks of Television Food Network, G. P., and
are used under license.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
has been applied for.

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= ISBN 978-0-307-95655-2
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eISBN 978-0-307-95656-9

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Printed
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United
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Book design by Marysarah Quinn
Cover design by Marysarah Quinn
Cover photography by Squire Fox

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10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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First Edition

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old-school introduction | 21

spicy cauliflower fritters
I am a closet carnivore masquerading as a sometime somewhat vegetarian type.
This recipe harnesses the best of both of those. Why? Cauliflower is already meaty
in texture, and frying little pieces gives it more heft. I love it with a side of Harissa
(page 285) or with some sour cream seasoned with lemon juice.
Batter

1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more
if needed
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly
crushed and toasted
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons canola oil, plus 1 quart
for frying
1½ (12-ounce) bottles beer, preferably
Heineken
1 large head cauliflower, stem
removed, broken into bite-size
florets
1 tablespoon smoked hot paprika
1. Make the batter: In a medium bowl,
combine the 1½ cups flour, the coriander
seeds, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon
salt. Whisk in the 2 teaspoons oil and
the beer. Set aside in a warm place. Like
bread dough, it will puff up slightly.
2. Cook the cauliflower: In a large,
deep, heavy-bottomed pot (or deepfryer), heat the 1 quart oil to 375ºF.
Monitor the temperature of the oil with
a thermometer. Line a baking sheet with
38 | alex guarnaschelli

Serv es 4 to 6

a kitchen towel to drain the cooked
florets.
3. Arrange the cauliflower pieces in a
single layer on a separate baking sheet.
Use a small fine-mesh strainer to dust
the smoked paprika evenly over the
cauliflower.
4. Stir the batter slightly and check its
consistency by dunking a cauliflower
floret into the batter, shaking off the
excess. The batter should coat the piece
lightly but completely. If the batter is too
thick, whisk in a little water. If too thin,
whisk in a little more flour.
5. Working in small batches, coat the
cauliflower with batter, letting excess
fall off, and lower into the oil. It should
bubble slightly and the cauliflower
should gradually rise to the top. Fry,
turning once, until lightly browned, 2 to
3 minutes, and then transfer them to a
kitchen towel to drain any excess oil. If
the batter doesn’t form a thin, crisp shell,
don’t be afraid to drop the cauliflower
back in the oil and fry for an additional
minute. Season with salt while the
cauliflower is still hot. Serve immediately.

mashed potatoes
“chantilly”
My mother made this every year in the same cranberry-colored baking dish. In
fact, when I see anything cranberry-colored in a cookware store, I start to think of
eating a huge bowl of these mashed potatoes. A “luxe” version of mashed potatoes,
these have whipped cream folded in (hence the “Chantilly” part of the name) as well
as Parmesan cheese. Alas, this is a recipe that shouldn’t be made in advance. The
potatoes become like a soufflé. Sublime.
4½ to 5 pounds Idaho potatoes (about
10 medium), peeled and cut into
1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and white pepper
¾ cup whole milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted
butter, cut into slices, plus
1 tablespoon for greasing the
baking dish
2 tablespoons plain dried bread
crumbs
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
2. Boil the potatoes: In a large pot, add
the potatoes and cover amply with cold
water. Bring the water up to a boil and
reduce the heat so that it simmers. Add
a generous pinch of salt to the water and
allow the potatoes to cook until tender
when pierced with the tip of a knife,
15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes in
a colander. Return the empty pot to the
204 | alex guarnaschelli

Serv es 8

heat and add the milk. Bring the milk to a
simmer and gingerly add the potatoes back
into the pot. Season with salt and pepper
and whisk in the sliced butter. Whisk until
all of the ingredients meld together. Taste
for seasoning. Remove from the heat.
3. Use the remaining tablespoon butter
to grease the sides and bottom of a
9 × 13-inch baking dish with 2-inch sides.
Add the bread crumbs and roll them
around to coat the inside of the dish.
4. Bake the potatoes: Using a whisk (or
an electric mixer fitted with the whisk
attachment), whip the heavy cream until
fairly firm. Season with salt and pepper.
With a rubber spatula, gently fold the
whipped cream and about ½ cup of the
Parmesan into the mashed potatoes. Taste
for seasoning. Transfer the potatoes to the
baking dish and top with the remaining
¼ cup Parmesan. Bake until the top is
light brown and the potatoes are hot, 15 to
20 minutes. Serve immediately.

deluxe coffee cake
This coffeecake was, for me, a real confidence builder. It was one of the first things I
made on my own. And considering I grew up next door to a doughnut shop, making
this from scratch became a source of pride. I call this my alarm-clock cake because
the smell of it baking as a fresh pot of coffee slowly drips its way to completion is a
surefire way to get everyone out of bed.
Topping

½ cup walnut halves, coarsely
chopped
½ cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
²⁄³ cup all-purpose flour
¹⁄³ cup granulated sugar
¹⁄³ cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Cake

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted
butter, plus more for the pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sour cream
½ cup whole-milk yogurt

Serv es 10 to 12

1. Make the topping: Line a baking
sheet with parchment paper. In a medium
bowl, stir together the walnuts, pecans,
flour, granulated and brown sugars,
cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the butter.
The topping should form sandy clumps.
Sprinkle the topping onto the baking
sheet to break it up into smaller clumps.
Refrigerate.
2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Use butter to
thoroughly grease the bottom and sides of
a 9-inch round baking pan.
3. Make the cake batter: In the bowl
of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk
attachment, beat the butter and sugar
together, on medium-high, scraping down
the sides from time to time, for 8 minutes.
Lower the speed and add the eggs, one
by one, taking care that the first egg is
thoroughly integrated before adding the
second.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder,
and baking soda. In a separate bowl,
whisk together the salt, sour cream, and
recipe continues

old-school brunch | 265

yogurt until smooth. Turn the mixer on
low and alternate adding some of the flour
mixture with some of the sour cream
mixture. When all has been mixed in, give
the sides and the bottom of the bowl a
good scrape and blend to make sure the
batter is thoroughly combined. Transfer
the batter to the greased baking pan and
tap it lightly on the sides so it falls evenly
in the pan and to remove any air bubbles.

266 | alex guarnaschelli

Liberally sprinkle the cake with all of the
topping.
5. Bake the cake: Bake until a cake
tester or small knife inserted in the center
comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Allow
the cake to cool for at least 15 minutes
before slicing and serving. Once cool, the
cake will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

#

Pur
chas
eacopyof

OL
DS
CHOOL
COMF
ORTF
OOD
atoneoft
hes
er
et
ai
l
er
s
:

CLARKSON POTTER

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