James Beard Award-winning and self-made chef Naomi Pomeroy''s debut cookbook, featuring nearly 140 lesson-driven recipes designed to improve the home cook''s understanding of professional techniques and flavor combinations in order to produce simple, but show-stopping meals.
Naomi Pomeroy knows that the best recipes are the ones that make you a better cook. A twenty-year veteran chef with four restaurants to her name, she learned her trade not in fancy culinary schools but by reading cookbooks. From Madeleine Kamman and Charlie Trotter to Alice Waters and Gray Kunz, Naomi cooked her way through the classics, studying French technique, learning how to shop for produce, and mastering balance, acidity, and seasoning.
Taste & Technique, Naomi shares her hard-won knowledge, passion, and experience along with nearly 140 recipes that outline the fundamentals of cooking. By paring back complex dishes to the building-block techniques used to create them, Naomi takes you through each recipe step by step, distilling detailed culinary information to reveal the simple methods chefs use to get professional results.
Recipes for sauces, starters, salads, vegetables, and desserts can be mixed and matched with poultry, beef, lamb, seafood, and egg dishes to create show-stopping meals all year round. Practice braising and searing with a Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder, then pair it with Orange-Caraway Glazed Carrots in the springtime or Caramelized Delicata Squash in the winter. Prepare an impressive Herbed Leg of Lamb for a holiday gathering, and accompany it with Spring Pea Risotto or Blistered Cauliflower with Anchovy, Garlic, and Chile Flakes.
With detailed sections on ingredients, equipment, and techniques, this inspiring, beautifully photographed guide demystifies the hows and whys of cooking and gives you the confidence and know-how to become a masterful cook.
“From the enthralling and honest introduction to the enticing recipes, Naomi Pomeroy’s debut cookbook is simply outstanding. The recipes are so thoroughly written, it’s like Naomi is in your kitchen guiding you to success.”
“I believe the true essence of a chef is to be totally in tune with her inner muse. That is Naomi Pomeroy in a nutshell. Naomi’s self-taught confidence will inspire any cook to use this cookbook until it gets tattered, splattered, and torn—truly the sign of a great chef’s work.”
“Naomi reminds me in this book why French country cooking is so great and why I love it so much. She nails clever variations on classics with good instruction—and makes me want to make those pork chops!”
“A good cookbook embodies the chef’s personality and approach to food and life. This book is like Naomi’s restaurant Beast—each page brims with her passion for cooking in the Pacific Northwest.”
“Anything from the magnificent Chef Pomeroy is worth getting immediately—but this latest, in particular, is a must-have.”
“No matter what level of home cook you are, Naomi’s humble, detailed, and positive approach to cooking provides an encouraging perspective on learning how to cook her soulful cuisine. She adds personal touches that will help any good home cook be creative with dishes they can independently call their own.”
"Pomeroy''s highly recommended debut is a beautiful guide to creating and improvising memorable meals."
"[Pomeroy''s] debut cookbook offers home cooks a superb arsenal of methods and elegant, do-able dishes designed to increase competence, confidence, and cooking pleasure."
"Pomeroy shows you how to master basic chef skills like sauces and stocks, so you can move on to master clear-as-can-be consommé. The Portland chef also does the impossible, making homemade puff pastry approachable."
— Tasting Table
"“Like many high-caliber chefs, Pomeroy''s savvy derives from a sophisticated approach to flavor…”
"Self-taught, award-winning chef Pomeroy, brings a masterful pleasure of cooking to home kitchens by using elaborate building-block recipes."
- Alaska Airlines Magazine
"There is much to learn here, and much great food to make,the sort of classical dishes that deserve aspiration."
- Los Angeles Times
"A beautiful handbook for any cook looking to up his or her game."
- San Francisco Chronicle
"This is my five-star pick of the year, the cookbook I suspect will define my cooking in 2017, and so want to say a little more about why. On the surface, you might think that this is just another one of those fancy, cheffy cookbooks that''s mostly about brand and ego, with no clue about the challenges a home cook faces. You might think that because those books are often really beautiful with high production values and this book is like that, too: sophisticated layout, glossy pages, gorgeous photography. But start at the beginning and slowly page through and you will start to see that these recipes are doable — very doable. Simple, elegant, but not overly refined, this cookbook inspires rather than thrills; it impresses rather than boasts."
- THE KITCHN
"This is a big book with big photos and big ideas. . . This is serious cooking, mind you, but presented in gorgeous color by a serious, self-trained cook."
- MILK STREET KITCHEN MAGAZINE
Naomi Pomeroy won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Pacific Northwest in 2014, was named a Best New Chef
Food & Wine in 2009, and has been featured in
O magazine, along with appearances on
Top Chef Masters and
Knife Fight. After launching Family Supper, clarklewis, and Gotham Tavern, she opened Beast in 2007 and her bar Expatriate in 2013. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Porcini Braised Chicken Thighs
SERVES 6 TO 8
This is a rustic one-pot meal to serve directly out of the Dutch oven in which it is cooked. Porcini mushrooms have an earthy, savory quality that combines with the stock, wine, and concentrated meat flavor from the thighs to create a lovely richness. The contrast of crisp skin against tender braised meat and soft vegetables is fantastic as well.
I recommend using this recipe to learn how to braise. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, it’s possible to sear the chicken in a large sauté pan, transfer it to a roasting pan to finish cooking in the oven, and serve it in a pretty casserole dish.
This simple meal is all about balance, and people are always impressed by how delicious it is. I don’t always save the vegetables from a braise because they often wind up limp and soggy, but these are very much worth eating.
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cups sliced, peeled carrot, on the bias in 3-inch pieces
3 cups roughly chopped yellow onion, in 1½-inch pieces
1½ cups roughly chopped celery, in 2-inch pieces
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
10 cloves garlic
3 thyme sprigs
2 fresh or 4 dried bay leaves
12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, at room temperature
2 to 3 tablespoons salt
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 cups homemade stock or other high-quality stock
1 cup dry white wine
In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, and celery and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables get some color. Add the porcini, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves and mix to combine. Turn off the heat but leave the Dutch oven on the burner.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Season each chicken thigh with 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 teaspoon salt (depending on its size; a large thigh will weigh about 10 ounces and a small one about 6 ounces) and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper.
Heat a black steel pan over high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat until the surface is rippling but not smoking. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, add 4 chicken thighs, skin side down, and lower the heat slightly, to medium-high. Weight down the thighs with a heavy plate to create an even sear across the entire surface and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until evenly golden but not too dark in any spots. Check after the first 1 to 2 minutes to ensure no black spots are forming and lower the heat as needed. Place the thighs, skin side up, in a single layer in the Dutch oven and repeat two more times with the remaining oil and chicken thighs, rinsing the pan and wiping it completely dry after each batch.
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock and wine to a simmer. Pour the stock mixture into the Dutch oven; the edges of the chicken should be submerged but the skin should be exposed. It’s important not to cover the chicken skin completely or it won’t get crisp.
Cover with a tight-fitting lid (or with aluminum foil if using a roasting pan), place in the oven, and cook for 11⁄4 hours, or until the chicken is completely tender. Turn up the oven temperature to 400°F, remove the cover, and continue to cook until the chicken skin is crisp, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, discard the thyme sprigs as best you can, and serve directly from the pot.