In his debut cookbook, James Beard Award-winning chef Dan Kluger shares 190 recipes to help home cooks master flavour and technique
Dan Kluger, a chef celebrated for his simple yet flavorful food, knows there’s more to mastering cooking than just following directions. So with each of the innovative, elegant recipes in his debut cookbook, he includes a valuable lesson that applies beyond the tasty dish.
For example, master the art of mixing raw and cooked versions of the same ingredient while preparing a Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Manchego Vinaigrette.
From homemade pantry items to vegetable mains, meats, and grains, this book is not just sophisticated recipes but a master class of lessons for more flexibility and innovation in the kitchen.
Creamy Tomato and Cauliflower Soup
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Cauliflower and tomato were a common pairing in the Indian-style food I cooked at Tabla, but this recipe was born out of a desire to merge two of my favourite American soups: cream of cauliflower and cream of tomato. This is an easy one-pot meal that you can serve with Parmesan croutons (which you’ll find in the Heirloom Tomato Panzanella on page 109), but I also love it with a grilled cheese sandwich. It freezes well, too, so make a double batch and save some for a cold winter day.
One 14½-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups water
½ cup crème fraîche
1 tablespoon plus
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, plus more for seasoning
Freshly cracked black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups Parmesan Croutons (see below)
CRUSH THE tomatoes in a bowl with your hands.
IN A large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and a big pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft, 5 to 7 minutes. (The onions shouldn’t take on any colour; lower the heat if they begin to brown.) Add the garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cauliflower, and water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until the cauliflower is very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the crème fraîche.
BLEND THE soup until smooth, either with an immersion blender or by transferring to a standing blender. Wipe out the saucepan and pass the soup through a fine-mesh strainer back into the pan, pressing on the solids. Stir in the vinegar and season the soup to taste with salt and more vinegar, if needed. Divide among bowls and garnish each with chives, black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and Parmesan croutons. Serve.
MAKES ABOUT 4 CUPS
One 1-pound loaf of sourdough or country bread, crusts discarded, bread cut into 3⁄4-inch dice
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
PREHEAT THE oven to 350°F. In a bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil and salt. Spread the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until it begins to brown and crisp up, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the bread and toss well. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the remaining cheese, toss well, and bake until the croutons are golden brown and crisp on the outside but still soft enough to chew, about 10 minutes longer.
By adding cauliflower and pureeing the heck out of it, you can make cream of tomato soup with very little dairy. (I add a little crème fraîche for extra richness, but you can turn this into a vegan-friendly soup by skipping the dairy altogether.) Cauliflower won’t overpower most vegetable-based soups, so keep this trick in mind anytime you’re making a pureed soup.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.