Happy in the Kitchen
Publication Date: August 2006
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"Happy in the Kitchen" is teeming with "Richard-esque" discoveries, whether it's an amazingly simple technique for dicing vegetables, a delicious low-carb] carbonara made with onions rather than pasta, or a schnitzel made of pureed squid. He's playful--always--but also a perfectionist and an iconoclast. What can you say about a chef who makes risotto with potatoes, prefers frozen Brussels sprouts, and whips up spectacular chocolate pudding and bechamel in the microwave? A chef who doesn't shock blanched vegetables in ice water, but uses his freezer as though it were a fifth burner, and turns raspberries and almonds into "salami"?
Enamored of crispness, this master chef, who calls himself Captain Crunch, makes a potato gratin that is all crust and fries carrots until crisp. Always seeking to surprise, he stuffs onion shells and serves them as pasta, and he scrambles scallops and serves them as if they were eggs. But the surprise is not just in the form the ingredients take in each dish, but in the taste.
Richard offers recipes for the foods we love, but always looks for the twist that makes good things great--whether it's Lamburgers, Lobster Burgers, or Tuna Burgers, Turkey "Steak" au Poivre, or the chocolate reverie Michel calls Le Kit Cat. And with recipe titles such as Shrimp "Einstein," Jolly Green Brussels Sprouts, Chicken Faux Gras, Figgy Piggy, Chocolate Popcorn, and Happy Kid Pudding, "Happy in the Kitchen" lets you know you're in for good tastes and good times.
Every delicious moment is captured in glorious images of finished dishes, as well as exceptional step-by-step photographs that make easy work of slicing, dicing, shaping, and other essential hand skills. "Happy in the Kitchen" is a book that will make you laugh and learn, and it will delight you every step of the way.
Alice Medrich is truly a star in the baking world, having won more cookbook-of-the-year awards and best in the dessert and baking category awards than any other author. She received her formal training at the prestigious Ecole LenOtre in France, and is widely credited with introducing the chocolate truffle to the United States when she began making and selling them at her influential Berkeley dessert shop, Cocolat. She has since left the retail world, devoting much of her career to teaching and sharing her expansive knowledge about baking.
She is the author of "Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, Pure Dessert", and "Chocolate Holidays". Her newest book, Seriously Bitter Sweet, is a complete revision of her 2003 IACP-prize-winning Bittersweet.
Susie Heller, executive producer of PBS's "Chef Story", has produced award-winning television cooking series and co-authored numerous award-winning books, among them "The French Laundry Cookbook" by Thomas Keller and "Bouchon" by Thomas Keller and Jeffrey Cerciello. She lives in Napa, California.