Radically Simple is now available online and in bookstores. To celebrate, here are a few recipes from the book. Be sure to sign up to receive my blog posts via email for other fun posts and announcements!
BEET SOUP WITH LEMON CRÈME FRAÎCHE
The color of rubies, this soup dazzles. It can be made in 60 seconds and eaten right away if the ingredients are well-chilled. If not, pop the soup in the freezer until ice cold.
2 (14-ounce) cans small whole beets
1⁄3 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 large garlic clove
1⁄2 cup crème fraîche
1 large lemon
Put the beets and liquid in a food processor; begin to process. Add 3⁄4 cup water, the oil, vinegar, and garlic. Process until very smooth. Stir in salt and pepper. Top each serving with the crème fraîche and grate lots of lemon zest on top.
AN OPINIONATED WAY TO ROAST A CHICKEN
Even though people lament that “chicken has no taste,” I have on occasion been inclined to leave it alone and cook it stark naked (the bird, that is). No salt, even. The result is something that tastes surprisingly like, well . . . chicken; golden and moist. Only at the end, after carving, do I simply add salt and pepper to the pan juices, or give it a keen sheen of water-enriched garlic-chive butter, whisk until frothy. A small roasting pan, just large enough to hold the chicken is key: I use a small paella pan, but a metal-handled skillet will do.
4-pound roasting chicken
Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash the chicken; discard the giblets. Dry well. Place breast side down in a small roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over and baste. Roast for 40 minutes longer, until cooked through. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt. Let rest for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to the pan juices and boil 2 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve with pan juices or butter sauce.
GARLIC-CHIVE BUTTER SAUCE
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh chives
1 small garlic clove, very finely minced
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the chives, garlic, 3 tablespoons water, and salt. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Pour over chicken.
THE “ LITTLE BLACK DRESS ” CHOCOLATE CAKE
Like the legendary little black dress, this dessert is something I can’t live without, a mousse-y rich cake with a soft, oozing center (provided you don’t overbake it). And like the L.B.D., you can accessorize it in myriad ways: with fresh raspberries placed side by side and glazed with melted currant jelly; with sweetened crème fraîche and fresh orange segments; or with my “crème anglaise” (below) or a scoop of Lemon-Buttermilk Ice Cream (page 330).
10 1⁄2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 extra-large eggs
16 ounces top-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, espresso powder, or orange zest
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment. Butter the sides of the pan with 1⁄2 tablespoon of the butter. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt until tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. Melt the chocolate and the remaining 10 tablespoons butter slowly over low heat in a heavy medium saucepan; stir until smooth. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture with a flexible rubber spatula until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla. Pour into the pan.
Bake 18 minutes: The center will be quite soft. Cool 30 minutes.
(SERVES 8 )
ONE- INGREDIENT EGGNOG “CRÈME ANGLAISE”
3 cups commercial eggnog
Bring the eggnog just to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced to 1 1⁄2 cups, about 40 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until cold.
(MAKES 1 1⁄2 CUPS)