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The host of FOX’s My Kitchen Rules shares 130 recipes that bring back the pleasure of cooking and the wonder of connection into your home.
For internationally known chef Curtis Stone, cooking is a pleasurable journey, not just a destination. In this wonderful book featuring his favorite dishes, Curtis inspires us to turn meal preparation into a joy rather a chore through delicious recipes, mouthwatering photographs, and handy make-ahead tips. He also shares plenty of heartwarming, personal stories from time spent in his kitchen and around the table with family and friends, reminding us that good food and a good life are intrinsically intertwined. His go-to recipes include:
• Light meals: Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese, Fennel, and Pecans; Weeknight Navy Bean and Ham Soup; Pork Burger with Spicy Ginger Pickles • Scene-stealing dinners: Porcini-Braised Beef with Horseradish Mascarpone, Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Fennel, Potato and Zucchini Enchiladas with Habanero Salsa • Family-style sides: Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo, Butternut Squash with Sage and Brown Butter, Cheddar-and-Corn Cream Biscuits • Sweet treats: Cherry-Amaretto Lattice Pie, Rum Pound Cake with Lime Glaze, Chilled Yellow Watermelon Soup with Summer Berries • Favorite breakfasts: Crêpes with Homemade Ricotta and Maple-Kumquat Syrup, Smoked Salmon Omelet with Goat Cheese and Beet Relish, Maple Bran Madeleines • Satisfying snacks: Popcorn with Bacon and Parmesan, Bruschetta with Spring Pea Pesto and Burrata, Chocolate-Hazelnut Milkshake, and many more Praise for Curtis Stone “Curtis Stone loves to cook. Unlike so many chefs, cooking’s not a job to him. It’s a joy. And you feel that every time he slips behind a stove.”—Ruth Reichl
Under the Cover
An excerpt from Good Food, Good Life
Chapter 1 LIGHT MEALS
Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese, Fennel, and Pecans Grilled Vegetable Salad with Curry-Yogurt Vinaigrette Baja Salad Frisée and Apple Salad with Ale Vinaigrette and Rye Croûtes Weeknight Navy Bean and Ham Soup Homemade Chicken Soup Makes Me Feel Better Quick Curry Noodle Soup Creamy Celery Root Soup Posole Seafood Stew with Cream and Fennel Roast Chicken Sandwich with Giardiniera Pan Bagnat Veggie Flatbread Sandwich with Feta-Yogurt Spread Pork Burger with Spicy Ginger Pickles
I can think of no better way to spend my time than sharing a home-cooked meal with family and good mates. The food, people, setting, time of day, music played, and cocktails mixed make every gathering an occasion. However, I do like to kick back on the couch every now and then, and tuck into a well-made sandwich or satisfying salad. Whether it’s a light flatbread sandwich stuffed with summer’s crispest cucumbers and sweetest tomatoes or a frisée and apple salad in the fall, there’s something about eating barefoot and almost horizontal on the sofa that feels particularly indulgent.
The soups, salads, and sandwiches in this chapter are perfect for an impromptu sofa snack or quick lunch. I also like to mix ’n’ match a couple to create a larger casual meal. And they’re great for “cheating dinners” too. I’m a big dinner guy; I love my roast chickens, pork shoulders, and lamb ragùs (look out for these bad boys in the Dinners chapter), but occasionally I “cheat” on them and go with light ’n’ delicious when the night calls for it. After a day rushing between the office and a meeting, and finishing off on the line at the restaurant, sometimes all I want to do is reheat a homemade soup, reawakening all of those yummy fresh flavors. Most of the soups included here can be made at least a day ahead. Humble and healthful soups like chicken or navy bean and ham are our go-to for chilly weeknights, but you’ll find that many of the soups and a lot of the salads and sandwiches have something extra—like the luscious, thick texture and holiday flavors in the Creamy Celery Root Soup or the medley of colorful ingredients and the cilantro dressing in the Baja Salad—making them ideal for casual dinner parties too.
Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese, Fennel, and Pecans
The tarragon vinaigrette used here coats and clings to the grains of quinoa, infusing them with plenty of tangy flavor. I love the way the pecans interplay with the nuttiness of the grain. Farro, spelt, bulgur, and even wild or brown rice also work nicely in this salad.
SERVES: 6 PREP TIME: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 1 hour MAKE-AHEAD: The beets and quinoa can be cooked up to 1 day ahead, covered separately, and refrigerated.
BEETS AND QUINOA 2 pounds small beets (about 2 inches in diameter), scrubbed and trimmed 2 tablespoons olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
SALAD AND VINAIGRETTE 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 cups (not packed) baby arugula 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and shaved on a vegetable slicer or mandoline ½ cup pecans, toasted and very coarsely broken 4 ounces soft goat cheese
1. To roast the beets, preheat the oven to 350°F. 2. Place the beets in a roasting pan or baking dish, rub them with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the pan tightly with foil and roast the beets for about 1 hour, or until they are just tender. Cool slightly. 3. Meanwhile, to cook the quinoa, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until the quinoa is toasted. Add 1⅔ cups water and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid and is tender. Turn off the heat, uncover the pan, and cool completely. 4. When the beets are cool enough to handle, using a towel, rub off the skin. Cut each beet into 6 wedges and place in a medium bowl. 5. To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallots, oil, and tarragon to blend. Season the vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to the cooked beets and toss to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes. 6. In a large bowl, toss the arugula and fennel with enough of the vinaigrette to coat lightly. Season with salt. 7. Mound the quinoa on a platter. Top with the arugula and fennel and then with the beets. Scatter the pecans over the salad and crumble the cheese over it. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Grilled Vegetable Salad with Curry-Yogurt Vinaigrette
The tender arugula and grilled zucchini and peppers carry the curry flavors to create a comforting summer salad. For a heartier meal, serve on a bed of couscous with a couple of Grilled Lamb Chops. The yogurt vinaigrette also tastes incredible spooned over roasted heirloom curried carrots and topped with a handful of toasted pine nuts—serve as a side.
SERVES: 8 PREP TIME: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 8 minutes MAKE-AHEAD: The vinaigrette can be made up to 1 hour ahead, covered, and refrigerated.
CURRY-YOGURT VINAIGRETTE ½ cup plain Greek yogurt ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint ½ small red onion, very finely chopped (¼ cup) 1½ teaspoons grated lime zest ¼ cup fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar Kosher salt
SALAD 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon curry powder 2 pounds medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in half 2 red bell peppers, cored, quartered, and seeded Kosher salt 2½ cups (not packed) baby arugula
1. To make the vinaigrette, in a bowl, whisk the yogurt, mint, onion, lime zest and juice, and vinegar to blend. Season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 2. To make the salad, prepare a grill for high heat. 3. In a large bowl or on a large platter, mix the oil and curry powder together. Add the zucchini and bell peppers and toss and turn to coat. Season with salt and toss again. Grill the zucchini and bell peppers for about 3 minutes per side, or until just charred but still firm. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a baking sheet and set aside to cool slightly, or let cool to room temperature. 4. Cut the zucchini on a slight angle into 1-inch-wide slices. Cut the bell peppers into ½-inch-wide strips. Return the zucchini and bell peppers to the baking sheet. 5. Just before serving, scatter the arugula over the grilled vegetables and use your hands to gently toss the vegetables and arugula with enough vinaigrette to coat lightly. Season the salad to taste with salt. Transfer the salad to a platter or individual plates, spoon a little more vinaigrette around the salad, and serve immediately.
VARIATION To roast the zucchini and bell peppers in the oven, preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut the bell peppers into 2-inch pieces, then prepare the zucchini and bell peppers as in step 3 and transfer cut side down to a heavy baking sheet. Roast for about 12 minutes, or until the vegetables are just charred but still firm. Slice the zucchini but keep the bell peppers as large pieces.
Just looking at this colorful salad makes me want to dust off my surfboard and hit the Baja California coast. With succulent tomatoes, pickled red onions, crispy tortilla chips, and lime juice, it packs a zing and a crunch. Enjoy it as is; top with braised or grilled pork, beef, or chicken for a more substantial meal; or serve with a side of Humble Beans.
SERVES: 6 PREP TIME: 30 minutes MAKE-AHEAD: The dressing can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated.
CILANTRO DRESSING ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves 1 garlic clove 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons liquid from the Pickled Red Onions (recipe follows) ¼ cup olive oil Kosher salt
SALAD 3 cups coarsely torn romaine lettuce heart (from 1 head) 1½ cups shaved green cabbage 4 radishes, cut into matchstick-size strips 1 carrot, cut into matchstick-size strips 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved Kosher salt Pickled Red Onions (recipe follows) 2 small avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into large chunks (about 2 cups) ½ cup coarsely crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese 3 tablespoons toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) About 1½ cups Homemade Tortilla Chips, coarsely crumbled
1. To make the dressing, in a small food processor, process the cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and liquid from the pickled onions until the garlic is minced and the cilantro is finely chopped. With the machine running, slowly pour in the oil, processing until the dressing is well blended. Season with salt. 2. Just before serving, in a large wide bowl or on a platter, gently toss the romaine, cabbage, radishes, carrot, and tomatoes with enough dressing to coat. Season with salt. Drain the pickled onions and scatter them over the salad. Top with the diced avocados, Cotija, pumpkin seeds, and crumbled tortilla chips. Serve immediately.
Curtis Stone is an internationally-known chef, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning restaurateur and TV host. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Curtis first found his passion for food while watching his grandmother, Maude, make her legendary fudge. Curtis honed his skills in the UK under legendary three-star Michelin genius, Marco Pierre White, and while living in London, he appeared in several U.K. cooking shows before catching the eye of television producers in Australia and the U.S. Curtis opened his first solo restaurant Maude (named after his grandmother) in Beverly Hills in February 2014.