Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook: French-American Recipes for the Home Cook

Overview

"Cook the sauce another minute, then add just a touch of olive oil," urges Daniel Boulud in his kitchen at Café Boulud in New York City. "Not too much. That's it," he exclaims. His voice carries his passion as he swirls the copper pan holding the finished dish. Over the tops of his glasses he assesses the color and takes in the aroma of the sauce. Then he brings a few drops of it to his lips. After thirty years of cooking in France and America, the chef knows what he wants. "I'm looking for balance," he explains....

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Overview

"Cook the sauce another minute, then add just a touch of olive oil," urges Daniel Boulud in his kitchen at Café Boulud in New York City. "Not too much. That's it," he exclaims. His voice carries his passion as he swirls the copper pan holding the finished dish. Over the tops of his glasses he assesses the color and takes in the aroma of the sauce. Then he brings a few drops of it to his lips. After thirty years of cooking in France and America, the chef knows what he wants. "I'm looking for balance," he explains. "A hint of herb, a little acidity — sweet seafood needs a bit of sharpness — and all the brininess and flavor of the scallops." It is a simple but perfect recipe and it has been given all his attention, commitment, and talent — as have each of the recipes in this simple but perfect cookbook.
Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook contains all his creative cooking skills made accessible. By means of Dorie Greenspan's expertly written recipes, Daniel accompanies you into your home kitchen, where his inspiration becomes yours and his instructions are easy to follow. With little effort, you find yourself reproducing his magic on your own stove.
One ingredient for a perfect dish is family tradition. In the book's first section, La Tradition, we are transported to the original Café Boulud run by Daniel's grandparents on the outskirts of Lyon — France's culinary capital. Daniel's education as a cook began with his grandmother and the Poulet Grand-mère she lovingly prepared for her guests. It continued with great chefs that shaped his unique interpretation of home cooking. Recipes such as Skate with Brown Butter and Capers, Hanger Steak with Shallots, and splendid Pommes Frites reveal the influences of his French roots.
But tradition also includes respect for seasonal ingredients. In the next section, La Saison, Daniel accompanies us through the market. We select peas and sugar snaps that are ready to tumble into the pot for the Chilled Spring Pea Soup. Fresh corn becomes the surprise ingredient in Lobster with Sweet Corn Polenta. Complete the celebration of the seasons with Ruby Grapefruit with Pomegranate Sabayon or a milk chocolate-cherry tart like no other.
In the third section, Le Voyage, Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook takes us on an exploration of many of the world's cuisines with dishes as varied as Italian-style Veal Gremolata, Spanish Gazpacho with Anchovy Toast, or a fast and easy Asian salad of crab, cucumber, and mango. Imagine yourself under the warm Middle Eastern sun as you taste Daniel's Coffee-Cardamom Pots de Crème.
In the last section, Le Potager, Daniel offers an extraordinary selection of vegetarian dishes, from easy starters like Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad to main courses such as Lemon-Lime Risotto with Asparagus or bone-warming Root Vegetable Cassoulet, and, of course, sublime desserts to cap any meal.
Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook opens wide the door of his kitchen and invites you in with 150 recipes that will unfailingly stimulate your passion for flavor while offering a healthy, easy, and modern approach to good eating. He also provides a collection of basic recipes that are used at Café Boulud; a glossary of terms, techniques, and ingredients; and a short batterie de cuisine, a guide to pots, pans, and a few gadgets. He even provides a list of trusted suppliers so you can find the same ingredients he uses at Café Boulud. Thirty-two pages of color photographs of finished dishes prepared personally by Daniel will allow you to see, and almost smell and taste, what you are cooking. Watch as this book becomes the extension of your own hands. Whether making a salad for one or a dinner for eight, let Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook be your reliable guide to great food.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
A Conversation with Daniel Boulud

It is rather awe-inspiring to be in the presence of Daniel Boulud, who has been—more than once or twice—described as America's greatest French chef. Of course, it didn't hurt that I was sitting in a most comfortable chair in the lounge of his very beautiful restaurant, Restaurant Daniel, completely enveloped in the fragrance of massive bouquets of flowers, the gentle aromas of the four-star menu, and the quietly lingering voices of a lunchtime crowd. The sly Gallic charm of Chef Boulud was only the very delicious icing on the cake. What a great way to spend an afternoon!

As we talked about his latest cookbook, Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook, his enthusiasm for his craft and his knowledge of the culinary arts enthralled me. I asked how this book differed from his first very successful book, Cooking With Daniel Boulud, for which I had also interviewed him for bn.com. "The first book was an extension of my newsletter [Easy Cooking with Great Chefs]; it focused on the seasonality of the marketplace and was more traditional in concept, with the expected chapters devoted to a particular food," he responded. "The Café Boulud Cookbook, on the other hand, is quite nontraditional in concept in that it is broken down into four sections—La Tradition, La Saison, Le Voyage, and Le Potager. The book burst forth at the same time that I was creating Café Boulud, so my creativity was very high. It was also at this point that I suddenly understood that I had gone from being a French chef to being a French-American chef." "What exactly does being a French-American chef mean to you?" I queried. "Well, I'm certainly very French, but I have cooked as long in New York [15 years] as I cooked in France," Daniel replied. "I am very much charmed by the United States. It has been inspirational to me—the markets, the lifestyle, the openness, the ethnic variety have all had an impact on the way that I cook. I would say that I have been deeply touched by America."

Being particularly interested in how American children eat and are fed, I asked Chef Boulud if his ten-year-old daughter had remained under his influence, or if she, like most American children, lived on junk food. "Oh, no," Daniel answered. "She eats traditional French food and is very conscious of how food is grown. When we are in France, she goes to the garden to pick the vegetables for our meals. She knows this is a unique experience, and she loves it. But, she also knows all of the junk food and, from time to time, I even join her in a hot dog feast!" "Is there something that you prepare that your daughter really loves?" I asked. "Both Alix and I love pasta—I always have a few recipes in my books. And, she also enjoys all kinds of salads, which I prepare at home." What a lucky girl!

Reading through Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook, I was struck by the versatility of the recipes—each section really does offer what it promises, whether it's traditional recipes (sometimes updated), recipes bursting with the flavors of the seasons, recipes inspired by travel and other cultures, or extraordinary vegetarian dishes. But are they home-cook friendly, I wondered. Daniel must have read my mind because he said, "The book was written by Dorie Greenspan, who was very careful to make my recipes approachable. Sometimes the ingredient list may be long but the steps are well explained and easy for the home cook to read. Her writing is really pleasurable to read—it is so animated."

And as we were about to say our good-byes, Daniel said, "Since it is getting to be holiday time, I would like to suggest a menu for entertaining for your Barnes & Noble.com readers. My favorite recipe from the Café Boulud Cookbook would be the starter, Game Bird and Foie Gras Pâté (which can be made a week in advance—in fact it will taste better if it is), followed by Crab Salad with Green Apple Gelée, then a wonderful dish, Cod, Clams, and Chorizo Basquaise, and finally either Potato and Almond Cake or Vanilla Blueberries, aka Bill's Blues [the Bill being President William Jefferson Clinton, for whom Daniel has cooked a number of times]." To quote from some of the advance publicity material for the Café Boulud Cookbook: "Imagine. A table full of Daniel Boulud's food, and you made it," from a menu devised especially for you by the chef himself. Bon Appétit!

Judith Choate

From the Publisher
Patricia Wells author of Bistro Cooking and Patricia Wells At Home In Provence Daniel Boulud is a rare breed of chef, one who seamlessly merges the best of French cuisine with the modern flavors of America. In this new book, he is at his best: It's cafe fare with imagination, focus, purpose, and massive depth of flavor.

Charlie Trotter chef-owner, Charlie Trotter's, Chicago Well, of course Daniel Boulud is a food genius. Everybody knows that! What he's done with the Café Boulud Cookbook, though, is utterly tremendous. Home cooks will be bowled over by his passion for the simple and straightforward. These are the kinds of recipes that truly make cooking fun!

Colman Andrews editor, Saveur It is a measure of how genuine and refreshingly unpretentious the Café's cooking is that Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan have been able to present it so accessibly and temptingly, in book form, to those of us who can't enjoy it in situ every night.

Thomas Keller chef-owner, The French Laundry, Napa Valley, California Daniel Boulud has influenced chefs for years with his innovative methods and flavor combinations. Now his inspiring cookbook proves that great French cuisine doesn't have to be complicated cuisine.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten chef-owner Jean-Georges, Jo Jo, Vong, and The Mercer Kitchen, New York City, and Prime, Las Vegas I salute Daniel's talent for creating classic French dishes in his signature style. This book brings this gift of his to life, enabling the reader to create these delicious meals in their home kitchen.

Laurie Glenn Buckle
In The Cafe Boulud CookbookBoulud's has 200 recipes divided into four sections, each representing a theme that influences his menus: classic French dishes, seasonal specialities, world cuisine and dishes from the potager, or vegetable garden. This big, beautiful work succeeds in bringing Boulud's inspired food to the home kitchen.
Bon Appetit
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Echoing the French-American accent of food from his casual Caf Boulud, the New York City chef also acclaimed for Restaurant Daniel encourages home cooks to prepare meals as he does, by attending to four inspirations: his own French tradition, seasonal foodstuffs, international flavors and the kitchen garden. Like many recipes based on restaurant selections--particularly French--the dishes here often require multiple steps and careful attention to detail. Those cooks with time and ambition will be able to create the more demanding fare, such as Sea Bass en Cro te, which makes a theatrical appearance inside its cloak of puff pastry. Costumed differently are Mustard-Crusted Calf's Liver, which requires a difficult-to-find 1 3/4-pound piece of meat, and Chestnut-Crusted Loin of Venison. Lighter dishes reflecting the chef's meticulous touch include Morels and Pea Shoot Gnocchi in a Light Broth, and Crab Salad with Apple Gel e. Earthier and easier are Lamb and Bean Casserole, and Bay Scallop and Tomato Gratin. Boulud's (Cooking with Daniel Boulud) creative agility is evident throughout, as when he intensifies Tuna Vitello, a switch on the Italian classic vitello tonnato, featuring saut ed sweetbreads, and A Dozen Baby Spring Vegetables with Vanilla, Ginger and Basil. 6-city author tour. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Inspired by the meals of his homeland near Lyons, James Beard award winner Boulud (Cooking with Daniel Boulud) teams up with IACP award winner Greenspan (Baking with Julia) to serve up a colorful collection of recipes featuring dishes from his New York City restaurant. The cookbook is divided into four sections: "La Tradition," or classic French dishes; "La Saison," seasonal specialties; "Le Voyage," dishes inspired by varied world cultures with some fusion touches; and "Le Potager," culinary delights from the garden. Recipes run the gamut from traditional fare such as Pommes Frites and Apricot Tart to cutting-edge culinary treats like Duck Dumplings in Broth and White Gazpacho. Many of the dishes assume some degree of culinary experience, but clear instructions accompany each recipe. Armchair cooks will appreciate the culinary tidbits that introduce each recipe, as well as the book's stunning photographs. Recommended for mid-sized and large public libraries.--John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684863436
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 577,211
  • Product dimensions: 8.12 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Boulud is the chef-owner of two New York City restaurants, Café Boulud and Daniel, one of only six restaurants to earn the New York Times's highest rating. He is also the author of Cooking with Daniel Boulud.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

For almost one hundred years, the locals of St.-Pierre-de-Chandieu, my small hometown outside Lyon, met daily at the roadside Café Boulud, the petit café and not-quite restaurant that my great-grandparents, grandparents, and later my parents took pride in tending on their family farm. It was the rendezvous point for generations of townsfolk. It was the place people went to begin and finish a day, to toast births and marriages and to mourn losses. It was where love affairs started and, of course, where some ended. It was warm, welcoming, and a vital part of village life. And, it was a memory I always carried with me.

From the time I was an apprentice, a fourteen-year-old living away from home, I dreamed of creating a restaurant that would capture the warmth and conviviality of my family's café. Thirty years later, I opened my own Café Boulud in New York City, the city that is today as much my home as St.-Pierre-de-Chandieu was when I was a child.

Café Boulud opened at the perfect moment in my life, at the time when I could truly say, "I am a French-American chef." The opening of Café Boulud, my thirtieth anniversary in the kitchen, and the midpoint in my French-American career share a date. Since I have now cooked in America for as long as I cooked in France, it was the ideal moment to pay tribute to the cuisine I grew up with, the kitchens I trained in, and the foods I've come to know and love in America, all of which Café Boulud and the Café Boulud Cookbook celebrate.

Just as I do at the Café, I have arranged the recipes in this book according to the four muses that have inspired my cooking: La Tradition, the classic, full-bodied foods of France; La Saison, the bounty of the market; Le Voyage, the foods of lands near and far; and Le Potager, vegetarian dishes that extol the goodness of the garden.

At Café Boulud, the menu is presented in four columns — La Tradition, La Saison, Le Voyage, and Le Potager — and we encourage people to move from column to column according to their cravings. I urge you to do the same: Please, choose recipes from each of the sections. There are no rules — you can plan an all-Tradition meal, or skip around, choosing, for example, a starter from Le Voyage, a main course from La Saison, and a dessert from any of the sections.

Similarly, I hope you'll feel free to pick and choose components within a recipe. I've presented the recipes just as I would serve them to you if you were my guest at Café Boulud. So, for instance, the recipe for Peppered Arctic Char includes the parsnip mousseline that we serve under the fish and the soft shallots, cooked in red wine and port, that we serve over it. I've given you the recipe for the complete dish so that you can understand the spirit of my cooking, the way I create a dish and the way it would be presented at the Café. At home, you may not want to make the dish in its entirety, or you may want to serve your favorite mashed potatoes with the peppered char. By all means, do it! I want you to have fun with these recipes, to use them often, to make them your own.

Following the sections dedicated to La Tradition, La Saison, Le Voyage, and Le Potager, you'll find a short chapter of basic preparations — pastry crusts and creams as well as simple stocks and condiments — that we use often in the kitchen; a glossary of terms, techniques, and ingredients that you can turn to if you have a question about how we do certain things at the Café; a short batterie de cuisine, including pots, pans, and a few gadgets that make cooking more efficient — and more pleasurable; and, finally, a source guide, a list of trusted suppliers who will send you the same ingredients I use at Café Boulud.

To create this collection, I have chosen the recipes that hold the dearest memories for me, the ones most tied to my culinary life in France and America, and the ones most enjoyed at Café Boulud. All of the recipes have been tested so that they will work as well in your kitchen as they do in mine, and all are offered to you with the hope that when you share this food with your family and friends, it will bring you as much satisfaction, indeed, as much joy, as it has brought me over the years.

Daniel Boulud, New York, 1999

Copyright © 1999 by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction

Foreword by Martha Stewart

La Tradition: the traditional dishes of French cooking

Soups, Starters, Small Dishes, Lunches, and Anytime Food

Main Courses

Side Dishes

Desserts

La Saison: the seasonal specialties of the market

Soups, Starters, Small Dishes, Lunches, and Anytime Food

Main Courses

Desserts

Le Voyage: dishes from lands far and near

Soups, Starters, Small Dishes, Lunches, and Anytime Food

Main Courses

Desserts

Le Potager: vegetarian dishes that celebrate the bounty of the garden

Soups, Starters, Small Dishes, Lunches, and Anytime Food

Grains, Beans, Pasta, and Risotto

Roasted, Stuffed, and Braised Vegetables

Desserts

Base Recipes

Glossary of Terms, Ingredients, and Techniques

Batterie de Cuisine

Source guide

Acknowledgments

Index

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Introduction

For almost one hundred years, the locals of St.-Pierre-de-Chandieu, my small hometown outside Lyon, met daily at the roadside Café Boulud, the petit café and not-quite restaurant that my great-grandparents, grandparents, and later my parents took pride in tending on their family farm. It was the rendezvous point for generations of townsfolk. It was the place people went to begin and finish a day, to toast births and marriages and to mourn losses. It was where love affairs started and, of course, where some ended. It was warm, welcoming, and a vital part of village life. And, it was a memory I always carried with me.

From the time I was an apprentice, a fourteen-year-old living away from home, I dreamed of creating a restaurant that would capture the warmth and conviviality of my family's café. Thirty years later, I opened my own Café Boulud in New York City, the city that is today as much my home as St.-Pierre-de-Chandieu was when I was a child.

Café Boulud opened at the perfect moment in my life, at the time when I could truly say, "I am a French-American chef." The opening of Café Boulud, my thirtieth anniversary in the kitchen, and the midpoint in my French-American career share a date. Since I have now cooked in America for as long as I cooked in France, it was the ideal moment to pay tribute to the cuisine I grew up with, the kitchens I trained in, and the foods I've come to know and love in America, all of which Café Boulud and the Café Boulud Cookbook celebrate.

Just as I do at the Café, I have arranged the recipes in this book according to the four muses that have inspired my cooking: La Tradition, the classic, full-bodied foods of France; La Saison, the bounty of the market; Le Voyage, the foods of lands near and far; and Le Potager, vegetarian dishes that extol the goodness of the garden.

At Café Boulud, the menu is presented in four columns -- La Tradition, La Saison, Le Voyage, and Le Potager -- and we encourage people to move from column to column according to their cravings. I urge you to do the same: Please, choose recipes from each of the sections. There are no rules -- you can plan an all-Tradition meal, or skip around, choosing, for example, a starter from Le Voyage, a main course from La Saison, and a dessert from any of the sections.

Similarly, I hope you'll feel free to pick and choose components within a recipe. I've presented the recipes just as I would serve them to you if you were my guest at Café Boulud. So, for instance, the recipe for Peppered Arctic Char includes the parsnip mousseline that we serve under the fish and the soft shallots, cooked in red wine and port, that we serve over it. I've given you the recipe for the complete dish so that you can understand the spirit of my cooking, the way I create a dish and the way it would be presented at the Café. At home, you may not want to make the dish in its entirety, or you may want to serve your favorite mashed potatoes with the peppered char. By all means, do it! I want you to have fun with these recipes, to use them often, to make them your own.

Following the sections dedicated to La Tradition, La Saison, Le Voyage, and Le Potager, you'll find a short chapter of basic preparations -- pastry crusts and creams as well as simple stocks and condiments -- that we use often in the kitchen; a glossary of terms, techniques, and ingredients that you can turn to if you have a question about how we do certain things at the Café; a short batterie de cuisine, including pots, pans, and a few gadgets that make cooking more efficient -- and more pleasurable; and, finally, a source guide, a list of trusted suppliers who will send you the same ingredients I use at Café Boulud.

To create this collection, I have chosen the recipes that hold the dearest memories for me, the ones most tied to my culinary life in France and America, and the ones most enjoyed at Café Boulud. All of the recipes have been tested so that they will work as well in your kitchen as they do in mine, and all are offered to you with the hope that when you share this food with your family and friends, it will bring you as much satisfaction, indeed, as much joy, as it has brought me over the years.


Daniel Boulud, New York, 1999

Copyright © 1999 by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan

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Recipe

Daniel Boulud's Holiday Menu

Game Bird and Foie Gras Pâté

My father, like the other fathers and farmers around him in our part of France, was a hunter, and my mother, like her neighbors, always had a recipe at the ready for whatever the day's take might be. Game bird pâté was a staple during the hunting season—it was the dish that made the best use of the birds that weren't young or tender enough to roast. What was second nature and given by Mother Nature to my parents is a bit more complicated and costly for us, who must purchase the partridges, squab, and pheasant at specialty stores or by mail order, but the result is unfailingly worth the expense and time. Few things are as welcoming as a crock filled with highly seasoned, coarsely ground pâté, its natural jelly coating the top. Put a jar of cornichons on the table along with mustard and a basket of brown bread, plant a sturdy knife in the center of the pâté so that everyone can dig in, put your elbows on the table, and count yourself among the lucky.

Keep in mind that the game birds have to marinate for twenty-four hours and that, once cooked, the terrine needs at least twelve hours in the refrigerator. But all this advance preparation pays off in the end—not only is the terrine a triumph, it will keep for a week in your refrigerator.

Makes 12 to 14 servings

2 partridges or 4 quail
2 squab
1 pheasant
2-1/4 pounds fatty pork jowl or other boneless fatty cut of pork, cut into small chunks
6 ounces fresh duck foie gras, cleaned and cut into 6 pieces
6 ounces chicken livers, cleaned and cut into 6 pieces
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Cognac
2 juniper berries, finely chopped
1 sprig thyme, leaves only, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white mushrooms
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1-1/2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1. Remove and discard the skin, bones, tendons, and nerves from the partridges or quail, squab, and pheasant (or ask the butcher to do this). Cut the meat into chunks and put them, the pork jowl, foie gras, and chicken livers in a pan that is just large enough to hold them snugly. Mix the wine, Cognac, juniper berries, and thyme together, add them to the pan, and turn the meat until all the pieces are coated evenly with the liquid and herbs. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

2. When the pieces of meat have marinated for 24 hours, drain the meat and discard the marinade. Push the meats through the large-hole blade of a grinder—you want this to be a coarsely ground and very rustic pâté—into a bowl. Cover the bowl and chill until needed.

3. Warm the vegetable oil in a small sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic and cook, stirring, until they are cooked through but not colored, about 8 minutes. Turn the ingredients out onto a plate and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes.

4. Working gently with your hands, mix the mushroom mixture into the ground meats along with the salt and pepper.

5. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a roasting or baking pan with two layers of aluminum foil and keep nearby.

6. Choose a terrine—I use a porcelain terrine that's 10 inches long by 3-1/2 inches wide at the top, 3-1/2 inches deep, and 9 inches long and 2-1/2 inches wide at the bottom, but you can use any similar-size terrine. Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit inside the top of the terrine. Fill the terrine with the ground meat—you'll have more than you can fit into the terrine and that's just fine: Mound the pâté mixture over the top of the terrine. Cover the top of the terrine with one piece of parchment paper and press the paper against the meat, then press the second sheet over the first. Place the terrine in the lined baking pan.

7. Bake the pâté until it reaches 150°F as measured on an instant-read thermometer, about 1-3/4 hours. (Make sure to measure the temperature of the pâté at the center of the terrine.) At this point, the meat will be very moist and quite pink—it will continue to cook as it cools. Remove the terrine from the oven and allow it to cool, still in its baking pan, for 2 hours.

8. When the pâté is cool, it should be weighted. If your pâté comes above the rim of the terrine, just place a small baking sheet over the top of the terrine and weight the sheet down by evenly placing a few cans or, better yet, a few bags of pie weights on it. If your pâté has fallen below the rim of the terrine, you'll need to do a little arts-and-crafts work. Cut a piece of Styrofoam or heavy cardboard to fit just inside the top of the terrine and wrap the Styrofoam or cardboard in parchment paper. Lay it on top of the terrine and then weight it down with cans or bags of pie weights. Transfer the terrine and its weighting system to the refrigerator and chill for at least 12 hours before serving. (The terrine can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)

To serve: This pâté is meant to be served in the most rustic way: Plunge a knife into the center of the pâté and bring the terrine to the table. Everyone should help themselves to a wedge of pâté, a hunk of hearty bread, and a few vinegar-spiked cornichons.

To drink: A Cahors, from the Southwest of France

Crab Salad with Green Apple Gelée

If the mention of crab salad makes you think of a rich, mayonnaisey mixture in which it's hard to tell the crab from the celery—clear your mind. Every element in this fresh, clean-tasting cool-weather salad conspires to make this starter sparkle. Constructed in layers and centered in a shallow soup plate, from the bottom up you've got sweet crabmeat gently tossed with lemon juice and oil; a light rémoulade sauce enlivened with pickles, capers, and herbs; a few slivers of celery, root and stalk, for crunch; and a topknot of seasoned frisée or escarole for a spot of bitterness. The combination is great, but it becomes perfect when you add a pool of apple gelée dotted with tiny diced green apples and small cubes of fresh lime. At Café Boulud, we use peeky-toe crab (an East Coast specialty available nationwide by mail order), but fresh Maine, Louisiana, or Maryland lump crabmeat makes a good salad too.

Makes 4 servings

The Gelée:
4 Granny Smith apples, cored and halved, 1/2 apple cut into tiny dice, the remainder coarsely chopped
Pinch of vitamin C powder (to help keep the apples' color; available in health food stores)
1 lime
1 sheet gelatin or 1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin, softened in 1 tablespoon cold water and then dissolved over heat

1. Put the apple chunks in the container of a food processor and whir, scraping down the sides of the container as needed, until finely puréed. Add the vitamin C powder to the purée and blend to mix. Line a strainer with a double thickness of damp cheesecloth, set the strainer over a bowl, pour in the purée, and allow it to drip through the strainer. When it looks as though all the liquid has gone through the strainer, press against the solids to extract whatever liquid remains. Pour 1 cup of the juice into a small bowl and save the leftovers to thin the rémoulade if necessary. (If it's not necessary, drink the juice: It's great.)

2. Peel the lime, then, using a small knife, slice away the bitter white pith and with it the thinnest possible layer of fruit. Cutting against the membranes, release each segment of lime. Remove any seeds, cut each segment into tiny dice, and set aside for the moment.

3. If you are using sheet gelatin, drop the gelatin into a bowl of cold water to soften. Warm 1/4 cup of the strained apple juice in a small saucepan. Lift the sheet gelatin out of the cold water, then stir it into the warm apple juice. If you are using powdered gelatin, stir the dissolved gelatin into the warm juice. When the gelatin is incorporated, mix it into the remaining 3/4 cup apple juice; stir in the diced apple and lime. Chill until the gelatin sets and the gelée is syrupy. (The gelée can be kept, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 2 hours.)

The Rémoulade:
1 stalk celery, peeled, trimmed, and cut into matchstick-sized pieces
1/2 small celery root, peeled and cut into matchstick-sized pieces
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons chopped cornichons (bottled French gherkins)
2 teaspoons chopped capers
2 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon chopped tarragon
1/2 small clove garlic, peeled, germ removed, and finely chopped

1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil. Plunge the strips of celery stalk and celery root into the water and cook for about 1 minute, until tender. Drain the celery pieces in a strainer and run them under cold water to cool. When they're cool, drain and pat them dry between layers of paper towels; set aside.

2. Working in a mixing bowl, make the rémoulade's mayonnaise base by whisking together the yolk, lemon juice, mustard, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the vegetable oil—start by adding the oil in droplets and then, when the mixture starts to look thick and creamy, pour in the oil in a slow steady stream. Fold in the remaining ingredients, taste the rémoulade, and add more salt and pepper if needed. If you think the rémoulade is too thick, just stir in a splash of the reserved apple juice. (The sauce can be made up to 1 day in advance and kept well covered in the refrigerator. Leftovers make a good salad dressing or dip for raw vegetables.)

The Crab and Salad:
1 pound peeky-toe or other best-quality fresh crabmeat, picked through to remove any small pieces of shell or cartilage
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 head frisée, white and light yellow parts only, washed and dried, or tender center escarole leaves, washed and dried
2 tablespoons walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Toss the crabmeat very gently (you don't want to crush or shred it) with a little lemon juice and olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Do the same with the frisée or escarole.

To serve: If you want to serve the salad as we do at Café Boulud, for each serving, place a 2-3/4-inch ring mold in the center of a shallow soup plate. Spoon a quarter of the crabmeat into the mold and top with about a tablespoon of rémoulade. Arrange a few slivers of celery stalk and celery root over the rémoulade and then carefully remove the ring. Alternatively, you can just mound the ingredients in layers in the center of each soup plate. Either way, spoon some of the gelée, with the small pieces of apple and lime, around each little tower of crab. Finish with a bouquet of the greens, sprinkle with the toasted nuts, and serve immediately.

To drink: A dry, refreshing, low-alcohol Austrian Riesling

Cod, Clams, and Chorizo Basquaise

This dish stakes no claims to authenticity, but it does play up to advantage the typically Basque practice of pairing seafood with spicy meat, in this case chorizo, the Spanish smoked pork sausage. The chorizo is cooked with a mix of peppers and onions known throughout Spain and the Pays Basque as a piperade. Often used as a filling for omelettes, a garnish for soups, or a flavor booster for stews, the piperade here forms a savory cushion for the cod and clams and makes a lively mate for the light wine and herb pan sauce. This dish is as tempting as it is simple to make—the fish cooks while the piperade simmers. Remember this dish on weeknights: In addition to its intriguing flavors and eye-catching appeal, it's got time on its side—you can have a remarkably good dinner on the table in forty-five minutes flat.

The Piperade:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound chorizo, cut lengthwise in half and then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 medium onion, peeled, trimmed, and cut lengthwise in half and then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, deveined, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, deveined, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
4 plum tomatoes, peeled and cut into 4 wedges each, and seeded
2 cloves garlic, peeled, split, germ removed, and finely diced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or skillet (choose one that has a cover) over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, or until the sausage is evenly browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chorizo to a plate for the moment. Add the onion and peppers to the pan and cook, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the onion turns translucent and the vegetables soften but do not color, 10 to 12 minutes. Return the chorizo to the pan along with the tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Season the piperade with salt and pepper, lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for about 10 minutes more while you cook the fish. (The piperade can be made up to a day ahead, cooled, and kept covered in the refrigerator. Reheat it gently while you cook the cod and clams.)

The Cod and Clams:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Four 6-ounce cod fillets, skin on
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Flour for dredging
16 Manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 sprig thyme
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 sprigs Italian parsley, leaves only
1/4 cup dry white wine

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet (this pan needs to have a cover too) over medium-high heat. Season the cod fillets with salt and pepper and dust the skin side with flour. When the oil is hot, slip the cod, skin side down, into the pan. Cook the fish for 4 minutes before flipping it over. Add the clams, thyme, garlic, parsley, and white wine, arranging the ingredients around the fillets. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the clams open. (If the clams haven't opened after 5 minutes, remove the fish and continue to cook until they do open.)

2. Pull the pan from the heat, spoon out and discard the thyme and garlic, and transfer the cod and clams to a plate; keep in a warm place. Strain the pan juices into the container of a blender and whir to blend. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and blend again to emulsify the sauce.

To serve: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Divide the piperade among four warm dinner or shallow soup plates. Top each serving with a fillet of cod and surround with 4 clams. Spoon the sauce over the clams and drizzle some of the olive oil over each fillet. Serve immediately.

To drink: A fragrant Condrieu, a white wine from the Rhône region of France

Vanilla Blueberries, aka Bill's Blues

The "Bill" in this dessert's name refers to President Bill Clinton, the guest of honor for whom we made this couldn't-be-simpler sweet. The Café Boulud team and I were chosen to prepare a special summer dinner for the President when he was making a whirlwind tour of Long Island, and on the spur of the moment—inspired by a bushel of small, fragrant wild blueberries—we put this together. The berries are very lightly sweetened, flavored with a bit of vanilla bean and a scraping of lemon zest, warmed, spooned into bowls, and topped with vanilla ice cream, which melts and makes its own luscious sauce. Although we hesitated for a moment, concerned that this sweet was too rustic for a presidential meal, we forged ahead and, at the end of the dinner, knew we'd made the right choice—not one bowl came back with a spoonful left over.

Makes 4 servings

1/2 moist, plump vanilla bean
3/4 pound blueberries, wild or cultivated
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
Grated zest 1/4 small lemon
Vanilla ice cream, homemade or store-bought

Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and, using the back of the knife, scrape the pulp out of the pod (reserve the pod for another use, if desired). Put the blueberries, water, sugar, vanilla pulp, and lemon zest in a sauté pan or skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring often but gently, until the berries start to release their juices. Pull the pan from the heat.

To serve: Divide the warm berries among four bowls. Top with ice cream and serve immediately.

To drink: A white-chocolate liqueur

Recipes from Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook, copyright © 1999 by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan. All rights reserved.

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