Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook by Kristen Miglore, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook

Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook

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by Kristen Miglore

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2016 IACP Cookbook Award Winner for Compilations

There are good recipes and there are great ones—and then, there are genius recipes.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink the way we cook. They might involve an unexpectedly simple technique, debunk a kitchen myth, or apply a familiar ingredient in a new way. They


2016 IACP Cookbook Award Winner for Compilations

There are good recipes and there are great ones—and then, there are genius recipes.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink the way we cook. They might involve an unexpectedly simple technique, debunk a kitchen myth, or apply a familiar ingredient in a new way. They’re handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacies. And, once we’ve folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. In this collection are 100 of the smartest and most remarkable ones.
There isn’t yet a single cookbook where you can find Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter, Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread, and Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake—plus dozens more of the most talked about, just-crazy-enough-to-work recipes of our time. Until now.
These are what Food52 Executive Editor Kristen Miglore calls genius recipes. Passed down from the cookbook authors, chefs, and bloggers who made them legendary, these foolproof recipes rethink cooking tropes, solve problems, get us talking, and make cooking more fun. Every week, Kristen features one such recipe and explains just what’s so brilliant about it in the James Beard Award-nominated Genius Recipes column on Food52. Here, in this book, she compiles 100 of the most essential ones—nearly half of which have never been featured in the column—with tips, riffs, mini-recipes, and stunning photographs from James Ransom, to create a cooking canon that will stand the test of time.
Once you try Michael Ruhlman’s fried chicken or Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s hummus, you’ll never want to go back to other versions. But there’s also a surprising ginger juice you didn’t realize you were missing and will want to put on everything—and a way to cook white chocolate that (finally) exposes its hidden glory. Some of these recipes you’ll follow to a T, but others will be jumping-off points for you to experiment with and make your own. Either way, with Kristen at the helm, revealing and explaining the genius of each recipe, Genius Recipes is destined to become every home cook’s go-to resource for smart, memorable cooking—because no one cook could have taught us so much.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Jenny Rosenstrach
Anyone who has ever disregarded the advice to "cook what you know" for a dinner party, and then spent the evening fretting about salmonella, will appreciate the comfort and confidence that come from making something thousands have made before you with great success…the genius here might lie in the book's wide appeal. For beginners, it's like a "Dummies' Guide to the Most Famous Recipes of All Time." For those deep into the food world, it's more like a litmus test: How many of these dishes have you made?
From the Publisher
New York Times Best Seller

"This is my new favorite cookbook."
--Michael Ruhlman

Library Journal
★ 01/01/2015
In her weekly "Genius Recipes" column, executive editor Miglore highlights unforgettable dishes perfected by such chefs and authors as Julia Child, Suzanne Goin, and Heidi Swanson. This inviting cookbook comprises 100 of the column's more unusual and popular recipes, grouped by course in seven chapters (e.g., breakfast, snacks and drinks, meatless mains). Most feature ingenious cooking methods—a recipe for crepes, for instance, cleverly disguises flour tortillas in a thin layer of egg and cream batter. Similarly, excellent and iconic recipes for no-knead bread, hummus, broccoli cooked forever, and crispy-skinned fish will introduce home cooks to techniques they'll want to use again and again. VERDICT Miglore's addition to Food52's growing list of cookbooks is a treat for readers who enjoy casual gourmet food.
Publishers Weekly
★ 03/16/2015
Food52 executive editor Miglore shares a superb collection of “genius recipes” from her weekly column. To qualify as “genius,” recipes must cause surprise and prompt chefs to rethink the fundamentals of how they cook. She shares the best discoveries from cookbook authors, chefs, and bloggers including Alton Brown’s baked brown rice, cauliflower steaks from Dan Barber, and Alice Waters’s unfussy ratatouille. From breakfast to meaty and meatless mains to desserts, the more than 100 recipes included here are sure to inspire and amaze. Roger Vergé’s recipe for fried eggs with wine vinegar tempers the richness of the yolks with the tart and cleansing balance of a good vinaigrette. The secret to Le Bernardin’s crispy-skilled fish is Wondra flour, instant flour commonly used for clump-free gravies. Broccoli “cooked forever,” from Roy Finamore, defies typical overcooked blah-ness thanks to a two-hour olive oil bath. No-cook cranberry sauce, grilled chard stems with anchovy sauce, and strawberry shortcake made with hard-boiled eggs are just the tip of the genius iceberg shared in these pages. Chicken roasted at 500 degrees, tomato sauce made with butter and onions, and spiced braised lentils with tomatoes and toasted coconut exemplify the tremendous contribution this book will make to any cook’s repertoire. Guaranteed to excite and enlighten cooks everywhere, Miglore’s collection is a must-have for every kitchen. Color photos. (Apr.)

Product Details

Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
Publication date:
Food52 Works Series
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8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chocolate Mousse from hervé this

Every chocolate book and pastry chef teaches us to never let water get near melting chocolate: It will seize and crumble, and ruin dessert. But Hervé This—the French chemist who invented the study of (and the very phrase) molecular gastronomy—figured out how to mix the unmixable and turn them into chocolate mousse.

It also happens to be the simplest way to make mousse at home: Melt chocolate with water, then cool it over an ice bath and whisk till you have mousse.
Like other emulsions (vinaigrette, aïoli), as you whip, microscopic bits of water get suspended in the fat (here: cocoa butter), thickening it and making it seem creamier. The cooling chocolate crystallizes around the air bubbles, just like whipped cream, to make a remarkably stable foam, a.k.a. mousse.

The best thing about this is that it tastes like pure, unob-structed chocolate, without cream or egg to confuse the issue. (It also happens to be vegan, if you use dark chocolate without any added milk.)

This all happens fast as the mixture cools, so chances are you’ll go too far on your first try and the mousse may stiffen up beyond the point you’d wanted. But if this happens, Mr. This is unfazed—he has you return the chocolate mixture to the pan, melt it, and start over (see note).

Genius Tip
Once you have the rhythm of making this mousse down, you can flavor it as you wish with liqueurs or coffee or spices, sweeten it to your liking, or just keep it dark and intense. 

Serves 4
3⁄4 cup (180ml) water
8 ounces (225g) chocolate (I use bittersweet chocolate that’s 70 percent cacao—choose a high-quality chocolate you love), broken into pieces
Ice cubes
Whipped cream, for topping (optional; page 236)

Simply pour the water into a saucepan over medium-low heat (the water can be improved from the gastronomic point of view if it is flavored with orange juice, for example, or cassis puree—just replace some of the water with an equal amount of the flavorful liquid). Then, add the chocolate and whisk it in as it melts. The result is a homogenous sauce.

Put the saucepan in a bowl partly filled with ice cubes (or pour into another bowl over the ice so it will chill faster), then whisk the chocolate sauce, either manually with a whisk or with an electric mixer (if using an electric mixer, watch closely—it will thicken faster). Whisking creates large air bubbles in the sauce, which steadily thickens. After a while strands of chocolate form inside the loops of the whisk. Pour or spoon immediately into ramekins, small bowls, or jars and let set.

note: Three things can go wrong. Here’s how to fix them. If your chocolate doesn’t contain enough fat and won’t form a mousse, melt the mixture again, add more chocolate, and then whisk it again. If the mousse is not light enough, melt the mixture again, add more water, and whisk it once more. If you whisk it too much, so that it becomes grainy, simply melt the mixture and whisk it again, adding nothing.
3Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Meet the Author

KRISTEN MIGLORE is the executive editor at She abandoned a career in economics to pursue a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University and a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education. Her writing has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, and The Atlantic, and she was nominated for a James Beard Award for the Genius Recipes column in 2014. She lives in New York City.
Founded by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs in 2009, has become the premier online community for cooks at all levels, with more than 30,000 recipes, cooking contests, a hotline, and an integrated kitchen and home shop. It was named Best Food Publication at the 2012 James Beard Awards and Best Culinary Website at the 2013 IACP Awards.

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Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook 4.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After trying the Fried Eggs With White Vinegar, Food52 Genius Recipes is, well... genius. The idea for these recipes come from the Genius Recipes column of the Food52 website. Genius recipes are those which rethink cooking techniques, solve problems, and I believe make even simple food outstanding. Even the most experienced cook will find all kinds of new ideas. At the same time, many of the recipes given are simple enough to make quickly for a weeknight meal. There is a good balance of simple and complex in the variety of recipes given. At 100 recipes and almost all with a short history and instructions contained on a single page or less, this is an entirely do-able cookbook. With a unique twist on a technique or ingredient, each of the recipes was a little cooking or baking adventure with a delicious reward at the end. I might not always prepare food with a genius recipe from now own, but the book has added significantly to my culinary toolbox of ingredient ideas and cooking and baking method. This book is worth taking a look at! Speaking of rethinking how you cook… Do you know the difference between baking soda and baking powder? Or how long raw eggs will last in your refrigerator? What is “resting time?” What is the proper temperature to even cook chicken? If you don’t know the answer to even one of these questions, then buy yourself a copy of “Conquer Your Kitchen” from Chef Jai Scovers right now. In “Conquer Your Kitchen,” you’ll discover over 100 kitchen secrets guaranteed to save you time and money, including, for the first time ever and only in “Conquer Your Kitchen,” the most important thing to have in your home when it comes to you and your family’s good health. This one simple “trick” is guaranteed to change your life and how you will eat forever. It is a must have for any kitchen and anyone who loves to cook!
NorthSideFour More than 1 year ago
When it is lunch time and I am faced with another wonderful grilled cheese from the lunchroom (they are truly good) I take my compostable lunch tray and retreat to my desk for 20 minutes of Food52. And when I heard that I could find so much of Food52 in an actual book, which I always prefer, I was giddy. Genius Recipes appeared early in the summer, a perfect slow morning read, a cup of tea and and the start of a lovely summer day. We got along immediately. Genius is a big word, not to be tossed around and used lightly. And this one, not only genius but subtitled, 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook, oh my, such lofty aspirations. Not just the smartest child in the class but the most outgoing and well behaved also, you don't say? One cup of tea turned into two. Ideas for summer tomatoes and holiday parties, notes scratched in my food journal, beautiful pictures and well thought out recipes, all the ingredients for a perfectly lovely summer morning. And later that day, Marcella Hazan's buttery rich tomato sauce, simmering on the stove; from start to finish a culinarily perfect day. Genius? Perhaps, but most certainly at the top of the class. Through Blogging for Books, I received a copy of this book for review purposes. Delicious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying that this is an absolutely beautiful book! It has a hardbound embossed cover, thick high-quality pages, and beautiful pictures. It feels expensive, and something about it reminds me of the cookbooks of yesteryear, but it is modern and updated. There is a clear index, organized by Breakfast, Snacks & Drinks, Soups & Salads, Meaty Mains, Meatless Mains, Vegetables, and Desserts. The book offers up recipes that include "genius" techniques and twists you may not have thought of. For example, mashing up onions and cilantro into a paste, and folding that into mashed avocado for a smooth guacamole. Or cooking a whole chicken at super high heat with no basting to create a really juicy and delectable meal. Some things may seem contrary to what you would expect, but the results speak for themselves. I can't wait to work my way through this book and make other delicious recipes like Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter. This book will hold a respected position on my cookbook shelf. Food52 knows how to do cookbooks right!
DIANE-FROM-OHIO More than 1 year ago
I originally borrowed this book from our library, and loved it and knew I wanted to add it to my own collection. It also opened me up to the Food52 community which I have thoroughly been enjoying. I plan on giving this book to my foodie friends and family as gifts. I believe there are two more books from Food52 which I will also be purchasing. Do I recommend it -- Absolutely!