Michael Symon's Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen

( 19 )

Overview

Hometown boy turned superstar, Michael Symon is one of the hottest food personalities in America. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, he is counted among the nation’s greatest chefs, having joined the ranks of Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, and Masaharu Morimoto as one of America’s Iron Chefs. At his core, though, he’s a midwestern guy with family roots in old-world traditions. In Michael Symon’s Live to Cook, Michael tells the amazing story of his whirlwind rise to fame by sharing the ...
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Michael Symon's Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen

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Overview

Hometown boy turned superstar, Michael Symon is one of the hottest food personalities in America. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, he is counted among the nation’s greatest chefs, having joined the ranks of Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, and Masaharu Morimoto as one of America’s Iron Chefs. At his core, though, he’s a midwestern guy with family roots in old-world traditions. In Michael Symon’s Live to Cook, Michael tells the amazing story of his whirlwind rise to fame by sharing the food and incredible recipes that have marked his route.

Michael is known for his easy, fresh food. He means it when he says that if a dish requires more than two pans to finish, he’s not going to make it. Cooking what he calls “heritage” food–based on the recipes beloved by his Greek—Italian—Eastern European—American parents and the community in Cleveland–Michael draws on the flavors of traditional recipes to create sophisticated dishes, such as his Beef Cheek Pierogies with Wild Mushrooms and Horseradish, which came out of the pierogies that his grandpa made. Michael translates the influences of the diverse working-class neighborhood in which he grew up into dishes with Mediterranean ingredients, such as those in Olive Oil Poached Halibut with Fennel, Rosemary, and Garlic; Italian-style handmade pastas, like Linguini with Heirloom Tomato, Capers, Anchovies, and Chilies; and re-imagined Cleveland favorites, such as Mac and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Rosemary.

Part of Michael’s irresistible allure on the Food Network comes from how much fun he has in the kitchen. To help readers gain confidence and have a good time, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook has advice for cooking like a pro, starting with basic instructions for how to correctly use techniques such as braising, poaching, and pickling. There’s also information on how caramelizing vegetables and toasting spices can give dishes a greater depth of flavor–instead of a heavy, time-consuming stock-based sauce–and why the perfect finishing touch to most meat or fish dishes can be a savory hot vinaigrette instead.

With fantastic four-color photography throughout and tons of helpful “Symon Says” tips, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook is bound to get anyone fired up about getting into the kitchen and cooking up something downright delicious.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Michael knows who he is and where he lives, and his heritage and community come into play in his deeply personal, soul-satisfying dishes. The thing I love most about Michael's food is that it's hand-crafted and focused and each dish has a distinct story to tell. -- Bobby Flay
Publishers Weekly
Cleveland’s most famous restaurateur, Symon is an iron chef on the Food Network, and he’s got the personality to hang with Mario Batali and Bobby Flay. His fun, brash appeal often shines through in this collection of bold and surprisingly simple to master recipes. He doesn’t hold back with the flavorings: a simple linguine with heirloom tomatoes is spiced with capers, anchovies and chili, and even veggie side dishes—peas and pancetta; Ohio creamed corn with bacon; crispy cauliflower with anchovy aioli—are decadent. Chapters on pickling and charcuterie are evidence that this is a legit chef’s cookbook, but he makes such recipes as lamb bresaola, duck confit, and pickled ramps completely approachable. Though the prose feels dashed off (one paragraph says Symon’s food is “reliant on good technique” and a few lines later claims it uses “almost no technique whatsoever”) and the design is occasionally forced (chapter contents and some headings are displayed in a font apparently meant to evoke Symon’s many tattoos, but they’re barely legible), the recipes are very strong. This volume is excellent for anyone who wants to cook like a chef without a lot of stress. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307453655
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/3/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 178,028
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL SYMON is an Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and a James Beard Award Winner. He is the chef and co-owner of the acclaimed restaurants Lola and Lolita, located in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as Roast, in Detroit, Michigan.

MICHAEL RUHLMAN is the author of twelve nonfiction books, including The Soul of a Chef, and has coauthored many cookbooks, such as The French Laundry Cookbook with Thomas Keller.

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Read an Excerpt

Roasted Dates with Pancetta, Almonds, and Chile
These are incredibly simple—sliced almonds and red pepper flakes are added to sautéing pancetta and then spooned over roasted dates—but so addictive. The beauty of this preparation is the intensity and concentration of all the flavors: the sweetness of the dates, but also the savory saltiness of the pancetta, nuttiness of the almonds, and spicy heat of the chile. It's the perfect balance of the taste elements I love. Your mouth will just pop with these flavors.
At Players restaurant, my first restaurant after culinary school, chef-owner Mark Shary used to stuff a date with an almond, wrap it in bacon, and roast it. These morsels were served on toothpicks. This is my interpretation, turning a little snack or hors d'oeuvre into a bona fide starter. Leftover dates can be puréed and used as a spread on croutons or served as a condiment with a cheese course.
 
Serves 4 to 6
 
2 cups pitted dates
3 ounces pancetta, finely diced 1/2 cup
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
 
 
 
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Put the dates on a small rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven until heated through, about 5 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the dates in there while you cook the pancetta.
In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta until it is three-quarters crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the almonds and continue cooking until they brown, a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the red pepper flakes and stock and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter, stirring continuously until the butter is melted. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley.
Add the dates to the pan and swirl and toss them in the sauce. Divide the cooked dates among four to six plates and spoon the sauce over them.
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Recipe

Veal Chop Milanese with Arugula Salad
This is a very simple dish to make and is also one that works with all sorts of different meats, such as chicken, pork, beef, and most game. It makes a great late lunch or early dinner in the summertime when tomatoes and arugula are bountiful. The thing I love about it is you get some great texture from the standard breading, and the arugula salad keeps things light and flavorful.

Serves 4
4 bone-in veal chops, each 12 ounces
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 cups panko bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cups arugula
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
12 fresh basil leaves

Put the veal chops on a cutting board and cover them with a large piece of plastic wrap. With a meat mallet, pound the meat to 1/4 inch thick.
Set up a breading station: In three separate bowls put the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs. Lightly whisk the eggs. Stir the Parmesan into the bread crumbs.
Season the veal chops liberally with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off the excess, then dip them in egg, and then in bread crumbs to coat.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the fat is hot add the veal chops and cook until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Remove to paper towels to drain until ready to serve.
In a large mixing bowl combine the garlic, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the onion, toss tocoat evenly, and let marinate for 10 minutes.
Add the arugula, tomatoes, and basil to the dressing and gently toss together.
To serve, place a veal chop in the center of each plate and top with salad.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    good eating

    I've made several recipes from this book. The directions were clear and the results, delicious. What is truly exciting about the recipes is that many of them are for food served in Michael's restaurants. It is very generous for such a talented chef to want to share these outstanding recipes and take the time to scale them down for the home cook. It isn't often one gets the chance to try to cook such dishes at home. The stories included are informative and fun. Can't wait to try everything.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    Awesome Cookbook

    Very informative, very down to earth and step by step, if you need that. Has some very good views, and even includes a resource section in case you can't find something in your area. Symon Says are very neat, also tells you if something can be refrigerated for later for plan ahead meals, and if it freezes well. Very good cookbook for all levels of cooking.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    Symon Places Cooking to the Forefront

    If you want fancy, upscale, "check-your-denim and leather at the door" cooking, don't buy this book. If you want the heart and soul of what Mike Symon has brought to the Cleveland restaurant scene, and now the world scene, buy this book.

    It is a no-bones, in your pork face book about foods based on what Symon has learned growing up in a blue-collar, heartland city. The recipes are for the most part, well written. I did have to go back over and re-read a couple lines here and there to make sure what I was reading, but went on from there successfully. This is a book you will keep close by as he delivers his style to your doorstep and to your kitchen. I would have liked to have seen a few more photgraphs, but what is the are very well done. The recipes are outstanding, and as a home-chef I did tinker, as chefs will do, but the tinkering was just to suit my tastes and did not take away from the original as written, but rather, enhanced what flavors we were looking for.

    This is in my Top 5 of cookbooks, and moving up slowly as I try more and more things. A must-have, a must-buy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Great cookbook

    This is a wonderful addition to your cookbook collection. His recipes are easy to follow and you learn something about the Chef.
    Each recipe comes with a background of the recipe and the easy to read instructions make this a great book for everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    A Great Work: I would definitely recommend to all who "Live" and love" to cook.

    Very rare to medium-rare, Chef Symon (I don't do well-done1). Only good things to say about your "Live To Cook".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    WHOA!!

    I from Cleveland too, and I think it is awesome that there is an Iron Chef from my hometown. Go Cleveland!!! If you have never been to Clveland I suggest that you come sometime soon. It is a great place to live. I enjoy watching Michael Symon on TV. I have never read this book, but, being a Symon mega fan, am sure that it rocks as much as Cleveland.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    I was in the area for the book signing. I bought the two books for gifts.

    I bought the signed books for gifts.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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