Tyler's Ultimate: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Any Time

Tyler's Ultimate: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Any Time

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by Tyler Florence

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As his millions of fans know from watching him on Food Network, Tyler likes to rock the kitchen with big, bold flavors and sophisticated yet accessible fare. Whether you’re dishing up a family favorite like spaghetti and meatballs or pulling out all the stops with a succulent tenderloin steak topped with spicy crab salad, Tyler Florence believes every meal…  See more details below


As his millions of fans know from watching him on Food Network, Tyler likes to rock the kitchen with big, bold flavors and sophisticated yet accessible fare. Whether you’re dishing up a family favorite like spaghetti and meatballs or pulling out all the stops with a succulent tenderloin steak topped with spicy crab salad, Tyler Florence believes every meal can–and should–be the ultimate dining experience. At last, in Tyler’s Ultimate, he shows us how to get these spectacular results in much less time.

Tyler believes the ultimate meal brings together good food, good friends, and good times–with Tyler’s Ultimate as your guide you can elevate any gathering to a cause for celebration and every family meal to an occasion worth savoring. In his travels around the world for his Food Network show, he’s sampled countless versions of classic dishes, taking an ideal technique from one, a perfect ingredient from another. Here he gives you the best of the best.

Make no mistake: Tyler’s approach here may be simplified and the ingredients list streamlined, but your palate will never feel compromised. These recipes are packed with zesty flavors, yet easy to pull together and always straightforward enough for even novice cooks. Because Tyler believes that the little details separate a good meal from a “wow!” experience, his recipes feature bright, exciting flavors that sing on the tongue yet don’t require fancy equipment or exotic ingredients. Tyler has collected all his most trusted and best-loved recipes for the ultimate collection of go-to meals, including can’t-miss versions of the dishes we all crave most: the ultimate burger, French onion soup, beef stew, macaroni and cheese, and chocolate mousse, plus exciting new discoveries that will find a permanent home in your cooking repertoire.

Filled with recipes for sensational, all-American food, Tyler’s Ultimate is the all-around, everyday great cookbook his fans have been waiting for.

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Editorial Reviews

Hip and handsome Tyler Florence has been wowing Food Network audiences for six years. With books like Eat This Book and Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen, he has also been establishing himself as a viable author in a crowded field. His aptly named new book collects 125 home versions of his favorite meals. The recipes include tantalizing dishes such as Grilled Striped Bass Basted in Grapefruit Butter; Chicken Paillard with Blue Cheese, Pancetta, and Figs; and the nearly sinful Cornish Hens with Fennel Sausage, Red Grapes and Soft Polenta. Ultimate indeed.
Publishers Weekly
Were this book not to share a name with Florence's Food Network show, its existence would be a puzzle. As it is, it's hard to make heads or tails of this jumble of decent but not spectacular recipes that share only one thing in common: a forced "guy talk" manner. Chapters are arranged by type of dish, with titles like "Surf" for fish, and each opens with a throw-away introduction of a couple of paragraphs: "noodles are a great way to put a smile on somebody's face." Recipes are equally casual: once you've started the sauce for Coconut Shrimp with Basmati Rice and Apricots, you're told to "jump to the rice," and in the headnote to Angry Lobster with Tomato-Chile Butter and Arugula, Florence reminisces about working "at a mafia joint in Tribeca" patronized by men "from Jersey with pinky rings... and girls decked out in big hair and gold." Despite this sometimes off-key tone, instructions are clear, and each recipe helpfully comes with an estimated cooking time, most of them quick. Still, one can't help wishing that despite offering truly helpful advice (such as the tip not to shake the pan when making Oven Fries for crispier results), Florence would, in his own parlance, tune down the 'tude, dude. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Tyler's Ultimate is also the name of Florence's current Food Network show, and this companion volume is likely to be as popular as his two previous cookbooks, Eat This Book and Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen. It is filled with zesty, full-flavored, mostly uncomplicated recipes, from Watermelon Gazpacho with Chile and Feta Cheese to Pan-Fried Lamb Chops with Harissa. Gorgeous full-color photographs illustrate many of the dishes. Florence has a friendly, unassuming style, and his enthusiasm is contagious. For most collections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Time: About 1 hour, plus brining

The simple process of brining takes barbecued chicken from pedestrian to mouthwatering in as little as 15 minutes. And the sauce….bring an extra stack of napkins because you’re going to be licking it off your elbows!

Serves 4 to 6

2 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a large knife
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 chickens (3 1/2 to 4 pounds each), quartered

The Ultimate Barbecue Sauce:
1 slice bacon
1 bunch fresh thyme
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper

For the brine, combine the water, salt, sugar, garlic, and thyme in a 2-gallon sized re-sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken, close the bag and refrigerate 2 hours (if you’ve only got 15 minutes, that’s fine) to allow the salt and seasonings to penetrate the chicken.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Wrap the bacon around the bunch of thyme and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat a 2-count of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add your thyme and cook slowly 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly without coloring for 5 minutes. Add all of the rest of the ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes to meld the flavors.

Preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue to a medium heat. Take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a non-stick surface. Take the chicken out of the brine, pat it dry on paper towels and cook, turning once, 15 minutes. Then brush the chicken with the sauce and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 10 more minutes. Serve with extra sauce.

sangria granita with cold spiked fruit
Serves 6 to 8

This recipe was a huge hit when we tested it. It seemed a little complicated in theory but once we put it together it was nothing more than a flavored slushy. The spiced sangria gets poured into a lasagna pan and frozen overnight and the fresh fruit, tossed with Cointreau and sugar, gets frozen as well.

For a sleek presentation I serve this in a glass. The frozen fruit goes in the bottom and acts like ice cubes to keep the granita colder longer. On a summer day, there’s nothing more refreshing.

Sangria Granita
• 1 bottle (750 ml) red wine
• 1⁄2 cup sugar
• 1⁄2 cup Cointreau
• 4 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1⁄2 lemon, seeded
• 1⁄2 orange, seeded

Cold Spiked Fruit
• 2 peaches, pitted and quartered but not peeled
• 2 cups red or green grapes, halved
• 1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
• 1⁄2 cup Cointreau
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• Fresh mint, for garnish

For the granita, combine the wine, sugar, Cointreau, and spices in a large saucepan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and orange halves; add the juice to the saucepan and throw in the squeezed halves, too. Warm for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Strain into a bowl and put the mixture in the fridge or over an ice bath to chill.

Pour the chilled mixture into a shallow baking pan and freeze for at least 1 hour or overnight, until the mixture is frozen. Using a fork or a couple of chopsticks, break up all the ice crystals on the bottom and sides of the pan. (This aerates the mixture so that the finished granita will melt in your mouth.) Freeze for 3 to 4 more hours, until the mixture is frozen but still granular.

Meanwhile, combine the peaches, grapes, and strawberries in a bowl, add the Cointreau and sugar, and toss. Cover and put the bowl in the freezer for a couple of hours; the fruit will absorb the sugar and liqueur while it freezes. Serve the frozen fruit with the granita and garnish with mint.

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Meet the Author

Tyler Florence is the bestselling author of two previous cookbooks, Eat This Book and Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen, and the star of Food Network’s Tyler’s Ultimate. Tyler lives in New York City.

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