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Bobby Flay's From My Kitchen to Your Table: 126 Bold Recipes

Bobby Flay's From My Kitchen to Your Table: 126 Bold Recipes

by Tom Eckerle (Photographer), Joan Schwartz, Bobby Flay
You've seen him on The Food Network, grillin' and chillin'. And on Lifetime's The Main Ingredient, demystifying cooking. And if you're lucky, you've eaten in one of Bobby Flay's three New York city restaurants. Now Bobby's using his formidable culinary talents to turn entertaining on its ear, sharing the secrets of his kitchen and making them accessible to you.


You've seen him on The Food Network, grillin' and chillin'. And on Lifetime's The Main Ingredient, demystifying cooking. And if you're lucky, you've eaten in one of Bobby Flay's three New York city restaurants. Now Bobby's using his formidable culinary talents to turn entertaining on its ear, sharing the secrets of his kitchen and making them accessible to you.

"Why make a meal that you can't enjoy with everyone else?" asks Bobby. "Let me introduce you to food that is fun!" And fun it is. Bobby's party dishes are a bold and fragrant mix. Nothing is designed specifically to be an appetizer or a main course--instead, everything is heaped in large bowls or arranged on oversized platters and set out on the table at the same time. To help you in the kitchen, recipes are organized according to where the dish is prepared or how it is served ("From the Oven," "Cool Platters"), with easy-to-find ingredients and simple-to-follow instructions. Many of the dishes or their components can be made ahead of time.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bobby's flavors have always lit up my senses....the more I can have him in my kitchen the better."
--Sheila Lukins, author, USA Cookbook, Food Editor, Parade Magazine

"Next best to having Bobby Flay himself rustling up the food at your next backyard barbecue is this collection of his bold and gutsy recipes, rave-winners from the menus of Mesa Grill and Bolo. I'd pay the price for my favorite lamb shanks alone."
--Gael Greene, Restaurant Critic, New York Magazine

A Cooking Class with Bobby Flay

While still in his 20s, Bobby Flay took the restaurant scene in New York by storm with his bold and innovative Latin-influenced cuisine, showcased first at Miracle Grill and later at his own restaurants, Mesa Grill and Bolo. Now barely into his 30s, Flay has become famous among food lovers everywhere through his bestselling cookbook Bobby Flay's Bold American Flavors and his appearances on shows like Lifetime's The Main Ingredient and TVFN's Grillin' and Chillin'. He's just released an approachable new book of menus for casual entertaining, Bobby Flay's From My Kitchen to Your Table. He came to New York cooking school De Gustibus at Macy's to demonstrate recipes from the new book with his customary flair and good-natured, rowdy style.

As Arlene Feltman Sailhac, director of the De Gustibus program, said as she introduced the class, "When Bobby's here it's not a class, it's a party. So welcome to Bobby's party."

About the Book

Bobby Flay's From My Kitchen to Your Table reflects what Flay calls his philosophy of entertaining: "When you come over to my house and you want me to feed you, nobody is getting their own plate," he says. "I'm putting everything out on platters, we're eating family style, we're serving almost everything except for dessert at the same time. What does that do? It makes for a really festive time, but more importantly, it gets you, the cook, out of the kitchen and enjoying your time with your guests." Many of the recipes in the book are designed to be done ahead of time and combined in casual menus of four or five dishes that complement each other well. Most feature Flay's signature explosion of sweet, sour, salty, piquant flavors from chiles, citrus zest, capers, vinegar, molasses, fresh herbs, and ground spices—this is not tame food, but neither is it haphazard. For all their intensity, Flay's tastes are meticulously balanced and seasoned to perfection, layer by layer. His solid grounding in technique also reveals itself at every turn—throughout the class, Flay explained what he was doing and why, whether it was reducing sherry vinegar to concentrate its flavor and give it the texture necessary to become a glaze or sweating vegetables for stock to bring out their flavor without coloring them as one would in a sauté.

About the Menu

Flay got the party rolling by serving a sweet and potent Passion Fruit Sangria made with passion fruit purée, white wine, brandy, and sliced fruit. Next came a piquant salmon tartar, seasoned with mustard, chipotle chiles, lemon oil, capers, and scallions and stuffed into lightly spicy roasted Spanish piquillo peppers. Flay demonstrated how to make the dish starting with a whole salmon—he made it look quite simple. Although he admitted he didn't expect most of us to go home and start filleting our own fish, he did encourage us to try it because whole fish tends to stay fresh longer. Plus, he said, you can use the center fillets in one dish and use the thinner ends for the tartar. When looking for the freshest fish, Flay advised us to trust our gut feeling: "You walk up to a fish, and you look at the fish, and you say, it's fresh, because you can see it. If it looks tired, it's tired! Buy something else." Next came grilled rare tuna made flavorful with a sweet-sour sherry vinegar and honey glaze and served with a spicy fresh tomato salsa. With the fish dishes, we drank a wonderful rosé from Joseph Phelps's Napa Valley vineyard, made with Grenache grapes in the style of a Provençal Tavel. It was richly fruity but completely dry, perfect for summer drinking.

The next dish on the menu was a stunningly gorgeous fresh green pea risotto, perfect for spring with its bright green color and lively coriander-spiced flavor. The secret to the color: a puree made from frozen peas. "I don't know how they do it," Flay said, "but they find really green and sweet peas." Fresh peas are added along with the frozen pea puree just at the end of cooking. (For Flay's tips on do-ahead risotto, see below.) Then came a wonderful, simple chicken dish, sautéed on the bone, finished in the oven, and served in a quick pan sauce made with shallots, garlic, tarragon, and a crisp white wine from Spain called Albarino. We drank a spicy, fruity, full-bodied but not heavy red wine, also from Joseph Phelps, called Le Mistral with the chicken. Made in the style of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the wine can stand up to spicy flavors but still feels light enough for summer suppers. Mesa Grill pastry chef Wayne Harley Broman demonstrated the dessert recipe for us—a rich and heavenly Chocolate Coconut Bread Pudding, made with day-old brioche, that was encouragingly simple to make.

Tips from Bobby Flay

  • For sautéing or grilling fish (or anything else), Flay has two pieces of advice for avoiding sticking and forming a nice crust or grill marks: One, get the heating element, be it grill or pan, very, very hot, and two, resist the urge to move the food once you've put it down. "It drives me nuts watching people," he says. "They put something on the grill, and what's the first thing they do? They move it, to see if it's sticking. Of course it's sticking! Leave it alone! It will come away from the grill when it's formed a crust. Same thing with sautéing. I know it's hard, but you have to just not touch it."

  • Proper seasoning is the single most important thing you can do for your cooking. "Salt and pepper bring out the flavor of every ingredient, Flay says. "You have to season with salt and pepper at each stage of cooking, so every layer of the dish is right. And when you're cooking fish or meat, season both sides. If you're not doing that you're not cooking." Flay likes kosher salt, both for its flavor and because he likes the fact that the crystals are big enough so that you can feel them between your fingers and know how much you're using.

  • The secret to hassle-free entertaining is to get organized and plan out each step of the menu you're making ahead of time. "When I'm cooking at home," Flay says, "my cupboard doors are filled with notes. I know what I'm going to do first, what can last, what I have to do at the very last minute." Taking 20 minutes to write down a plan of action will save you a lot of stress.

  • Don't be afraid to make risotto at home. "Master chefs have a whole time-consuming ritual with risotto that I totally respect," Flay says, "but you know, I grew up in New York. I don't have time for that. So I say, raise the heat up to high and stir fast." The total cooking time is 10 or 12 minutes, rather than 25 or 30. Flay also shared a restaurant kitchen tip that can allow you to do most of the work hours or even days ahead of time, making risotto much more manageable for entertaining. He says to follow the recipe until the risotto is about three-quarters cooked, then take it off the heat and spread it out on a sheet pan to quickly stop the cooking. Cover and refrigerate, then when you're ready to serve it, break it up, put it back in the pot, add a bit of stock or water, and bring it up to temperature. Cook just a few moments, then add the final flavorings (the frozen pea puree, fresh peas, cheese, lemon, herbs, and spices, in this case). "Finish it up, put in in a bowl, and you have perfect risotto," Flay says.

  • When you're cooking with wine, Flay says, don't use one you wouldn't drink. When you cook with wine, almost always you're reducing it to concentrate the flavor. If the flavor's no good, concentrating it will only make it worse."

  • One more tip: "All those dried spices you've had in your cupboards for the last three years? Out! Throw them out," says Flay. "They don't taste like they're supposed to anymore. They've been around forever, because if you had them for three years, the company had them for five. Buy whole spices, and grind them when you need them and they'll be really fresh."
Kate Murphy
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Proprietor of three New York City restaurants, host of Lifetime's 'The Main Ingredient' and co-host of TVFN's Grillin' and Chillin', Flay (Bobby Flay's Bold American Food) is in the vanguard of current celebrity chefs. Again, he champions cuisine boasting big flavors. Featuring Mediterranean food with a Latin emphasis much like the fare showcased at his Bolo restaurant, the recipes are organized according to cooking method or presentation (e.g., From the Oven, From the Grill, From the Stovetop, Cool Platters). Menus are designed to serve eight in a casual family style. Heady combinations are exemplified by Roasted Turkey with Pomegranate Sauce and Wild Rice-Goat Cheese Dressing and Pan-Roasted Rabbit with Crushed Blackberry-Ancho Sauce served with Green Onion Tamales. Recipes such as these and Spicy Maple-Glazed Pork Chops with Red Onion Marmalade and Blue Corn-Sweet Potato Tacos may be more than a home cook can face with relative calm. Less threatening dishes offering considerable appeal include Tapenade Crusted Salmon and Garlic and Oregano-Marinated Grilled Chicken with Grilled Pepper and Black Olive Relish. Desserts range from Catalan Custard with Dried Fruits to a Very Rich Chocolate Sauce. True to the book's title, Flay keeps most preparations manageable (given their sophistication) and doesn't insist on too many specialty ingredients (long-grained rice, for instance, is fine for paella).
Library Journal
Flay's Bold American Food showcased the innovative Southwestern food he serves at Mesa Grill, one of his three popular New York City restaurants. From My Kitchen features the Mediterranean/Latin-inspired cuisine his restaurant Bolo is known for: Roasted Mushrooms with Goat Cheese and Chile Oil, Pork Tenderloin with Tapenade and Charred Yellow Pepper Sauce. All the recipes serve eight, and Flay says they are planned for 'casual, family-style meals but non-restaurant chefs will find some of the dishes more elaborate than casual.' That aside, his food is delicious and imaginative without being contrived.

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Read an Excerpt

A Recipe from Bobby Flay's From My Kitchen to Your Table

Bolo's White Peach Sangria

Summer brings white peaches, which complement white wine.  Any time of year, peach nectar is a convenient substitute for the fresh fruit.

2 bottles dry white wine
3/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup Triple Sec
3/4 cup simple syrup, or more if needed (see instructions below)
3 or 4 white peaches, skinned and pureed (3/4 cup puree), or 3/4 cup peach nectar (available at supermarkets)
3 oranges, sliced into thin rounds
3 green apples, cored and sliced thin
2 lemons, sliced into thin rounds
4 peaches, pitted and sliced thin

SIMPLE SYRUP: Combine equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan.  Cook over low heat until clear, then boil for one minute.  Cool.

Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher.  If using fresh peaches, taste for sweetness and add more syrup,  if needed.  Serve over ice.  

What People are Saying About This

Chris Schlesinger
An outstanding book.
Sheila Lukins
Bravo Bobby Flay!
Rick Bayless
Perfect for the '90s table.

Meet the Author

Bobby Flay is host of Lifetime's The Main Ingredient with Bobby Flay and cohost of TVFN's Grillin' and Chillin', winner of the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, proprietor of the acclaimed New York City restaurants Mesa Grill, Mesa City, and Bolo, and author of Bobby Flay's Bold American Food.

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