Chef yotam ottolenghi on translating restaurant recipes for the home cook _ the splendid table

“The dishes that are in the book have actually been cooked in the restaurant, in Nopi, for quite a few years,” says Yotam Ottolenghi, co-author of the cookbook Nopi, which is based on his restaurant of the same name. Recipe chicken parmesan “We had to take them and turn things that are already in existence and served in the restaurant into something that home cooks can actually make.”

Russ Parsons: One of the things I found interesting was that the book is very much a collaboration between you and the chef Ramael Scully. Chicken parmesan dishes You’re from a Middle Eastern background, and he’s from a Malaysian background.


Chicken recipes parmesan They’re very different cuisines, but both areas have served as crossroads for many cultures. Parmesan chicken roll ups How does that inform the food at Nopi?

YO: The books that I’ve published in the past were mostly conceived and thought through in a domestic kitchen, a home kitchen. Pictures of chicken parmesan I was often thinking, “How do home cooks cook? What would they want to cook?” That has always been the guiding force behind recipes that I’ve published.

This time it went in a slightly different direction. Parmesan chicken pasta bake The dishes that are in the book have actually been cooked in the restaurant, in Nopi, for quite a few years. Chicken parmesan recipe easy quick We had to take them and turn things that are already in existence and served in the restaurant into something that home cooks can actually make.

This was very important for me, to make it very doable for home cooks. Chicken parmesan hero recipe I didn’t want to make it into one of these restaurant cookbooks that everybody looks at with great admiration but never dares take into their kitchen. Chicken parmigiana recipe gordon ramsay I wanted to turn it into something that people can actually use.

Scully and I spent almost two years taking recipes that are slightly complicated and simplifying them, standardizing them or doing things that would allow home cooks to do them. Parmesan chicken pizza Often it was a real challenge. How to make chicken parmesan We had to lose a thing here or lose a thing there. Parmesan crusted chicken without mayo Sometimes the garnish turned into the main thing because we wouldn’t expect home cooks to cook a fish and three things that go alongside. Best chicken parmesan recipe baked We had to do a certain amount of sacrificing. Chicken parmesan meal But all in all, we tried to keep the flavors as they are in the restaurant and bring those through as much as we can.

RP: You draw a line in the book between simpler dishes and what you call your “epic recipes.” You write about how some of those epic recipes, you’ve tamed them a little bit with some shortcuts or with a little bit of editing of the dish. Chicken parmesan with pasta How do you balance simplifying a complex restaurant recipe and still keep its essence so that it’s recognizable?

YO: In the restaurant, we have the luxury of having a team of people working many hours in preparation for the service in order to put something on the plate which is complex, interesting, but occasionally also a little bit vain. Parmesan chicken mayonnaise I’m talking about the vanity of the chef. Parmesan crusted chicken low carb I take full responsibility for that. Chicken parmesan recipe without breadcrumbs You want to have it look a little bit more special than what you would cook at home. Chicken parmesan recipe giada There are certain elements that are there for the restaurant’s sake but are not absolutely essential. Chicken parmesan best recipe Those are the elements that we have taken out or tamed a little bit.

If I give you an example, we have a recipe in the book for mackerel with a fresh salad of coconut and peanut. Food network chicken parmesan It ended up being something pretty simple: pan-fried fish and a beautiful, fresh salad using fresh coconut, peanuts, mint and all sorts of Asian flavors.

In the restaurant itself, we probably had another element. Parmesan chicken salad If I’m not mistaken, it had a Jerusalem artichoke mash on the bottom. Make parmesan chicken That’s not essential for the dish, but it’s something we could’ve easily left out but still have all the key flavors. What is a chicken parmesan Little compromises like this one you can easily do and still feel that you kept the integrity of the dish.

RP: Were there recipes that simply could not be simplified into the cookbook? When that happened, or if that happened, was it a matter of technique, was it a matter of ingredient, or was it a matter of simply too many things on the plate?

YO: I’ll give you the example that I use often. Chicken parmesan italian It’s not a typical Nopi thing, but we serve it for breakfast. Parmesan chicken manicotti There’s a good croissant that we make ourselves.

For me, it just didn’t make sense to have a croissant recipe in this particular book. Easy bake chicken parmesan I’ve never published one before. How to make chicken parmesan baked I think to make a really good croissant, you need to work very, very hard for quite a few days to get it absolutely right. Chicken parmesan in oven recipe You can actually go and buy a pretty good croissant in top bakeries all around in many big cities, so why waste pages? It’s great to do if you’re a really keen baker, but I think 99 percent of the people are happy not to get that experience. Parmesan chicken breast recipes I’d rather spend the pages on things that you can’t buy or you can’t get as good as that.

I have to give you another example. Easy parmesan chicken bake When we talk about epic recipes, there is a recipe for chicken pastilla. Recipe for chicken cutlet parmesan Pastilla is a North African and Moroccan dish that consists of shredded meat, normally pigeon or chicken, cooked in filo pastry with eggs, spinach, all sorts of wonderful things, pine nuts. Parmesan chicken pasta ruby tuesday It’s a savory and sweet dish. Baked chicken parmesan recipe easy It’s something quite spectacular.

Ours is even more complex than the Moroccan original. Pan fried chicken parmesan We also added Spanish or Catalan spinach, which has sherry, brandy and currants in it. Parmesan chicken legs We’ve added quite a few things that make it even more complex. Chicken breast parmesan recipe It’s a recipe that if you want to make it, take a long afternoon and the morning after to make it. Parmesan crusted chicken baked It’s well worth it because you can’t taste anything like it. Crispy chicken parmesan But it’s one of those recipes that you dive into and come back the next morning.

Not many recipes in the book are like that, but sometimes you want to do something like that, especially if you are a dedicated foodie. Parmesan crusted chicken longhorn calories There are a few of those in the book. Chicken parmesan zucchini boats On the other hand, there are much simpler recipes that take a couple of hours and they’re done, ready and very satisfying.

RP: In that process of simplifying for the cookbook, were there any examples of things that you found in that process that eventually made their way into the restaurant kitchen?

YO: Scully is a bit younger than me and slightly more technical. Great chicken parmesan recipe There is a recipe for a venison fillet with caramelized yogurt. Chicken parmesan recipe baked In order to caramelize the yogurt, we strain it and then cook it in a bain marie or sous vide for many hours until the solids split from the liquid. Parmesan crusted chicken tgi fridays The solids caramelize and turn a beautiful brown. Parmesan crusted chicken with mayo But you need to really cook it, essentially steam it, at 85 degrees Centigrade for a good 12 hours.

We thought that would not be very practical for people at home. Parmesan chicken mayo We took the yogurt, we put it in a little jar and we started steaming it. Fried chicken parmesan recipes After about six hours, I told Scully, “This is just not going to work.” I was just afraid that it was going to explode in the kitchen.

So what we did is we strained our yogurt as you do with labneh, with Lebanese or Palestinian cheese. How to make easy chicken parmesan We added some date syrup, some pomegranate syrup, and a few other bits and pieces. Easy chicken parmesan bake The final result was as good as the one that was cooking for 12 hours. How to bake chicken parmesan We thought, “In this particular case, the long process doesn’t really help, and a simpler version actually works just as well.”

YO: It’s very funny with chefs. Parmesan crusted chicken weight watchers I think we are a very proud lot. Best way to make chicken parmesan We tend to think that what we do is very special, and nobody else can do it as well as we do. What sauce to use for chicken parmesan But what I like about working with Scully is the fact that he could easily concede when something is not completely justified. Parmesan chicken bundles He wasn’t sticking to his guns in that case. Chicken parmesan from scratch He was quite happy to simplify the recipe. Easy chicken parmesan sandwich On discovering new ingredients

RP: Every time I cook from your recipes, I’m discovering new ingredients. Chicken parmesan recipe rachael ray You go through these mad passions for different ingredients. Quick and easy chicken parmesan With Nopi you’re actually cooking with somebody else’s palate, to a certain extent. Grilled chicken parmesan Scully was very much a part of that. Parmesan chicken kfc What did you fall in love with during the testing for the Nopi cookbook?

YO: Curry leaves. Chicken parmesan recipe without eggs I had known curry leaves before, but Scully cooks with a lot of curry leaves. How to make a chicken parmesan sandwich Part of his heritage is Indian. Italian parmesan chicken recipe This is just a wonderful thing. Easy chicken parmesan There is a recipe in Plenty More that is a steamed rice with curry leaves and lemon juice. Parmesan chicken with pasta It’s the simplest thing, but they are so wonderfully aromatic.

The same way we do in European cooking, start our dishes with some chopped onion, carrot and celery, often in Indian cooking and Southeast Asian you start with curry leaves, ginger, chili and maybe some mustard seeds. Chicken parmesan without egg It’s just the most wonderfully aromatic thing. Parmesan crusted chicken mayo Often now whenever I cook, I drop a few curry leaves into the pan when I just start cooking a stew or roasted vegetables. Parmesan crusted chicken breast recipe It just gives the most wonderful flavor.

Pandan leaves, another Southeast Asian ingredient used both for savory and sweet cooking, are the Asian equivalent of vanilla. Easy chicken parmesan with chicken patties They are wonderfully aromatic.

RP: With your cookbook, the appearance of the food has been so much a part of the appeal. Chicken parmesan recipe easy baked The food is so evocative, but it’s much more of a natural, flowing style of plating. Easy chicken parmesan pasta Somebody once described it as either it looked like it fell from the sky or grew from the plate. Parmesan crusted chicken with bacon How do you balance that aesthetic with the more rigorous approach that’s expected in a high-end restaurant?