Authors: Tanya Steel
Copyright © 2012 by Condé Nast
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
CLARKSON POTTER is a trademark and POTTER with colophon is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc.
Some recipes contained within this book were originally published in
Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Self,
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The Epicurious Cookbook / Tanya Steel and the editors of Epicurious. — 1st ed.
1. Cooking. 2. International cooking. 3. Cookbooks. I. Steel, Tanya Wenman. II.
Photographs by Ellen Silverman
Cover photograph by Ellen Silverman
We’d like to dedicate this book to you, our family!
While there were just a handful of people who worked day in and day out on this book, the real number is in the multi-millions: our enormous global family of passionate cooks are the real authors of this cookbook. So if you are among them, we’d like to start off by thanking you for your incisive, smart, creative, and oftentimes touching or funny comments on Epicurious’s recipes.
Besides the dozens of talented home cooks whose families’ favorite recipes appear in this book, we would also like to thank the test kitchens of
magazines, as well as the renowned chefs and cookbook authors whose recipes we are lucky enough to share with you.
The brilliant photographer Ellen Silverman made an enormous contribution to this cookbook. With her talented team, she brought these recipes to life with a visual impact that reflects the essence of Epicurious.
The team at Clarkson Potter—Doris Cooper, Angelin Borsics, and Marysarah Quinn—was incredibly wonderful to work with. Supportive, intelligent, sane, and organized; we couldn’t have asked for better partners.
Finally, I’d like to personally thank my
-talented and hard-working team of editors and recipe testers, all of whom spent long hours laboring over the selection of recipes and comments, testing recipes, writing headnotes, editing recipes, compiling contracts, and keeping me from having a daily panic attack. They include Siobhan Adcock, Sara Bonisteel, Joanne Camas, Patrick Decker, Dana Fraser, Sarah Kagan, Carolina Santos-Neves, Joanna Rothkopf, Paige Ross, Lauren Salkeld, Tracey Seaman, Esther Sung, and last but definitely not least, Kendra Vizcaino.
Tanya Wenman Steel
Editor in chief
Epicurious is many things to many people: an unparalleled recipe database; an up-to-the-minute resource on the food world; a global community millions strong that comes together to share, contribute ideas, and, yes, debate with one another about all things food; an authoritative source on everything from how to make a velvety genoise to where to slurp soba in Tokyo; a place to watch videos of Mario cooking, Lidia roasting, and Alice in the garden…
Epicurious is a trusted friend you can now find everywhere: from your smartphone and laptop to the tablet, printer, refrigerator, and Web-enabled television. But there’s one place we weren’t—the printed page—until now. Despite frequent requests, we had never ventured into books, preferring to expand our digital offerings. But as Mae West said, too much of a good thing is a good thing, and as passionate cookbook collectors ourselves, we set out to compile all of our favorite favorites into a gorgeous bound book, to have and to hold from this day forward.
Epicurious began in 1995 as a tiny database of recipes hand-coded by a small order of monks in upstate New York. This was a time when “getting online” required “dialing up.” You could microwave popcorn faster than load a site in those days. And if someone was trying to reach you by phone, tough luck—all they would get is a busy signal. Epicurious was one of the first consumer outposts in this virtual Wild West, and we earned our spurs as innovators not just in the realm of food content but also in technology and social media, as early providers of rate-and-review tools, user profiles (à la Facebook), cooking videos, nutritional analysis, dynamic wine recommendations, a group blog, an interactive map denoting seasonal ingredients, mobile apps, shopping lists, a universal recipe box, and functionality to download entire cookbooks into your recipe box.
No matter how you connect with our content, we are all at core a very large family of food lovers, who come together at the virtual hearth to cook, eat, and inspire one another. So with inspiration as our goal, we decided it was high time to invert the paradigm and create a printed collection of our greatest hits. After much searching and arguing—and arguing and searching—we selected the best Epicurious recipes. These are some of the
most highly rated gems in our database of more than 30,000 professionally created recipes, the ones that the largest percentage of users have indicated they would make again. The recipes in this book come from a wide range of sources, including Epicurious’s siblings,
Bon Appétit, Gourmet,
as well as some of the world’s most revered chefs and authors, such as Tom Colicchio, David Chang, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jonathan Waxman, Edna Lewis, and Dorie Greenspan. And we augmented these treasured recipes with spectacular new shots by the preeminent food photographer Ellen Silverman. We sought to bring these recipes to life in a delicious and approachable way, imagining how they would likely look in your kitchen.
We think a lot about what you make in your kitchen, and a significant portion of the recipes in the book come from you. There are upward of 200,000 recipes from home cooks also in the Epicurious database, and we selected some of our favorites for this book, tested them in our kitchens, adapted them when we needed to, and edited them so everyone can follow along easily. In short, we treated them as we do the recipes we receive from top chefs, testing and perfecting them to make sure they work for the home cook and are the best they can be.
We’ve categorized the recipes into the four seasons, beginning with spring and progressing through winter. And while we recognize that winter in Maine feels different than winter in Miami, and that there will be a lot less local produce up north, some items feel appropriate in both places. We advocate shopping locally and seasonally whenever possible, but sometimes your supermarket produce aisle is your best friend. We chose all types of recipes, from breakfast and starters to mains for a busy weeknight, plus ones that speak to your inner weekend warrior. And we selected not only recipes just for ratings but also for range: some are for more advanced, confident cooks, while others are so easy even kids can whip them up. And all are family favorites.
Alongside each recipe, we’ve provided expert advice from our team of food editors, ranging from substitutions to menu ideas—all in the collaborative, confidence-building spirit of Epicurious. And because 96 percent of the professionally created recipes on Epicurious are reviewed by our users (thousands of times, in some cases, as with our most-reviewed recipe of all time,
Double Chocolate Layer Cake
), we thought it wouldn’t be an Epicurious cookbook without contributions from you. We know our
huge, passionate family of members is the ultimate test kitchen, so we’re including some of the best tips from home cooks for each professionally created recipe. Keep in mind that reader tips provide useful variations and suggestions but aren’t always specific in the amounts they use, so experiment with their substitutions once you’ve mastered the recipe. Also remember that because the recipes come from many sources, including our very own kitchens, we’ve taken care to leave the recipe styling pretty much as it was originally, which might lead to some recipes calling for softened butter while others call for room temperature butter. But we know that small differences in recipe styling won’t confound you.