Cooking My Way Back Home: Recipes from San Francisco's Town Hall, Anchor & Hope, and Salt House

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9781580085922: Cooking My Way Back Home: Recipes from San Francisco's Town Hall, Anchor & Hope, and Salt House

A collection of 100 of Mitchell Rosenthal's personal recipes for Southern-inspired comfort food with a California influence.

In Cooking My Way Back Home, Mitchell Rosenthal delivers the same warmth, personality, and infectious enthusiasm for sharing food as can be found at his wildly popular San Francisco restaurants, Town Hall, Anchor and Hope, and Salt House. With his trademark exuberance and good humor, Mitchell blends Southern-inspired comfort food with urban sophistication and innovation, for exciting results.

Reflecting on the classics (Shrimp Étouffée), updating regional specialties (Poutine), elevating family favorites (Chopped Liver), and reveling in no-holds-barred, all-out indulgences (Butterscotch Chocolate Pot de Crème) are what’s on order in this collection of 100 imaginative and irresistible recipes. Like a good friend offering up a platter of freshly fried Oysters Rémoulade, these robust, full-flavored recipes are impossible to refuse.

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Featured Recipe: Angels on Horseback

This dish has roots in Britain, where oysters are typically wrapped in bacon, broiled, and served on toast. But in the States, it is seen as a sort of upscale version of the familiar pastry-wrapped frank known as pigs in a blanket, except, well, the pig is the blanket. These angels are the most popular appetizer on the menu at Anchor & Hope. Unlike the Brits, we deep-fry the bacon-wrapped oyster, which not only cooks the bacon quickly but also makes it exceptionally crispy. The pronounced mustard flavor in the rémoulade works beautifully with the smokiness of the bacon. This rémoulade recipe is a good one to have in your arsenal. It’s perfect for shrimp cocktail or as a dipping sauce for deep-fried seafood.

2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon malt vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
4 gherkins, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Canola oil, for deep-frying
24 oysters, shucked
12 thin slices bacon, halved crosswise

To make the rémoulade, place the egg yolks in a food processor and process for 1 minute. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream, processing until emulsified. Then, with the machine still running, gradually add the celery, parsley, tarragon, lemon juice, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, both mustards, vinegar, garlic, paprika, celery salt, capers, and gherkins and process until well incorporated and smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the oil to a depth of about 3 inches into a deep fryer or deep, heavy-bottomed pot and heat to 375°F. While the oil is heating, wrap a half bacon slice around each oyster and secure with a toothpick.

When the oil is ready, working in batches to avoid crowding, add the wrapped oysters to the hot oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the oysters are golden and the bacon is crispy. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the oysters to paper towels, then keep them warm while you fry the remainder.

Arrange the oysters on a platter, drizzle with the rémoulade, and serve right away.

About the Author:

Mitchell Rosenthal is the co-owner and executive chef of three San Francisco restaurants, Town Hall, Salt House, and Anchor and Hope, plus Irving Street Kitchen in Portland, Oregon. Mitch was a chef at the Four Seasons in New York City, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio in San Francisco, and Granita in Malibu. Visit

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