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Grilled hangar steak with sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, and chimichurri
 
Many years ago, right after my father passed away, my friend the punk-rock chef guru Fred Eric invited me to assist him at a cooking festi­val in Rio de Janeiro. I have to say it was one of the wackiest of all my culi­nary adventures ever. It turns out that the man who arranged the whole event was a raging cocaine fiend and had not actually “arranged” any­thing at all! Well, that’s not completely true. We did have hotel rooms and what looked like an amazing itinerary. But, the first day, Fred and I stood outside our hotel for 4 hours waiting for a mysterious culinary expert who was supposed to take us to the market and then on to our host restaurant to prep for the first event, which was, of course, that evening. Long story short, the host restaurant didn’t exist, and the crazy coked‑up guy placed us at some friend’s restaurant, where they plied us with Caipirinhas made with Bolivian coca-leaf liquor and tried to make us cook—let’s just say things got very ugly from there on out.
 
As soon as I got over the once-horrifying, now hilarious moments, I remembered having some of the most delicious meat of my life served in more ways than you can imagine—roasted on long skewers, in outdoor pits, and jury-rigged barbecues at the town market. As much as I was craving salads and vegetables after a few days, I told myself, when in South America, just indulge your inner carnivore. One of the most deli­cious ways to do that is with grilled steak seasoned with a traditional Argentinian warmed herb-and-olive oil sauce called chimichurri.
 
As you may have realized by now, I am on the constant prowl for new olive-oil-and-herb-based sauces. Something about the way that silky olive oil and the brightness and power-packed flavor of fresh herbs meld with meat juices is so perfectly balanced for my palate. The oil turns the natural juices into a sauce, and the herbs lift and counter the richness of the meat. But, whereas I tend toward the “soft” herbs, such as parsley, mint, and cilantro, in my herb salsas, chimichurri is made with tougher, more sturdy, dark-and-earthy-flavored members of the herb family. Rose­mary, thyme, oregano, and even bay leaf are minced and warmed in olive oil with charred jalapeño and red-wine vinegar. This is a strong, bold gau­cho to pistou’s delicate mademoiselle.

3 pounds hangar steak
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chile de árbol
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 jalapeño
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon rosemary leaves
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons or so for brushing the steak
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1½ teaspoons sweet paprika
6 large bell peppers (about 3 pounds), julienned
¼ cup sliced garlic
½ pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
6 ounces cleaned arugula
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Light the grill.
 
Trim the hangar steak of excess fat and sinew, if any (it doesn’t usually need much trimming). At least an hour before serving, season the hangar steak with 1 tablespoon sliced chile, the cracked black pepper, and 1 tablespoon thyme. Leave out at room temperature to temper. (Or, of course, you can refrigerate for later. Just make sure you take the meat out to temper at least an hour before serving.)
 
To make the chimichurri, char the jalapeño on all sides on a medium-hot grill, or on the burner of a gas stove, or in the broiler, until it is completely blackened. Place it in a small paper bag, and close it tightly (peppers can leak, so place the bag on a plate). Let the pepper steam for about 10 minutes, and then remove the seeds and chop the flesh of the jalapeño, including the charred skin, and place them in a medium sauté pan with ½ cup olive oil.
 
Mince the oregano, rosemary, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme. Bring the jalapeño in oil to a simmer over medium-low heat, and then remove from the heat, and add the minced herbs, the bay leaf, the vinegar, and the paprika. Leave the chimichurri in the pan, off the heat, and let the herbs infuse for at least 1 hour.
 
Meanwhile, stew the peppers. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 1 minute. Swirl in ½ cup olive oil, and then add the bell peppers. Season with remaining 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon ground pep­per. Turn the heat down to medium, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the peppers start to wilt. Add the sliced garlic and the remaining 1 tablespoon sliced arbol chile, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often, until the peppers are completely tender. Turn off the heat.
 
When the coals are broken down, red, and glowing, season the steak gen­erously with salt, and brush it lightly with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Place the meat on the hottest part of the grill, to get a nice sear on the outside. Cook for about 3 minutes, turn the meat a quarter-turn, and cook for another minute or two. Turn the meat over, and move it to a cooler spot on the grill. Cook for another minute or two for medium-rare. Rest the steaks on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
 
In a large salad bowl, gently toss the arugula with the warm peppers, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Taste for balance and seasoning, and divide among six large dinner plates. Set the pan with the chimichurri on the stove over medium-high heat. When it starts to boil, add the cherry tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds, shaking the pan, as the tomatoes blister a little and release their juices. Squeeze in about 1 tablespoon lemon juice, toss in the parsley, remove from the heat, and taste for seasoning. Slice the steak against the grain, lay the slices over the arugula, and spoon the sizzling cherry tomatoes in chimichurri over the steak and around the plate.
 
Wine Note:
I love the Argentinian influence on this dish and am, of course, drawn to that country’s dark and seductive wines for pairing. The Mendoza region produces outstanding Malbec, which is a really fabulous accompaniment to grilled meat. Malbec tends to show deep cocoa-infused black fruit notes with touches of smokiness and grippy tannins. These darker aspects of the wine are very much like the sweet charred flavors of the steak itself. The wine also tends to show a good dose of acid, which will work seamlessly with the bright-green herbs in the chimi­churri and the tomato.
 
 
Fattoush salad with fried pita, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta, and sumac
 
Fattoush is the Arabic word for a traditional salad made in most Mid­dle Eastern countries, originally as a vehicle to use up stale leftover pita bread. I think I must just be a leftover lover, because so many of my favor­ite foods—stuffings, daubes, terrines, meringues—all evolved from using up excess or old product so it wouldn’t go to waste. Traditionally, the stale pita is torn into bigger-than-bite-sized pieces, fried, and then tossed with lettuces and seasonal vegetables.
 
I’m sure there are as many “recipes” for fattoush as there are cooks, but I credit the key to our delicious version to Brian Wolff—one of our A.O.C. chefs in the early days, who was determined to make a better fat­toush than the one he ate every Sunday at the local Middle Eastern res­taurant in his San Fernando Valley neighborhood. Besides, of course, the super-farm-fresh ripe and crispy ingredients, the secret behind this salad is the dressing—and it’s the touch of cream in the dressing that really brings this fattoush to greatness.
 
For me there are two types of salads, the ones that need to be gen­tly and carefully tossed, and the more rugged ones with bold-flavored dressings—like escarole with anchovies and Parmesan, the farro salad with spring vegetables, and this fattoush, which I like to toss really well, almost massaging the dressing into the greens and other components. The flavors and textures really need to be brought together and integrated to create one glorious whole. It’s amazing to me that you can give the same ingredients, and even the same dressing, to two different cooks, and, between the seasoning and the way the salad is dressed and tossed, you can end up with two very different results. So remember to toss this salad well; get your hands in there, make sure every element is getting well coated, and taste. You actually want the tomatoes to break up a tiny bit, so their juices meld with the creamy lemon dressing and bring all the flavors of the salad together.
 
3 pita breads
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 large heads romaine lettuce
1 small red onion
3 Persian cucumbers, or 1 hothouse cucumber
½ pint cherry tomatoes
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsely, plus ½ cup whole fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ pound feta cheese
¼ cup mint leaves
1 tablespoon ground sumac
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the pita bread into rustic 1-inch squares, and toss, using your hands, with 3 tablespoons olive oil until the pita is well coated and satu­rated. Spread on a baking sheet, and toast for about 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until the pita squares are golden and crispy. (You can also deep-fry the pita if you like.)
 
...

Revue de presse

Praise for Suzanne Goin and The A.O.C. Cookbook
 
 
"Browsing the table of contents of Suzanne Goin's new The A.O.C. Cookbook from Knopf is like reading the menu at my very favorite kind of restaurants—the ones where choosing what to eat is almost impossible, because everything on the menu sounds so incredibly tempting. Nice problem to have."
—Epicurious.com
 
If Alice Waters is the matriarch of California cuisine, then Suzanne Goin may well be her heir apparent. Goin spent more than a year adapting her recipes for the home cook, dividing chapters by season and adding wine notes from her business partner, Caroline Styne. The result is a book you'll want to cook from again and again. It also provides a glimpse into her storied career: Each recipe is preceded by a clever and insightful anecdote detailing her journey from her early days at Chez Panisse to cooking for President Obama.”
—TastingTable.com
 
“In her inspiring new book, chef Suzanne Goin offers 100-plus seasonal recipes for the vibrant fare served at her Los Angeles restaurant, A.O.C. Her secret to delivering deliciousness is so simple that it's mind boggling: She chooses excellent ingredients and combines them in brilliant ways. The chapters devoted to salads and vegetable dishes are especially exciting (and accessible).”
Fine Cooking
 
“Do people write cookbooks like Los Angeles chef Suzanne Goin's A.O.C. Cookbook any more? There's just so much information in this thing: pages-long intros to each chapter, paragraphs-long intros to each dish. Most recipes are several pages long and, not for nothing, appear to have been actually tested by real live human beings. There's also a 56-page long guide to cheese in the back of the book. It brings to mind cookbooks of a few years back that had some time sunk into them, like Judy Rodger's Zuni Cafe Cookbook. . . . [Goin] mentions that "If I am asking the reader to do something the 'hard way' it really does make a difference." This is all too rare a sentiment in cookbooks; while faithfully recreating the process a restaurant uses is a valuable record, far too few chefs consider why they are requesting home cooks do it the same way.”
—Eater.com
 
“Goin, James Beard winner and chef/owner of four Los Angewles restaurants (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, and the Larder), brings readers recipes from A.O.C., her restaurant known for its relaxed atmosphere and small dishes, meant to be shared. (A.O.C. stands for Appellation d'Origine Controlee, the French government's system for regulating and designating wine, cheese, and other artisanal products). This is a very intimate cookbook, and Goin (along with her business partner and wine director, Styne) shares personal anecdotes and explains how she chooses ingredients. Goin admits that “this is not the easiest cookbook you will use,” however passionate cooks who are not intimidated by recipes that require some time and effort will not be disappointed. Fresh, innovative, and vibrant, Goin's collection includes sumptuous recipes for the entire year. The book opens with sections on cheese (bacon-wrapped dates with parmesan) and charcuterie (foie gras terrine with sweet and sour prunes). Chapters on salads, fish, meat, vegetables, and desserts are organized by season. Standouts in this fantastic collection include sweet pea pancakes with dungeness crab and red onion crème fraiche; pork cheeks with polenta, mustard cream, and horseradish gremolata; and s'mores with caramel popcorn and chocolate sorbet. A specific wine pairing for each dish, provided by Styne, is included, as is a wonderful glossary of cheeses.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)
 
"The A.O.C. Cookbook truly reflects Suzanne’s undeniable talent. Her passion for delicious food is clearly evident in her thoughtful and creative dishes. Suzanne shares recipes served at A.O.C that readers can now enjoy from their home. This is an educational cookbook that will inspire everyone in the kitchen!"
—Eric Ripert 
 
“In her wonderful new cookbook, Suzanne demonstrates once again her extraordinary gift for layering flavors with a colorful palette of seasonal ingredients. Her deceptively simple recipes always sparkle withsure-handed, humorous, passionate brilliance.”
—David Tanis, author of A Platter of Figs, Heart of the Artichoke, and One Good Dish
 
“Suzanne Goin makes ********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************some of my favorite food in the world—vibrant and eclectic, but always using seasonal, pure ingredients. These uncomplicated dishes will surely become classics!”
—Alice Waters
 
"I love to cook—that's no secret—and I can think of no better way to spend an evening than in the kitchen, cooking for my family. But, sometimes even the most passionate chefs need to be cooked for, as well! The first time I sat down at Suzanne¹s table at A.O.C., the food tasted like it was made just for me and I have been a big fanever since. My fave? The Orata . . . and I always save room for the the S'mores with Caramel Popcorn and Chocolate Sorbet!" 
—Giada DeLaurentiis
 
“As soon as I read this book I was ready to jump on a plane to L.A.! Suzanne Goin has a marvelous ability to deliver a sense of a place in ingredie...


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52 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Sadly, not another Sunday Suppers... 14 décembre 2013
Par Kara Roche - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I hesitated writing this review because there is truly no bigger fan of Suzanne Goin than I. Sunday Suppers is probably the most used cookbook on my shelf, and while challenging, I found that the recipes made me a better chef. They were time consuming for sure, but at the end of the day, they were almost foolproof. That has not been my experience with A.O.C. so far. I have made 4 recipes in the book - bacon-wrapped dates with parmesan (straightforward and delicious), coq au vin (errors), potato puree (flawed) and long-cooked cavolo negro (errors). These recipes do not seem to have been edited. Specifically, the coq au vin calls for cipollini onions as well as diced onions. It is clear that the cipollinis are to be roasted, but then the rest of the recipe never differentiates the diced onions from the roasted cipollinis. Eventually, you can figure it out, but honestly, it takes a lot of deciphering. Then, the long-cooked cavolo negro calls for "2 chilis de arbol, crumbled", but in the body of the recipe you are only told to add 1 chili. Plus, at the end of the recipe it says "remove the rosemary and chile before serving" - that makes no sense with crumbled chiles. Am I supposed to pick out little pieces of chile from the kale? These errors certainly do not ruin the recipes, but they do make the recipes unnecessarily complicated. I will continue cooking out of this cookbook, but *so far* it does not hold a candle to it's predecessor.
26 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I wish I could give this book TEN stars. 31 octobre 2013
Par Casey Ellis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
What a splendid book this is. I've been cooking for more than 50 years, have taken classes in Paris and have worked my way through some excellent cookbooks but I still learn something whenever I delve into Suzanne Goin's recipes. Her first book, "Sunday Suppers at Lucques," is one of my favorite cookbooks (in a just world I would own a helicopter so I could visit Lucques more than a couple times a year) and this new work is just as wonderful.
Goin's use of ingredients is imaginative without being silly and her explanations of techniques are impeccable. Her partner's wine pairing advice is equally clear and enticing.
I bought this book both in hardcover and for my Kindle so I'll have the recipes wherever I may end up cooking and plan to buy a half dozen more to give as Christmas gifts. I can't imagine anyone who loves to cook not adoring this book,
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
worth the wait 24 novembre 2013
Par Cherie Mercer Twohy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
i wish i'd written this book. but only suzanne goin could have written it. it's so personal and lush--there are recipe headnotes that run two pages long! worth the long wait between books. i will be cooking from this one for such a long time. i gave up on the "sticky flag" method i usually employ, marking recipes in a new cookbook. there was a flag on nearly every page. goin doesn't take shortcuts here--she lavishes attention on beans and slow cooks meats to coax the flavor and texture to their highest possibilities. this book will inspire many meals with family and friends.
14 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An inspirational, sophisticated, brain-y, and refreshing cookbook 9 novembre 2013
Par Wild Thing Foodie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
A welcomed reprieve to cookbooks from blogsites and regurgitated photos of friands. Suzanne's combinations and flavours continue to surprise and please the palate. Citrus fruit with a sticky toffee pudding - thank you! I owned all of the French Laundry cookbooks and sold them. But with Suzanne's cookbooks - I use them - and it exudes the same demand for high quality but approachable. The dessert section is worth the price of the cookbook and reminds me of Claudia Fleming's The Last Course. And the wood-burning oven recipes and cheese glossary are much appreciated. If there is a downside, the wine comments were forgettable. This cookbook is an excellent gift for fresh inspiration. For 2013, this cookbook is the one I recommend to people who are serious about good food.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Beautiful food that delivers on its promise 4 janvier 2014
Par vegan chef - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I've made only 3 recipes thus far from this cookbook but all have turned out very well. The flavor combinations are very good. The instructions surprised me. With ambitious recipes it's strange to have each step so minutely described - but better be over instructed than under. I would get the book again.
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