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A special cookbook with stunning photos--it is absolutely wonderful to hold, with its soft suede-like cover.
Kitchen maverick Dave Becker, Chef and owner of Sweet Basil restaurant, shares his enthusiasm for soulful soups, stews and braises in his second cookbook, Stewed. The book is a collection of irreverent, handmade takes on classics and less recognized creations that showcase “Dave’s exuberance for food,” as Chris Schlesinger writes in the book’s Foreword. The featured soups, braises and stews personify Dave’s inventive approach to cooking authentic, rustic cuisine with simple, fresh ingredients which draw legions of fans to his wildly popular Needham, Massachusetts restaurant.
The nearly 60 recipes are organized into chapters based on origin and technique: Grown, Smoothed, Chilled, Raised, Caught and Milled. Recipes are accompanied by the gorgeous, vivid and distinctive photography of Nina Gallant, Dave’s business partner and long-time girlfriend. Her photo subjects for the book took her to local farms, forests and waters to capture the essence of each dish. Together, Nina and Dave have produced a cookbook that could easily be found stained and dog-eared on a kitchen shelf while, at the same time, lay unsoiled on a coffee table to be enjoyed simply for its elegant and alluring imagery.
With Stewed, Dave presents a diverse range of approachable recipes that he developed over the years and served at Sweet Basil. Classics with a twist include a Split Pea Soup topped with a beet-cured Gravlax, a Portuguese Kale Stew made with a smokey linguica and a take on Beef Barley Stew made with “good beer” and topped with decadent Roquefort potatoes. Dave also offers newer creations like White Gazpacho that combines crisp cucumbers and grapes with creamy avocado, Green Minestrone that uses a bevy of insanely fresh greens and herbs and a Thai Coconut Soup with candied peanuts that brings together savory and spice in perfect union. Having spent most of his career cooking in Italian kitchens, Dave harkens back to his roots with timeless braises like Beef Shoulder, Veal Shanks and Duck Ragu.
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