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Seafood Chowder Seafood Chowder

Cheddar Ale Soup Cheddar Ale Soup

Hot and Sour Soup Hot and Sour Soup
Recipe Below

Stewed For a detailed description & pricing information
for Stewed click here.

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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. More...

Interior from Stewed--Borscht

The Foreword by Chris Schlesinger:

In my 30 odd years in restaurant kitchens, I've worked with pretty much every type of professional cook. There were the cooks that could make food taste great but couldn't do it quickly enough, and super-fast cooks who lacked a real feel for flavors. There were cooks who were in competition with other cooks and selfishly refused to share their knowledge, and there were the petty tyrants who screamed all the time. But every once in a while, you run into someone who cooks with unbridled curiosity about food, someone who finds food and cooking endlessly fascinating and approaches it with a sense of wonderment. This type of cook cures bacon at home on a day off or brings in some moose that a buddy shot and makes moose stew for staff meal. Immersed in the magic of cooking, this cook makes jerky and jams and homemade tomato juice and is happy cooking anywhere for anybody.

Dave Becker is this type of cook. His infectious enthusiasm is contagious and you feel it when you walk into his restaurant, Sweet Basil, in Needham. You hear it in the friendly buzz of a roomful of locals and you see it in the staff who go about their work with diligence and alacrity while sharing the joyful spirit of their chef.

Interior from Stewed Dave's food is honest, straightforward, and flavorful without being fussy. And it always has that one element that is fleeting for so many cooks: soul. His exuberance for food is showcased in this book. There's a concentration on soups and braises, categories of cooking that reflect heavily on a cook's technique and sensibility, where broths and stocks are the building blocks of flavor creation.

The recipes are varied and diverse. You'll find some wonderful variations of soup classics like Onion, White Bean, and one of my favorites, Portuguese Kale. And you'll also discover some less recognized but wonderful creations such as his Thai Coconut and White Gazpacho soups.

The recipes are all accompanied by the vivid, unique photography of Nina Gallant and are the perfect complement to Dave's food. Their collaboration reflects what all restaurant cooks experience every day when dealing with purveyors, cooks, servers and all those who make the magic happen. Together, they have produced a cookbook that is both highly functional as well as aesthetically intriguing, a book that could just as easily be found stained and dog-eared on a kitchen shelf or laying unsoiled on a coffee table to be enjoyed simply for its elegant and alluring images.

Copyright © 2012 by Dave Becker and Nina Gallant. Reprinted from Stewed with permission from Garden Variety Publishing.

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot & Sour

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cups carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1/4" wide slices
2 cups Spanish onions, cut into 1/4" wide slices
2 tablespoons celery, cut into 1/4" wide slices
3 cups shiitake mushrooms, cut into 1/4" wide slices
1 teaspoon lemongrass, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup sake
1 1/2 quarts Chicken Stock or Veggie Stock
Kosher salt and white pepper
1 cup yellow peppers, cut into 1/4" wide slices
1 cup snow peas
2 cups cooked rice or thin rice noodles

Sesame oil
Chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges

Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat, and then add the coconut oil. Allow the oil to heat for a couple seconds, and then add the carrots, onions, celery, and shiitake mushrooms. Saute for 1 minute, and then add the lemongrass, ginger, and garlic. Continue to saute for 1 or 2 more minutes (do not let this mixture brown, as it will prevent the soup from attaining its sought after light and fresh flavor). Add the rice vinegar, bring to a boil, and then add the sake. If you crave the spice, throw in the chiles at this point, add the stock, bring it to a boil, and then season to taste with salt and white pepper (see NOTE). When you're satisfied with the seasoning, add the yellow peppers, snow peas, and noodles or rice. Cook for 1 or 2 more minutes, and then remove from the heat (see NOTE).

Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with a little sesame oil, garnish with the cilantro and lime wedges, and serve.

Make sure to season the soup with more white pepper than you think you should. This is the only soup in the book that specifically cods for white pepper, since it's unique flavor can't be replaced by any other ingredient.

The snow peas and peppers in this soup should be light and crisp--not overcooked and soggy. For that reason, make sure to remove the soup from the heat when they are still crisp and have a little life left in them.

Copyright © 2012 by Dave Becker and Nina Gallant. Reprinted from Stewed with permission from Garden Variety Publishing.

The authors, Dave Becker and Nina Gallant About The Authors

From an early age, Dave Becker knew he wanted to own and operate his own restaurant. In 2000, his lifelong aspiration became reality when he took over as Chef and owner of Sweet Basil at the young age of 24. The instant popularity of the food, comfortable, lively, atmosphere and Dave’s infectious charm allowed him to double the size of the restaurant and author his first cookbook, Thrown Out Of An Italian Kitchen (2008), a recollection of his cooking experiences and love of food and good times. Prior to Sweet Basil, Dave honed his craft in Napa at Cindy Pawlcyn's Mustard's Grill and at the Hotel Imperiale in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy, where he developed his appreciation for fresh pasta under Chef Fabio Brambilla.

Nina Gallant, a Massachusetts native, has always been an artist and and a foodie. Her mother owned a bakery where Nina would go after school and help prepare beautiful sweets and make the occasional sculpture out of pastry dough. Nina’s father ran restaurants in the area and so she was always surrounded by the talk and tastes of food. After completing her studies at Cooper Union, Nina assisted many photographers in the Boston area. She learned the craft and science of photography through years of working experience. Since 2010 Nina has been an independent artist and photographer.

This stellar cookbook combines Nina Gallant's gorgeous, vivid and distinctive photography with Dave's "contemporary farmhouse cooking." Nina journeyed 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.

Sweet Basil

Also by David Becker and Nina Gallant:

Sweet Basil

This is more than a cookbook about food. It's a snapshot of the experience of dining and working at Sweet Basil, in Needham, MA, with recipes and culinary tips mixed in. The food pays homage to some favored classics like Minestrone Soup, Spaghetti Bolognese, and Veal Marsala. Twisted by owner David Becker's cheerful efforts to defy convention, he also includes some offbeat flavor combinations, such as Pear and Turnip Empanadas, Beet Gnocchi with Amaretto Squash Sauce, and Banana Barbecue Sauce. More...

For a price & to purchase Stewed click here.

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