8/15/2019

A Meal from Prune, The Cookbook


I've been enjoying Gabrielle Hamilton's cookbook, Prune, based on the recipes featured in her New York restaurant of that name, and which I checked out from our local library.  I didn't renew it though. Bought my very own copy, YES!  A fairly hefty tome.  And looking forward to trying many more of her recipes, methods and creative ideas.

We at Cook the Books Club had just read and reported on Gabrielle's previous book, a memoir, Blood, Bones and Butter, which led me to check out her cookbook. So glad I did.  Gabrielle's background, learning to cook with her French mother, working for various small restaurants, and catering companies, traveling and learning along the way, all informed her unique personal style and conception for Prune.



As per the Publishers:
"A self-trained cook turned James Beard Award–winning chef, Gabrielle Hamilton opened Prune on New York’s Lower East Side fifteen years ago to great acclaim and lines down the block, both of which continue today. A deeply personal and gracious restaurant, in both menu and philosophy, Prune uses the elements of home cooking and elevates them in unexpected ways. The result is delicious food that satisfies on many levels."

I am finding Prune a revelation, written based on the restaurant kitchen binders, meant for her chefs and staff.  When reading the recipe instructions, you feel a part of that process and one of the line crew, with her handwritten notes, scolding and encouragement, alongside.  All put together with some lovely photography.


The first meal we tried from the book was the above dish of stewed yellow lentils with a side of cardamom-braised Chard.  This is the recipe page, just to give you an idea of her style.  Note the instruction to not throw away the chard stems.


I followed it pretty much, just substituting from my garden, fresh Pacific spinach (a tropical perennial)  for the chard, and eliminating the final sprinkling of "gunpowder".  Not having my own sous chef, and in the push to get dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time.  I do want to try making some gunpowder ahead and use it eventually though.  This dish combination was just perfect, a super mix of spices and tastes, so delicious!


The little dollop of condiment on the side was some recently made Pineapple Chutney.  We've had quite a few of those babies ripening around here.  This post will be shared with Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event, and with Heather for her August edition of Foodies Read Challenge.  Thanks Heather, that gift certificate came just in time to help buy the book!


10 comments:

Mae Travels said...

You really have me convinced that I should look for that book -- library or amazon! While I wasn't sure (when reading Blood, Bones & Butter) that I would like to eat in her restaurant, I think the home cooked food would be good at home. Too bad no kitchen help here either.

beest... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

All of this looks wonderful although I suspect I'm too lazy to make the dishes. But I love having it vicariously!

judee said...

You have made a great argument for reading her books- the lentil dish looks healthy and delicious.

Tina said...

I didn’t think about looking for her cookbook. I liked the book selection at Cook the Books very much. Great looking lentil meal.

Carole said...

A new way with silver beet. Cheers

Beth F said...

Wow. I'm on board with this cookbook!! I hope one of my libraries has a copy. And I need to investigate pineapple chutney (even though pineapples aren't local to me). Sounds sooooo good. My husband really loves pineapple.

Beth F said...

P.S. -- my library had Prune so I just downloaded a copy.

Literature and Limes said...

This looks very delicious!

Claudia said...

Carole, I wondered what you meant by silver beet, and had to look it up. Never realized that was another name for Swiss chard. Too funny, as not Swiss, and not a beet and not silver.

A Day in the Life on the Farm said...

Does her book read like here memoir? I think I might look this up at my library and see what it has to offer.