New York's Nigella: a simple family kitchen with Alison Roman | Food


"I want it to have a permanent place in your kitchen," says Alison Roman about her first cookbook. To eat in, published in the UK this month. "I want the pages to be messy. I want you to learn from each recipe something that helps you become a better cook. "
The titles alone are appetizing – for my part, I was powerless to resist its anchovy butter chicken with chicken fat croutons or its chocolate tahini pie with crunchy salt – and the airy style of Roman transports you to the recipes with a minimum of fuss.
Los Angeleno who lives in New York since 2010, Roman is a big on Instagram (with 190,000 subscribers) and is very in tune with his audience, which is approaching the millennium. But this 33 year old young man confirms his years of experience in cooking. She began cooking professionally at the age of 19, at the award-winning Sona Restaurant in LA and later at Quince in San Francisco. "The first few months were difficult," she says, "but I became good and I loved it, even though it was emotionally destroying me and I was so poor."

Alison Roman photographed at her home in Brooklyn

Alison Roman photographed at her home in Brooklyn. Hair and makeup: Robert Huitron using Chanel for
Art & Style New York Photography: Mike McGregor / The Observer
The move to New York in 2010 was designed to escape the rigors of cheffing – "I got tired of everyday life," she tells me – but it took another two years, including a stint at David Chang's Momofuku Milk Bar, before that she has embarked on writing food.
"A friend said:Enjoy your meal looking for recipe testers in the test kitchen, "she recalls. "I said," Cool, what's that? The magazine took it and Roman discovered that the development and writing of recipes went beyond his strength. "One of my favorite aspects of cooking was to teach, explaining cooking processes and techniques." That's what his cookbook says, which is full of useful tips: add fish sauce to umami-deficient stews, place a yellow radicchio salad – and lucid advice where you need it most.
To eat in was published in the United States in 2017 and Roman, now food columnist for the journal New York Times, finish the follow-up, Nothing extraordinary, to be published in the United Kingdom in October. She fears that the two books will be received. "All my favorite cookbooks are from British authors," she says, citing her long-time admiration for Diana Henry and Nigel Slater, "so the fact that a British publisher was interested in my book – oh my God, I was absolutely for it. but also very nervous. "
In the end, she says, "I am writing for someone who is like me. I'm busy, I do not cook at home every night, but when I do, I really want to enjoy it. I want to simmer something for a long time, because that's how you have to cook it and it smells good. "

Spicy black lentil salad with tuna, radish and purple potatoes

This is a kind of refrigerated salad that always looks more refined than it should. If I have unused green beans, I blanch them. Potatoes about to turn green? I steam them. In this way, I am minutes away from an almost intentional Niçoise salad. Yes, the spicy lentils here make it a really special version, but if you have cooked lentils and good canned tuna, it works with just about anything you could have lugged: raw fennel or broccoli, carrots roasted or sweet potato broccoli from the night before – you name it.
When it comes to buying tuna, go for it and indulge yourself in the beautiful canned or canned goods. Just make sure it is packed in olive oil, not spring water, because there is indeed a huge difference. Products packaged in oil tend to be richer and more luxurious, while tuna packed in water may look dry or watery – or worse, dry and watery.
4 servings
eggs 2 large
green beans 100g, cut ends
purple or yellow potatoes
4 small
lemon juice 1 tablespoon
freshly ground black pepper
spice lenses with spring onion 1 quantity (see below), plus any additional spice oil remaining from the recipe
tuna packed in durable oil 185g, drained
radishes 4, chopped or sliced
mixed herbs 15g, such as dill, coriander, tarragon and / or parsley dish
lemons 2, halved
For spicy lentils to onion
black beluga, puy or French green lentils 200g
olive oil
125 ml
Garlic 4 cloves, chopped
crushed chili flakes ½ teaspoon
coriander seeds 2 tbsp. Tea, crushed
fennel seeds 1½ tsp. Tea, crushed
cumin seeds 1 C. Tea, crushed
lemon 1
spring onions 6 small, cut into 5cm pieces
freshly ground black pepper
To make spicy lentils, cook them in a large pot of salt water until cooked through, 20-30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, over high heat, combine olive oil with garlic and chilli flakes, as well as coriander, fennel and cumin seeds. Let the oil and spices cook until the oil is scented and the garlic starts to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. With the help of a vegetable peeler, remove the zest of lemon and add it to the pan, along with the new onions; cook another 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
Mix the lentils with 60 ml of spicy oil – no need to filter; I like the texture and crunchy pieces of seeds and spices. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze it through a colander (to remove the pips) on the lentils, before serving with the extra oil next to it.
For the salad, prepare a bowl of ice water.
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Gently lower the eggs and boil gently for 6 minutes. Transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice water and let them cool completely.
Blanch the green beans in a saucepan of salted boiling water until they are bright green and tender, about 4 minutes.
Simmer 5 cm of water in a saucepan. Place a steamer basket inside and steam potatoes until they are completely tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before cutting in half or four, depending on size.
Mix the potatoes, green beans and lemon juice in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Pour the spicy lentils into a large bowl and garnish with green beans and potatoes, tuna, radishes and herbs. Peel the eggs gently and cut them in half lengthways, then nest them in. Squeeze the lemon juice on top and serve with any extra spicy oil.
Do ahead:
Spicy lentils can be prepared 5 days in advance and refrigerated.

Crispy chicken legs with rosemary, small potatoes and sour cream

Crispy Chicken Legs with Rosemary, Tiny Potatoes and Sour Cream Alison Roman

Crispy chicken legs with rosemary, small potatoes and sour cream. Photography: Nikole Herriott / Michael Graydon
Conventional wisdom suggests that covering something fat to cook slowly (AKA "make a confit") is only worthy of a feathered game such as duck or goose. But guess what, it's not 1778, and I think even the Thursday night chicken deserves this type of treatment. This is about the most practical technique that will produce the most impressive results.
It should be noted that, if, yes, the chicken goes crazy, tender into pieces and that the crispy skin rivals even with the best fried chicken, there is something else happening here that makes it worth it to be cooked and justifies the amount of olive oil required. As the chicken cooks, the fat melts in the oil and mixes with garlic and rosemary, leaving you with something so delicious that it is worth its weight in gold.
After filtering the oil, I put it in the fridge (it will keep for about a month) and I use it to roast vegetables, brown potatoes, sauté green vegetables – and, perhaps in the most brilliant way possible, I use them to fry my vegetables. morning eggs.
4 servings
chicken thighs 4 (pestle and thigh must be tied)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
waxy potatoes 350g very small
Garlic 1 crossed trench light
Rosemary 4 strands
olive oil 375ml
chive 15g, finely chopped
Fresh cream 125g
Preheat oven to 170C / gas mark 3.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place it in a large baking dish with potatoes, garlic and rosemary. Cover everything with all the olive oil and bake for 1 hour and a half to 2 hours, until the chicken is shattering and the l & # 39; 39 garlic is golden brown. Remove the dish from the oven and let the chicken cool slightly.
You can serve the chicken directly from the baking dish, without scratching the skin, but if you have about 15 minutes and a frying pan, I strongly recommend you add it to the next step.
Remove 2 tablespoons of the oil mixture and rendered chicken fat from the baking dish and place it in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Carefully remove 2 chicken legs from the dish and place them, skin down, in the pan. Cook for 5-8 minutes, until the skin is golden and crisp.
Put the chicken legs back in the crispy baking dish. Repeat with the remaining 2 chicken legs.
Sprinkle the chives over the sour cream and serve alongside the chicken.

Carrots and fennel raw and grilled with feta cheese and pistachios

Carrots and fennel raw and grilled with feta cheese and pistachios Alison Roman Dining In

Raw carrots and fennel grilled with feta cheese and pistachios Photo: Michael Graydon
This salad is a good exercise in the magic that can occur when you treat an ingredient in a very different way – in this case, raw and roasted. It's a lot with a bit; Tender carrot and caramelized carrots and fennel mingle with slices of their crisp, raw skin. This salad is also excellent at room temperature and can easily be doubled, making it ideal for feeding a crowd. Do not hesitate to show this little number at your next party.
4 servings
head of fennel 1 large, cut in half lengthwise
carrots 6-8 smallish (preferably with their vertices)
spring onions 8, cut in half
olive oil 5 tablespoons
salt and freshly ground black pepper
lemon juice
2 tbsp. Soup, even more if needed
coriander stems and leaves 30g
feta cheese 90 g, finely sliced ​​(if it crumbles a little, it's good)
pistachios 30g, grilled and chopped
Preheat oven to 220C / gas mark. 7. Cut half of the fennel into quarters 1 cm thick and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
If your carrots have the top, remove them and set them aside. Rub the carrots (no need to peel) and place half of them on the baking sheet with the fennel. Add half of the new onions and mix with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and roast, stirring occasionally, until carrots and fennel are golden brown and spring onions begin to char (20-25 minutes). Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, finely slice the remaining carrots and fennel lengthwise and place in a large bowl. Cut the remaining spring onions into thin strips and add to the bowl with the vegetables.
Once the roasted vegetables have cooled, add them to the bowl of raw vegetables. Add lemon juice, coriander and chopped carrots, if you have some (if not use more coriander, parsley, dill or mint – as you have). Season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice, if you wish.
Sprinkle with 2 tbsp. To soup remaining olive oil and garnish with feta and pistachios.
Do ahead:
This dish, without pistachios and feta, can be prepared 5 hours in advance; no need to warm up. Add the feta and pistachios when serving.

Cold soba with cucumber, watercress and sesame

Cold soba with cucumber, watercress and sesame.

Cold soba with cucumber, watercress and sesame. Photography: Nikole Herriott / Michael Graydon
Soba is one of the few noodles to have a better cold than hot, in my opinion. They do not have what's gummy, starchy, and they stay sweet and wonderful even after a slumber party in your fridge. I eat this salty and refreshing dish most often on hot summer days, when it's out of the question to consume food warmer than the room temperature.
Yuzu kosho is one of those specialty ingredients that you will probably need to order on the Internet. Japanese dough made from fermented peppers, yuzu (a citrus fruit, a more perfumed version of lemon and lime) and salt, it has a fermented, spicy and shiny citrus flavor that is truly unique but vaguely familiar. gives a good taste with almost everything (especially salad dressings and salads). Thicker than the spicy sauce and not as spicy as the sambal, a little yuzu kosho goes a long way, which may explain why it always happens in such a tiny pot.
4 servings
white sesame seeds 40g
soba noodles 450g
soya sauce 60 ml, more if needed
grilled sesame oil 2 tbsp. Soup, even more if needed
unseasoned rice vinegar 2 tablespoons
Yuzu Kosho 1 tablespoon (available online)
sprigs of watercress 60g
spring onions 4, thinly sliced
Lebanese cucumbers 2, sliced ​​finely in the direction of the length
coriander 15g
lime 1, halved
Bring a large saucepan of salt water to a boil.
Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a small frying pan over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the seeds are evenly browned and they have been browned. a smell of grilled. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Cook noodles in boiling water for about 5 minutes until they are cooked (soba bakes much faster than ordinary pasta, so keep your eye open). Drain and rinse with cold water to cool completely.
Meanwhile, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and yuzu kosho in a small bowl. Finely chop half of the watercress and add it to the soy sauce mixture, with half of the spring onion.
Mix the soba with the vinaigrette and season with more soy sauce or sesame oil if you wish. Divide the soba into four bowls and garnish with cucumber, coriander and sesame seeds and the rest of the watercress and green onion.
Squeeze the lime juice on it before eating.

Broken pea salad

Broken pea salad Alison Roman Dining In

Broken pea salad. Photography: Nikole Herriott / Michael Graydon
Anyone who has ever traveled the 101 Freeway of California near San Luis Obispo knows about the existence of Pea Soup Andersen's restaurant. When I was in Santa Cruz after high school, I ate there when I went back or forth from Los Angeles, still ordering the pea soup, because how could you not? Nothing seems particularly good, especially not pea soup, but hot if not good. This recipe has nothing to do with this place, it is an obvious tribute to the pea soup – one of the most delicious and ugly dishes.
4 servings
green split peas (or yellow) 165g
fresh shelled peas
235g (or frozen and thawed peas)
slab othick bacon 225g, cut into pieces of 1cm
small new potatoes 350g, golf ball size or smaller, in quarters
freshly ground black pepper
white wine vinegar
1 tbsp, more if needed
mustard in the old 2 tablespoons
chive 3 c. Coarsely chopped
Cook the dry peas in a large pot of boiling salted water for 30 to 35 minutes, until tender but not split yet. Drain and place in a large bowl with fresh peas.
Cook the bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until it is crisp and most of the fat is returned. Using a spoon to drain and leaving the fat in the pan, transfer the bacon into the bowl with the peas.
Add the potatoes to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Bake 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are completely tender and browned. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vinegar and mustard, mixing to coat the potatoes and incorporating one of these impressive pieces of bacony potatoes into the mixture.
Scrape the contents of the pan into the bowl with the peas and add the chives. Season with salt and pepper and mix, adding more vinegar if you like peas on the acid side (I do).
Do ahead:
The salad can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated.
If you can not find broken peas, other legumes or cereals such as lentils, spelled or barley also work here.

Almond cake with rhubarb

Alison Roman Rhubarb and Almond Galette

Galette of almonds with rhubarb. Photography: Nikole Herriott / Michael Graydon
Too much pie for some, too tense for others, rhubarb is a vegetable that struggles to find its place in a fruit world and, whatever the reason, I can understand that.
Often cooked in batter, I think the long elegant stems of rhubarb deserve their own show. Baked in a cake, they retain their beautiful shape and reveal the vibrant pink color that everyone can admire.
Choose the deepest and redest stems you can find, buy them all, cut them into pieces and freeze them. If the thawed rhubarb is not spectacular for the patties (it releases too much liquid as it defrosts), you can make a fantastic jam.
8 servings
Egg 1 tall, slightly beaten
plain flour to dust off
piece ½ quantity (see below)
Almond paste 60g
Rhubarb 1.15 kg, cut in half lengthways, then cut transversely into 10 to 15 cm pieces
sugar 110g
vanilla ice cream 110g (optional)
For the game
flour 185g
Granulated sugar 1 teaspoon
salt 1 teaspoon
Butter without salt 140g, cold and chopped
apple cider vinegar 2 tbsp. Tea
Preheat oven to 190C / gas mark 5.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and mix well to coat the flour mixture. Using your hands, crush the butter between your palms and fingers and mix with flour to create long, thin, flaky, floury and buttered strands. Once most of the butter is incorporated and no more lumps remain, place the flour mixture on a work surface.
Combine the vinegar with 2 tablespoons of ice water and pour it over the flour mixture. Pass your fingers through the mixture to distribute the water in the flour until the dough begins to gather.
Knead the dough a few more times, just to pick up all the dry pieces from the bottom and place them on top to incorporate them. Once you have a hairy paste (it will not be smooth or shiny), knead it one or two more times. Divide the dough into two pieces and pat each into a flat disc about 2.5 cm thick. Wrap each in food film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
To make the cake, beat the egg with 1 teaspoon of water and set it aside (that is your preparation for the egg).
Drop a piece of dough on a lightly floured surface to obtain a diameter of about 35 to 40 cm in diameter. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Flatten the large pieces of almond paste between your palms until they are very thin (3-4 mm) and place them over the dough leaving a 5 cm border. Arrange the rhubarb pieces on the almond paste. Do not worry about placing them in some kind of model.
Fold the edges of the dough over the rhubarb. Brush the edges with the cooking juice and sprinkle with sugar, throwing the essential on the rhubarb. (Remember that marzipan is quite sweet, so you do not need as much sugar as you think.)
Put the cake in the oven and cook until the crust is golden, 50 to 60 minutes. Let it cool slightly before eating with the best vanilla ice cream you can find.
Dining In by Alison Roman (Hardie Grant)£ 22). To order a copy for £ 18.99, go to UK free p & p on all online orders over £ 15
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