On Sunday night my cookbook club took on the challenge of making dishes out of famed wine country chef Thomas Keller’s series of cookbooks. We divided up into teams of two and each made one course of a plated, sit-down dinner (usually everything’s served buffet-style.)
We feasted on 6 courses, made from The French Laundry, Bouchon and Ad Hoc at Home cookbooks. At the end of the meal, we all agreed that while everything was delicious, the time involved — 8 hours for a quiche (Bouchon) 3 days for French onion soup (Bouchon) — was way more than we’d ever want to do on a regular basis. But we sure did gain an appreciation and understanding of why Keller’s restaurants are so darn expensive! To us, the Ad Hoc cookbook was the most approachable with recipes that aren’t as time consuming or complicated. Notice no one attempted anything out of the French Laundry cookbook. It’s beautiful to look at though – great food porn!
Green bean and potato salad with Iberico ham. Recipe also calls for figs, but they aren’t in season. From Ad Hoc at Home.
Keller suggests pairing this with a Riesling, and the 2007 Werner Schwicher Annaberg Rielsling Kabinett was a fine match.
Soup a l’oignon (French onion soup). Paired with a 2006 Sonnet Pinot Noir. From Bouchon.
Maine lobster rolls (yum!). Paired with a Landmark Sonoma Co. Chardonnay or a Mer Soleil Chardonnay. From Ad Hoc at Home. I’ve had these lobster rolls at the restaurant, and these turned out just as good!
Leek bread pudding. From Ad Hoc at Home.
Roquefort and leek quiche. From Bouchon.
Tarte au citron (lemon tart). This was my contribution to the feast. Filling was very easy to make, but the dough came out dry. I used meyer lemons. From Bouchon.
Brownies with caramel sauce. The sauce was divine! From Ad Hoc at Home.