Book Review: Braise by Daniel Boulud

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Pot roast can be braised, sure. But pineapple? Master Chef Daniel Boulud challenges our assumptions about braising in his new book Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine, written with Melissa Clark.

The book brings flavors from around the world to our braising pot, promising a special Daniel Boulud touch in each recipe. Look for recipes for Beer-Braised Beef Shoulder with Gingerbread, Indian-Spiced Lamb Shanks in Yogurt Sauce, and Tamarind Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Okra.

The section on Fruit and Desserts has us thinking about braising in new ways. We wouldn't have though of a braised dessert, but we're eager to make the Sweet Eggplant with Pistachios and the Licorice Pears. We're hoping someone makes a dessert braise for our braise contest.

If you're planning to cook from this book, remember creating these sophisticated braises will take some time. Plan time to gather specialty international ingredients, marinate and then braise.

Besides a recipe source, this cook is also part travelogue ("In Japan, I was introduced to a black-shelled scallop the size of man's shoe . . . "), part text book and part international shopping guide. The side bar tell us, for example, where to buy yuzu juice and says that in a pinch, we can substitute with lime juice and grated lime zest.

This book also taught us about adding nuts to braises. We braised some pork in milk with hazelnuts and we're thrilled with how the rich fall flavors of the hazelnuts accented the pork.

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