For our four year anniversary, I decided to cook an entire meal out of my new cookbook, Gather & Graze. It's no secret that the author, Stephanie Izard, is my favorite chef. I went to Girl and the Goat about a year after it opened and had to make my way back to Chicago at least once a year ever since. Although now Jodi and I make the pilgrimage for her third restaurant, Duck Duck Goat.
I have to admit that her last cookbook, A Girl in the Kitchen, wasn't a cookbook I went back to again and again. But one day into having Gather & Graze I already wanted to try 90% of the recipes.
For this dinner, I decided on Shrimp Cocktail with Miso Blue Sauce (page 55), Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Pickled Peppers (page 197) and Miso-Butterscotch Budino (page 134) for dessert. (I also made a Ricotta Crostini appetizer from Nancy Silverton's cookbook because Jodi really wanted it, but it did not go with the rest of the menu, and that's for another post.)
I've loved the cauliflower recipe for years. You can find it online here. It was one of the first things I tried at Girl and the Goat. Though when I made it this time around, I pickled my own peppers. I've been trying to nail our pickled pepper recipe because we have so many of them in the growing season. I think the use of champagne vinegar, like this recipe calls for, instead of white vinegar is the answer for us. We have already eaten the whole jar.
I had to go out to my local international food store, Saraga, to find a few of the things I needed. One ingredient I know Stephanie uses a lot of is Sambal, and I finally picked some up. Sambal and the Szechuan Chile Sauce (page 127) I made for the week while I was prepping, are now on 30% of the things we cook at home.
The Shrimp Cocktail and Miso Budino made me wanna slap someone in the face. And both were deceivingly simple. The shrimp sat in a quick marinade before sautéing them. They didn't really even need the miso blue sauce, although I loved it.
For those recipes, you'll have to pick up a copy of the book. You won't regret it. I love how the book is sectioned and I look forward to making many more dishes.