Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain [epub | 21,57 Mb] ISBN: 158234180X

  • Full Title: Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking
  • Autor: Anthony Bourdain
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition
  • Publication Date: October 19, 2004
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158234180X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582341804
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 21,57 Mb
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Bestselling author, TV host, and chef Anthony Bourdain reveals the hearty, delicious recipes of Les Halles, the classic New York City French bistro where he got his start.

Before stunning the world with his bestselling Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain, host of the celebrated TV shows Parts Unknown and No Reservations, spent years serving some of the best French brasserie food in New York. With its no-nonsense, down-to-earth atmosphere, Les Halles matched Bourdain’s style perfectly: a restaurant where you can dress down, talk loudly, drink a little too much wine, and have a good time with friends. Now, Bourdain brings you his Les Halles Cookbook, a cookbook like no other: candid, funny, audacious, full of his signature charm and bravado.

Bourdain teaches you everything you need to know to prepare classic French bistro fare. While you’re being guided, in simple steps, through recipes like roasted veal short ribs and steak frites, escargots aux noix and foie gras au pruneaux, you’ll feel like he’s in the kitchen beside you-reeling off a few insults when you’ve scorched the sauce, and then patting you on the back for finally getting the steak tartare right.

As practical as it is entertaining, Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook is a can’t-miss treat for cookbook lovers, aspiring chefs, and Bourdain fans everywhere.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A celebrity with a high-profile position as executive chef at New York bistro Les Halles, and bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour, Bourdain doesn’t intend to break new ground. The dishes do exactly as the subtitle notes and include such solid classic fare as Onion Soup Les Halles, Steak au Poivre, Boeuf Bourguignon, Coq au Vin and Chocolate Mousse. Nearly all recipes are within reach of competent home cooks, and those that are more complicated or time-consuming—Bouillabaisse, Cassoulet and Roulade of Wild Pheasant—are thoroughly spelled out to calm most jitters. Foie gras, duck fat and dark veal stock are frequent components, but a list of suppliers makes just about every ingredient available. Even though many of the dishes can be found in other cookbooks, what sets this one apart is Bourdain’s signature wise-ass attitude that pervades nearly every recipe, explanatory note and chapter introduction. Profanity adds frequent color. If Aunt Doris would blanche at pearl onions being called “little fuckers,” a cook who prefers boneless meat in Daube Provençal a “poor deluded bastard,” or a person nervous about making these recipes a “dipshit,” this book is not for her. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Bourdain shows himself to be one of the country’s best food writers. His opinions are as strong as his language, and his tastes as infectious as his joy.”

“Bourdain shows himself to be one of the country”s best food writers. His opinions are as strong as his language, and his tastes as infectious as his joy.”

“Anthony Bourdain”s Les Halles Cookbook joins the classic French cookbooks on my shelf, and shames every would-be ”bistro bible”. Nobody else writes with such respect for real food.” — Mario Batali

“Don”t be misled by Anthony Bourdain”s witty, irreverent style. His Les Halles Cookbook is solid, smart, and informative, and his recipes are bona fide bistro fareAn instant classic.” — Jacques Ppin

“Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook joins the classic French cookbooks on my shelf, and shames every would-be ‘bistro bible’. Nobody else writes with such respect for real food.”–Mario Batali

“Anyone serious about their cooking will want to own Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook. It has an enormous amount of vital information presented in Bourdain’s pungent, abrasive, and memorable writing style.”–Jim Harrison

“This is a great cookbook! Anthony Bourdain directs you brilliantly through delicious recipes, with explanations that are crystal clear.”–Eric Ripert

“Don’t be misled by Anthony Bourdain’s witty, irreverent style. His Les Halles Cookbook is solid, smart, and informative, and his recipes are bona fide bistro fare An instant classic.”–Jacques Pepin”



more and more interest in food and exciting flavours, the SORTED boys have managed to communicate cooking in a new way. Their down-to-earth approach makes an everyday necessity simple, accessible and, most of all, pleasurable. Anyone can produce platefuls of wonderful food – and anyone can enjoy it.’


‘Straightforward, wholesome, foolproof and includes cheats to satisfy even the laziest cook.’


‘The SORTED team have created a cooking bible… it’s humorous and informative.’


‘All singing, all dancing YouTube gurus who are intent on transforming our lives.’






Snacks & fillings


Pasta & risotto

Meat: quick cooks

Meat: slow cooks


Sweet treats



Meals to impress


Follow Penguin


This cookbook is crammed full of beginner’s cooking that’ll gear you up to create dozens of simple, cheap and tasty meals with, or for, your friends and family. Whether you’re a broke and starving student, a busy professional with a tight budget and even tighter time or a parent juggling a hundred and one daily tasks, then this book will definitely get you SORTED!

The SORTED adventure began with mates around a pub table, chatting about real life, real people and real food. We don’t mess around with fancy high-end dishes; instead we focus on proper grub to share with family and friends. From day one, Ben scribbled recipe ideas down on the back of beer mats for the lads to take back to uni, encouraging us to cook and eat as a group to have more fun and save some money. As word spread it was evident that more than just those around the pub table needed to try the SORTED approach to food. A cookbook supported by a bunch of online videos made perfect sense to us. So, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and now this book became the obvious route to help us prove how much fun can be had whilst cooking with mates.

This book is supported by a fully interactive website, food hub and community at . This is constantly updated with loads of fresh food inspiration, personal conversation with like-minded folk and all the extra bits to take you on the journey from kitchen rookie to culinary pro. Never before has getting SORTED been so easy!

SORTED recipes mostly offer a ‘good bang for your buck’. Within each chapter, some recipes are, of course, cheaper than others, so we’ve included the following symbols as a guide:

Dirt cheap

On budget

Splashing out

Based on a balanced diet, the nutritional symbols below help to guide you through what’s good and what’s just a little bit naughty for those special occasions:

Fighting fit

Everyday grub

Occasional treat

Preparation time in minutes


Follow the link to see an online clip of the recipe being prepared by the SORTED crew


Ben and Barry are the driving force behind the SORTED food community. Ben is a professionally trained chef with a first-class honours degree in Culinary Arts Management and eight years’ experience in a multitude of kitchen environments. He now focuses on what he loves – cooking great food with his mates and helping others enjoy food as much as he does!

Barry is always looking for an excuse to party around food. As the creative director, with his passion for photography, design and style he ensures that SORTED is shared with friends around the world. Thanks to this cookbook and hours of playing around in the kitchen with Ben and the lads, he’s becoming quite handy at cooking too.

Together with Jamie, Mike and the rest of the crew, Ben and Barry are here to guide you through the book and their personal help is only ever a click away online.


SORTED will help you build basic kitchen skills, understand essential cooking principles and produce dishes to enjoy and be proud of. Arm yourself with the musketeer knife skills to murder that onion, learn how to sizzle the ultimate steak and how to fillet a fancy fish – it’s easier than you think. Then put these skills to good use through our carefully selected recipes that enable any kitchen rookie to produce fantastic grub, begin to build confidence and to get the know-how.

While actors follow the script, builders the blueprints and newsreaders are restrained by the autocue, keen rookie cooks, accomplished amateurs and professional chefs should all have the freedom to experiment a little. As your confidence grows you can begin to express yourself through food, experiment with it and have FUN at the same time. (Obviously, we’re not talking about plugging carrot sticks up your nose, flicking mashed potato across the table or laughing at every curio
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rn? 42

Chapter Contents 15

Addressing the Problem 42

Key Concepts 15

Industry Insight—HACCP 43

Nutrition, the Ultimate Application of Food 15

Food Handler Hygiene 44

Carbohydrates 16

Kitchen Sanitation 44

Lipids 16

Cooking Temperatures 45

Proteins 16

Storage Conditions and Practices 46


contents vii

Control of Food Waste 47

Short Term 47

Long Term 48

5Vegetables 73

Additives 48

Chapter Contents 73

What Are Additives? 48

Why Are Additives Used? 49

Key Concepts 73

How Are Additives Categorized? 49

Classification 74

Incidental Contaminants 50

Survey of Vegetables 75

Natural Toxicants 51

Cultural Accent—Chili Peppers 80

Summary 52

Industry Insight—Biotechnology 81

Study Questions 52

Aspects of Palatability 82

Selected References 52

Texture and Structure 82

Flavor 82

section Two

Science Note—Structure of Plant Foods 82

Food Preparation 55

Color 83

Science Note—Pigments 84

Nutrient Content 85


Harvesting and Marketing 87

Factors in Food Preparation 57

Selection 89

Fresh Vegetables 89

Chapter Contents 57

Canned and Frozen Vegetables 91

Key Concepts 57

Storage 93

Basic Equipment 57

Preparation Equipment 57

Vegetables in Menu Planning 93

Cooking Equipment 58

Ingredient Highlight—Broccolini 93

Industry Insight—Cutlery 59

Factors in Vegetable Cookery 94

Cultural Accent—Woks to Omelet

Nutrient Retention 94

Pans 60

Texture 95

Measuring Ingredients 61

Color 96

Dry Ingredients 61

Flavor 97

Fats and Oils 62

Preparation Procedures for Fresh Vegetables 98

Liquids 63

Preliminary Steps 98

Safety in the Kitchen 63

Boiling 98

Temperatures in Food Preparation 64

Steaming 98

Freezing Temperatures 64

Simmering 99

Intermediate Temperatures 65

Broiling 101

Boiling Temperatures 65

Baking or Oven Roasting 101

Industry Insight—AFGP 66

Frying 101

Frying Temperatures 67

Stir-Frying or Panning 102

Other Techniques 102

Thermometers 68

Judging Points—Cooked Fresh

Principles of Heating Foods 69

Vegetables 103

Conduction 69

Preparing Canned and Frozen Vegetables 103

Convection 69

Canned Vegetables 103

Radiation 69

Frozen Vegetables 103

Science Note—Heating by

Microwaves 69

Adding Interest 104

Summary 70

Summary 104

Study Questions 71

Study Questions 105

Selected References 71

Selected References 105

viii contents

Color 135

Ingredient Highlight—Olives 136


Flavor 137

Fruits 107

Texture 137

Chapter Contents 107

Cultural Accent—Parsley, Italian Parsley, or

Key Concepts 107

Cilantro? 137

Classification 107

Types of Salads 138

Berries 108

Fruit Salads 138

Citrus 108

Vegetable Salads 139

Industry Insight—Products and By-Products 109

Industry Insight—Safety of Fresh Produce 140

Drupes 110

Gelatin Salads 141

Grapes 110

High-Protein Salads 141

Melons 110

Garnishes 141

Pomes 111

Principles of Preparation 142

Tropical and Subtropical Fruits 112

Washing 142

Pigments 112

Handling of Greens 142

Science Note—Turgor 143

Composition of Fruits 113

Assembling a Salad 144

Nutritive Value 115

Preparing Gelatin Salads 144

Marketing Aspects 116

Science Note—Gelatin Gels 145

Selection 117

Serving Salads 146

Fresh Fruits 117

Judging Points—Salad Preparation 147

Ingredient Highlight—Gra–pple® 119

Salad Dressings 147

Canned and Frozen Fruits 119

Temporary Emulsions 147

Cultural Accent—Fruits from Afar 121

Semipermanent Emulsion 147

Dried Fruits 123

Permanent Emulsion 148

Storage in the Home 123

Science Note—“Safe” Mayonnaise 149

Preparation 124

Cooked Salad Dressings 149

Raw Fruits 124

Varying Salad Dressings 149

Simmered Fruits 124

Industry Insight—Diet Salad Dressings 150

Science Note—Osmotic Pressure 125

Evaluating Salad Dressings 150

Other Preparation Procedures 126

Summary 150

Preparation Using Canned and Frozen Fruits 126

Study Questions 150

Judging Points—Fresh Fruits 127

Selected References 151

Summary 127

Study Questions 128

Selected References 128

8Fats and oils 153

Chapter Contents 153


Key Concepts 153

salads and salad dressings 131

Controversial Ingredients 153

Chapter Contents 131

Types of Fats and Oils 154

Key Concepts 131

Lard 154

The Nutritional Perspective 132

Butter 154

Planning Salads 132

Cultural Accent—Ghee 154

Role in the Meal 132

Margarine 155

Tossed or Composed 133

Whipped Spreads 155

Arrangement and Shape 134

Nutrition Input—Cholesterol and Special Spreads 156

contents ix

Shortenings 156

Consumer Alert—Corn Syrup Controversy 177

Salad Oils 156

Ingredient Highlight—Honey 177

Cooking Sprays 156

Other Sweeteners 178

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s on, with a mound of powdered sugar in each plate. Also pass heavy cream or sour cream for dipping.

Trout Sauté Meunière

For 4 trout, melt 4 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil in heavy skillet. Dust trout well with flour. Sauté gently, turning several times until fish is cooked through but not overcooked, allowing 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Flesh should be moist but easily flaked with a fork or toothpick. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon.

Serves 4.

Hash Browns

See p. 356.


Sliced Ripe Tomatoes

Broiled Flank Steak

Crisp Protein Toast Butter

Sliced Ripe Tomatoes

Scald tomatoes, or sear over a gas flame, to loosen skin. Peel, and slice thin. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Broiled Flank Steak

You will need a steak of top quality for this. Rub steak well with salt, ground black pepper and Tabasco. Broil steak 1½ to 2 inches from the broiling unit (allowing for shrinkage and thickening) 3 to 4 minutes on each side for rare. Carve into thin slices, holding the knife at an angle of 45° or less. The diagonal slicing is essential for tenderness.

A flank steak of medium size will serve 3 to 4 people.


Grapefruit Sections

Sautéed Squab Chickens

Fried Cornmeal Mush

Butter Honey Apple Butter

Grapefruit Sections

Peel grapefruit so that white skin is completely removed. With a sharp knife, a small pointed one preferably, slice and remove each section. Dress with sugar. Add a little champagne or sherry if you wish.

Sautéed Squab Chickens

These generally weigh about 1 pound and are sold split. You decide whether you wish to serve a whole one or a half per person.

For 4 small chickens, heat 4 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in each of 2 large skillets. When the butter and oil are hot and bubbly, arrange the chickens, skin side down, in the pans, and brown nicely. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, turn and continue cooking over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn again, and test for tenderness. They should take 18 to 20 minutes. Remove to hot platter. Rinse the pan with ¼ cup cognac or Madeira, and add 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Pour over chicken halves.

Serves 4 to 8.

Fried Cornmeal Mush

Follow directions on cornmeal package for making cornmeal mush, noting quantity required for the number of guests you are serving. Pour into a loaf tin and cool. Slice in ½-inch slices, and brown well on both sides in butter. Serve hot with honey and apple butter.


Sherried Grapefruit

Steamed Smoked Black Cod or Sablefish

Rye Toast

Butter Steamed Potatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Sherried Grapefruit

Peel grapefruit, and carefully slice into sections with a sharp knife, freeing the fruit from the tough membrane that separates each section. Arrange in individual serving dishes. Sugar to taste, and add 2 tablespoons medium or sweet sherry to each dish. Chill.

Steamed Smoked Black Cod or Sablefish

This comes in plastic bags that may be heated in water. If purchased loose, wrap in foil and heat in a 375° oven. Serve with chopped parsley, melted butter, and lemon.

Butter Steamed Potatoes

Choose small new potatoes of uniform size. Steam them in about ½ inch butter in a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting cover. Shake the pan several times during the cooking. Do not let potatoes overcook. Salt well with coarse salt and add freshly ground black pepper.

Cherry Tomatoes

Wash tomatoes but leave the hulls on. Allow some moisture to remain on the skins. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt (preferably coarse), or pass the salt separately, and pepper.


Late breakfast (or “brunch,” to use a word I dislike) can be served any time between 11 and 1. It is not the hour that makes it breakfast but, presumably, the fact that it is the first meal of the day. In content the menu for a late breakfast is hardly distinguishable from a light luncheon, and there are few types of food that cannot be considered breakfast fare. In the menus that follow, you will find such items as fettucine Alfredo and grilled porterhouse steaks.

Of course, one thing clearly distinguishes late from early breakfast: alcoholic drinks. Bloody Marys are good for such an occasion, and so also are various wine drinks. Champagne is perfection.

Breakfast can be as informal as you wish, but it can also be a rather sumptuous affair. I do a Christmas breakfast every year, to which I invite a dozen or so close friends. It is every bit as festive as a Christmas Eve supper.

A Mint Julep Breakfast for 12

Serve perfectly made mint juleps before breakfast.

Cold Smithfield Ham

Rye or French Bread

Eggs and Mushrooms in Tarragon Cream

Raspberry Preserve

Toasted Muffins

Pound Cake

Cold Smithfield Ham

Smithfield hams may be bought in many parts of the country already c
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y diet:

All processed foods

Soy (except for small amounts of raw, fermented soy called Nama shoyu)


All GMO foods

The first months of following this diet were not easy, and the hives did not go away immediately. This was frustrating at times, but I knew I had to persevere. It took nine months of disciplined eating and cleansing before the hives disappeared completely. That was a joyful day! But I still had a long way to go to reach complete healing. It took four and a half years of disciplined eating to achieve normal blood levels again, but I stuck with the plan and accomplished what the doctors said was impossible. At the end of my journey I felt like a new woman—full of energy, with vibrant skin and a new lease on life.

Supplements and Drainage Therapies

I took different whole-food supplements to help support my system and slowly begin the detox process. I particularly liked supplements from Standard Process and Biotics. My nutritionist’s prescriptions for these supplements varied as my blood levels changed and my body healed.

We used several different drainage therapies from Unda to drain different organs in order to bring them back to vitality. I highly recommend asking your practitioner about these therapies as they are gentle on the body and very effective. It is important that your practitioner has been trained in the proper use of these remedies.

I took these basic supplements, which most people will find beneficial whether or not they have health issues:

Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil

GutPro probiotics

Pure Radiance vitamin C

I used these detox and cleansing methods:

Dry sauna—I spent twenty to twenty-five minutes in the dry sauna three times a week. The sauna helps remove toxins from the body, and I also found it very relaxing.

Dry brushing—Dry brushing can assist the body in removal of toxins and improve circulation, so I did this each evening before going to bed. A soft bristle body brush is brushed in a circular motion on the skin. It’s an economical and easy way to support the lymphatic system and help the body detox.

Castor oil packs—I treated the thyroid and liver several times a week with a cleansing castor oil pack. When placed on the body, the oil is absorbed into the lymphatic circulation.

Long walks—My body couldn’t handle intense workouts (I would be in bed for days if I overextended myself), so long walks were a gentle way to exercise and allow the lymphatic system to flush out.

Rest—I made sure to go to bed at a reasonable time and get at least nine hours of sleep a night.

What I learned:

Detox is hard! During a detox, the body is working extra hard to remove the offending toxins in the system, so you might not feel very good.

Your body needs healthy saturated fats to detox. The body needs to be nourished in order to detox, and this means plenty of animal fats.

Natural healing isn’t a quick fix. It’s a long process, but it is worth it in the end.

Here’s a chart of my blood levels over the past several years. Thyroperoxidase Ab and thyroglobulin are the two thyroid antibody levels that doctors use to diagnose a patient with Hashimoto’s disease.

It took several years, but my blood levels eventually came back to normal. While everyone is different, I’m not alone in my healing of Hashimoto’s. My nutritionist never claimed she could heal my disease, but she encouraged me to believe that the body is capable of tremendous regeneration, and so it was to that end we charged together. Kim taught me that healing comes through gentle, steady, and effective detoxification coupled with nutrient-dense, nourishing foods. It is my hope to shed light on what this looks like in a very attainable way.

If you’re struggling with chronic health issues, I encourage you to seek out a nutritionist, osteopath, naturopath, or nutritional therapy practitioner who can help guide you toward better health. Even if everyone around you says it can’t be done, follow your instincts. If you think it’s possible, run toward that hope. After my experience, I truly believe that many of the diseases that ail us can be avoided or reversed with the right foods, detox, and support.


Many people ask why I went completely grain-free instead of only cutting out gluten. It can seem drastic, but when you realize how grains can affect a compromised immune system, eliminating them makes sense. When grains enter the body they cause the insulin levels in the blood to rise. When they are eaten in excess over time, the body becomes overtaxed, and eventually the excessive grains can cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the root cause of many health issues, including diabetes, allergies, arthritis, heart disease, tendinitis, and autoimmune diseases. A grain-free diet rich
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ious rewards.

They Teach the Wrong Lessons About Food

Whether you’re eating all juice, all cereal, or all red meat, eventually your palate will rebel against the monotony. It’s perfectly natural for you to get sick of eating the exact same ingredient over and over again,

The more restrictive the diet, it seems, the more likely the weight loss is temporary. According to recent research published in American Psychologist, while people can lose 5 to 10 percent of their weight in the first few months of a diet, up to two-thirds of them regain even more weight than they lost within 4 or 5 years.6

Many diets ignore the fact that eating is one of the great pleasures in life by depriving dieters of a huge range of foods, and no one can possibly stay on such a limiting regimen for so long. It doesn’t help that most foods on these programs don’t taste good. When you’re living off space-food-like prepackaged frozen entrees or raw kale salad all day, you’re not going to look forward to your meals—and why would you? You eat this way because you want to lose weight, but after the first few days the very idea of another frozen chicken dish and/or bowl of steamed bok choy and watercress makes your stomach turn, and so you stray from your plan for one meal and then another, and before the week is up you’re off the program altogether.

Other diets demand we hunt down hard-to-find, exotic ingredients— as if, if your local grocery store doesn’t happen to carry organic freerange venison, quail eggs, or persimmons, your whole eating plan is doomed on Day 1.

They Confuse Some Basic Nutritional Facts

Some diet programs focus exclusively on the old “calories in, calories out” rule, the theory being that if you expend more calories than you take in, you will lose weight, period, end of story. But diets that focus exclusively on calories and not what those calories are made of are completely misguided. I cannot emphasize this point enough: Not all calories are created equal.

Fourteen hundred calories of white bread is NOT the equivalent of fourteen hundred calories of salmon. Different foods affect our bodies differently, regardless of caloric content. They make you look different and feel different, too.

A recent study found that following a low-fat diet can slow down your metabolism, which makes weight loss more difficult, whereas a high-protein diet can increase the body’s fat-burning capabilities.7 Another found that low-fat diets are not the best route to lasting weight loss.8 So losing weight is not a simple matter of caloric arithmetic. You also have to consider WHAT you’re eating, not just how much of it.

And far too often, diets deprive us not only of calories but of the foods we need to live at the top of our game. If, for example, you’re on a juice fast, you’re not getting ANY protein, healthy fats, or fiber—and your body needs all of these nutrients to function. Because you’re depriving your body, you’ll probably be hungry, miserable—and extremely vulnerable to falling off the wagon. We also don’t take in enough liquids, and many of us live in a state of semidehydration, which our bodies far too often confuse for hunger, which causes us to eat more.

“While struggling with my weight, I had turned to many different programs. They all left me feeling like a failure, and I was even considering surgical weight-loss options. Harley’s plan saved me. It gave me the tools and knowledge I needed to find a healthy way of living. I have never felt so alive as I do today, and I know that I am a success.”

—Nancy Daly, lost 20 pounds in 15 days

They Push Exercise Too Much

Never thought you’d hear that from a fitness professional, did you? But overexercising can be a real problem. First off, no amount of exercise can undo the effects of a bad diet. Do you know how many minutes you have to do on an elliptical trainer to offset the caloric burden of a single slice of cheesecake? Up to an hour and a half. And no studies have shown that exercise in and of itself definitively causes weight loss. As Gary Taubes put it in his well-argued book Why We Get Fat, “very little evidence exists to support the belief that the number of calories we expend”—i.e., how much we work out—“has any effect on how fat we are.”9

I believe it’s because our over-the-top workout habits end up supercharging our appetites, ultimately causing us to consume even more calories than we would have if we’d stayed home and skipped the gym. Taubes once again states the case plainly: “Increase the energy you expend and the evidence is very good that you will increase the calories you consume to compensate.”10 Put in the simplest terms possible: The harder you work out, the hungrier you’ll be, and the more you eat. But if you want to lose weight, increasing the number of calories you’re taking in is counterproductive at best.

I started thinking about this seeming contradiction more
litres, serves 6

800ml chicken or vegetable stock

1kg frozen petit pois

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

A small handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

4 dollops of mascarpone (about 150g)

Bring the stock to the boil in a large pan and add the peas. Cover with a lid and allow it to return to the boil. I always put a lid on while waiting for it to boil, as it speeds up the process quite considerably. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes, or until the peas are tender, then remove the pan from the heat.

Working in batches, blitz the peas and stock in a blender until smooth. Pour each batch into a clean pan as you go. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper, then reheat it gently over a low heat.

Meanwhile, stir the mint through the mascarpone until well blended.

Once the soup has been heated through, divide it among serving bowls, put a dollop of the minted mascarpone on each one and serve piping hot.

Hot & spicy Bloody Mary soup

The morning after the night before in a steaming hot bowl of soup. Of course, the Vodka at the end is entirely optional but it does add a nice alcoholic kick, should the mood take you! I am not normally a fan of tomato soup, but this one is really full of flavour and will be one to remember.

Makes about 1.2 litres, serves 4–6

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large red onion, peeled and sliced

500g ripe tomatoes (about 5 vine or plum tomatoes), roughly chopped

1 litre tomato juice

3 squirts of tomato purée

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp soft light brown sugar

50ml Worcestershire sauce

½–1 tsp cayenne pepper (depending how spicy you like it!)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Several shakes of Tabasco sauce (optional)

Vodka, to taste (optional)

1 stick of celery, trimmed and cut into batons

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the tomatoes, tomato juice and purée, bay leaf, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and finally the cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat a little to let it bubble away for a good 30 minutes to really get the flavours going.

Taste the soup and add more seasoning if needed, so it is just as you like it. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Then, working in two or three batches, ladle the soup into a blender and blitz until it is quite smooth but still has a little texture. Pour the blended soup into a large bowl or jug as you go. Once done, return it all to the pan and heat through gently. Add the Tabasco and Vodka, if using, and taste again, adjusting the seasoning if necessary.

Ladle the soup into warmed mugs or serving bowls and serve with the celery batons.

Deep-fried Camembert with a cranberry, Burgundy & thyme sauce

This dish is so naughty – in every way. It comes in the canapé chapter, but it is mightily fine as a meal in itself, to be perfectly honest. For me, life is too short to make cranberry sauce from scratch every time (except at Christmas!), so I like to buy a jar of ready-made and give it a little help from some herby friends.

Serves 4

4 tbsp red wine, preferably Burgundy

Pinch of fresh thyme leaves

150g cranberry sauce

1 egg, lightly beaten

80g natural or golden breadcrumbs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 x 250g whole Camembert, unwrapped

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Put the red wine in a small pan and boil it until it is reduced by half, this usually happens quite quickly. Add the thyme leaves and cranberry sauce, bring it to just below the boil, then take the pan off the heat and set aside.

Put the egg in one bowl and the breadcrumbs in another, then season the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. Cut the Camembert into four pieces, then dip into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs. Dip once again into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs. Have a slotted spoon and tongs at the ready along with a wire rack with some kitchen paper underneath it.

Fill a medium, deep pan with oil to the depth of 6cm and heat over a medium heat until a small piece of bread carefully placed in the oil browns in 60 seconds.

Carefully place the breaded cheese into the hot oil, one by one, using a slotted spoon. Put them into the pan from a low height so that the hot fat does not splash, then deep-fry until they are a lovely golden brown colour. Remove the cheese with a slotted spoon or tongs – whichever is easier for you – and place them on the wire rack. Putting them on the rack rather than straight onto kitchen paper means that they will not be sitting in their own fat and will stay nice and crispy.

Once you have cooked all of the cheese wedges, place them on serving plates with the cranberry sauce and serve straightaway with a green salad.

Light & crispy tempura prawns & soy chilli dipping sauce

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