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Chef Daniel Boulud On 20 Years Of French Cooking In NYC

This article is more than 9 years old.
Chef Daniel Boulud is pictured in the cover image from his new cookbook.
Chef Daniel Boulud is pictured in the cover image from his new cookbook.

Daniel Boulud is the famed French chef behind 14 restaurants, including Daniel in New York City.

He released his eighth cookbook, “Daniel: My French Cuisine,” to commemorate 20 years of the restaurant’s success. In the book, Boulud describes himself as, "an American chef with a French soul, or a French chef with an American soul." (See recipe for Wild Mushroom Tarte Flambee below)

"After three decades in New York, you can't take the French out of me," Boulud told Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson. "The American soul, I think, is this incredible opportunity we have in New York with rubbing shoulders with lots of ethnic cuisine ... and being able to borrow from other cuisine, or from other palettes of seasoning or sometimes palettes of ingredients. And to be able to play with, and still remain French in the core of your cuisine. And I think this cannot happen in Paris or Lyon, because we don't have that surrounding you."

"The American soul, I think, is this incredible opportunity we have in New York with rubbing shoulders with lots of ethnic cuisine."

While Lyon is known as the culinary capital of Europe, Boulud says cities around the world have made leaps and bounds in the quality of their food.

"I think every city today has a wonderful farmers market," Boulud said. "I mean, we have incredible cheese in America today. Where 20 years ago, you couldn't even try to compare with Europe."

This is Boulud's eighth cookbook, and because it celebrates his restaurant, it takes a no-holds-barred approach to the recipes. Previous cookbooks Boulud has written were with the home chef in mind.

"In this book, we absolutely have not cut anything off; this is the true Daniel," Boulud said. "But the way the recipes are compartmented, it is very easy to inspire yourself to do a part of the recipe and be able to accomplish a wonderful dish."

As for what new dishes he might try cooking in the future, he wonders about ingredients he hasn't used yet.

"I still haven't cooked sea cucumber, I still haven't cooked insect," Boulud said. "I always wonder, could this enter my French cuisine?"

Recipe: Wild Mushroom Tarte Flambee

From "Daniel: My French Cuisine" by Daniel Boulud. Copyright © 2013 by Daniel Boulud. Used with permission by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

(Thomas Schauer)
(Thomas Schauer)

Makes 6 Tartes (serves 6-12)

Ingredients for the Dough:
1 3/4 cups 00 pasta flour
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon colza oil

Ingredients for the Topping:
1 cup fromage blanc
1/2 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon colza oil
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound hen of the woods or other wild mushrooms, cut into bite-size pieces, washed and patted dry

To Finish:
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch oregano leaves
1/2 bunch chives, thinly sliced

Instructions for the Dough:
In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, milk, salt, and oil. Mix on
medium speed for 3 minutes. If needed, add 1 tablespoon warm water to help the dough
come together into a solid mass.

Continue to knead the dough on medium speed until smooth, about 8 minutes.

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.

Divide the dough into 6 portions.

Using a pasta machine, roll each portion, decreasing the thickness after each pass, into long, very thin 5-inch-wide sheets (setting #1 on most machines). You will need to do this in several batches.

Trim the sheets into approximately 10- to 12-inch lengths.

Transfer to a tray in between layers of parchment paper and refrigerate (or freeze until needed).

Instructions for the Topping:
In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the fromage blanc, crème fraîche, flour, oil, egg yolk, and nutmeg until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper and keep chilled.

Brown the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat.

Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.

Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain onto a paper towel–lined plate.

To Finish:
If you have a pizza stone, place it on the bottom of the oven; otherwise, an upside-down
baking sheet can be substituted.

Preheat the oven to 500°F.

Place a sheet of dough on a lightly floured pizza peel.

Spread the cream topping in a thin layer over the dough, making sure it is evenly distributed. Leave a ¼-inch border around the edge of the dough.

Sprinkle one-sixth of the onion, mushrooms, oregano, and chives evenly over the cream topping.
Repeat to make all 6 tartes.

Slide the flambées, one at a time, onto the pizza stone and bake until crispy on the bottom and lightly browned on top.

Slice and serve immediately.


This segment aired on October 22, 2013.


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