Friday, March 11, 2011

The Balthazar Cookbook

The Balthazar Cookbook

The Balthazar Cookbook is perhaps our single favorite cookbook for fish recipes. Named after the well-respected restaurant in Manhattan, it is certainly not specifically about fish, but for us it is those dishes that really shine.

It also happens to be one of the best written cookbooks we have. By that I don't mean it is full of witty banter (not that I am at all averse to color commentary in a cookbook), but rather that the recipes themselves are superbly detailed and easy to follow. Not the hurriedly mal-adapted and underspecified instructions you often get in a restaurant cookbook.

When making fish dishes from these recipes and others, we do not generally worry about using the precise fish specified. Instead, we use what we can get locally that fits the style of the dish.

Favorite Recipes:

Cod MitonneeCod Mitonnée

This was our first go-to dish from the book. The rich broth is what makes it - reduced until it is very intense, full of flavor and reminiscent of a French onion soup.

It is like getting a soup and a main course all in one.
Roasted Halibut with Crushed Potatoes, Almonds and TomatoesRoasted Halibut with Crushed Potatoes, Almonds and Tomatoes

A dish we keep coming back to.

There is something super-satisfying about the way the potatoes, tomatoes and almonds taste together and how they accent a perfectly cooked piece of fish.
Cod and Cockles with ParsleyCod and Cockles with Parsley

As tasty as it is beautiful.

The intense green from the parsley dominates visually, but doesn't overpower the other flavors.
Black Bass with Caramelized Onions and CornBlack Bass with Caramelized Onions and Corn

The sweetness of the corn and caramelized onion is wonderful. We are looking forward to corn season to again be able to make this dish with freshly-picked corn.

Maybe from our own garden, this year?
Braised Short RibsBraised Short Ribs

Just to prove that there are non-fish dishes in the book. Short ribs may be a bit cliché these days the way they seem to be strewn across most every restaurant menu. This is for a reason, though - they are fantastic.

They also make for a very good short rib pot pie...


  1. Hi Mike! Everything looks fantastic! I've had the cookbook in my Amazon wishlist for a while. I'll have to buy it soon.

  2. Definitely pick up a copy - you won't regret it.

  3. I forgot to mention that short ribs may be cliché but that has been the sole reason for me to buy cookbooks before. :-)

  4. Hi Carol - short ribs certainly are delicious. I think they make such successful restaurant fare because they hold really well. And because of the aforementioned deliciousness, of course...