I was recently sent a big, beautiful cookbook to review: Energy Cuisine. The authors are two chef friends, David Denis and Jani Lehtinen. This isn’t just any ordinary cookbook, mind you. It’s as though a beautiful coffee table book and an exotic cookbook had a child.
The premise behind the book is as original as it is cool:
Theirs is one of the most satisfying culinary friendships since soup and sandwich, meat and potatoes, or shrimp and grits. CHEF DAVID DENIS comes of age in the South of France, only to discover that everything-including restaurant success-is bigger in Texas. CHEF JANI LEHTINEN grows up in Pori, Finland, only to discover the meaning of life, cooking in Italy. Drawing on the dazzling culinary riches of Le Mistral in Houston and Bucco in Pori, these chef-buddies take us “on the road,” through their quite different kitchens and far beyond: sharing with us the people, places and things that truly make dishes spectacular. Written with veteran author John DeMers and photographer Shannon O’Hara. Journalist, radio host, author and playwright John DeMers ate his way through 136 foreign countries before discovering he could get all the same food right here in Houston. Currently, John hosts the weekly Delicious Mischief food and wine radio show Saturdays on NewsRadio 740 KTRH and on Austin’s Talk 1370, as well as the weekly Sunday show Houston ArtsWeek, covering the Performing, visual and literary arts. He is the author of 40 published books, including Follow the Smoke: 14,783 Miles of Great Texas Barbecue, reflecting the total distance he drove to overeat in 119 different places and his first mystery novel, Marfa Shadows. In the course of working with Chef David and Chef Jani on Energy Cuisine, John traveled further abroad, to Finland, Provence, Shiner, Texas, and everywhere in between.
The photography in Energy Cuisine is too beautiful to even describe. The big, gorgeous pictures just keep coming. The food looks so scrumptious and real you can almost taste it. I swear I looked at the “Burbot Wallenberg with Mashed Potatoes and English Peas” so long I thought my eyes would cross.
Recipes in this beautiful book include:
- Seared Scallops with Foie Gras and Crawfish Reduction
- Traditional Crepes Suzette
- Smoked Salmon-New Potato Salad in Fish Egg-Sour Cream Sauce (you should see this beauty!)
- Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries
- Meme’s Ravioli (a recipe from David Denis’ grandmother)
- La Bomba (beautiful layered sorbet and mousse dessert)
- Fresh Raspberries with Raspberry Coulis and Rosemary Whipped Cream
There are tons of recipes in this gorgeous cookbook as well as the fascinating story behind each chef/author. I highly, highly recommend Energy Cuisine.
Below is one of the recipes and if you love raspberries and rosemary as much as I do, prepare to drool. The recipe calls for fresh raspberries and rosemary. The Raspberry Coulis (Coulis is a thick French sauce made from fruit or vegetables) is complimented by a gorgeous rosemary whipped cream.
Fresh Raspberries with Raspberry Coulis and Rosemary Whipped Cream (Page 86)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 sprig fresh rosemary
3 cups fresh raspberries
ROSEMARY WHIPPED CREAM:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon ground rosemary
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
36 fresh raspberries
When raspberries are in season, there’s really nothing better. This mix of fresh berries and a nice coulis is even more interesting when paired with the whipped cream scented with rosemary.
Prepare the coulis by putting water, sugar, and rosemary in a saucepan. Then add the raspberries. Let them cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Remove rosemary. Pour the raspberry mixture into a blender and blend until extremely fine. Pass the blended mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds.
Place the cream and ground rosemary in a saucepan and warm over low heat, being careful to not boil the cream. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Place the cream in the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 30 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla to cream and whisk until fluffy. Do not overbeat; it will turn into butter.
To serve, spoon coulis onto the bottom of a dish. Set 6 raspberries on each dish, topped with whipped cream.
Read more about Energy Cuisine and order your copy today. I know it seems early, but this would make extraordinary Christmas gifts for the cooks on your list.