Considered Manhattan’s grandmaster of comfort food, celebrated chef Tom Valenti and his coauthor Andrew Friedman dish up the flavor his fans have come to expect without any of the fuss in 125 realistic recipes for the home cook.
Slowly braised, cut-with-a-spoon-tender meat resting in aromatic juices just waiting for the perfect piece of bread to come along and sop it up. A steaming bowl of chowder filled with chunks of fish and potatoes in rich broth laced with the smoky-sweet-salty flavor of bacon. A casserole that’s spent some serious time in the oven as layer upon layer of creamy, soft cheese, pasta, herbs, and meat meld into a delectable whole.
Satisfying fare like this is Tom Valenti’s trademark. This is food that gets better a day or two after it’s made, food to make on the weekend and savor throughout a busy week, food that is perfect for dinner parties and family celebrations. Make it at home with 125 recipes based on the guiding principle that the right ingredients left to cook in a single vessel steadily build glorious flavor—and leave far fewer pots to clean.
Also included are tips on ways to embellish a dish by adding vegetables or meats and to provide economy by stretching a recipe into another satisfying meal simply by adding another ingredient. Valenti and Friedman embrace what they term “cooking in the real world,” encouraging home cooks to use canned stocks and beans whenever appropriate. They discuss key ingredients; offer a section on condiments, garnishes, and accompaniments; provide a list of mail-order sources; and recommend cookware.
Tom Valenti is the executive chef at Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen in Morristown, New Jersey. Formerly, he was executive chef of Oxbow Tavern, Le Cirque, and Ouest in Manhattan. He’s won many awards for his comfort food cooking and wrote the cookbooks Welcome to My Kitchen, You Don’t Have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook, and Tom Valenti’s Soup, Stews, and One-Pot Meals.
Andrew Friedman has made a career of getting to know the heads and hearts of professional cooks and athletes. For more than ten years, Friedman has collaborated with many of the nation’s best and most revered chefs on cookbooks and other writing projects. His writing career began in 1997, when Alfred Portale asked him to collaborate on the Gotham Bar and Grill Cookbook. The book received wide acclaim, and since then, Friedman has worked as a cookbook collaborator on more than twenty projects, helping a number of the nation’s best chefs (Alfred Portale, David Waltuck, Tom Valenti, and many others) share their unique culinary viewpoints with readers. As coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Breaking Back, the memoir of American tennis star James Blake, Friedman took readers inside an athlete’s mind during training and competition, and he does the same as a frequent contributor to Tennis magazine. In Knives at Dawn: The American Team and the Bocuse d’Or 2009, Friedman combines these two personal passions to tell the story of the premier cooking competition in the world. Friedman has contributed articles to Oprah Daily and other publications and websites. He has been profiled in The New York Daily News and New York Magazine, and interviewed for, or featured in articles in, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, as well as on NPR’s Taste of the Nation and WOR Radio’s Food Talk. He holds a BA in English from Columbia University and is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute’s “La Technique” cooking program. He lives in New York City with his family.
Bobby Flay Chef-owner of Mesa Grill and Bolo and host of the Food Network's Boy Meets Grill and FoodNation I crave the lusty and gutsy flavors of Tom Valenti's food twelve months a year. Now, instead of trying to steal his dishes from his menu, I have them all right here in Tom Valenti's Soups, Stews, and One-Pot Meals.
Lidia Bastianich Chef-owner of Felidia, Becco, and Lidia's and host of Public Television's Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen and Lidia's Italian Table If you enjoy the mellow, velvety, complex, and succulent flavors that come from one-pot meals cooked slowly, this is the book to have.