The NYC Kitchen Cookbook: 150 Recipes Inspired by the Specialty Food Shops, Spice Stores, and Markets of New York City, written by Tracey Ceurvels, features some of the best ingredients found in NYC incorporated into simple, but flavorful meals. Notable favorites include Spring Risotto, Sweet Potato and Carrot Dip with Nigella Seeds, Seared Tamari-Orange Scallops, Coffee Cardamom Pound Cake, and Beet and Feta Salad with Coriander-Orange Vinaigrette. I will also be sharing her recipe for Chocolate Nutella Semifreddo at the end of the review for a perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day.
Disclosure and Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Skyhorse Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. This recipe uses raw eggs. Consuming raw eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions. Be safe about the source of your eggs or used pasteurized.
Tracey Ceurvels is a food and travel journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. She is also the creator of the cooking and lifestyle blog, The NYC Kitchen. Her work has been featured in the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the New York Daily News, the New York Sun, Relish, Time Out, and more.
Chapters are divided according to course: Staple Items for Unordinary Cooking; Appetizers, Dips, and Party Food: For Impromptu Get-Togethers; Soups, Stews, and Salads: When Something Different Is in Order; Don’t Compromise on Flavor: Weekday Dinners; Non-Boring Side Dishes; Compelling Carbs: Pasta, Rice, and Other Grains; Relax on the Weekend: Feasts; Treats and Sweets; NYC Shops and Markets; and Recommended Kitchen Brands and Stores.
I was particularly excited to review this book since we have another trip to New York City planned for next month. I can’t wait to see many of the recommended shops and markets in person and now have a list that is becoming exceedingly difficult to narrow down. Tracey also mentions a handful that I had the opportunity to visit last year such as The Meadow (need to stop by again- such a variety of chocolate and salt!), Eataly, Jacques Torres, and Chelsea Market.
The NYC Kitchen Cookbook is a great pick for those looking for new ways to incorporate ingredients from local markets into their recipes, whether it be from New York City or favorites in other cities. While the focus is on New York City, many of the ingredients can be found throughout the United States and beyond. Some of the more difficult to locate items include fresh seafood, dried ancho chile peppers, miso, burrata and other specialty cheeses, chorizo, saffron, sumac, wild mushrooms, dark soy sauce, tamarind paste, Szechuan peppercorns, harissa, rosewater, and matcha. A handful of the dishes are on the intricate side, but many can easily be prepared on weeknights. Besides the recipes, Tracey includes a guide to basic pantry staples and where to find them, plus a list of her favorite markets, shops, and kitchen stores.
The photography is also provided by Tracey Ceurvels with contributions from other photographers and sources. Many of the recipes are accompanied by a full-page photo, generally of the finished dish. There are also a few market shots included. The measurements are listed in US Customary. Every recipe has a headnote with background information, store recommendations, variations, tips, and serving size.
Chocolate Nutella Semifreddo
Tracey was inspired to make this Chocolate Nutella Semifreddo by the section devoted to Nutella in Eataly. Semifreddo is a “semi-frozen” Italian dessert that comes in a variety of flavors. It is perfect for serving a crowd and can be prepared ahead of time. For this particular version, melted semisweet chocolate is folded into whipped cream and beaten egg whites, then swirled with Nutella in a lined loaf pan. The dessert is topped with a sprinkling of crushed hazelnuts before freezing until set (at least 4 hours to overnight).
Before spreading Nutella, I often briefly heat it in the microwave to make it easier to work with. I didn’t this particular time since I especially love the thicker pieces of frozen Nutella scattered throughout the semifreddo. It has a similar texture to the fine and irregular chocolate pieces found in Stracciatella Ice Cream. The slices were delicious served with additional whipped cream and strawberries.
I also made the Roasted Red Pepper Spread, Garlic-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Honey-Maple Salmon, and Fusilli with Spinach and Garlic-Parsley Butter.
The Roasted Red Pepper Spread is a quick and easy (particularly with the use of jarred roasted red peppers) spread perfect for pairing with crackers, flatbread, and vegetables. The savory spread has a smoky quality from the roasted peppers along with a bit of a kick from the ancho and cayenne peppers.
The Garlic-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin was another easy recipe that came together in less than 40 minutes (including hands-off cooking time). Pork Tenderloin is covered in a Dijon mustard garlic and thyme rub, then roasted until cooked through. Tracey also includes ideas for substituting the garlic-thyme with jerk spice, Sunny Paris (a spice blend from Penzeys Spices), and a Vietnamese version with rice wine, fish sauce, mint, and peanuts.
Chad’s favorite was the Honey-Maple Salmon. This meal was the easiest of all. Salmon fillets are brushed with a honey maple mixture and baked for less than 15 minutes. Tracey mentions that she buys her honey and maple syrup from the Union Square Greenmarket. I missed this on our trip to NYC last year, but am definitely making it a priority this time. She also includes variations for a Feta and Herbes de Provence-Crusted Salmon and a Pistachio-Miso-Crusted Salmon.
Fusilli with Spinach and Garlic-Parsley Butter is a great way to dress up fresh pasta found at your favorite market (Tracey recommends Piemonte Ravioli, Russo’s Mozzarella & Pasta, and Eataly). The al dente pasta is tossed with a parsley, lemon, and garlic-seasoned butter and wilted spinach. To serve, simply season with salt, pepper, and Parmesan.
Chocolate Nutella Semifreddo Recipe
Chocolate Nutella Semifreddo
Excerpt from The NYC Kitchen Cookbook
Makes 1 loaf
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg whites, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup Nutella, divided
2 tablespoons hazelnuts, chopped
In a double boiler, melt chocolate with salt, stirring until fully melted. Set aside and let it cool. With an immersion blender or in a stand-alone mixer, whip the cream with vanilla until fluffy (when you see soft peaks).
In another bowl, whip the egg whites with sugar until you see soft peaks. Very gently fold whipped cream into the chocolate, then do the same with the egg whites until fully combined. Line a loaf pan with wax or parchment paper and pour in half of the mixture. Swirl 1/8 cup Nutella into the batter with a toothpick. Add remaining mixture, then swirl the rest of the Nutella into the top. Sprinkle crushed hazelnuts on top. Place in freezer for 4 hours or until ready to serve.