The cookbook is reminiscent of the Berkeley Market, with recipes such as spicy Persian stew and caramelized cabbage.

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from The Chef You Want to Be: Everyday Recipes to Impress (Ten Speed ​​Press), who started his culinary career in the kitchen at Chez Panisse and later became a food writer . and recipe developer at Saveur and Bon Appetit. Baragani, an Iranian immigrant who grew up in Berkeley, introduces home cooks to new tastes, tools and techniques that build their skills. The 120 recipes in the book are interspersed with tips, essentials and flashbacks, including this one:

When I was too young to drive, my mom and I went grocery shopping together weekly. My mother has been Lady Lancôme for over 20 years; I thought of her as Isabella Rossellini at Macy’s. I’m biased, but my mother is beautiful, with a slight accent, like the face of Trezor, Isabella herself. In my opinion, my mom spent her weekends thinking about food and looking for the best ingredients, just like me. Although, to her credit, she obviously had something to worry about, besides what to cook.

On our errand days, after Mom got her coffee, we would go to Monterey Market in Berkeley, one of the biggest grocery stores on the planet. There you will find half a row of wild mushrooms; herbs far beyond basil and parsley, like summer savory and flowering chives. They will also have over 20 varieties of citrus fruits. In the store we took a baguette with poppy seeds and sesame seeds from Acme Bread. A silent race began between us: who will be the first to twist and tear off the tip of the baguette? Whoever wins will get it as a mini snack right at the grocery store. We never, never talked about it. And there was something else unspoken between us with our obsession with food so deeply ingrained: knowing that leaving a baguette for later would be almost disrespectful to it. It was too good to ignore. This required our attention. Made me want to cook food with such force.

We spent way too much time at Monterey Market, and even now I can’t go to the grocery store without walking down every aisle like my mom used to. She bought bunches of herbs, onions, garlic, shallots, herbs, and root vegetables. She also tried quite a bit, which I’m pretty sure was done without asking. I blame her for my sticky fingers. She would take a bite of a plum and hand it to me for me to take another bite. It was very motherly. I was once kicked out of New York’s Bowery Whole Foods Market for “tasting” sushi (although I was warned and the next time I was asked to leave). I unwrapped the RXBar and ate them while I was shopping. I nibbled on sprigs of mint. I am my mother’s son.

Cookbook

Cookbook “The Chef You Want to Be” by Andy Baragani.

Books by Graydon Herriot/Laurena Jones

After shopping, my mom and I would grab a few slices from the Cheese Board, our favorite pizza shop, and rebelliously sit in the middle next to a sign that said KEEP OFF THE MEDIAN—very Berkeley—to listen to a violist or whatever band was playing. Whether the pizza of the day was with red onion, Fontina cheese, charred poblanos with corn and feta, or Gruyere and Parm with thin potato slices and rosemary, lime was added to our slices.

From time to time, my mother spoiled me, and we would go to Masse’s Pastries, where I would eat a slice of passion fruit mousse cake. Or fingerprint cookies and fruit jelly. Or dramatic tiramisu with large swirls of chocolate adorned with a lady’s finger crown. It was indulgent, delicious, and I always wanted to try more, order more.

I don’t take it for granted that I grew up in the East Bay, where there is a concentration of people who love food deeply. Although I’m not from the money, I was spoiled. Access to that food, those middling pizza-eating moments with my mom set the stage for me to become a professional cook and may have led to a life of crime as well.

Reprinted from The Chef You Want to Be. Copyright 2022 Andy Baragani. Photo copyright 2022 Graydon Herriot. Published by Lorena Jones Books, Random House. Email: food@sfchronicle.com

Spicy Pomegranate Chicken

food class at the Farmers Market, Ferry Plaza presents a cooking demo with Andy Baragani showcasing the market’s seasonal bounties, followed by an autograph signing event hosted by Book Passage at their Ferry Building Market store. Noon – 12:45 Saturday, May 28. 1 The Embarcadero, San Francisco. https://cuesa.org/event/2022/andy-baraghani-cook-you-want-be

Omnivorous books throws a book signing party from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Wednesday, June 1st at Tofino Wines, 2696 Geary Blvd., San Francisco. Wines are available by the glass and bottles for purchase. The event is free; Guests must be over 21 years of age. https://omnivorebooks.myshopify.com/collections/events


Fesenjan is an ambiguous Persian stew. (Maybe I guess they’re all like that?) The biggest controversy is whether to make it sour or sweet. For me it shouldn’t be sour and it shouldn’t be sweet. It should be perfect in both, and with a little tingle. Walnuts, pomegranate molasses and chicken make up the main trio (hundreds of years ago, this meat would have been a peacock). My fesenjan recipe will one day be in my Persian cookbook along with all my other Persian secrets, but for now, here is more chicken stew with lots of atypical lime juice, all inspired by fesenjan but definitely not a version of it. this is not at all.

4 servings

4 whole chicken legs with bones and skin or 2.5 to 3 pounds drumsticks and thighs with bones and skin

Kosher salt

one a spoonful of neutral oil (such as grapeseed)

one yellow onion, finely chopped

one cups raw walnuts, coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ a spoonful of ground cinnamon

¾ cup of water

½ a cup of pomegranate molasses

¼ a glass of freshly squeezed lime juice

one large handful of herbs (such as basil, cilantro, and/or dill)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, season with salt on all sides, and let sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb the salt.

Pour neutral oil into a large non-stick skillet and place over medium heat. Place the chicken legs in the skillet, skin side down, so that they fit snugly and lie flat. Cook, using tongs to press down on the chicken so the skin is in contact with the bottom of the pan to encourage browning, until the legs are surrounded by their own fat and the skin underneath is browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, skin side up, reserving the golden chicken fat.

Let the skillet cool for a few minutes, then return it to medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan, until the onion is lightly charred around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the walnuts and continue cooking until they smell nutty and the onions are deep golden in most places, 3 to 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with turmeric and cinnamon and stir to let the spices bloom.

Pour water, pomegranate molasses and lime juice into a skillet and lightly salt. Place the chicken back in the skillet, skin side up, and pour the sauce over each leg. Transfer the skillet to the oven, uncovered, and roast the chicken legs until the sauce thickens and the flesh is begging to be pulled off the bone, 50 to 60 minutes. Sprinkle the herbs on top or on the side of the chicken legs and serve.

Crumbly Caramelized Cabbage with Anchovies and Dill

My love for cabbages is deep, as deep as my love for the iconic Diana Ross concert in Central Park in 1983 in the rain (this is a must see on YouTube). And yet, this recipe should never have been in this book. I made a takeaway dinner one evening and at the last minute decided to add this dish to complete the menu. The cabbage is heavily sautéed on the stovetop before going to the oven to soften to a nearly melted texture. While the cabbage is still warm, it is drizzled with an intense garlic-anchovy sauce made with lots of dill. The sauce coats the cabbage and penetrates every layer of it.

4 servings

one head of basic green or purple cabbage or uncommon savoy cabbage

¾ a cup of extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

4 anchovies in oil, drained and finely chopped

one clove of garlic, finely grated

one a glass of coarsely chopped dill

½ cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

one a spoonful of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the cabbage in half through the core. Cut each half into thirds, leaving the core intact.

Place a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ cup olive oil and heat until hot and shimmery. Season the cabbage with salt and then place it in the pan. Cook, pressing the cabbage with tongs until it is deeply charred and tender (it will soften even more in the oven), 3 to 5 minutes per side. If your pan isn’t big enough to fry all the pieces at once, do it in batches.

Remove the pan from the heat and carefully cover it with aluminum foil (the pan will be hot!). Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the cabbage is very soft, 30 to 40 minutes. When it’s done, the paring knife should slide in and out of the cabbage head like clockwork.

While the cabbage is in the oven, in a medium bowl, combine the anchovies, garlic, dill, walnuts, lemon zest, lemon juice, and remaining ½ cup olive oil. Season with salt and plenty of pepper. If you let it steep for 10 minutes, the flavors will soften and merge.

When the cabbage is ready, arrange the pieces on a platter and pour the sauce all around and between the melted layers. Sprinkle with more pepper and serve.

CABBAGE SELECTION

Green and purple cabbage are interchangeable here; they are firm and dense, very crunchy, smooth when raw, but even better grilled or roasted to death. And cheap! Love them. Napa cabbage has a longer egg shape with a crispy base and tender leafy tops; I love it for a quick sauté, or tear it up, lightly massage it, and eat it raw. It’s juicy and light, not as dense as the other guys. Harder to find Savoy is the Cabbage Patch Doll cabbage, with dramatically beautiful leaves straight from a Caravaggio painting. I use it the same way I would use regular kale, as in this caramelized kale recipe. It makes everything you cook still life worthy.

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