MARCO PIERRE WHITE IN HELL'S KITCHEN
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
Marco Pierre White in Hell's Kitchen
(Ebury Press) ISBN 978-0091923167 0091923166
Marco Pierre White provides more than 100 recipes, ranging from everyday comfort food, like stuffed savoy cabbage, to gourmet dishes for dinner guests, such as terrine of foie gras with a sauternes jelly. A few of the recipes are from his reality TV cooking show, Hell's Kitchen, in which he challenges celebrities in the kitchen.
French recipes, organized by course, are not for beginners, but rather for experienced cooks. Measurement units are European (e.g., milliliters and grams), so North American cooks, familiar with cups and teaspoon measurements, will need weigh scales.
Anyone on a diet should realize that there is a lot of butter and cream in the recipes, however, they contribute substantially to the flavor and texture of the finished dishes.
Each recipe begins with an introduction in which Marco Pierre White describes the dish, variations and techniques. For example, in the grilled sea scallops and calamari with sauce nero recipe, Chef White explains how the black ink from the squid adds color contrast to the whiteness of the scallops, as well as flavor.
Marco White adds tips to each recipe, such as small red mullet have more flavor, farmed salmon have little or no flavor and the secret to good puff pastry is to roll it very thinly. Because presentation is critical, he includes garnishes with each recipe, ranging from sprigs of chervil to caviar.
Full-page, color images illustrate many of the delectable recipes.
The 192-page cookbook contains an excellent chapter on basic recipes, including Madeira jelly, chicken mousse, court bouillon for seafood, caramel sauce and sauce gribiche.
Warning to readers: In his Chef's Note, Marco Pierre White blatantly promotes stock cubes made by Knorr as his secret ingredient and substitute for salt. He neglects to mention that he is a spokesperson for Knorr (as listed on their website). He also does not mention that these cubes contain chemicals that cause food sensitivities such as migraines and heart arrhythmia in many people.
The ingredients in Knorr cubes are salt, MSG, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, chicken meat, chicken fat, lactose, hydrolyzed protein (corn, soy), sugar, yeast extract, natural flavor, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, spice, caramel color, tartaric acid, citric acid. Although Knorr started making the cubes with no added MSG, in 2008, the hydrolyzed protein, yeast extract, natural flavor and citric acid, enhanced by disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, are hidden names for MSG and equally toxic. [References: www.truthinlabeling.org, www.MSGmyth.com and www.MSGtruth.org.]
Fortunately, he does not include these cubes in the Marco Pierre White in Hell's Kitchen ingredients. The recipes in this cookbook are excellent without the use of Knorr cubes.
Sample French recipes
Loupe de rouge au safran (soup of red mullet with saffron). Raviolis de langoustines au truffe, sauce foie gras (ravioli of langoustines with truffles, foie gras sauce). Vinaigrette de poireaux aux langoustines et caviar (vinaigrette of leeks and langoustines with caviar). Confit de saumon sauvage au gros sel, coulis de tomate (confit of wild salmon with salt crystals, tian of aubergine). Cochon de lait rôti à la printanière, jus marjolaine (roast suckling pig with apples and spring vegetables). Tarte tatin de poire (pear tart tatin). Biscuit glacé au noisette, coulis de framboise (iced hazelnut nougat with raspberry coulis).
- Chef's note
- Basic recipes
Chef Marco Pierre White is a Michelin three star chef in Britain and host of the Hell's Kitchen TV cooking show.