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Michael's Genuine Food - Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat
(Clarkson Potter) ISBN 978-0307591371 0307591379

Michael Schwartz shows home cooks how to make delicious appetizers, main courses, salads, desserts and drinks with local, seasonal ingredients. Many of the cookbook's recipes are for popular items on Michael's Genuine Food & Drink restaurant menus for brunch, lunch and dinner. Chef Schwartz's recipes for American cuisine are easy enough for everyday meals, but special enough for entertaining.

Culinary tips

Michael Schwartz provides cooking tips in the introduction to each chapter and recipe. For example, in his recipe for Michael's genuine burger with house-smoked bacon and Vermont cheddar, he recommends grinding the beef yourself and adding a couple tablespoons of water to the ground beef to add moisture to the hamburgers.

In his 256-page cookbook, Schwartz transforms ordinary American cooking into memorable meals with a few well-chosen ingredients, e.g., adding plumped raisins, toasted pine nuts and arugula to roast chicken. For many main courses in Michael's Genuine Food, he provides recipes for side dishes, e.g., creamy cucumbers to serve with his chili chicken wings.

Some of Michael Schwartz's recipes are very easy, such as his quick doughnuts with anise and orange marmalade, made with Pillsbury refrigerated buttermilk dough. A few recipes are more complex, but worth the effort, e.g., crispy sweet and spicy pork belly with kimchi and crushed peanuts.

More than 70 Ben Fink food photos depict mouth-watering dishes from Michael's Genuine Food & Drink restaurant menu, as well as other recipes. Some photos portray Michael Schwartz cooking and demonstrating culinary techniques, such as how to make fresh homemade ricotta.

Varieties of persimmons

Several recipes in Michael's Genuine Food include information on ingredients. For example, in his recipe for persimmon and pomegranate salad, Michael Schwartz explains that there are two types of persimmons, Fuyu, which are sweet, and Hachiya persimmons, which can be astringent when unripe. He notes that the darker the color of persimmons, the sweeter they taste.

In another note, he explains that black cod is actually sablefish, sometimes called butterfish. The high oil content makes black cod ideal for smoking and freezing.

Sample Michael Schwartz recipes

Caramelized onion dip with thick-cut potato chips. Crispy polenta fries with spicy ketchup. Jumbo lump crab cakes with carrot butter sauce. Roasted sweet onions stuffed with ground lamb and apricots. Butter lettuce salad with orange, hazelnuts, avocado and shallot hazelnut vinaigrette. Shrimp and chorizo pizza. Grilled wild salmon steak with fennel hash and sweet onion sauce. Almond braised lamb shanks with toasted almond salad. Pork loin stuffed with dried cherries and Swiss chard. Mango upside-down cake with basil ice cream. Maple cured bacon. Killer barbecue sauce.

Michael's Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat


  • Snacks
  • Small Plates
  • Salads
  • Pizza, Pasta and Sandwiches
  • Large Plates
  • Extra-large Plates
  • Sides
  • Desserts
  • Drinks
  • Basics


Michael Schwartz is the owner of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink restaurants in Miami and Grand Cayman. Joann Cianciulli is the author of several cookbooks.

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