Bread & Brew: Chefs share best bites in 'Portland Cooks'
Fall in Oregon is fickle — it teases us with crisp sweater weather and rain, only for the summer to swoop back in again with 80-degree days.
If you're one of those Portlanders who just can't wait for fall to get serious about sticking around — like those wet leaves and mud-soled boots in the pumpkin patch — you might want to dig into a few fall recipes by some of Portland's most prominent chefs.
The newly released "Portland Cooks: Recipes from the City's Best Restaurants and Bars," by Danielle Centoni, offers 80 recipes from our favorite places to eat around town.
Inspired by the seasons as well as the local bounty, Centoni's gorgeous coffee-table book offers profiles of each restaurant and chef, along with mouthwatering photos.
Centoni has produced cookbooks before with individual chefs, but this one was different and "super collaborative," working with so many chefs.
"What I like about this book is you get to know these chefs' backstory and you get to bring it home and keep it," she says.
"It just feels good to make their recipes. I'm hoping food lovers in Portland would feel the same way."
She adds that in other cities, she's not sure so many chefs would be so willing to share their top recipes. But that's exactly what she found. "They're just generous people," Centoni says. "They want food lovers around town to make these things at home."
Read the book while you're waiting for the water to boil or the oven to preheat, and you'll surely gain context into the excitement and significance of Portland's ever-evolving dining scene. Warning: It will make you very, very hungry.
The book is literally a recipe for deliciousness, so tie on that apron and get to work. Here, we feature three recipes from the book, all ideal for easing into cozy fall weather. Enjoy.
Check it out:
Danielle Centoni will sign copies of the book at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at Powell's City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside St.
She will also be one of many local authors at the annual Cookbook Social, scheduled for 12 p.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 3 at Headwaters restaurant, 1001 S.W. Broadway Ave.
Bread Pudding from chef/owner Seamus Foran of Acadia
6 cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 lb. loaf stale French bread (not baguette), cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
Warm caramel sauce, to serve
Pour the cream into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla. Gradually pour the hot cream into the bowl, whisking continuously to avoid curdling the eggs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan and add the bread cubes. Pour the egg and cream mixture over the bread, and press down to make sure all pieces are saturated. Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bread has fully absorbed the liquid.
Bake for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F and bake for another 15 minutes, or until set and golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm with caramel sauce.
Pumpkin Upside-Down Cake with Caramelized Pears, from chef/co-owner Jackie Sappington of The Country Cat
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 tbsp. dark rum
1 1/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
Vanilla whipped cream ingredients
2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Set a 9-inch metal cake pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter and brown sugar and heat, stirring, until melted and combined. Remove from heat and arrange the pears in concentric circles. Lightly grease the sides of the pan with butter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine the raisins and rum and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
With the mixer on low, add half the dry ingredients, the pumpkin puree, and then the remaining dry ingredients. Add the raisin and rum mixture.
Spread the batter evenly over the pears, making sure they are all covered. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow the cake to rest for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a serving platter or large plate over the cake and flip the pan over. Tap the pan to release the fruit, then gently lift the pan off the cake. (If any fruit remains stuck to the pan, just remove it and place it on top of the cake.)
Vanilla whipped cream
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or by hand, whisk the cream, sugar and vanilla extract or paste until soft peaks form.
Cut cake into slices and serve with vanilla whipped cream.
Osso Bucco, from Q executive chef Annie Cuggino
Zest of 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Osso bucco ingredients
4 (14 oz.) cross-cut veal shanks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
750 ml. bottle red wine, such as merlot
3 to 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
2 to 3 cups homemade beef stock
28 oz. can whole Italian tomatoes, such as Rega or Cento brands
Cooked risotto, to serve
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir.
Generously season the veal shanks with salt and pepper. Allow to sit for 1 to 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.
Place the flour in a shallow bowl and add the shanks, one at a time, turning to coat. Shake off the excess.
Heat the oil in a 6-quart oven-safe Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Sear the shanks for 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides.
Transfer to a plate. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Pour in the wine, stirring to scrape the browned bits.
Place the shanks back in the pot along with the rosemary. Pour in just enough beef stock to cover. Lightly crush the tomatoes, then pour them over the shanks along with their juices. (Putting the tomatoes on top will keep the shanks moist, and they'll deepen in flavor from being exposed to the heat of the oven.) Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Bring the osso bucco to a boil over high heat, then transfer to the oven. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours, until shanks are tender but not completely falling apart. (Periodically check to make sure that the top is not too brown and that the sauce is slightly simmering.) You may have to give it a few stirs, but some browning is good.
Remove the meat from the sauce and set aside. Allow sauce to settle until the fat rises to the top, then skim it off. Set the pot over high heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Return the shanks to the sauce and simmer until heated through.
Divide the shanks among four plates, ladle some of the sauce over the meat, sprinkle with gremolata, and serve with risotto.