Although New York City restaurants remain closed to the public, leaders from the city’s hospitality industry are busier than ever and are finding strength in numbers. Many have contributed recipes to “Serving New York: For All the People Who Make NYC Dining Unforgettable,” a forthcoming charitable cookbook organized by Kristin Tice Studeman. The book will donate all proceeds to benefit the ROAR x Robin Hood Foundation NYC restaurant worker relief fund, which awards $500 grants to unemployed hospitality workers in New York City.
The digital cookbook, available for pre-order ahead of its early May release through the In House at Home online shop, features recipes from beloved New York restaurants and chefs including Momofuku, Gramercy Tavern, King, Charlie Bird, Thomas Keller and Andrew Carmellini. Many of the recipes were created during quarantine, and the ingredient lists were crafted to reflect common items that even the most casual cooks are likely to already have in their kitchens.
Below, two recipes from the book to tide you over ahead of the release: focaccia from Niche Niche’s Aaron Lirette and a mezcal cocktail from Claire Sprouse at Hunky Dory.
Aaron Lirette, Niche Niche
Makes one-half sheet tray
This recipe is special to Niche Niche because although we change the menu constantly, this bread is usually on the menu every day in some form or another. Our guests love it and have come to expect it, and I enjoy this recipe for its versatility. Work some grilled peppers into the dough, or press roasted garlic cloves into the surface, or grate some cheese over top before you bake it. It always comes out great.
¼-ounce packet (about 2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the bowl, baking sheet and drizzling on top
9⅔ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal Kosher salt (25g)
1 tablespoon Maldon salt
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast and 1 tablespoon olive oil, then whisk in 4¼ cups room temperature water. Add the flour and Kosher salt and mix on low to incorporate the ingredients. When all the flour has been moistened, increase the speed to medium high and continue to mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a bench scraper once, until the dough is smooth but still sticky, elastic and gathered around the dough hook, 10 to 12 minutes (it will seem very wet, which is normal).
Generously oil a separate large bowl. Scrape the dough into the bowl and cover. Let the bowl sit in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size, 60 to 75 minutes.
Meanwhile, generously oil a half sheet tray and set aside.
Uncover the risen dough and scrape it onto the prepared baking sheet, stretching it into an even layer and into the corners (it should easily fill the half sheet tray). Drizzle the top with more olive oil and use your fingers to spread it across the surface of the dough. Cover with a sheet of plastic and let the dough sit at room temperature until it’s puffed and risen all the way up the sides of the sheet tray, 30 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, arrange an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 500°F or as high as it will go.
Uncover the dough. Oil hands again and press fingertips firmly into dough, pushing down all the way to bottom of pan to dimple all over. Sprinkle with the Maldon salt and rosemary. Transfer to the oven and bake until the surface is deep golden brown, rotating the pan 180° halfway through, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the focaccia from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the sheet tray. Slide a thin metal spatula around the sides of the focaccia and underneath, scraping if it’s stuck in any places, to loosen. Let cool completely and then cut into pieces and serve.
“Outlook Good” Cocktail
Claire Sprouse, Hunky Dory
Hunky Dory is committed to sustainability. The idea here is that we are all cooking at home a lot more and there’s probably bits and scraps of herbs or herb stems starting to pile up. This is a great way to use that food waste and is a perfectly simple cooler as we head into warmer months. Any spirit is suitable for this drink! We prefer mezcal or even a full dose of dry vermouth for something lower in alcohol.
1 cup hot water
1 cup sugar
¼ cup fresh herb stems and scraps such as basil, mint or rosemary
¼ cup (2 ounces) mezcal, dry vermouth or any spirit you have
1 tablespoon (½ ounce) lime juice
Combine water, sugar and herb stems and scraps in a small pot. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved, about five minutes. Let cool, then strain. Herb syrup will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for about a week.
For one cocktail, combine 1 tablespoon herb syrup, the spirit of your choosing, and lime juice in a pint glass and top with ice. Stir and enjoy.
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