For our new series The Daily Meal Cookbook Club, we throw a dinner party from a new cookbook — and this month’s inaugural episode is with the lovely women from Food52, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. We got their advice for three dishes to cook from their cookbook, The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2: Seasonal Recipes From Our Kitchens to Yours, and they suggested Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata and Breadcrumbs, Short Rib Ragù, and Burnt Caramel Pudding.
So with recipes in hand, we set out to see if we could master this menu. In addition to myself, The Daily Meal's Cook editor Anne Dolce and members of The Daily Meal’s Culinary Content Network also participated in the challenge, and everyone seemed to enjoy the menu.
The cauliflower got everyone off to a good start. Simi of Tumeric ‘n Spice said, "At first when I read the list of ingredients, I was a bit skeptical if this dish would satisfy my spice-loving palate. The dish did more than that — loved it." Jennifer from 1840 Farm concurred: "I had never thought to add a topping to the cauliflower after it had been roasted. The gremolata added a nice texture to the dish with a nice burst of bright flavor. Everyone at my dinner table enjoyed it!"
The ragù was also a hit, even though for some the prep work was a bit intense. My mother-in-law Rachel (one of the best home-cooks around, in my humble opinion) noted that "It took me about one hour and 45 minutes of ingredients preparation and following the recipe before I put the pot in the oven. It was very good and flavorful. My guests liked it very much." Alexa from Lighthearted Locavore also felt it had a unique flavor, saying her ragù was "meaty and intense — perfect for a braised meat sauce over polenta. My Italian ancestors would be proud."
But the favorite seemed to be the Burnt Caramel Pudding. Patti from Comfy Cuisine noted, "Easy preparation for such an elegant dessert! It's one of those desserts where you can't wait for the next spoonful!"
To hear Hesser and Stubbs' tips for the recipes, and to see our reaction to them, watch the video above!