- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books; 1 edition (1 December 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470940581
- ISBN-13: 978-0470940587
- Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 2.7 x 25.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.2 Kg
- Customer Reviews: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home Hardcover – 21 Oct 2014
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"In doable dishes that favor bold spices, such as the garam masala and serranochiles in habesha lamb chops with apple-mango chutney, and crunchy and creamy components, such as the fried pickles served with fish & chips and the shrimp salad atop corn dogs, -Samuelsson deliciously showcases his knowledge of global flavors and talent for combining them in unexpected ways. VERDICT Highly recommended for adventurous and well-traveled home cooks, as well as fans of Susan Feniger's Street Food."
"Marcus is a great chef, a great cook, and a transformative figure in the landscape of American food. Seeing his style and his interests change over the years has been fascinating. I've watched him first hand as he eats his way through a city, soaking it all up, mind whirring. I guess this is what he's been doing with all that information and experience: Marcus Off Duty. It's fair to say you would always be a very lucky person if you were invited over to Marcus's house for dinner. Now, with this book, everyone can join the party."
"With Marcus Off Duty, Marcus Samuelsson steps out of the restaurant kitchen and shows you how to cook the global, casual, flavorful food he loves most. Every recipe, story, and tip is not only thoughtful and imaginative, but also completely accessible. It's like having your own private cooking lesson and fabulous dinner party, hosted by one of the country's greatest culinary stars!"
--- Gail Simmons, food expert, TV personality, and author of Talking with My Mouth Full
"Marcus has a gift to take unexpected flavor combinations and make them sing on a plate. His exploration of other cultures outside his own makes this book an adventure to read at home and in the kitchen."
---Zarela Martinez, chef and author
"Marcus is the most interesting cook I know. He possesses a unique ability to bring the cuisine of the world to our family table. And here is the magical touch: He has the love to make it happen. Whether it's a perfect poached egg, a biscuit, or a spicy grilled fish, he elevates all to an amazing level. Marcus is truly that cook who can transform the basics into the stellar, yet keep it real at the same time."
---Jonathan Waxman, chef and author
"Marcus teaches us inspired recipes that are approachable yet rich with the style and finesse that's been his trademark. What I love the most about Marcus Off Duty is that he not only gives great recipes, but arms us with the tools and tricks to tackle them all."
-- John Besh, restaurateur, author, and philanthropist
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The chapters are: Introduction, Comforts of Home, Friends & Family, Special Days, Street Food, Playing with Fire, Cooking with Kids, Soups, Sides & Condiments, and Something Sweet.
My pics and thoughts on the dishes we tried:
1) Helga’s Meatballs & Gravy with Carrot-Apple Mashed Potatoes – p 228. Delicious! I love that there’s extra color, flavor, and vitamins in those potatoes. We loved the little bit of sweetness and the horseradish in the background. Best Swedish meatballs ever.
2-3) Couscous Paella with Shrimp, Chicken, and Chorizo – p 76. He uses couscous and harissa in it in some fun Spanish/Moroccan fusion. We went to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco on our honeymoon, so the dish was a nice romantic one for us. It’s a very short boat ride across the Strait of Gibraltar, so the combination makes great sense. We all loved it. I’d add peas next time.
4) Back-Pocket Salmon Grilled on a Plank – p 192. Geez, I think this is my favorite salmon recipe. Great soy sauce, mustard and herb marinade. Minutes to pull together. Definitely get the grill going first.
5) End of Summer Succotash – p 278. Yummy, easy bowl of produce goodness. His has much more vibrant color than mine does. Maybe because it’s only the beginning of summer. ;D
I’ll update this as I play in the book more.
Some others I have flagged to try: Bourbon Shrimp with Baby Spinach – p 36 * Chicken Fried Steak on a Salad – p 40 * Orange Curry Beef Stir Fry with Broccolini – p 42 * Crab Fried Rice – p 44 * Coconut Lime Curried Chicken – p 48 * Seared Scallops with Bacon and Egg – p 52 * Spiced Nuts – p 64 * Mac & Cheese & Greens – p 66 (Different than the one in the Red Rooster Harlem book) * Twice Fried Chicken Breasts with Rainbow Slaw – p 69 * Sweet Potato Gnocchi – p 74 * Maya’s Lamb Lasagna – p 88 * Red Shrimp and Spicy Grits – p 99 * Shrimp and Pork Dumplings – p 116 * Andouille Sausage & Oysters – p 119 * Yogurt-Marinated Leg of Lamb – p 121 * Isn’t She Lovely Crepes with Rhubarb-Strawberry Compote – p 126 * Roast Beef Tenderloin with a Coffee-Chocolate Crust – p 128 * Spicy Shrimp Falafel – p 150 * Potato and Spinach Samosas with Spicy Buttermilk Dip – p 172 * Roof Garden Fish Tacos – p 184 * Pizza on the Grill with Caesar Salad – p 202 * Peaches Kissed by Fire – p 205 * Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Ketchup – p 206 * Blueberry Crunch Granola – p 214 * Peanut Noodles with Slaw – p 218 * Salmon in a Sea of Coconut – p 256 * Hot Brussels Sprouts Slaw – p 280 * Shiro (Ethiopian Chickpea Spread) – p 284* Market-Fresh Corn Bread – p 285 (Different than the one in the Red Rooster Harlem book) * Hot Waffles with Blueberry Whipped Cream – p 308 * Black Bottom Peanut Pie – p 313 * Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies – p 326
The author's definition of “off duty” is improvising, free from the consistency that his restaurant dishes command: these recipes are what he cooks at home, and he encourages us to improvise. Every dish has a delightful, informative headnote telling us about the dish: what role it played in his life in Sweden, as a chef aboard ship, as well as how it plays in his life today, plus perhaps a few tips about ingredients and technique.
The ingredients are accessible and affordable for anyone with a good supermarket, fishmonger, butcher, and Farmers' Market. Chef frequently suggests substitutions or notes on where to find for ingredients that may be a little harder to find. Most of the fresh seafood, including calamari, clams, and salmon, are accessible for most home cooks. I live in the inland far north U.S., with a grocery store that is smaller than most gas stations; however, literally only a handful of ingredients are not accessible to me either locally or via amazon: fresh sardines (sigh), whole trout (I lack the required fishing skills and patience), non-frozen whole duck, and catfish; however, most readers will find these ingredients available. If I ate meat, I'm pretty sure that I could find a farmer here in the middle of nowhere who would sell me a suckling pig; however, for those without such resources or a world-class butcher, that may be a challenge.
The author does occasionally suggests store-bought ingredients such as frozen puff pastry, chili sauce, frozen peas, canned creamed corn, (presumably) bottled clam juice ("Corn and Clam Chowder"), and canned tomatoes.
The recipes, with their focus on cooking for friends and family, beckon me right into the kitchen. The "Special Days" chapter is a tour de force: Chinese New Year, Easter, Passover, Thanksgiving, Kwanza, and many more holidays are celebrated here. There are inviting chapters on grilling, "Street Food," and "Cooking With Kids." There are sides, spreads, and, of course, pickles. Some of his desserts seem more like hearty meals, and Chef Samuelsson would probably agree: clearly, the author loves his desserts. Has anyone else ever made a chocolate fondue to serve with oatmeal cookies? From the thrift that was a hallmark of his Swedish upbringing, we see creative use of leftovers in several dishes, as well as in notes and suggestions. Although some of the recipes have many ingredients, most of them are simply spices or condiments: very few involve time-consuming prep of multiple ingredients. And, although some recipes occupy more than one page, preparation for the vast majority of recipes--even the celebration dishes--is quite simple and straightforward. There are just a few delightful exceptions such as "Swedish Princess Cake" (however, we're told that, if we're not up to making marzipan, "just top the cake with fresh [berries]."
The Kindle formatting is outstanding: everything is clickable: TOC, embedded recipes, Index, and Notes on ingredients and techniques. Many, but not all, recipes, have color photos. There are many photos of ingredients, markets, and more throughout the book. Charming, often whimsical, watercolor illustrations abound throughout the book.