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Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends

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Written by Heather Jones   
Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends  by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm, Photographer Petrina Tinslay, Stylists Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm (Oxmoor House, 2009) is a 2010 IACP Cookbook awards finalist in the Food Photography and Styling category. For a list of all the finalists check out the Project Foodie IACP Finalist's Guide.

Image
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
When I first started collecting cookbooks I gravitated towards ones from the Williams-Sonoma collections; not just because I was an employee of the company at the time, but because the food featured in those books was what I wanted to see on my own dining room table.  The name Williams-Sonoma is synonymous with many things, class, quality, and elegance - their cookbooks were the icing on the cake.  It's been about ten years since I left the company, but to this day some of my favorite cookbooks are ones from their collections.

Although I've gone to culinary school, like most people, I can be a nervous wreck when it comes to entertaining.  So, imagine my delight when I discovered William-Sonoma’s Cooking for friends.  Put simply: entertaining just got easier.  The book offers sound kitchen advice, fantastic recipes, and photos you want to drool over.

I have over half of the recipes in this book earmarked to try, but the one I’m really enjoying right now is the Catalan flatbread (see recipe below). The flatbread's mild flavor is a perfect complement to any number of toppings. You've got to make sure you try the Proscuitto and Arugula topping, which is outstanding!

Catalan Flatbread with Three Toppings

Reprinted with permission from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends. Recipe by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm; photograph by Petrina Tinslay. Copyright 2008 by Weldon Owen Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

Flatbread Dough

  • active dry yeast 1 package (2 1/2 tsp)
  • bread flour 2 cups plus 3 Tbsp
  • warm water 3/4 cup
  • sea salt 1/2 tsp
  • cornmeal 2 Tbsp
  • extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • prosciutto and arugula topping (see below)

makes 4 flatbreads

In a small bowl, stir yeast and 1?4 cup flour into warm water. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a food processor, combine remaining flour, salt, and yeast mixture. Process until mixture comes together in a dough, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°F. On a lightly floured work surface, knead dough until smooth and springy, 5-8 minutes. Divide into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball with your hand. Roll out 1 ball into a strip about 2 by 10 inches. Prick evenly with a fork. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.

Transfer dough strips to 2 rimmed baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Drizzle with olive oil, and finish with desired toppings.

Prosciutto and Arugula Topping

  • flatbread dough (above left)
  • prosciutto 6 oz, thinly sliced
  • Parmesan cheese 2 cups shaved
  • arugula leaves 2 cups
  • sea salt and ground pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • makes 4 flatbreads

Prepare flatbread dough as directed. Bake flatbreads until crisp and golden, 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and scatter prosciutto, Parmesan, and arugula over top. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and serve at once.

Disclosure: Review copies of books discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or publishers.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 April 2010 )
bravo!!
La cuina vermella (Unregistered) 2010-04-16 02:12:28

Bravo!!
iced_coffee (Registered) 2010-04-18 02:07:15

The Flatbread Dough recipe looks so good and versatile! Even though I live in a tiny studio apartment with almost no seating, I still love to entertain my friends. My last big event was an Olympics party. Time to start planning another one!
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