The new Viking Range cookbook arrived this week. We'll host a book signing and launch party on Monday (12/13) with Grant MacPherson, the Scottish chef who compiled these recipes. The book, In the Viking Kitchen, celebrates Viking's extensive line of home kitchen products and new commercial line, demonstrating how, with the right equipment, anyone can prepare restaurant-quality food at home.
MacPherson has cooked around the globe, earning the respect of peers like Joel Robuchon and Thomas Keller, and this collection of recipes is a bold melange of world cuisines. Lavishly photographed by Bill Milne, the dishes may look, at first glance, impossible to create at home, but these recipes are actually quite accessible. Having a good fish market and butcher nearby may help, but most of the ingredients are available at moderate to high-end grocery stores, and the techniques will be familiar to experienced home cooks.
Even amateurs can start off easy, with the Cajun Turkey Breast and refreshing Creamed Minted Peas, or the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Nicoise, before moving on to more ambitious fare, such as the Baby Octopus Poke, the Pig's Ear Salad with Red Shallow Vinaigrette, or the Viking Bouillabaisse with Saffron Aioli.
At last Sunday's brunch here in the bookstore, we prepared three recipes from the book, which we put together, with some simplifying and shortcuts, in a couple of hours before opening. (That should let you know these aren't impossible to prepare.) The Chilled and Grilled Tomato Soup, for instance, we left warm, considering the unseasonably frigid temps outside, and it still offered a flavor distinctly different from most tomato soups, accented by the smoky tomatoes we grilled out back. We didn't have the finest of goat cheeses for the Grilled Goat Cheese sandwich, just a simple sleeve from the supermarket, but it was still a great, surprisingly addictive sandwich, grilled panini-style with tomatoes and basil pesto. The Asian Chicken Salad was also a big hit, served with hoisin sauce and a spritely lime chile pepper dressing we'll definitely keep in our repertoire.