Chef Anne Burrell is just as well known for her spiky, platinum blonde hair as she is for her bold and inventive use of flavors and her three food network programs. Born and raised in upstate New York, Burrell's passion for food and cooking began at an early age and after obtaining degree from Canisius College in Buffalo.
Special Section: Food and Wine
She followed her culinary dream by enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America and after graduation, she spent a year in Italy attending the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners, while working at La Taverna del Lupo in Umbria and La Bottega del' 30, a Michelin one-star restaurant in Tuscany.
She moved to in New York City and was hired as a sous chef at Felidia restaurant, working with Lidia Bastianich. She then served as a chef at Savoy where she cooked over an open wood fire and created flavorful menus inspired by Mediterranean countries. Here Burrell developed her personal culinary style: a real love of rustic food made with pure and simple ingredients with intense flavors.
Anne Burrell's Tasty Spaghetti
She left the kitchen to teach at the Institute of Culinary Education but returned to the restaurant business after a three year teaching stint. She then joined the Batali-Bastianich empire by accepting a job at Italian Wine Merchants.
The job also included Salumi production and traveling to off-site events with Mario Batali. When Mario became one of Food Network's esteemed iron chefs, he knew exactly who to enlist as his sous chef: the talented and dynamic Anne Burrell.
She was hired as the executive chef at the new city hot spot Centro Vinoteca from its opening in July 2007 through September 2008. While there, Burrell served up her "creative-authentic" Italian menu of small plates (piccolini), antipasti, pastas and main courses accented by her trademark bold, pure flavors.
Eating Out At Home, On A Budget
She is currently starting in three shows running on the food network; Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Chef Wanted and Worst Cooks in America. In 2011, Burrell published her first cookbook, cook like a rock star, and will release her second in the fall of 2013.
Herb Roasted Chicken
10 sage leaves, picked and finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 (3 to 3 1/2-pound) whole chickens
1 large or 2 small onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 bay leaves
1 bundle thyme, about 10 sprigs tied together with string
4 cups rich chicken stock
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
Special equipment: butcher's twine
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl combine the chopped rosemary, sage, garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Season generously with salt.
3. Using your fingertips carefully work your way under the skin of the chickens to separate the skin from the breast to develop a pocket.
4. Schmear the herb paste under the skin of both chickens. Use all of the paste and try to distribute evenly. Drizzle each chicken with more olive oil and massage the skin. The idea here is to lube them up like suntan lotion. This will really help to get a nice brown crispy skin. Sprinkle each chicken generously with salt.
5. Truss each chicken.
6. Place the diced veggies, bay leaves and thyme bundle in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate the 2 chickens without touching.
7. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and season generously with salt. Arrange the chickens on top of the veggies in the roasting pan and place in the preheated oven.
8. Check the chickens about 15 minutes into the cooking process, the skin should be starting to turn a lovely brown.
9. Lower the heat to 375 degrees F and continue roasting.
10. After another 15 minutes, remove the chickens from the oven and turn over. At this point check the level of liquid in the roasting pan. If most of the liquid has evaporated, add another cup of stock and return the chickens to the oven.
11. When the chickens have browned on the bottom, about 15 minutes, remove them from the oven and turn them back over.
12. Return the chickens to the oven for the final 15 minutes of cooking. During this time the skin on the chickens should be very brown and crispy.
13. Remove the chickens from the oven and take the temperature in the crease between the thigh and the breast. (When doing this be sure not to have the thermometer probe touch a bone or you will get an inaccurate reading.) The thermometer should read between 160 and 170 degrees F. When cooking poultry in general the rule is 17 minutes per pound. If the thermometer reads less than 160 degrees F return the chicken to the oven for an additional 10 minutes and then re-check the temperature.
14. When chickens have reached the proper temp remove them from the roasting pan, place them on a warm platter and cover loosely with foil. Let sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
15. After the chickens have been removed from the roasting pan, skim off the excess fat from the surface of the liquid. The easiest way to do this is to prop up 1 end of the pan and allow the fat to run to the other end of the pan. You may not be able to get all of the fat, which is ok-fat tastes good!
16. Put the roasting pan on a burner, add the wine, bring to a medium heat and reduce by half.
17. Add the remaining chicken stock and taste. Add salt if needed- you probably will need salt.
18. At this point you can decide if you are a "strainer" or not a strainer, meaning if you would like to strain the chunky vegetables out of the sauce or not.
19. When the sauce has reached the desired consistency and flavor remove from the heat and pour into desired serving vessel.
20. To carve the chickens: Cut off the twine. Pull the thigh and leg away from the breast of the chicken until the thigh bone "pops" out of the socket. This is also a sign that the chicken is cooked properly. Separate the thigh and drumstick. Remove the breast from the carcass by feeling for the ridge of the breastbone in the center of the chicken and slicing around the rib cage. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter or on individual plates with the mashed potatoes and gravy.
Garlic Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, washed and quartered
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, warm
1 stick cold butter, cut into 9 pats
1. Place the potatoes and garlic in a large sauce pan.
2. Cover with 1 to 2 inches cold water and season generously with salt. The water should taste like the sea. TASTE IT! If the water is under seasoned at this point it will be hard to have a well seasoned end product.
3. Bring the pot of water to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Drain the potatoes and garlic well and pass through a food-mill or ricer. DO NOT use a food processor or blender. It will result in a very sticky and rubbery end product.
5. While passing the potatoes, bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Once the cream has come to a boil remove from the heat.
6. While the potatoes are still hot add 1/3 of the cream and butter and stir vigorously into the potatoes. Repeat this process 2 more times until all of the cream and butter has incorporated.
7. Taste the potatoes for seasoning and add salt, if needed. Serve immediately or cover with foil and keep warm in an oven on low heat
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces guanciale, cut in 1/4-inch strips
2 large onions, cut in 1/2-inch dice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 (28-ounce) cans San Marzano tomatoes, passed through the food mill
1 pound bucatini or perciatelli
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for garnish
1. Coat a large saucepan with olive oil.
2. Add the guanciale and saute over low heat. Cook until it is brown and crispy and has rendered a lot of fat.
3. Remove and reserve 1/3 of the guanciale for garnish.
4. Bring the pan to a medium heat and add the onions and crushed red pepper.
5. Season generously with salt, to taste.
6. Cook the onions until they are translucent, starting to turn golden and are very aromatic.
7. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for about 1 hour, tasting periodically.
8. Adjust the salt, as needed.
9. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for 1 minute less than the instructions on the package.
10. Remove 3 or 4 ladlefuls of the sauce from the pot to a bowl, as an insurance policy. You can always add it back in but it's harder to take out once the pasta is in the pan. You're looking for the perfect ratio between pasta and sauce.
11. Drain the pasta from the water and add to the pot of sauce. Stir to coat with the sauce. This is how you always finish pasta; you cook it in the sauce to perform the marriage of the pasta and the sauce.
12. Add more sauce, if necessary.
13. Add in the cheese and drizzle with olive oil to really bring the marriage together. Toss to coat and serve in shallow bowls garnished with cheese and the reserved guanciale.
Raw Asparagus, Red Onion & Pecorino Salad
I bunch of pencil asparagus, tough bottom stems removed
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 cup of finely grated pecorino
1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Big fat finishing oil
1. Cut the asparagus, including the tips, into very thin rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the asparagus with the red onion and Pecorino.
2. Drizzle the salad with vinegar (I like very bright, acidic salad, but you can adjust the vinegar to your taste), finishing oil, and salt and toss again.
Hazelnut Cake with Nutella Mousse
For The Cake
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 cups unhusked hazelnuts, toasted
1 cup sugar
1/2 hazelnut paste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
For The Mousse
1 1/2 cups Nutella
1/2 cup mascarpone or cream cheese
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
For The Cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Butter and flour a 9-inch round or square baking pan.
3. In a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts until coarsely chopped. Reserve.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, hazelnut paste, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
5. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
6. Add the baking powder, salt, and cocoa and beat to combine.
7. Gradually add the flour, stopping the beater when it is just combined.
8. Fold 1 cup of the chopped hazelnuts into the batter, reserving the rest for garnish.
9. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.
10. Let the cake cool for 1o minutes, remove from the pan, and let cool completely.
For The Mousse:
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Nutella and mascarpone.
2. In another large bowl, beat the heavy cream to soft peaks (see page 234)- you can use an electric beater here or just a whisk and good old-fashioned elbow grease.
3. Add a spoonful of the whipped cream to the Nutella mixture and stir until you don't see any streaks.
4. Using a rubber spatula, fold a third of the remaining whipped cream into the Nutella mixture. To do
this, life the mixture gently from underneath, bring the spatula up, turn it over, and fold the mixture over as you rotate the bowl slowly. You want to do this gently; the point is to keep it fluffy and not squish the air out of the whipped cream. Repeat this process two more times with the remaining whipped cream. You're done when you should have a fluffy homogenous mixture.
To Assemble the Cakes
1. Cut the cake into 3-inch squares or rounds and cut each of these in half equatorially.
2. Schmear the Nutella mousse on both the bottom and top half of each of the hazelnut cakes, then give each of the cakes a light sprinkey-dink of the chopped hazelnuts. Place the top half back on the bottom and serve immediately.