His latest cookbook is also his most personal: "The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa," which focuses on the land of his birth. He visits The Early Show to show how African influences can be found in your grocery store and kitchen pantry.
In "The Soul of a New Cuisine," Samuelsson reconnects with his native roots through food, which is what he knows best. In the book, he writes, "For as long as I can remember, I've had Africa on my mind."
The book features more than 200 recipes, designed to help you easily fuse African influences with everyday ingredients. It's also illustrated with striking photographs. While writing the book, Samuelsson also was inspired to create an African CD.
To see pages from "The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa," (.pdf file): click here.
Samuelsson is the executive chef at the New York restaurants Riingo and Aquavit.
In 1994, when he was 24, Samuelsson was named the executive chef at Aquavit, where he made Scandinavian food accessible to an American audience. The year after, in 1995, he became the youngest chef ever to receive a three-star restaurant review from the New York Times.
The James Beard Foundation recognized Samuelsson as best "rising star" chef in 1999 and as "best chef, New York City" in 2003. In March 2004, Riingo received a notable two-star review from the New York Times.
He is the owner and chief creative director of Townhouse Restaurant Group, a restaurant management and consulting company with projects in the United States and Europe.
Samuelsson's other books are "Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine" (2003), "Aquavit c/o New York" (2004), "En Smakresa med Marcus Samuelsson" (2002), and "Street Food" (2004).
Ginger Banana Salad
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1 one-inch cinnamon stick
3/4 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
4 ripe bananas
- Combine the sugar, ginger, cinnamon stick, and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and strain into a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and orange juice and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Just before serving, slice the bananas on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Add them to the ginger syrup, turning to coat them as well.
- Serve the bananas with scoops of the ice cream, drizzling with ginger syrup over each serving.
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup honey
- Whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes.
- Combine the cream, milk, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
- Whisking constantly, slowly add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks (tempering the egg yolks this way keeps them from curdling or scrambling). Pour the egg mixture into the hot liquid and stir constantly over low heat until the custard coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes; do not allow to boil.
- Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water; set this ice bath aside.
- Remove the custard from the heat and immediately strain it into a medium metal bowl. Nestle it in the ice bath and stir in the honey. Stir frequently until custard is cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Transfer the chilled custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions. The ice cream will be soft and creamy. For a firmer consistency, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for at least 2 hours; remove from the freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 cups canola oil for deep frying
2 tablespoons honey
- Combine the bananas, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a bowl and mash with fork until smooth.
- Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees. Working in batches, add the banana mixture, a heaping tablespoon at a time, and fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking. Remove from the oil with a skimmer or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Before serving, drizzle with honey.
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 pound penne
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/3 cup harissa
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped arugula
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Put the potatoes in a large pot, add salted water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Meanwhile, cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small sauté pan over low heat. Add the almonds, garlic and shallot, and sauté until the almonds are golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Transfer the almond mixture to a blender and add the harissa, lemon juice, the remaining 7 tablespoons olive oil, and the salt. Blend first on low speed, then increase to high speed and blend to a smooth paste.
- Combine the potatoes, pasta, and harissa paste in a large pot and stir and toss over low heat until warmed through. Remove from the heat and fold in the arugula and basil. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
2 tablespoon spiced butter or unsalted butter
2 cups broken jasmine rice or long grain white rice
1/2 cups olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 two-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 cinnamon stick
3 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup pistachios
Seeds from 2 pomegranates
- Melt the butter in medium sauté pan over very low heat. Add 1/2 cup of the rice, stirring to coat. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is a nut-brown color. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, ginger, cinnamon, and the remaining 1 1/2 cups rice and sauté, stirring frequently, until the rice is golden brown, about five minutes. Add the chicken stock and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 14 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
- Mix together the rices in a bowl, and fold in the pistachios and pomegranate seeds.
- Remove the bay leaf. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
3/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground caraway
1 cup mild chili powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped mint
- Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. When shimmers, add the garlic and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add the caraway, chili powder, coriander, salt, and mint and stir to combine. Let cool.