Amuse-bouche (pronounced ah-myuz boosh) are today what hors d'oeuvres were to America in the 1950s: a relatively unknown feature of French culinary tradition that, once introduced, immediately became standard fare. Chefs at many fine restaurants offer guests an amuse-bouche, a bite-sized treat that excites the tongue and delights the eye, before the meal is served. Nobody does it better than the celebrated executive chef/partner of Chicago’s Tru, Rick Tramonto. Amuse-bouche are a favorite of diners at Tru, many of whom come expressly to enjoy the “grand amuse"--an assortment of four different taste sensations.
Amuse-Bouche offers an array of recipes, from elegant and sophisticated to casual and surprising—but always exquisite—that will inspire home cooks to share these culinary jewels with their guests. From Black Mission Figs with Mascarpone Foam and Prosciutto di Parma to Curried Three-Bean Salad, from Soft Polenta with Forest Mushrooms to Blue Cheese Foam with Port Wine Reduction, Tramonto’ s creations will embolden the novice and the experienced cook alike to experiment with unfamiliar ingredients and techniques.
Organized by type of amuse and season of the year, the book also includes a directory of sources for specialty products. With more than a hundred recipes, Amuse-Bouche enchants as much as an amuse pleases the palate.
NOTE: This edition does not include photos.
Breaking new ground in a previously untackled area of cuisine, the executive chef of TRU restaurant in Chicago and coauthor with Gale Gand of Just a Bite, Tramonto (who also coauthored Butter, Flour, Sugar, Eggs), has paired up with Goodbody to explore the world of Amuse-Bouche, "Little bites of food to amuse the mouth, invigorate the palate, whet the appetite." To this end, the author has produced recipes designed to create a mouthful of delight, whether a spoonful of salad, an espresso cup of soup or a scoop of savory sorbet. Giving the book greater scope, Tramonto suggests that the dishes, such as the simple, flavorful Warm Onion Tart with Thyme, can be used as hors d'oeuvre, "so elusive is the line between." Many of the portions can be expanded or multiplied to form starters or a light main course. Other recipes given a new look are bean salad, which with the addition of curry oil becomes Curried Three Bean Salad, and Potato Salad, which is spiced with cayenne pepper. The recipes require a variety of skill levels and time, although there are always several suitable for all occasions and aptitudes.