Find­ing Dorie: ‘Cre­ative in­sub­or­di­na­tion’ launched cook­book au­thor on path

StarMetro Toronto - - DAILY LIFE - Karon Liu

Home bak­ers will know Dorie Greenspan as the undis­puted aau­thor­ity on cook­ies but in her lat­est cook­book, which marks her 13th, she is high­light­ing the week­night savoury recipes she cooks at home. Ev­ery­day Dorie ($50, Houghton Mif­flin Har­court) is a wel­come ad­di­tion to the days when a sim­ple and hearty dish is what the body is crav­ing.

“I cook sim­ple food and I don’t fuss about the fin­ish­ing touches that much,” says Greenspan while vis­it­ing The Star’s test kitchen with her hus­band Michael Greenspan. “I think in­gre­di­ents are beau­ti­ful them­selves and this is how I’ve been cook­ing in the last decade. It’s about see­ing the ing­gre­di­ents you al­ready stocked yy­our fridge with and sav­ing a trip to the su­per­mar­ket.”

Even though Greenspan has co-au­thored books with renowned French chefs such as Daniel Boulud and master cho­co­latier Pierre Herme, as well as the leg­endary Ju­lia Child, she main­tains that she’s al­ways been more of a home cook, one that burned down her home kitchen as a kid.

“It’s an old story, but I burned down my par­ents’ kitchen at 12,” Greenspan says while rolling up her sleeves to make gin­gered-tur­key meat­balls. “I was mak­ing frozen french fries and in­stead of us- ing the oven, I used a pot of oil. I thought that if wa­ter boiled faster with a lid, so would oil. The fire went up and burned the cab­i­nets and the ceil­ing. It wasn’t some­thing you could put out with bak­ing soda.”

In the early ’80s, through a friend of a friend, she got a job as a pas­try ap­pren­tice at the Soho Char­cu­terie in New York mak­ing choco­late chip cook­ies and the restau­rant’s sig­na­ture cake. She lasted a month.

“One day I changed the cake recipe and got fired for ‘cre­ative in­sub­or­di­na­tion,’” says Greenspan. “It was a choco­late cake with al­monds, raisins and wwhisky. I made it with pecans, prunes and Ar­magnac. I was bored and I’d been mak­ing the same thing ev­ery day; I was not made to be in a pro­fes­sional kkitchen. But when I was fired, they ad­mit­ted the cake was de­li­cious.” The cake can be found in Greenspan’s Bak­ing From My Home To Yours book where the recipe is lit­er­ally called The Cake That Got Me Fired.

Not suited for the restau­rant kitchen, Greenspan pur­sued food and recipe writ­ing in a way that would work in a mid- 2000s rom- com about mag­a­zine pub­lish­ing.

“I was in­tro­duced to some­one who worked in the test kitchen of Food And Wine mag­a­zine and was asked to write a pro­posal for a col­umn,” she says. “In­stead I just made ev­ery­thing that I thought would be good and brought it to their of­fice.”

RICHARD LAUT­ENS/TORONTO STAR

Cook­book au­thor Dorie Greenspan vis­ited the Star’s test kitchen and made a tur­key meat­ball soup from her book Ev­ery­day Dorie.

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