Saturday, January 15, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook

When it comes to discovering new and exciting cookbooks, I haven't a mind of my own. I just basically follow Julie (Booking Mama) and Kathy (Bermudaonion) around like a hungry puppy, and whatever they review, I order from my library to try. As was this case with the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook. Julie reviewed the granola and the cheesy grits, and Kathy reviewed the pumpkin cheesecake. Needless to say, that was all I needed to hear.

Apparently, the Clinton St. Baking Company is THE PLACE to eat breakfast and brunch in NYC. The story of the owners, DeDe Lahman & Neil Kleinberg, who met over fish and chips, fell in love and started a restaurant with the mission to offer the best baked goods in the city, is worth the price of the cookbook by itself. Never mind that neither of them had no pastry experience. Their love of butter and using the freshest ingredients would conquer all! I loved them instantly. They had me at "biscuits".

The recipes cover the gamut of all things that will soothe your soul, but might take you up a jean size. Muffins, scones, pastries, egg dishes, soups, sides, sandwiches and fried chicken, desserts. Ah! Even homemade raspberry jam! Admit it. You want to get your hands on this cookbook. Lahman and Kleinberg are also helpful with their tips and pitfalls in the kitchen, to help you produce the most yummy concoctions. You are guaranteed to learn something you never knew...for example, if you use the heel of a knife to break the bone in a piece of chicken, it will cook faster. Also, don't press down on a burger when grilling it - it will squeeze all the juice out and cook it at the wrong temp.

I tried three recipes. The first was kind of a no-brainer, a Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwich. Except that my brain had never thought of making this sandwich with goat cheese. I made it with my Cuisinart Griddler (one of my favorite gifts this Christmas!), had it with a cup of tomato soup on a cold day, and it hit the spot!

I also tried the Mixed Berry Scones. The kids swore it sounded good, and I am always looking for something to give them for breakfast that will lure them away from Pop-Tarts. But something bad happened. Maybe I stirred the batter too much, maybe I didn't cook them long enough. But my entire family laughed at them, and refused to eat them. Bah!

My third recipe was the Fried Chicken. Now THIS worked! Unfortunately I didn't take pictures, because as soon as the chicken was done, my family pounced like ravenous hyenas and wiped it out.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken


2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 TBL salt
2 tsp black pepper

Whisk the marinade and add one whole chicken cut into 10 pieces. Store in an airtight container for 3 to 4 hours in the fridge.

Whisk the coating ingredients in a bowl. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade - do not drain off the marinade. Dredge in the coating, piece by piece. Coat well, covering all the nooks and crannies. Set aside on a plate. Reserve any extra coating mix.

Fill a saute pan or Dutch oven with canola oil. Heat the oil to 350 degrees over medium heat, using a candy thermometer to make sure the temp is accurate. Heating may take 8 to 10 minutes.

With tongs, gently place the chicken skin-side down in the oil and fry the chicken in batches of 5 to 6 pieces so that they don't crowd the pan. Fry each piece 7 to 8 minutes per side (wings may take less time). After you remove each batch of chicken, the temp of the oil will drop. Make sure you bring the oil back up to 350 degrees before adding the next batch.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.


bermudaonion said...

I love this cookbook, so I'm glad to see you found some good recipes in it. My family would pounce on that fried chicken too, because I never fry food, and I do mean never.

I had to look up what a Cuisinart Griddler is and now I want one.

Beth F said...

Now I'm totally convinced I need this cookbook!!!

I *love* my Cuisinart Griddler -- I've had it for a couple of years now.

Rikki said...

Goat cheese sandwich? Sounds very nice! Already the cover image made me want to get this book. And your post did the rest. Looking for it right now.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

It IS THE PLACE to eat. I have the cookbook. I mainly just salivate over the pictures because I have had their cooking so I am very afraid to try their recipes and have mine in comparison. The chicken seems doable though.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Ah, too bad about the scones! But with scones, you have to do as little mixing as you can get away with. (I make scones all the time, so it's the one thing I know about!) It sounds like this is THE restaurant to go to when everyone is at BEA!!!

Julie P. said...

I want to try that chicken but I'm intimidated by making fried chicken (as well as the fat and calories!) I made the cheesy grits a couple of times -- so yummy and I even used skim milk once to lower the fat!

I've never had much luck with homemade scones either. They get hard and tough if you overmix. I think I tend to overmix.

Anyhoo, I love my Cuisinart griddle too!

caite said...

what time are you serving that chicken...I need to make a plan and book a plane!

BTW, I have had a Griddler for awhile now and I love it!In fact I think I did a post on it once... Especially for grilled sandwiches I must admit. Toasty, crispy, lovely....

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

1. I must go to Clinton St. Baking Company
2. I must get this cookbooks
3. grilled goat cheese sandwich w/tomato soup sounds fabulous (as does the Cuisinart Griddler)
4. sorry about the scones ... your family laughed?!
5. I'm laughing at them 'pouncing like ravenous hyenas' for the fried chicken!

Thanks for the review, Sandy!

Anonymous said...

I have this cookbook and love it! Although I love cheese, I've never had goat cheese, and I'm not sure I'll ever try the Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwich.

You can find my WC HERE

Suko said...

I enjoyed your post. I adore good fried chicken. This recipe for buttermilk fried chicken sounds divine. I may need to get this cookbook.

Heidenkind said...

Those pancakes look SO GOOD!

The Bumbles said...

Never heard of this place - it isn't too far to get to the next time we are visiting my brother and his wife. I can't wait to be SERVED those delicious breakfast goodies!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I can cook a lot of things...but I cannot cook fried chicken. I'm about as Southern as a person can be, but I somehow cannot get the outside and inside of fried chicken done :( My dad was my first victim a long time ago. This cookbook sounds fabulous though and I shall have to add it to my collection :)

Margot said...

This sounds lie a wonderful cookbook to read. I may or may not make the recipes but it just sounds like an enjoyable read. I'm going to check my library.

Heather said...

Every now and then something just doesn't work in the kitchen. Oh well, such as life. I had to re-do my beans this week as the first attempt was crunchy. This book does sound delicious.

Peaceful Reader said...

I fell in love with this cookbook as well and just handed it over to my mother for her late Christmas gift. As she was leaving our home today she had to pry it out of my hands...

Scones can be tricky and I've had some fails to prove it. I think I need a Griddler too!!

The goat cheese grilled cheese sounds yummy and I do plan to make those, even if I don't have the cookbook in my hand.

Zibilee said...

I have tried a few different recipes for fried chicken, and none of them have come out really well. This one sounds like it's worth investigating and I will be printing this one out for the week ahead. This cookbook sounds amazing, but I know it would make me pack on the pounds! I still might have to try it anyway...

Kathleen said...

I'm always looking for a good fried chicken recipe. I allow myself to have it just a few times a year.

Swapna said...

I love this cookbook as well - it's become a staple in my kitchen!