As a restaurant professional Anthony Bourdain spent years of his life on the fringes of normality – he worked while normal people played, and played while normal people slept. Now ‘the original enfant terrible of the kitchen,’ has finally settled (kind of) into family life and is cooking for the people he loves rather than people who pay. He’s also just published his first cookbook in ten years, and it is worth the wait.
Brash, wild, original and badass, Appetites is Bourdain’s interpretation of a normal family cookbook, and it is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. With cover art by Ralph Steadman, photos that manage to be simultaneously beautiful and grotesque, and a dessert chapter that solely comprises the entreaty ‘fuck dessert’, have stilton instead, this really is a home-cooking, home-entertaining cookbook like no other.
While it is a laudable ambition to prepare the best risotto in the world, that doesn’t mean shit if your guests are sitting around with their stomachs growling, getting progressively drunker, while you dick around in the kitchen, interminably stirring rice.
Check out one of our favorite receipes; Macaroni & Cheese
1 pound dry elbow macaroni
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons all- purpose flour
4½ cups whole milk
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, grated
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
4 ounces cooked and thinly sliced
ham, julienned (optional)
2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground white pepper to taste (optional)
Get that damn lobster out of my mac and cheese!
Truffles do not make it better. If you add truffle oil, which is made from a petroleum- based chemical additive and the crushed dreams of nineties culinary mediocrity, you should be punched in the kidneys.
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
In a large, heavy- bottom pot, bring salted water to a boil and add the elbow macaroni. Cook according to the package instructions until just al dente, then drain and set aside.
Make sure you have both a whisk and a wooden spoon nearby, and something to rest them on. You will be switching back and forth between the two utensils as you first make a roux and then build on that to make a béchamel.
In the still- hot macaroni pot, heat the butter over medium- high heat until it foams and subsides. Whisk in the flour, then switch to a wooden spoon and stir steadily over medium- high heat until the mixture begins to turn a nutty golden brown, about 2 minutes. Do not let the mixture scorch. Whisk in the milk and bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring with the wooden spoon and making sure to scrape each part of the surface of the pan so that hunks of flour or milk do not stick. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook and stir until the mixture is slightly thicker than heavy cream.
Whisk in the mustard powder, cayenne, and Worcestershire, then add half the Parmigiano- Reggiano (you’ll sprinkle the rest over the top) and the rest of the cheeses and, if using, the ham, and stir until the cheeses have melted completely. Stir in the cooked macaroni and mix well. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and optional pepper.
Transfer the mixture to a glass or ceramic casserole, top with the remaining Parmigiano, and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the mixture is bubbling slightly.
Serve hot, or refrigerate and gently reheat the whole thing, or in portions as needed.