Turkey perfect for a small holiday gathering.
Tea for two?
How about Thanksgiving turkey for four?
It can be done — beautifully, and without a lot of hassle, too.
Thanks to Gail Simmons’ recipe for “Pastrami-Style Roast Turkey.”
It’s from her new cookbook, “Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from A Life of Adventurous Eating” (Grand Central Life & Style), of which I received a review copy.
“Top Chef” fans, of course, will recognize Simmons as a regular judge on that popular Emmy-winning TV show. She’s also the special projects director at Food & Wine magazine, as well as a wife and mother.
Cooking chops runs in her family, as her mom was a freelance food writer and a part-time cooking teacher. Simmons followed in her footsteps, graduating from culinary school and apprenticing at some of New York’s top restaurants.
Which means, in short, that she knows her stuff. These are recipes that she cooks at home for family and friends, so nothing is overly fussy.
Whenever I’ve interviewed anyone who has been a contestant on “Top Chef” or any of its spin-offs, they’ve invariably described judge Gail Simmons in the exact same way:
A total sweetheart.
So, it’s only fitting then to take a moment to enjoy a sweet tart from a sweetheart.
This simple yet spectacular dessert is from Simmons’ memoir, “Talking With My Mouth Full” (Hyperion), of which I received a review copy.
The book is a fast, delightful read about how this Canadian grew up to be one of the most recognized people in food TV. Like so many of us, she had no clue what she wanted to do after graduating from college. Fortunately, a family friend, suggested she make a list of what she enjoyed doing, in hopes that would give her some direction. Simmons sat down with pen and paper, and wrote down exactly four words: Eat. Write. Travel. Cook.
Now, as a judge on “Top Chef” and host of “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” not to mention being special projects director at Food & Wine magazine, she’s more than carved out a career that encompasses all of those passions.
But the path was far from easy.