“An American Family Cooks” by Judith Choate: After 100 Cookbooks, Celebrity Cookbook Author Writes One From The Heart


Judie and her family, doing what they love best. From “An American Family Cooks” by Judith Choate (Welcome Books) Photos by Steve Pool

AFC_cover_medNew York, NY – September 24, 2013 – After writing over 100 cookbooks–including a slew by celebrity chefs including Charlie Palmer, David Burke, Jacques Torres and Patti Labelle, James Beard Award-winning author Judith Choate turned to her family journal to write the cookbook she’s always wanted to write.

In stores today, An American Family Cooks (Welcome Books), Choate is joined by three generations of relatives, including her food-photographer husband, Steve Pool, and her formidably epicurean sons: San Francisco wine professional Christopher Choate and culinary Francophile Michael Choate, a literary agent representing writers in the world of literature and food.

This inviting collection of some “fancy, some not-so-fancy, and some just plain everyday” dishes is lovingly interlaced with Choate’s fondly recollected kitchen anecdotes, spanning from her childhood on the farm, to coming of age in San Francisco, to raising a family in Manhattan, to spending her golden summers in upstate New York.

With combined culinary influences that range from classic comfort food, to fine French cuisine, to traditional Italian fare, to local and organic ingredient-driven cooking, to lusciously baked desserts, the Choate family’s diverse repertoire of recipes reflects the passions and experiences of three generations of gifted cooks.

An American Family Cooks marks the culmination of a vibrant culinary career that spans more than fifty years and over 100 cookbooks. For the first time Judie brings us the most treasured meals and practical advice from her own kitchen and private menus, most of which have never been published before.

Part memoir, part cookbook, part modern family album, this beautifully photographed (by Choate’s husband) and illustrated (by lifelong friend Stephen Kolyer) volume offers us a coveted seat at the Choates’ dinner table and invites us to experience the warmth, laughter, bickering, and joy that happens when families cook together.

A family cookbook, yes, but one reassuringly bound with expert authority and generations of love.

Apple Pizza Recipe

With apple season just around the corner, try Judie’s Apple Pizza (below). Just one of over 100 recipes in An American Family Cooks.


Judie Choate’s Apple Pizza, from “An American Family Cooks” (Welcome Books) Photos by Steve Pool

Apple Pizza

Makes one large pizza

This is my go-to fall and winter dessert; it never fails to please. I think I began making it when we owned MOM, our pie shop, and I would tire of making the same 3- or 9-inch double-crust pies. Since we were an all-American shop, I didn’t want to do a classic French tart, so I devised this presentation. I cut the apples by hand, so unfortunately, each one has its own shape, but I do try to keep all of the slices fairly thin. I use whatever apples are local and in season that seem to be crisp and a bit tart, but I particularly like very large Honeycrisps. You can make the pie in a metal pizza pan or directly on a pizza stone. – Judie Choate

Nana’s Flaky Pie Pastry (page 70)

2 tablespoons Wondra flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Approximately 11/2 pounds crisp, tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons apple cider
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Lightly flour a clean, flat workspace using Wondra flour.

3. Place the dough in the center of the work surface and lightly flour the top of the pastry, again using Wondra flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a circle about 1 inch larger in diameter than your pizza pan. Carefully fold the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to the pan. Gently fold in the edges and crimp.

4. Mix the 2 tablespoons Wondra flour with the cinnamon.

5. Place the apples in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with the flour/cinnamon mixture. Add the lemon juice and cider and gently toss to coat. Drizzle in the butter and again toss to coat.

6. Carefully arrange the seasoned apple slices in slightly overlapping concentric circles over the entire top of the pastry.

7. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the crust is golden and the apples are tender, caramelized, and beginning to crisp on the edges. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve as is or with vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, or dulce de leche ice cream, whipped cream, or vanilla Greekstyle yogurt.

For more about An American Family Cooks, please visit the website.

Media contact: Andy Reynolds, VP Marketing, Welcome Books, 212-989-3200, andy@welcomebooks.com


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