San Francisco, CA – October 23, 2013 – On November 18th at 6pm, culinary legend Judith Choate will be at San Francisco’s Book Passage signing copies of her new book, An American Family Cooks (Welcome Books) and sharing tales and tips from her colorful 50-year career in the food world.
And just in time for Thanksgiving, on November 23rd, Choate will demonstrate some of her favorite holiday recipes at Sur La Table during the Saturday Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building from 10am to 2pm. For more event details please click here.
After authoring, co-authoring and ghostwriting over 100 books–including those by a slew of celebrity chefs, among them, Charlie Palmer, David Burke, Jacques Torres, and Patti Labelle, Judie Choate has finally turned to her private trove of family recipes, cooking tips, and kitchen memories to bring us the one book she has always most wanted to write. An American Family Cooks (October 1, Welcome Books) is an inviting collection of some “fancy, some not-so-fancy, and some just plain everyday” dishes that have nurtured and sustained the Choate family for generations, lovingly interlaced with Choate’s fondly recollected culinary 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.
In An American Family Cooks, Choate is joined by three generations of relatives, including her food-photographer husband, Steve Poole, 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.
Though she’s called the same New York City apartment home for over fifty years, for Choate, San Francisco remains a very special city. Not only does her youngest son Chris reside in the Bay Area (whose culinary talents lean Italian), but it was once Choate’s home, as well, when as a young eight-year-old-girl, she moved with her mother from rural Colorado to live with her older brother in 1940’s San Francisco. It was here that Choate’s cultural and culinary world exploded, as she was introduced to a whole new collection of flavors, customs, and experiences.
Writes Choate in her Introduction: “The most astounding result of our move was the availability of so many new and different ingredients, cuisines, and culinary traditions. San Francisco had a well-known Chinatown, and the city’s Italian population and fishing industry also were substantial. Russian River was aptly named. Our neighbors were Lebanese, German, Swedish, and Mexican. So many nationalities, each with special foods and celebrations to share.”
Every year, Choate and her husband Steve (the book’s photographer) travel west to spend the Thanksgiving holidays with Chris and his family—a tradition that is joyfully chronicled in An American Family Cooks.
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For more about An American Family Cooks, including a Q&A please visit the website.
With apple season just around the corner, try Judie’s Apple Pizza (below). Just one of over 100 recipes in An American Family Cooks.
Apple Pizza Recipe
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.
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