Apr 282020
 

Our Harlem: Seven Days of Cooking, Music and Soul at the Red Rooster by Marcus Samuelsson

Narrated by: Marcus Samuelsson
Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
Original Recording Audiobook
Release date: 06-27-19

To hear Ethiopian and Swedish chef, TV personality, and restauranteur Marcus Samuelsson cook with special guests at the Red Rooster restaurant is to make an audio pilgrimage to Harlem. Listeners will get to know the iconic neighborhood, Marcus’s home, through its food, its history, and—most importantly—its people. Special guests join Marcus each day of the week to cook, to laugh, and to share their stories, including Melba Wilson, Jelani Cobb, Bevy Smith, and Kevin Young, to name a few. Our Harlem transports listeners to the hub of African American culture.

Join us when Marcus recreates the short ribs he made at the Red Rooster for President Obama’s fundraiser there, and when author Jelani Cobb discusses the lasting significance of the first African American President. Listen to Marcus explore the African and Southern roots of his favorite ingredients with food historian Jessica Harris, and make fried chicken with Harlem’s very own Charles Gabriel. And venture out in El Barrio to La Marqueta with Marcus and Harlem native Aurora Flores.

Writers Isabel Wilkerson and Nicholas Lemann ponder the Great Migration, and how it brought Southern food (think shrimp and grits), new voters, and amazing creative talent to Harlem. Dapper Dan, legendary taste-maker, opines about Harlem style. And musicians who play at Ginny’s, Red Rooster’s supper club, provide the rhythms that pulse through the neighborhood—from El Barrio Night’s Latin beats to Sunday’s teenage gospel choir.

A PDF of the recipes from The Red Rooster Cookbook that are featured in Our Harlem and reimagined in this audio can be found here.

Thoughts
I’ve been a fan of Marcus Samuelsson for a long time so I was very happy to see this audio and to learn it also had a PDF of the recipes.

The audio is narrated by Marcus and includes a variety of  guests. It was fun to listen to their conversations and discover what foods they loved, and I loved learning so many interesting facts about Harlem. Their banter was friendly and funny and made the time go by quickly.

I’ve never heard of or tried some of the spices/foods they mentioned and that was another nice thing about the book. It opened my eyes to new things and now I have a few new to me spices, cheese etc. on my list to try.

I really liked this audio and think any foodie or Marcus lover will too.

My only complaint is that sometimes the background music was too loud.

Here is one of the recipes I want to try when it’s safe to go to the store and pick up the ingredients myself. Every time I order groceries online they make substitutions if they’re out of the item I want,  and I want to make this with the exact items listed.

PEANUT-BACON PORK CHOPS

FOR THE PEANUT-BACON SAUCE
½ pound bacon, chopped
½ cup roasted peanuts
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup juice from Pickled Cucumbers
and Radishes or pickled gherkins,
plus 1 tablespoon chopped pickled
cucumber or pickled gherkins
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the bacon and peanuts in a skillet over medium heat until
the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp, 12 to 14 minutes. Use a
slotted spoon to transfer the bacon and peanuts to a bowl. Pour off
all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease. Add the shallots,
garlic, and mustard seeds and cook, stirring, until the shallots have
softened, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the wine and bring it to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the
brown stuff in the skillet. Add the chicken broth, pickle juice, and
thyme and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to mediumlow and cook at a simmer until reduced by two thirds, about 25
minutes. Stir in the chopped pickle, peanut butter, butter, and the
bacon and peanuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep Warm

FOR THE PORK CHOPS
Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Jerk Sauce
4 (12-ounce) center-cut pork
chops (1 ½ inches thick)

While working on the sauce, mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil with
the jerk sauce. Rub over both sides of the pork chops.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a cast-iron skillet over
medium heat. Add the pork chops and cook until they reach an
internal temperature of 140°F, 6 to 7 minutes per side.

3. Let the chops rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes before serving
with the sauce.

 

  14 Responses to “Audiobook Review: Our Harlem: Seven Days of Cooking, Music and Soul at the Red Rooster by Marcus Samuelsson”

  1. I’m not familiar with Samuelsson but the book still sounds good to me. I don’t enjoy music in audio books unless it’s part of a story.

  2. It’s a very good book. Although I don’t mind music if it’s not very loud, this was too loud to hear some of what was being said.

  3. I like Samuelsson too and have read a short biography/memoir a long time ago. You certainly had my attention with peanut bacon pork chops. Sounds delicious.

  4. I love it when books open my eyes to new things!

  5. I love Marcus Sameuelsson and have his memoir on my TBR. I read a few chapters of it years ago but it had to go back to the library before I finished it and I never got it again. I would love to try some of his recipes. His food always looks so yummy!

  6. This memoir sounds very good, Vicki! Your review has definitely made me interested in listening to this audio book. The food sounds excellent, although I do eat lighter fare these days.

  7. I listened to the one and really enjoyed it!

  8. This sounds like great fun! I like recipes that surprise me.

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