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Michael Symon’s Beef Cheek Pierogies with Wild Mushrooms and Horseradish Recipe

Michael Symon’s Beef Cheek Pierogies with Wild Mushrooms and Horseradish Recipe

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For the pierogi dough:

Work the egg, sour cream, butter, chives, and salt together by hand to form a dough. Don’t worry if the mixture is not uniform and, as with pie dough, don’t overwork it. Pour the flour onto a work surface and make a well in the center. Add the sour cream mixture and mix thoroughly with your hands until a dough forms. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

For the beef cheeks:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the cheeks with salt and pepper, and then dredge them in flour, shaking off excess. Cook them in batches, turning as needed, until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer the cheeks to a plate.

Add the onion and carrot to the Dutch oven and cook over moderate heat until softened, seasoning with salt as you do, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute longer. Add the vinegar, red wine, thyme, bay leaf, and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Return the beef cheeks to the Dutch oven, then cover, and braise in the oven for 1 hour.

Lower the oven temperature to 225 degrees and cook for 4 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Remove from the over, allow to cool and then chill in the refrigerator in the cooking liquid for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

Remove the chilled cheeks from the liquid and shred the meat. Set aside the meat.

Strain the liquid into a saucepan and boil over high heat to reduce by two thirds. Remove from the heat and let cool until the liquid becomes gelatinous. Return the meat to the liquid and stir together.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/8-inch thickness and cut into 3-inch rounds. Spoon 1 tablespoon of meat onto each round. Fold the dough over into half-moons and press the edges with a fork to seal them.

Bring 2 gallons of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pierogies and wait until they float. Cook for 4 minutes, starting the timing once the pierogies float. Drain well in a colander.

To serve, heat the butter in a large skillet until it froths. Add the pierogies and cook until golden brown and hot all the way through, about 2 minutes per side. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your pan, keeping cooked pierogies in a hot oven until ready to serve.

Serve with Seared Wild Mushrooms and the Horseradish Crème Fraîche.

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A guide to managing inflammation and pain with 125+ recipes proving that you don’t need to sacrifice delicious food to eat healthfully and be pain free, from celebrity chef and The Chew co-host Michael Symon

“Michael fixed himself with irresistible recipes that just happened to be healthy. Now you can enjoy healing yourself as well.”—Mehmet Oz, MD, attending surgeon, New York–Presbyterian/Columbia University

When Michael Symon found out he had rheumatoid arthritis and external lupus, he suspected that what he ate—or didn’t eat—could make a profound difference in his levels of inflammation and how he felt. So he committed to a food “reset” on The Chew—no red meat, white flour, sugar, dairy, or alcohol.

Michael used social media to share his experiment with his fans, and was shocked by the outcome: after completing the reset, he felt amazing. He discovered that dairy, sugar, and processed flours are his food triggers, and that by avoiding them, his inflammation essentially vanished.

Michael came up with more than 125 recipes to satisfy his cravings without aggravating his body, including Ginger and Chile-Roast Chicken, dairy-free Mac and Cheese, Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto, and Apple and Cherry Oat Crisp, among many others. Now, for the first time, he is sharing these recipes, as well as a guide on how to identify your food triggers and create a meal plan that works around whatever ingredient causes your discomfort so that you too can enjoy incredible food without sacrificing your health.

Cohost of The Chew and celebrated Iron Chef and restaurateur Michael Symon returns to a favorite subject, meat, with his first cookbook focused on barbecue and live-fire grilling, with over 70 recipes inspired by his newest restaurant, Mabel's BBQ, in his hometown of Cleveland.

In preparing to open his barbecue restaurant, Mabel's BBQ, Michael Symon enthusiastically sampled smoked meat from across America. The 72 finger-licking, lip-smacking recipes here draw inspiration from his favorites, including dry ribs from Memphis, wet ribs from Nashville, brisket from Texas, pork steak from St. Louis, and burnt ends from Kansas City--to name just a few--as well as the unique and now signature Cleveland-style barbecue he developed to showcase the flavors of his hometown. Michael offers expert guidance on working with different styles of grills and smokers, choosing aromatic woods for smoking, cooking various cuts of meat, and successfully pairing proteins with rubs, sauces, and sides. If you are looking for a new guide to classic American barbecue with the volume turned to high, look no further.

Food Network star Michael Symon shares 120 superfast and delicious recipes for busy cooks.

With his boisterous laugh and Midwestern charm, Michael Symon has become one of the most beloved cooking personalities on television. For ABC's The Chew, he developed a brilliant, simple formula to help home cooks pull together fresh, from-scratch meals on weeknights: a maximum of five fresh ingredients that cook in five minutes. This cookbook ties into the segment, featuring dazzlingly quick, satisfying dinners that your whole family will love.

Michael first teaches you how to set up your pantries with essentials that make whipping up dinner easy. Then he shares 120 recipes for pastas, skillet dinners, egg dishes, grilled mains, kebabs, foil packets, and sandwiches illustrated in 75 photographs. This is streamlined cooking for busy families and firmly solves the "what's for dinner?" conundrum for home cooks everywhere.

Hometown boy turned superstar, Michael Symon is one of the hottest food personalities in America. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, he is counted among the nation’s greatest chefs, having joined the ranks of Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, and Masaharu Morimoto as one of America’s Iron Chefs. At his core, though, he’s a midwestern guy with family roots in old-world traditions. In Michael Symon’s Live to Cook, Michael tells the amazing story of his whirlwind rise to fame by sharing the food and incredible recipes that have marked his route.

Michael is known for his easy, fresh food. He means it when he says that if a dish requires more than two pans to finish, he’s not going to make it. Cooking what he calls “heritage” food–based on the recipes beloved by his Greek—Italian—Eastern European—American parents and the community in Cleveland–Michael draws on the flavors of traditional recipes to create sophisticated dishes, such as his Beef Cheek Pierogies with Wild Mushrooms and Horseradish, which came out of the pierogies that his grandpa made. Michael translates the influences of the diverse working-class neighborhood in which he grew up into dishes with Mediterranean ingredients, such as those in Olive Oil Poached Halibut with Fennel, Rosemary, and Garlic Italian-style handmade pastas, like Linguini with Heirloom Tomato, Capers, Anchovies, and Chilies and re-imagined Cleveland favorites, such as Mac and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Rosemary.

Part of Michael’s irresistible allure on the Food Network comes from how much fun he has in the kitchen. To help readers gain confidence and have a good time, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook has advice for cooking like a pro, starting with basic instructions for how to correctly use techniques such as braising, poaching, and pickling. There’s also information on how caramelizing vegetables and toasting spices can give dishes a greater depth of flavor–instead of a heavy, time-consuming stock-based sauce–and why the perfect finishing touch to most meat or fish dishes can be a savory hot vinaigrette instead.

With fantastic four-color photography throughout and tons of helpful “Symon Says” tips, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook is bound to get anyone fired up about getting into the kitchen and cooking up something downright delicious.

Michael Symon’s Grilled Cheese Recipe


For the Shasha Sauce (Recipe from Michael Symon’s Live to Cook, page 138)

  • 12 hot Banana Peppers
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 cup Yellow Mustard
  • 1 cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Water

For the Sandwich

  • 4 to 6 thin slices (about 4 ounces) Soppressata (Italian dry-cured Salami)
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt and cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 thin slices Prosciutto
  • 2 paper-thin slices Red Onion, soaked in ice water 2 minutes
  • 4 thin slices Wisconsin Swiss Cheese
  • 2 thick slices Sourdough Bread or other bread of your choosing
  • 1 tablespoon Butter for grilling sandwich
  • 4-6 large Basil Leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Shasha Sauce

Beef Cheek Pierogies

As a first time visitor to Roast, I had really been looking forward to a fine meal at Roast. This was a busy Saturday night in Detroit to celebrate my birthday. Unfortunately I was underwhelmed. Our server was very good. She was always there when we needed her. She gave the type of service that one would expect from a fine dining restaurant. We started with Mussels & Fries and Beef Cheek Pierogies . Both were excellent and everyone at the table enjoyed them. Next came a Caesar Salad which I couldn't eat. It tasted bad and there was very little dressing on it. My main course was Filet Mignon with Crab Bearnaise. I order it medium as the server told me medium rare would be a cold center. I wanted a warm center. My wife order the Dry Aged NY Strip, also medium. Both cuts of meat came out barely medium rare, which meant cold. It was disappointing. We had already waited an hour between the salad and the arrival of the steak so sending it back wasn't really an option. The meat had good flavor but I was left to wonder how it would have tasted if it had been cooked like I ordered. Side dishes for the table were Brussels Sprouts & Walnuts, Crispy Potatoes and Creamy Polenta. They were all very good, the polenta was a bit runny for my liking. We ordered two desserts for the table which were well presented and tasty.

With drinks and tip the bill came to $210 per couple. Not out of line for the type of place Roast is trying to be, but I have to say, for that price I expected more. After the long wait for the entrees the steaks should have been perfect and they were not at all. I can't recommend this restaurant to friends. I think there are better choices.

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  • Adam P.
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • 189 friends
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 photos

Dined here for Valentine's Day and was not disappointed. Simply blown away. The beef cheek pierogies were delicious, as was the ceviche. Both cuts of meat (filet and dry aged ribeye) were cooked to perfection. We came away very pleased and will definitely be returning soon.

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  • Dana D.
  • West Bloomfield Township, MI
  • 5 friends
  • 62 reviews
  • 6 photos

The S/O and I recently went to roast last month after the auto show on a whim (opentable had a reservation available). We had previously been to roast about 2 years ago and I recall having a good experience but not particularly impressive enough to recall detail. This time around was simply amazing! I absolutely love the ambiance at Roast and our server was very friendly and well versed on the menu. The suggestions she made were great. We ended up having the Beef Cheek Pierogies and Roasted Marrow for starters, Dry Aged Porterhouse for two for entrée, and Mac & Cheese and Rosemary Fries for sides. Everything tasted absolutely amazing and even better the next day because we ordered way to much food! I had a featured Roast cocktail from the menu and he had red wine, both pleased with our drinks. Great experience and can't wait to return.

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Went for graduation with family. First time dinning at Roast.

Inconsistent experience - some dishes were excellent (NY Strip, Beef Cheek Pierogies ) while others were disappointing. Roast Beast of the Day - Pork, and also one of the NY Strips (mine) was served essentially seared rare when ordered medium rare - sent it back and it still was rare after a long rotation back to the kitchen.

Roast is a nice place and one of the cornerstones of Detroit's restaurant revamping over the past 5-7-10 years but we suffered a lack of consistency that was not commensurate to the total tab involved. Hence giving a 3/5 for food experience for value. The ambiance is what you'd expect from a higher end place 5/5, and the service overall was decent 4/5 minus the lack of recognition from a manager about the botched steak.

Will go back if others select it, but it isn't on my immediate gotta return list. If you're visiting from out of town or traveling on business (and you've worn out Andiamo and Joe Muer Seafood. ) with a little work Roast is one of the better places to head over to and is a no brainer if you're staying at the Westin. Just beware you might need to "manage" around the edges.

If you're just looking for a bar and nice lounging area, this is a great place to hit and you can't go wrong.

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  • Nina B.
  • Los Altos, CA
  • 0 friends
  • 22 reviews
  • 1 photo

The food here was, for the most part, delightful. We ordered the beef cheek pierogies as our appetizers and found them absolutely tantalizing. The sauce was nice and light, and the dollop of creamy horseradish was perfection.

I ordered the duck pappardelle, and it was phenomenal. The pasta was extremely fresh and the duck confit was nicely proportioned to the noodles and magnificently flavored.

My husband ordered the aged ribeye, but was a tad disappointed. Now, we've eaten at our fair share of steakhouses (including Maestros, 5A5, Ruth Chris, Cut, London Chop House, etc.) and while the ribeye was definitely solid, it can't be counted among the elite.

For dessert, we had the churros and the bar. Both were fabulous! The churros were warm and fluffy on the inside with a slightly crispy exterior and nice dusting of cinnamon sugar. It came with a light caramel sauce that had a hint of apple flavor. The bar was truly unique and husband was so enthralled by it, he left my perfect little churros alone - more for me enjoy!

Given that the items I ordered were so fantastic, I almost feel guilty rating this place 4 stars. Based on my items, it'd receive a 5 star rating. However, the place IS classified as a steakhouse. Like I said, the steak was among the better ones that we've had, but it wasn't among the best.

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  • Tony S.
  • Belleville, MI
  • 7 friends
  • 34 reviews
  • 5 photos

More like 3 1/2 stars. Pretty good food here. didn't quite knock it out of the park, but not disappointed at all. I had Beef Cheek Pierogies for starters. Not bad, cooked well but bland in flavor. Main course was the Filet Minon with Mac and Cheese and Spinach Au'graton for sides. The Filet and Spinach were top notch, while the Mac and Cheese was so so. My guest had the Lamb which in her opinion, was seasoned better than any she'd had before. With tip and parking, we cashed out at close to $200.

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  • Sarah R.
  • Marquette, MI
  • 208 friends
  • 90 reviews
  • 50 photos

I made reservations online and it was super easy.

To start we had the beef cheek pierogies and roasted marrow. Both were tasty, it was a weird concept for me eating roasted marrow, but it was salty and buttery, it helped me that I could spread it on a cracker to eat it so I wasn't turned off by the texture.

Everyone enjoyed there's entrees, including the beast of the day. We shared multiple sides between the 4 of us. The favorites were the rosemary fries, which are the skinny fry versions, my favorite, and the Brussel spouts.

It was for a birthday celebration..We tried the creme Brule. The birthday girl was happy with it.

One thing I found odd was you ordered from a waiter but the wine menu they hand for you too pick out on an ipad. I like more interaction and input from wait staff.

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  • Brett C.
  • Celina, TX
  • 27 friends
  • 165 reviews
  • 15 photos

Roast was the first Michael Symon restaurant i've dined at. From what i was told Symon leases the space in the hotel. Our experience unfortunately was not that great. This disappointed me because i've always heard great things about Symon's restaurants and we were scheduled to visit one in Cleveland as well. We ordered a lot of the appetizers on the menu and a few of us ordered meals.

Crispy Lamb Sweetbreads- Fava puree, za'atar, harrisa oil. I've had a lot of sweetbreads in my time and these weren't on the good side. The flavor profile was off and that really didn't taste good.

Crispy Pork Belly- Pig ears, kohlrabi slaw. It's pretty hard to mess up pork belly. I thought this was one of the better items. First time experimenting with pig ears, but i loved them, they were crunchy and sweet. Recommended.

Beef Tartare- Rye toast, house sauerkraut, egg. This was easily the best dish of the night. Great flavor profile and was knocked out of the park. Highly recommended.

Lamb Ribs with Mint Sauce- Honestly, could be the worst thing i've had in my dining experiences. Way too gamey and the sauce was disgusting and too thick.

Beef Cheek Pierogies - Horseradish and mushrooms. Okay this item is what i was most excited to try. I love pierogies . I am Polish and know a thing or two about them. They use flaky pastry dough here, which is conceptually wrong in every way possible. I still have not forgotten that and it may never leave my mind. The sauce tasted as if it were burnt.

Roasted Bone Marrow- Sea salt, oregano, capers and chilies. Way too much oregano and salt. Listen, no one loves salt more than i do, but it just completely over-powered the dish along with the oregano.

Filet Mignon- Sea salt and olive oil. The chef (Open kitchen) checks the temperature of the steaks way too frequently and it was still over done.

Thankfully, my trip to Lola in Cleveland saved my negative thoughts about Symon restaurants. This one needs a lot of help.

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  • Katie B.
  • Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, NY
  • 66 friends
  • 45 reviews
  • 7 photos

As a born and raised Clevelander, Chef Symon is full of wins in my book. B-Spot is my go-to when I'm home (and now there is one in Columbus!) so it was a real treat that I got to go to Roast while in Detroit. and it was pretty damn good.

Started with the Branch cocktail with bourbon and would have tried 4 more, but the food service was pretty quick and we had a concert to go to.

Split the beef cheek pierogies which were so great! The beef cheek was tender and just exploded out of the pierogi . Such a nice departure from grandma's potato-cheese-onion-puddle of butter variation (you know what I'm talking about).

I had the sirloin entree and my friend had the filet mignon. The sirloin was a bit over salted but redeemed itself with a peppery blue cheese sauce. It was also a HUGE portion, cooked perfectly medium and topped with grilled peppers and fresh greens. But seriously, the saltiness caught me off guard. From the bite I had the filet with crab bernaise was very good, tender and not salty.

They do family style sides and we got the rosemary fries (REALLY SALTY) and polenta. The fries are served with a tasty jazzed up ketchup and a curry sauce which both saved the super salty fries, and the polenta was good but pretty bland. I think it had seasoning in it but I can't really remember.

Overall, really good stuff. I've never walked away from a Michael Symon restaurant unhappy and I will return again and again whenever I am in Detroit!

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  • Paul S.
  • Pensacola, FL
  • 9 friends
  • 80 reviews
  • 66 photos

The wood oven clams broth was very salty, almost inedible. The beef cheek pierogies the dough was raw. May give the place a second chance but not 100% sure. Friendly wait staff at the bar and cool atmosphere. Very dark.

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  • Jeff M.
  • Somerville, MA
  • 238 friends
  • 763 reviews
  • 24 photos

My opinion on Roast is really mixed. Beef cheek pierogies were great. The steak had a nice smoke flavor (mesquite maybe?), the pork shank was good but pretty basic and the pork 'Beast of the Day' was somewhere between gastropub and Mexican fare complete with salsa verde. Roast is a solid choice but don't expect to be wowed if you go.

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  • Kimberly S.
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • 183 friends
  • 76 reviews
  • 2 photos

As a foodie living in Philadelphia, I didn't have high expectations for the Detroit food scene. However, Michael Symon's Roast proved to be an exemplary restaurant. My boyfriend and I were thoroughly impressed by the interior, the service, the beverages and ultimately, the food. The atmosphere was elegant and modern without making you feel like you have to wear a cocktail dress or 3 piece suit. The beverage menus were presented to us on Ipads, which was something you don't see every day. For dinner, we chose to do a tapas style tasting, so instead of ordering entrees, we ordered all the appetizers with the exception of the charcuterie and carpaccio. Everything was amazing. The only slight disappointment was the stuffed peppers, purely because they were so damn spicy! We both love spicy food but this was like the equivalent of the "Thai spicy" level of curry found in Thai restaurants. After a few bites, my palate was getting ruined and I couldn't taste anything but spicy, so it goes without saying that we did not finish this dish. But the other plates were licked clean! Our favorite dish was the beef cheek pierogies . It was a bit on the rich side, but full of decadent flavor and topped with a beautiful demi-glace. The beverage lists were also fairly impressive, my boyfriend went with a large format bottle of a Jolly Pumpkin beer which was awesome and I had the pleasure of having the BEST Moscow Mule I've ever had in my life. This Moscow Mule has been consuming my thoughts, so I actually called up the restaurant the other day just to find out the name of the amazing ginger beer that our server had pointed out (and I had since forgotten) when I ordered. It's called Fever Tree ginger beer, from the UK and it's hard to find and extremely expensive, but well worth it for a perfect mule. Service was flawless and I really enjoyed our server's personality. If I lived in the area, I would definitely make this a regular spot for a slightly upscale dinner. It's great for date nights, big groups, business meetings, etc. Oh and the bar is HUGE, so I'm sure it would be a great happy hour or late night cocktail spot as well.

Michael Symon's passion a main ingredient in his first cookbook, 'Live to Cook'

Michael Symon's trademark cackle bursts like a geyser of mirth. Hyena high, unfettered and wild, it's a force as natural as the sense of hospitality that fills the Cleveland chef's area restaurants.

If you're wondering what defines a celebrity chef, here it is. It's about the food, granted, but there's one more thing. Symon's a guy people want to hang with.

That's a potent combination, one that's captured neatly in the chef's first cookbook, "Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen" (Clarkson, Potter, $32.50). The book is due out Nov. 3.

The "Iron Chef's" book is largely a Cleveland affair. Symon's co-author is Michael Ruhlman of Cleveland Heights, himself a star in the nation's culinary firmament. (Ruhlman has earned his own acclaim for his previous books -- "Ratio" and his insider's trilogy, "The Making of a Chef," "The Soul of a Chef" and "The Reach of a Chef," as well as many others.) Donna Ruhlman, Michael's wife, is a professional photographer whose arresting black-and-white candid photos lend energetic personality to the pages. Heidi Robb, a professional recipe developer, assisted in preparing the dishes and chronicling the tweaks that place a chef's recipe within the reach of home cooks.

Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen

Author: Michael Symon with Michael Ruhlman

Publisher: Clarkson, Potter

Copies: "Live to Cook" is due out Tuesday. Copies can be ordered at local bookstores or online at

And then there's Liz Symon. Vivacious, savvy and wise-cracking, she's Alice Kramden to Michael's Ralph -- a partner in work as well as in life.

Liz's eye for design sets the tone at Lola and Lolita, the couple's Cleveland restaurants, as well as Bar Symon in Avon Lake and Roast in Detroit. Her talent resonates throughout the couple's Shaker Heights home, where the book took shape.

A modernist's dream house, the Symons' place is at once contemporary and cozy. Not surprisingly, the first two rooms you see off the foyer are the vast dining room (dominated by a massive table built from a naturally fallen redwood slab that can seat a couple dozen guests) and the super-cool kitchen.

Scattered through the house are souvenirs commemorating various honors that have come Symon's way. A small trophy from St. Edward High School, recognizing the alumnus' support of the school's wrestling program, stands atop the refrigerator. There's the Food & Wine magazine cover marking his appearance among 1998's Best New Chefs, and another framed pair of photos: one of Symon, for his 2009 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes the other, a shot of LeBron James. It's signed "To Cleveland's Most Valuable Chef." Turns out, James was named the NBA's most valuable player last season on the same night that Symon won the Beard Award -- May 4.

Michael Symon’s Beef Cheek Pierogies with Wild Mushrooms and Horseradish Recipe - Recipes

I think this is the first time I’ve reviewed a cookbook here, but Michael Symon’s Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen is kind of special. I grew up in Ohio and I was a frequent guest at Lola long before I ever saw its owner on TV Food Network. That face, that laugh…and that food! As often as we could afford it, we had a table or a seat at the bar and some of the very best food in town.

Lola Bistro is now Lolita and there’s a new Lola downtown. We don’t hear that laugh as often anymore when we come by for dinner, but we do hear it on Iron Chef America. And it’s still the best food in town. Even better, I’ve now got the recipes for some of my favorite dishes and Symon’s advice on how to be a better cook. I’ve got a lot of cookbooks on the shelves, so when I buy a new one, I am always looking for something more than just recipes. I can download a million recipes from the internet, but what I need to make a good recipe great is technique. The great thing about Live to Cook is that it provides both – recipes that you’ll drool over and tips and techniques to make your guests drool over your food. It’s not a textbook, and the tips aren’t quite as in-depth as I’d like, but there is definitely information that a good home cook can use: why a microplane will change your life, the herb with the most impact (rosemary), and why you should never throw pig skin away.

There are some fabulous recipes in this book. Symon is known for his love of pork — the man has pork tattoos! — and I have been known to swoon over a dish of pork belly at Lola. I cannot wait to try the Braised Pork Belly with Soft Polenta and Seared Mushrooms, the Roasted Pork with Grilled Peaches and Chestnut Honey, and the Bacon-Wrapped Pan-Roasted Walleye. (The Pappardelle with Pig’s Head Ragu is just too much of an undertaking.) I fell in love with the lobster pierogies at Lola and I am looking forward to making the Beef Cheek Pierogies with wild Mushrooms and Horseradish.

You’ll also find chapters on side dishes, condiments, pickles and salads. The Ohio Creamed Corn with Bacon is high on my list to try, as well as the Spinach Salad with Fried Egg and Bacon and the Pickled Cherries. It’s a good mix of things that I am confident I can produce, things that will take some practice, and things that I will most likely just read about. (A whole pig’s head? Really? I don’t think so.) That’s what I want from any cookbook I want to be able to walk right into the kitchen and turn out some great food, but I also want some challenges and new techniques to try.

Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen is a cookbook that I will actually read, not just a source for recipes. I was so excited about this book that I broke down and bought a copy — no free copy from the publisher this time. Since I don’t have the publisher’s permission to share some recipes, all I can do is encourage you to check this one out: it’s a fun read, full of tips and tricks and some really great food.

Michael Symon's Live to Cook : Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen (Hardcover)

Michael is known for his easy, fresh food. He means it when he says that if a dish requires more than two pans to finish, he's not going to make it. Cooking what he calls "heritage" food-based on the recipes beloved by his Greek--Italian--Eastern European--American parents and the community in Cleveland-Michael draws on the flavors of traditional recipes to create sophisticated dishes, such as his Beef Cheek Pierogies with Wild Mushrooms and Horseradish, which came out of the pierogies that his grandpa made. Michael translates the influences of the diverse working-class neighborhood in which he grew up into dishes with Mediterranean ingredients, such as those in Olive Oil Poached Halibut with Fennel, Rosemary, and Garlic Italian-style handmade pastas, like Linguini with Heirloom Tomato, Capers, Anchovies, and Chilies and re-imagined Cleveland favorites, such as Mac and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Rosemary.

Part of Michael's irresistible allure on the Food Network comes from how much fun he has in the kitchen. To help readers gain confidence and have a good time, Michael Symon's Live to Cook has advice for cooking like a pro, starting with basic instructions for how to correctly use techniques such as braising, poaching, and pickling. There's also information on how caramelizing vegetables and toasting spices can give dishes a greater depth of flavor-instead of a heavy, time-consuming stock-based sauce-and why the perfect finishing touch to most meat or fish dishes can be a savory hot vinaigrette instead.

With fantastic four-color photography throughout and tons of helpful "Symon Says" tips, Michael Symon's Live to Cook is bound to get anyone fired up about getting into the kitchen and cooking up something downright delicious.• Author: Michael Symon,Michael Ruhlman • ISBN:9780307453655 • Format:Hardcover • Publication Date:2009-11-03

Lightly cured tuna with olives, orange, and shaved fennel

From Michael Symon's Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen Michael Symon's Live to Cook by Michael Symon and Michael Ruhlman

Are you sure you want to delete this recipe from your Bookshelf. Doing so will remove all the Bookmarks you have created for this recipe.

  • Categories: Appetizers / starters Greek
  • Ingredients: sashimi grade tuna cerignola olives oranges fennel cilantro

Always alicia

Once upon a time, there was a store called Parma Pierogies. Based on its name, the location and product of the store is obvious. They made some damn good pierogi – even Bill Clinton stopped by while campaigning in the NEOhio area. When we were looking for a selection for the next Monthly Cooking Class, I wanted a challenge. And something uber delicious. It was time to make the ethnic dish our suburb was infamous for. Since I’ve been itching to make something from Michael Symon’s cookbook, we were ready to pinch. You’ll find our recipe adjustments and comments in italics.

Michael Symon’s Beef Cheek Pierogi Dough:

As adapted from Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen by Michael Symon with Michael Ruhlman. Makes about 2 dozen pierogi.


  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives(My mom chose to omit these)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, more for rolling

Note: My mom noted that this dough recipe is almost exactly the same recipe for my grandma’s kolache cookies. With that said, I knew we were in for a good meal.

Mix egg, sour cream, butter, chives and salt. Remember: we left out the chives.

Mix in flour thoroughly until dough forms.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours, up to two days.

As I am highly impatient when it comes to cooking, we let our dough rest for about 30 – 60 minutes.

To assemble, roll out dough to about 1/8-inch thickness.

Cut into 3-inch rounds.

notice our cutting device

Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling onto each round. Fold the dough over and seal the edges into a half-moon shape.

Press edges with fork to seal.

For our fillings, the group decided on the following:

Bring a pasta pot full of water to a boil. Add pierogi, 6 to 8 at a time. Cook until they float, then allow them to cook about 4 more minutes. Drain.

In a large skillet, heat butter and saute pierogi in batches until they are brown.

Serve with sour cream mixed with horseradish and sauteed mushrooms. We served the sour cream as is, no horseradish, and mushrooms on the side.

We sauteed onions, obviously – can’t have pierogi without that. We also had veal brats, kelbasa and green beans for those who wanted the full spectrum of food groups.

Final step: remember to let your dog inside:

Just kidding! He was in and out all afternoon long, but we couldn’t help but make him wait a moment for a photo.

It’s not a party without some dessert. Luckily, Dana’s birthday was earlier in the week, so naturally birthday cake and ice cream was in order! Giant Eagle makes a solid cake if I do say so myself. Happy Birthday D!

MY THOUGHTS ON THE DAY: making pierogi was EXHAUSTING but totally worth all the effort. I don’t know if it was standing in one place all afternoon or the 70 minute kickboxing class I took earlier in the day, but my calves were screaming at me by the end of the day. However, the exhaustion was well worth it because the end result was quite tasty. The dough was flavorful, but allow each of the fillings to take center stage. I tried the beef, sweet cabbage and sweet potato versions. The beef was a nice surprise – not at all what you usually get with a pierogi. The sweet cabbage was my favorite – I love my cabbage and noodles and it tasted just as good. The girls and I decided that the sweet potato pierogi need something more – maybe more sweet potato. The seasoning was right on, but I wanted more of the potato vibe that you get with a traditional potato pierogi.

I brought home two dozen for Hans: one dozen of the bacon/potato/cheese (YUM) and one dozen of apricot pierogi (don’t knock it til you try it!). They are waiting in our freezer for a cold snowy night – you know we still have a few left coming our way before spring gets here!


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