It's a great read if you want to find out what's under the hood at San Francisco restaurant Bar Tartine. It's mostly information for those into pickling, dehydrating, and obscure ingredients, but there's some stuff for regular home cooks.
Has anyone else tried out the recipes? What's good and not too crazy for a home cook?
As a start, I tried to replicate a Chicken Paprikás I ate at Bar Tartine. That recipe isn't in the book, so I instead made the book's corkscrew egg noodles on page 178-179 and paired it with a Chicken Paprikás recipe Balla wrote online a few years ago: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ch...
The egg noodles are very rich-- 8 yolks for 120 g of flour (60g all purpose, 60g "00" flour). We doubled the recipe, which brought us to 16 fluid ounces of egg yolks. The "00" flour is necessary--- I only used all purpose, and the dough was dense and tough to knead.
Shaping the pasta takes a long time, but we sped up as time went by. I estimate it would take a novice 90 minutes to cut and shape noodles for a single recipe. The recipe calls for pressing two 1/8 x 1/8 x 2" pieces of pasta together at the top, and twisting them into corkscrews. Yikes! We decided to make them 3" long instead, and it took us an hour to cut and shape a double recipe. The dough dries quickly, so you have to keep it under a damp towel as you work.
The noodles were nice and chewy and the irregularity of our noodle shapes added to our enjoyment of their texture. I coated them in some sour cream and light olive oil instead of butter, and the paprika sauce was a delicious compliment. The online Chicken Paprikás recipe was damn good too, and had fully developed flavors and body. The only change to that recipe was roasting the chicken legs for twice as long since the listed 25 minutes was enough to crisp the skin, but not to brown it or render out much fat. I'd say my chicken legs were better than what I are at Bar Tartine, but the sauce was better at the restaurant (they had added black trumpet mushrooms).