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Get set: ‘Knife Drop’, the first cookbook from Nick DiGiovanni is coming June 13. The chef – who has gained over 20 million subscribers on YouTube and TikTok for his creativity in the kitchen – is set to deliver over 100 recipes, including buttermilk fried chicken, blueberry brie grilled cheese and Nick’s viral pasta chips.

If you don’t yet know about Nick, you should. Among his list of accomplishments is the fact that he did the most literal book launch by sending Knife Drop and a slice of pizza into space, Guinness World Records for largest sushi roll, chicken nugget and cake pop, and collabs with Joe Jonas, Tom Brady, Uncle Roger, Selena Gomez (to name a few).

And, as if all that isn’t enough, Nick’s mentor – none other than Gordon Ramsay – has even written a foreword for the book.

Hungry for a taste? We’ve scored three recipes from the upcoming book…

Green Goddess Cucumbers

Green goddess dressing tastes great on everything, but it pairs particularly well with cucumbers for a crunchy, creamy, and refreshing salad.

Yield: 2 Servings | Prep time: 12 Minutes | Cook time: None

Ingredients
  • 5 to 6 Persian cucumbers
  • kosher salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, to grate for zest
  • extra-virgin olive oil, to finish
  • 1/3 cup (16g) chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

For the dressing…

  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon
  • juice
  • ¾ cup (168g) mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup (57g) sour cream
  • ¼ cup (6g) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp tarragon leaves
  • 1 small garlic clove
Method
  1. Slice the cucumbers as you prefer. I like to accordion slice them.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the cucumbers to sit to draw out their flavours.
  3. To make the dressing, in a blender, combine the lemon juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, tarragon, and garlic. Blend on high until smooth.
  4. When ready to serve, drain the cucumbers in a fine mesh strainer to remove any excess water. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle the dressing over the cucumbers. Before serving, grate some lemon zest over the top, drizzle on a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle with the chives and sesame seeds.

TIPS: Persian cucumbers are the small ones that often come in packs of five or six. They’re far more flavourful than conventional cucumbers. This recipe makes about 11/3 cups (330g) of dressing—save any leftover dressing for dipping veggies!

Browned Butter + Chocolate Chip Cookies

As a proud Persian, I’m happy to say that the origin of the modern cookie can be traced back to seventh-century Persia. Over 1,000 years later, I’ve created this recipe that yields large, tall cookies with a crunchy exterior and a gooey interior.

Yield: 8 large cookies | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 8 to 11 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (170g) cold Browned Butter
  • (page 41), cut into cubes
  • 1 cup (213g) Brown Sugar (see below)
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Aged Vanilla Extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1½ cups (180g) cake flour
  • 1½ cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 8oz (227g) solid milk chocolate,
  • broken into chunks
  • ½ cup (85g) semisweet
  • chocolate chips
  • 2 cups (226g) chopped walnuts
Method

Preheat the oven to 415°F (210°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the browned butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until well combined, about 4 minutes.

Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating after each addition until fully incorporated.

Add the cake flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined.

Stir in the chocolate chunks, chocolate chips, and walnuts by hand. The dough will be a bit more crumbly than a typical cookie dough, but if you feel it won’t hold together, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

Divide the mixture into 8 large mounds and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Make the mounds tall and large, just how you want them to look when they finish. (They don’t spread much while baking.)

Bake for 8 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy the cookies while still warm and gooey.

Tip: Especially when it comes to cookies, trust your instincts over your timer. We all have our own preferences when it comes to crispiness, gooeyness, and more. This is mine, but I suggest you test to find yours—just don’t open the oven too many times in doing so!

Browned Butter

Slightly sweet and nutty with a complex flavor, browned butter is made by toasting the existing milk solids in regular butter. I’ve added a bit of extra milk powder to further amplify the flavor. Use browned butter in baked goods or drizzle it over fried eggs, vegetables, meat, or seafood.

Yield: 11/2 Cups | Prep Time: None | Cook Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 cups (339g) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup (48g) dry milk powder (optional)
Method
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  2. Whisk in the milk powder (if using) and cook for 3 minutes or until the milk solids become a golden brown color, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat—the mixture will continue toasting once off the heat—and, about 30 seconds before you feel it’s perfectly golden brown, pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl, scraping any extra bits of milk solids from the pan. Browned butter can be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to use.

Tip: Added milk powder is not necessary to achieve browned butter, but it does result in more browned milk solids, and therefore, increased flavor.

Grilled Pizza “Al Forno”

My first restaurant job was in Providence, Rhode Island. The restaurant, Al Forno, is known as the “birthplace of grilled pizza.” It’s the best pizza I’ve ever had. This is a spinoff I created with my friend Andris, who eats, sleeps, and breathes pizza.

Yield: 3 10-inch (25cm) pizzas | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1lb (454g) pre-made pizza dough
  • all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • high-heat cooking oil, for greasing
  • 1 cup (113g) freshly grated Fontina cheese
  • ⅔ cup (67g) freshly grated Romano cheese
  • ½ cup (50g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (14.5oz [425g]) can of whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 3/4 cup (20g) fresh basil, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (20g) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • extra-virgin olive oil, to finish
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
Method
  1. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions, each about 51/3 ounces (150g), and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature until needed.
  2. Oil the grill grates and preheat the grill to 400°F (200°C).
  3. In a medium bowl, lightly mix the Fontina, Romano, and Parmesan cheeses until evenly combined. Set aside.
  4. Add the tomatoes (with juices) to a large bowl. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes into a slightly chunky purée. Add a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  5. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll out 1 ball of dough as thinly as possible, using flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or the work surface. You want an extremely thin crust, as it will puff up a lot when it cooks.
  6. When the grill is hot and oiled, use your fingertips to gently lift the dough and drape it onto the grill. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until grill marks appear. Using tongs, flip the dough.
  7. Working quickly, brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with 1/3 of the grated cheese mixture. Use a spoon to add several large dollops of tomatoes across the dough.
  8. Sprinkle some of the basil and parsley over the top of the dough. Close the grill lid and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the cheeses have melted.
  9. Remove the pizza from the grill. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and sprinkle a healthy dose of raw scallions over the pizza before serving. Repeat steps 6 to 8 with the remaining dough and toppings.

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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.