Queer Eye‘s Antoni Porowski Has A Cookbook Out Today — Here’s A Sneak Peek

Photographed by Paul Brissman; Courtesy of Rux Martin Books/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
When Antoni Porowski became the food and wine expert on Netflix's recent reboot of Queer Eye, the loudest fans on the internet wondered if this gorgeous guy in the A Little Life t-shirt with an endless supply of avocado recipes could actually cook. In his new cookbook Antoni in the Kitchen, which is out today, the Netflix star admits that he had a similar concern.
After describing the experience of finding out he had been offered a part on Queer Eye, Porowski shares the self-doubt that immediately crept in upon accepting the role. Despite his experience as a private chef and working in restaurants, he admits his "food passion felt more personal than professional." In the cookbook's introduction, he writes, "I saw myself as an aspiring actor, my work in the food business as a means to an end. It would be a full season of working on Queer Eye before I realized the track was one I'd been on all my life." A few pages into Antoni in the Kitchen, you'll have the same realization.
Advertisement
Among the recipes divided into categories of Apps and Snack; Greens, Veg, and Other Sides; Soups and Stews; Pasta and Rice; Weeknight Healthyish; Animal; and Bake, Porowski shares his personal experiences with each dish. In addition to both simple and challenging dishes as well as heartfelt stories about good food, you'll also find plenty of model-shots of the star exploring the streets of New York City and references to time spent filming Queer Eye. What you won't find, however, is a single avocado.
Take a look ahead to see three recipes from Antoni in the Kitchen, which is available in bookstores and online today.
1 of 4
Photographed by Paul Brissman.

Hi-Lo Poutine

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish or snack

"Poutine — that Québécois favorite of French fried topped with melty cheese curds and gravy — is a classic in Montreal, where I grew up. It's the favored post-night-out vodka-absorber at late-night eateries and diners. In recent years, though, famous Québécois chefs — Chuck Hughes and Martin Picard among them — have elevated the dish, adding luxe ingredients like butter-poached lobster and foie gras. My take on the marriage of high and low involves pairing America's beloved Tater Tots with a green-peppercorn demi-glace that replaces the traditional gravy and takes merely minutes to make."

Ingredients
1 (28-ounce) bag frozen Tater Tots, preferably "Extra Crispy"
1 (1.5-ounce) container beef or veal demi-glace, dissolved in water to make 1 cup (follow the package instructions)
2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) cheese curds (see Tip), broken into small nuggets, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

Instructions
1. Bake the Tater Tots as instructed on the package (leave some space between them on your baking sheet to help facilitate browning).

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the demi-glace mixture, vinegar, and bay leaf to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cold butter until the butter is just melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the green peppercorns and salt. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

3. Place half of the piping-hot Tater Tots in a large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with half of the cheese curds and chives, then drizzle half of the sauce on top. Repeat to make a second layer. Serve immediately.

Tip
Demi-glace is a reduced rich meat stock. For this recipe, buy a demi-glace concentrate such as More Than Gourmet Glace de Veau Gold. You'll find it in large supermarkets, near the broths and/or spices, and online.

Excerpted from ANTONI IN THE KITCHEN © 2019 by Antoni Porowski with Mindy Fox. Photography © 2019 by Paul Brissman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
2 of 4
Photographed by Paul Brissman.

Moroccan-Style Pasta Bolognese

Serves 4 to 6

"Cumin, coriander, and cinnamon — as well as lamb rather than the traditional beef — give this classic meat sauce a little spin. Since the sauce makes enough for 2 pounds of pasta, I make it on a lazy Sunday and freeze half of it (or all of it, in two batches) for a no-fuss weeknight meal or weekend dinner later on."

Ingredients
Kosher salt
1 pound long pasta, such as tagliatelle, fettuccine, linguine, or spaghetti
3/4 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups Moroccan Lamb Bolognese Sauce, warmed (see Notes)
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or mint
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt ‘til it tastes like the ocean (taste it). Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking liquid to loosen it just a bit. Set aside.

3. Scoop out about 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and reserve. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the butter, Bolognese sauce, and a tablespoon or two of the pasta cooking liquid. Toss together to combine, adding more pasta cooking liquid by the spoonful if the pasta appears dry.

4. Transfer to serving bowls. Dollop with the yogurt and top with cilantro or mint, parm, and black pepper.

Notes
Moroccan Lamb Bolognese Sauce
Makes 5 cups

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with their juices

Instructions
1. In a large Dutch oven or other wide heavy pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted and foamy. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the lamb and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat into bits with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 6 minutes.

2. Stir in the cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon salt, and a generous pinch of pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the milk. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until the sauce is thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until mostly evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes more.

3. Add the tomatoes and their juices, then reduce the heat to low. Break up the tomatoes into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, then gently simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding water by ½ cupfuls if the sauce becomes dry, until the sauce is deeply flavorful, about 3 hours. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve, or let cool before storing. (The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw if frozen and gently reheat over low heat, stirring occasionally, and adding 2 to 4 tablespoons water as necessary before serving.)

Tip
For quick work, you can chop the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic together in a food processor.

Excerpted from ANTONI IN THE KITCHEN © 2019 by Antoni Porowski with Mindy Fox. Photography © 2019 by Paul Brissman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
3 of 4
Photographed by Paul Brissman.

Kansas City Coconut Sheet Cake

Serves 12 to 15

"Beth Barden, a successful restaurateur in Kansas City, Missouri, who became a caterer for <em> Queer Eye </em> there, loves to play with American classics like sheet cake. This is one of her best. It's such a perfect cake for a crowd, and it always makes me think of children’s birthday parties. Whipped ricotta lightens the sugar load on the frosting for this coconut version, which is topped with lots of flaky coconut."

Cake Ingredients
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup full-fat coconut milk, well shaken before measuring
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting Ingredients
2 cups packaged unsweetened flaked coconut
1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cake Instructions:
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in the middle. Grease a 9-x-13-inch baking pan with coconut oil.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla.

3. With an electric mixer, beat the coconut oil, sugar, and butter in a large bowl on medium speed, scraping down the sides occasionally, until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the coconut milk mixture and beat until well combined, about 2 minutes (the mixture may appear curdled). Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just to combine. Fold in the coconut with a rubber spatula, making sure to fully incorporate it.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with the spatula. Bake until the cake is lightly golden on top and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. (Leave the oven on.)

Frosting Instructions:
1. Spread the coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

2. With an electric mixer, beat together the ricotta and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl on medium-high until the sugar is dissolved and the cheese is creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Gently fold in 1 cup of the toasted coconut. Cover the frosting and chill until it sets a bit, at least 30 minutes, and up to 4 hours. Set the remaining coconut aside.

3. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the reserved toasted coconut. Cut the cake into pieces and serve. The cake can be kept, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Tip
Be sure to use unrefined coconut oil here. If the oil is refined, it loses its nutty taste.

Excerpted from ANTONI IN THE KITCHEN © 2019 by Antoni Porowski with Mindy Fox. Photography © 2019 by Paul Brissman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Advertisement

More from Food & Drinks

R29 Original Series