Flavor, profiled: Lawrence chefs Robert and Molly Krause debut their first cookbook
The couple's new book is called "The Cook's Book of Intense Flavors"
If you’ve ever wanted to take the flavors of The Burger Stand home in more than just a doggie bag, now you can.
Robert and Molly Krause, the chef-entrepreneurs behind The Burger Stand at the Casbah, 803 Mass., Esquina, 801 Mass., and the former high-end culinary experience, Krause Dining, have just released a cookbook.
The book, “The Cook’s Book of Intense Flavors: 101 Surprising Flavor Combinations and Extraordinary Recipes that Excite Your Palate and Pleasure Your Senses,” features flavor combinations that the Krauses’ longtime customers will recognize in a format that’s different than your average cookbook. The book, colorful with tons of photographs taken at the couple’s home, is organized by characteristics, not course. The result is section titles such as “Light and Bright,” “Decadent” and “Complex.”
“It doesn’t have the appetizer, salad, entree, dessert kind of structure that a lot of cookbooks do,” says Molly Krause. “The concept for the book is different combinations of flavors. So, each recipe has kind of a discussion of three different flavors, it applies different cooking techniques to those three flavors and it ends with a recipe.”
The book retails for $26, and is available at both Esquina and Amazon.com. And though it might be a little bit cheaper on the web superstore, the Krauses say that if you buy it in person at Esquina, it’ll be signed by the authors.
The concept of writing a cookbook was started and discarded a number of years ago when the Krauses were living in Topeka, where they ran New City Café before selling the restaurant in 1999 and later moving to Lawrence. Eventually, the right concept and timing crossed paths and the couple got to work, putting their heads together to create 300 flavor combinations and recipes.
“I’ve never really written down a recipe, so this was an interesting process for me to make a dish, write it down, and then serve that dish that evening and kind of see how it came out,” Robert Krause says. “We really wanted people to be able to use the book and have success.”
While her husband was jotting things down in the kitchen, Molly Krause was taking his recipes and dissecting them into a discussion of flavors and how they work together to make something amazingly special to the palate. That said, the book isn’t meant to be complex — it should be a tool to inspire and sometimes even challenge home cooks.
“I think there’s a wide range of recipes in this book,” Molly Krause says. “There’s a whole chapter called complex creations in there — you know up front that they’re going to be more time-consuming or complicated. But the majority of the book, I think, is really accessible to most home cooks.”
For those who can’t wait to take a bit of the Krauses home with them, the couple notes that there very well could be a sequel or two down the road. Of the 300 or so recipes and flavor combinations they turned in to their editors, only about a third made this manuscript, meaning the groundwork is already laid for a sequel.
“I’m really proud of the book,” Robert Krause says. “I think that the way it’s designed and the quality of it and everything else is really for us to feel proud about.”