Cookbook Q&A: Sear, Sauce, and Serve

Tony Rosenfeld, a local chef, food writer, and restaurateur (he’s one of the the masterminds behind B. Good, a healthy and local alternative to fast food), releases his latest cookbook, Sear, Sauce, and Serve today. In it, he teaches the methods of high heat cooking (broiling, grilling, sauteing, and stir-frying) plus offers recipes for sauces, marinades, and finishing touches that make for a quick and simple weeknight meal.

Why a “high heat” cookbook?
I noticed that this is how I end up cooking at home. It’s a really great way to make it through the week because it’s simple and looks like a lot more.

The book is thorough, almost like a crash course textbook in meat and vegetable cookery. Is that what you were going for?
I wanted to give more than just recipes. With a recipe you don’t learn a method and that’ll only get you so far. If you absorb a way of cooking then you can put the book down and go your own way with it.

Are you the local buyer type?
I love local. We use as many local ingredients as possible for B. Good and if its good enough for work, then it’s good to use at home. Seasonality is important. It’s good to be aware of what’s around you. The goal with some of the pairings in the book was to try to hit the seasonality of some of the sauces. Like using a heavier pan sauce during the winter.

I’m in love with my cast iron skillet. Do you have a favorite pan?
My cast iron never leaves the stove top. I use it for everything, even stir-frying. It has the best kind of sear for most stove tops since it holds heat evenly. Having that great crust really makes home cooking look like restaurant quality.

Grilled fruit is one of my favorite summer snacks. Any tips?
It’s important to clean the grates before moving from meat to fruit. The fruit will be able to pick up some of the flavors left over from whatever you were cooking before. Patting dry fruit is also a definite. Drying the fruit and then lightly brushing it with oil will help it from not sticking. Lastly, medium ripe fruit holds up the best. If it’s too ripe, it’ll just fall apart.

Any troubleshooting tricks to cooking meat?
If the meat is sticking, just be patient, it’ll release from the pan when it’s ready to flip. No worries on the small mistakes, sauces can cover the little things.

What are your favorite sauce and meat combos that we shouldn’t miss?
Vinaigrettes with steaks and chops are really nice. They’re more versatile than people realize.

Last one, what is everything better with?
Hot sauce. I have a world of hot sauces in my fridge. When used right, they can really bring out new flavors.

Tony Rosenfeld lives in Marblehead and has written for the Washington Post, Bon Appetit, and Cooking Light. He’s also the founder of a troubleshooting site for home cooks. Find a copy of Sear, Sauce and Serve online at