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You're the inspiration.

"It is a big world out there, but a small community of chefs; your goal
in starting out is to get your foot in the door with a good one ... Work
with a master. Learn to think like the master. And one day the master
will have the confidence to ask you to move his work forward. When this
happens, you are on your way to being your own master--or at least, you
have taken a first step."
Daniel Boulud, Letters to a Young Chef


CHEFS DANIEL BOULUD AND CHARLIE Trotter, gold standard-bearers of fine dining in the United States, have inspired countless culinarians, a lucky few of whom have toiled in their kitchens, and legions more who have dined in their restaurants or read their books. On the following pages, Art Culinaire presents recipes from Boulud; Georges Blanc, who mentored and guided Boulud in the 1970's; and Olivier Muller, a young Boulud, protege who is currently executive chef at DB Bistro Moderne. Using common ingredients and classic preparations, these three chefs put their personal stamp on shared tradition.

We also showcase the wildly disparate creations of Trotter; Homaro Cantu, a 4-year Charlie Trotter's alum currently presiding over the space-aged Moto; and Norman Van Aken, who long ago took a chance on a very young and persistent young busboy--a teenaged Trotter--who longed to work in the kitchen.

THE MAYOR OF VONNAS: A Q & A WITH GEORGES BLANC

CHEF GEORGES BLANC REPRESENTS THE FOURTH GENERATION OF CHEF/RESTAURATEURS IN HIS family, based in Vonnas, in the French region of Lyon. A graduate of L'Ecole Hoteliere in Thonon les Bains, Blanc graduated at the top of his class in 1962 and, after working in several top kitchens throughout Europe, returned to Vonnas and the family restaurant in 1965. Blanc was given control of the modest family business at the age of 25, and he set out to build a mini-empire that currently includes Restaurant Georges Blanc and L'Ancienne Auberge, in Vonnas; Le Saint Laurent, in Macon; Chez Blanc, in Bourge-en-Bresse; and Le Splendid, in Lyon. He is the author of thirteen books, the most recent of which is Fetes des Saveurs (Hachette 2004), from which he drew inspiration for the recipes featured on the following pages. A wine enthusiast whose cellar holds 130,000 bottles from some 3,000 appellations, he is also the owner of Domaine D'Azenay, a 14-acre vineyard planted with Chardonnay grapes on the slopes of the Maconnais, in Aze. Since the first vintage, the resultant wines have won five gold medals.

Over thirty years ago, Blanc welcomed a very young Daniel Boulud into the kitchen of his eponymous restaurant (known then as La Mere Blanc). Below, he shares his thoughts about Boulud and the current state of his cuisine.

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AC: When Daniel Boulud cooked at La Mere Blanc, in 1973 through 74, was there something that distinguished him as a particularly talented cook?

GB: Daniel was dynamic, had great passion and worked very hard. His sensibility was already very fine and he was able to do many things. At that time, his great wish was to discover good things. Back then, there were [fewer] people in the kitchen--maybe ten people. Now there are 35. He was very much a collaborator, very young, with much enthusiasm. This job is hard work and requires much patience, and discovery of new things, and new styles.

AC: Daniel has named you as his mentor, and says that you taught him ambition. Who were your culinary mentors and what were some of the important things they taught to you?

GB: Mostly it was my mother. I worked in many places and then [returned to work] with my mother. She taught me great respect to the client and earnestness in my choice of products and quality. Many years later, I think my mother taught me: less creme, less butter, more lightness.

AC: The culinary world is currently fascinated with the avant-garde cuisine of brothers Ferran and Alberto Adria. Have you seen any of their influence in France, and more specifically in Lyon?

GB: I know Ferran, [because] he was a trainee here, more than 20 years ago. I visited him in his restaurant. He is a tremendous cook, and a lot of cooks are inspired by his style. Unfortunately, they don't have his talent. I think this style of cuisine is like ideas coming from a laboratory. They have been very unusual and they have to be considered what they are--very experimental.

AC: Your cuisine is steeped in the traditions of your family and the region. Is there any room within your repertoire for new techniques, new tools or ingredients borrowed from other parts of the world?

GB: My style is 'revised tradition', with reasonable creativity, using the best products, according to season. The most important thing in cuisine remains the deep taste in the mouth and a great visual for the eye, without forgetting the spirit and soul of the place where you are, which is an important contribution to the enjoyment of the meal.

THE GAMBLER

LAS VEGAS CHEFS, CONSIDER YOURSELVES ON NOTICE: DANIEL BOULUD IS FINALLY COMING TO TOWN.

"For 12 years I have been turning down Vegas, but I have the team today to be able to do it," he says of his plans to open one of the 18 restaurants in the Wynn Las Vegas, developer Steve Wynn's massive new hotel scheduled to open in April 2005. "I now have the management staff and the chefs who can be the percentage necessary to open a new business without diminishing the other businesses. With four restaurants and three concepts, I think we now have an idea of what we can do, and yet we are not the kind of business that's very static. It's not like we have a formula and it's easy to do. In Las Vegas we'll take a percentage of here and a percentage of there and a big percentage of something we haven't done yet."

This will not be the first venture outside New York for Boulud and his team, who successfully opened a branch of Cafe Boulud in 2003, at the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. How did he decide to start expanding his restaurant empire beyond Manhattan?

"They made us a great offer," he says simply. "It's not a licensing situation where they borrow our name and they run the restaurant. We co-own the restaurant there. I've been 23 years on the Upper East Side, so Florida sounded like sort of a natural idea. I have a great network of customers and they all kind of gather down in Florida, from Boca Raton to Jupiter, so I thought Palm Beach was well located." The area also appeals to Boulud because of the speed with which he can make the trip from New York.

"Jet Blue, Song and Ted [airlines] all fly direct to the airport, and the restaurant is 10 minutes from the airport, so it's easy compared to somewhere where it's going to take you all day to get there," he explains. Boulud checks in on Cafe Boulud Palm Beach on a monthly basis, but says, "I don't spend too much time there because we have a good team. I have a director of operations, I have a corporate chef who goes down there to watch the business. I go when we make changes on the menu, or have special events."

Boulud began his career in 1969, as an apprentice at Restaurant Nandron, in his native Lyon, France. Later, Georges Blanc gave him his first paying job, at La Mere Blanc, in Vonnas. In his book Letters to a Young Chef (Basic Books 2003), Boulud recalls that that job "was particularly right for me, because that chef, Georges Blanc, came as I did from a family that had a tradition of serving the so-called grandmother cuisine of the area." After working with Roger Verge at Le Moulin de Mougins and at the Plaza Hotel in Copenhagen, Boulud was named chef de partie at Les Pres d'Eugenie, Michel Guerard's Michelin 3-star restaurant. He returned to Copenhagen to open a French restaurant, Les Etoiles, and then departed to the States in 1981. Boulud's first American job was as the private chef for Ambassador Roland de Kergorlay in the European Comission, in Washington DC. He then headed up the kitchens at the Westbury Hotel, Le Regence at the Hotel Plaza Athenee and Le Cirque, all in New York, before opening Daniel, in 1993. Within a year he'd added a catering company, Feasts & Fetes, and a few years later he closed and relocated Daniel to a larger space, meanwhile transforming that restaurant's first home into Cafe Boulud. 2001 saw the opening of casual-but-chic DB Bistro Moderne, in midtown Manhattan.

In addition to the new restaurants, Boulud is also taking a chance--albeit a well-advised one--on Daniel Boulud Kitchen, his own line of kitchenware. He'd planned to be the spokesperson for an existing brand of knives, but then had a better idea.

"I was going to basically stick my name on the box, and it wasn't going be much of a business for me, with very little to say or do about the product. I thought it would be more interesting to create a set of knives myself," he explains. Cast iron and stainless steel pots and pans and professional quality textiles round out the collection, which boulud hopes eventually to display in a "micro-boutique" in major department stores.

Although he's expanded his holdings, Boulud remains intimately involved with the day-to-day operations at his flagship restaurant, Daniel. As I sit with him in his skybox office, made famous in The Fourth Star (Three Rivers Press 2002), Leslie Brenner's account of a year at the restaurant, he occasionally picks up an intercom phone and instructs a cook to julienne the leeks a little finer, or to turn down the heat under a reducing sauce.

"The new generation of chefs, they can rise very fast, and that's great, but how stable are they gonna stay while they rise?" he asks, gazing down as the young, white-coated army prepares for dinner service. "There are a lot of people who are very opportunistic about the business, and they see a young chef who is getting to be known, and they give him an opportunity that might kill the chef rather than help him. You go a few years later, that business is closed, and that chef is spinning." Something grabs his attention in the kitchen, and he reaches for the phone, then thinks better of it. Standing up, he says, "The bottom line is, whoever wants to really get famous for his cooking better stay in the kitchen." He heads down the stairs, tying on an apron as he goes.

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COME FOR THE MEAT, STAY FOR THE FEET

SOME YOUNG CHEFS COME TO NEW YORK TO EXPERIENCE THE city's myriad ethnic offerings, incorporating far-flung elements into their menus under the guise of "global fusion." For Olivier Muller, however, being in the center of the city's cultural milieu only serves to heighten his interest in the cuisine and customs of his native France. "With so many countries represented here," he says, "it makes me feel strong about my country, what I know. I like to leave the Asian cooking for the Asians, the Spanish cooking for the Spanish, and so on."

Muller, who refers to himself half-jokingly as "the Alsatian sensation", has been the chef de cuisine at DB Bistro Moderne since January 2004, having inherited the job when his colleague Jean Francois Bruel left to become executive chef at Daniel. A professional cook since the age of 16, Muller fell in love with the kitchen life while visiting local restaurants in and around his native Strasbourg, selling the chanterelles, littlefoots, hedgehog mushrooms, wild arugula and dandelions he and his father had gathered from the surrounding woods. He enrolled in l'Ecole Pratique d'Industrie Hoteliere de Strasbourg as a teenager, and drew his first paycheck at Michelin two-starred Le Cerf, in Marlenheim, under chefs Michel Husser and Philippe Jego. Two years later, Muller followed Jego to La Clariere in La Petite Pierre, where he was named sous chef, and followed up with a year of compulsory military service.

"I learned to play with guns during the week," he grins, "and returned to Strasbourg to cook on the weekends." In 1997, at the end of his service, Muller once again joined Jego, this time at La Cassolette, in Schweighouse-sur-Moder. When the chef, who in the interim had been named a Meilleur Ouvrier de France, accepted a position in Japan, the restaurant closed and Muller headed to the States.

Muller has worked for Dinex, Daniel Boulud's restaurant and catering company, since his arrival in New York. He started at Cafe Boulud, where he remained for 18 months, cooking seafood for the lunch service and picking up catering shifts with Feasts & Fetes in the evenings. It was at Cafe Boulud that Muller first met Bruel, who left his position as sous chef at Cafe Boulud to open DB, and who welcomed Muller to his team in January 2002.

"I was twenty-five, and I was hungry for more," says Muller of his decision to leave France. "I didn't speak any English, so I learned in the kitchen. The more I work, the more I learn English. The guys in the kitchen who speak Spanish, I make them speak English too," he adds.

Muller feels no regret at having stayed within one chef's company since arriving in the US. "When I first started at Cafe Boulud, I was in the garde manger. I stayed and worked through saucier, poissonier, through all the stations. I think it's important to spend a long time with one chef. It's a more rich experience than having small experiences all over the place. I have friends who work in other kitchens, and they share their experiences with me, so I learn about different kitchens that way," he says. He also finds inspiration in Astoria, Queens, where he currently lives. He explains, "It's a big foreign community over there--Greek, Korean, Colombian--a lot of good food, a nice community." Muller's commitment to the idea of community happiness is seemingly everywhere, from the unusually fresh and elegant staff meal his waiters and cooks enjoy before service to his assertion that, "Cooking, for me, is about enjoying 'the other'," to his happy acceptance of DB's most notorious menu item.

"We have a somewhat famous burger," he says, which is a polite understatement. The DB burger, a $29 amalgam of braised short ribs, ground sirloin, black truffles and foie gras, served with tomato confit and horseradish mayo on a parmesan bun and accompanied by pommes souffleeS in a gleaming silver cup, has gotten more press than Muller and Bruel combined. It's the kind of ridiculously popular dish that, if taken off the menu, would cause certain revolt among diners. Two line cooks at a time occupy themselves exclusively with its preparation. A more irritable chef might grow to hate the burger, but not Muller.

"They come for the burger," he says with a youthful smile, "and then they see we also have beautiful pig's feet!"

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TWISTED FIRESTARTER

bECAUSE SO MUCH OF WHAT HE DOES GOES AGAINST THE GRAIN, even the relatively normal aspects of chef Homaro Cantu and his domain take on a shocking quality, set as they are against the hype. A semi-informed visitor expects, on first visit, a wild-eyed, Wonka-style madman; a stand of the crabby apple trees that tormented Dorothy and the Scarecrow; maybe a quick retinal scan at the door, to ensure the safety of Cantu's many patented and patent-pending inventions. What a surprise, then, to meet the young, bespectacled chef who, like all good Charlie Trotter alums, has impeccable manners, believes in attention to detail, respects great ingredients and pays close attention to the seasons. He wears a white chef coat and sturdy kitchen shoes, and speaks with the appropriate reverence about the great aged balsamic vinegar of Modena. He keeps his clean, quiet kitchen stocked with onions and garlic, citrus fruits, potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper, butter and oil. He also happens to stock tanks of helium, nitrogen and carbon gas, more syringes than a methadone clinic, and the tools and chemicals necessary to turn a buttery-yellow saffron broth into a fully-sealed, polymerized shell containing a poached scallop and caviar-like pearls of squid ink. Welcome to Moto.

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Cantu, the son of a fabricating engineer for Lockheed Martin, is a reformed pyromaniac who learned as much setting his mother's kitchen on fire with an explosive combination of butter and boiling water as he did from watching his grandmother cook traditional Mexican dishes. A native of Portland, Oregon, the laser focused Cantu speculates that, had he not become a chef, he'd have ended up "a pyrotechnician or a full time inventor of kitchen equipment," two jobs that he seems to have already folded into his current job description. In addition to four years cooking at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, Cantu is a veteran of more than 50 stages on the West Coast, including stints at Patina, in Los Angeles, and San Francisco's Fleur de Lys. One imagines that he was an unusually observant student.

"A humbling experience was when I stepped into Aqua, in San Francisco, and saw what a dishwasher was capable of doing, other than washing dishes. I knew I had much to learn about being a dishwasher," he says, reflecting a commitment to perfecting every aspect of the restaurant experience for his customers. Moto's service staff is comprised of trained cooks who rotate from the back of the house to the front every three to six months. "Never be too good to wash dishes, sweep and mop" is another credo that Cantu has taken from his time with Trotter. "I believe you can learn something new at a fast food joint," he adds.

However, he'd rather his staff not try to learn from what has already been documented by other chefs. When asked whether his style, full of tricks and puns, edible menus and liquid salads in pipettes, is at all influenced by the legendary Ferran and Alberto Adria of Spain's El Bulli restaurant, or by their cookbooks, Cantu responds, "Moto is a self-sustaining think tank. Our ideas stem from a few basic rules. One: don't read cookbooks, [as] it influences your style and your style will no longer be yours. Two: creating cannot involve copying."

While Cantu appears eager to establish himself as an original thinker, he has no qualms about sharing information with the Adria brothers--albeit on his terms. Of an Adria brother's recent visit to Chicago, Cantu says, "Alberto's translator called me up to ask if he could see our hot ice cream. I said yes, but he would [first] have to sit down for our 19 course 'Grand Moto Tour.' He agreed, and we showed him two of the four forms of hot ice cream, as well as six other tools and ideas that I have US patents for." Cantu required the same gastric and time commitment from a visiting New York Times technology reporter who came seeking information about the Moto kitchen.

Included among Cantu's patented tools are the much discussed ilux utensils, designed with tight corkscrew handles, meant to be stuffed with sprigs of herbs (or other aromatics) whose fragrances then subtly affect the taste profile of whatever a diner is spearing or scooping into his mouth. Cantu has invented and patented a number of utensils, serving pieces and tools, in part because, according to his third rule, "If you can create new tools, then you are more likely to create new techniques." Keep on the lookout for one young chef's improvements upon the wheel.

AT YOUR SERVICE

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED THE LEGENDARILY IMPECCABLE service afforded to a diner at Charlie Trotter's, his assertion that "the customer is rarely right" may sound a bit paradoxical. Trotter introduces his staff, as he explains it, to "the art of interviewing the guest, to find out what's up, what they expect. The trick is to have them believe that they're in control, although they're not. It's more like a challenge, to seize control and dominate every detail of the experience."

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The art of being Charlie Trotter seems to involve walking a fine line between chaos and control. He speaks with amusement of a surprise birthday party for actor John Travolta, in Los Cabos, Mexico. Trotter and his staff were in the final stages of preparing a tasting menu for 278 high profile guests, and all went well until an aging, once-popular musician decided he wanted french fries, putting the cooks on the spot.

"Is it convenient to make fries in the middle of this party? No. But we are professionals, and we are capable of doing it, and so we did it." He chuckles and adds, "It turned into a bit of a Pandora's box, though, because suddenly 40 other people wanted the fries, too. We ended up with a fry station in the back of the kitchen."

For other chefs, an experience like that might be their first and last foray into meeting a customer's special, off-the-menu requests, but for Charlie Trotter, it's the way things are done, every day.

"You know in the movies, when a military sergeant does something dishonorable, and someone rips off his stripes? I think that some chefs should have their stripes ripped off for the way they approach this issue," Trotter begins, warming up to a subject to which he has devoted an entire book, Lessons in Service (Ten Speed Press, 2001), co-authored with Edward Lawler.

"It's appalling," he continues. "I've been in kitchens where a busboy or a waiter comes into the kitchen almost physically cowering, holding a plate and trembling and saying, 'The lady thought the meat was underdone' and the chef's like"--and here Trotter adopts an exaggerated French accent--"'that's not my problem!' This business is based on serving people what they want, and if you really don't want to do something for someone else, why are you in this business?"

Trotter takes a breath and answers his own rhetorical question. "I'm doing this because I can. It's a mindset, and it's actually quite easy to have this upbeat, optimistic attitude."

For his optimism and general sense of well-being, Trotter gives some credit to his involvement with the raw food movement. Having collaborated on the 2003 cookbook Raw (Ten Speed Press, 2003) with Roxanne Klein, Trotter is no newcomer to the cuisine. He's periodically included raw food degustation menus among his offerings at Charlie Trotter's, and has long been a champion of elegant, thoughtful food that just doesn't happen to contain meat or fish.

"We've had a vegetable degustation in place for 17 years at Charlie Trotter's. Prior to about ten years ago, if you went to another fine dining restaurant and ordered a vegetarian menu, the French chef would likely go"--Trotter slips again into the French accent--" 'This is bullshit! I kill you!' And he'd grudgingly pull the fish off the plate and add more asparagus. All I've ever maintained is that vegetable preparations and raw preparations are valid ways to eat, exciting ways to eat. I'm not saying one needs to convert or suddenly embrace the whole movement, but any truly valid chef needs to know their way around raw food preparation."

Norman Van Aken, whom Trotter has named as his mentor and inspiration, expressed a very similar sentiment in Art Culinaire Issue 64, saying of raw food preparation in a restaurant context, "... my position has been and remains that, given a challenge that is going to expand my consciousness, why not!?" Trotter and Van Aken each refer to their relationship as one between brothers, with Trotter adding, "Norman, Emeril [Lagasse] and I refer to ourselves as a triangle ... we all grew up together, professionally, and share a great and profound friendship. Through his mentoring, Norman didn't so much show me technique. His role was more of a spiritual leader, a spiritual inspiration. He's a guy that imparted to me a philosophy that embraced literary influences and a way of looking at the world, and for that I'll always be indebted to him."

PAN OF BROTHERS:

A Q & A with Norman Van Aken

iN 1989 IN SANTA FE, NM, NORMAN VAN AKEN APPEARED BEFORE members of The Society for Cuisine in America. He read from a "statement piece" entitled "Fusion", an elegy for the cooking of America's assimilating immigrant populations, lightened with the promise of a new cuisine, comprised of immigrant cooking and classical technique. His speech, which referenced Walt Whitman and Joni Mitchell, was met with bafflement that day, yet, as Van Aken says, "The term 'fusion' is in the best dictionaries now."

Van Aken is currently chef-owner of three Norman's restaurants, in Coral Gables, Orlando and Los Angeles. Below, he details a 22-year friendship, formed over bandages and burn cream, with Charlie Trotter. [Note: Chef Van Aken's recipes were developed in conjunction with Chefs Jeffrey Brana, Clay Miller and Craig Petrella.]

AC: Charlie Trotter named you as his culinary mentor. What can you tell us about the beginning of his career?

NV: When my son Justin was born, we were living in Key West. When he was one, my wife became quite homesick, so we returned to Lake County, Illinois. One very brave restaurateur named Gordon Sinclair hired me to run his new venture in suburban Lake Forest. It was 1982. Somewhere around January of '83 one of the young busboys came into the kitchen and humbly asked me for a job with us. I sized him up and said, "too skinny." My sous chef at that time cajoled me into taking him in after several weeks of his unremitting requests. We did. His name was Charlie Trotter. I can't say that I had much of an impression at first. Charlie was probably very quiet and knowing what I know now of his intensity and capacity for work, he probably realized that he would do best by simply outworking everyone around him. He did cut himself and burn himself so much that my single clearest memory was me gently scolding him for "using up all of the bandages."

AC: Did you continue to work together?

NV: He decided to go to California and pursue cooking school. Nearly simultaneously, Sinclair offered me a position as chef de cuisine in a property he was helping Mr. Marshall Field redevelop in Jupiter, Florida. After nearly two winters in the north, we leapt at the chance to return to sunny Southern weather. I began to get some postcards from Charlie, apprising me of his growth in California. He'd quit school after about 9 weeks if memory serves. He was impatient with the pace ... Charlie knew of the job I had signed up for in Florida, and while [it was] under construction, I offered him a job as the garde manger chef. He arrived after a marathon cross-country drive. I remember him to this day with a grimy, once-white golf visor, a five day growth on his sunburned face, and about 50 empty paper coffee cups strewn over his back seat. He was a whole new person. His confidence and sense of purpose were dramatically different than the shy young man from just a few years back. He tore into the station with evangelical scope.

He worked there for about a year and then he took off to Europe. More postcards and letters came. Many were actually written on the blank sides of chocolate bar wrappers of which I'm sure he'd consumed the entire amount of before pouring 1,000 words in the smallest writing imaginable.

When he returned to the States, I was back down in my beloved Key West, working as the chef of Louie's Backyard. When he learned I needed some help, he jumped in his car and made the drive. He worked there for about six months. Then it became time to do what he burned to do since 1982--open up Charlie Trotter's.

AC: What did you learn from Trotter in those early days?

NV: In the beginning, I learned more about bandaging. By the time he joined me in Key West, I learned how loyal and touching it was to finally have my own younger brother.

AC: Are you still in touch with him?

NV: We are constantly in touch. I wouldn't be surprised if he called me or dropped me an email while I answer these questions.

AC: In your opinion, do you still influence each other?

NV: We are brothers, so yes, always.

AC: Who were your culinary mentors, and what were some of the most important things you learned from them?

NV: I started as a busboy when I was 13. I most vividly remember the shock of doing room service orders. I was very shy ... I didn't want to be in the restaurant business. No one did [at that] age, but my mom was in it, and so it was in my blood. After a short stint in college, avoiding the Vietnam War, I started to seek my way in the world. One day I answered an ad for a short-order cook in the next town over. They hired me, and suddenly work was something I liked instead of dreaded. I stayed with it. I did learn from the men who were around me in those early years, but it was a down time in the US for fine dining. I mostly learned that being a chef was brutally hard work, with many men who needed to drink to put up with it. Times began to change around 1976 in American dining. I was lucky that I saw the old days, and luckier that I was still young enough to be a part of the ones to come. There were a few individuals that made a difference to me, no one famous or even extremely serious about cuisine, but they took some time with me upon occasion and I am grateful to them.

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AC: Charlie's approach to service has been well documented. How do you please your customers without compromising the integrity of your menu?

NV: I grew up doing my homework on the kitchen table, listening to my mother talk about the service in the dining room she presided over ... I loved her and enjoyed her every day she was near me, so I took her concerns and her observations and her advice like you would take oxygen. The success of cuisine is equally obtained through food and service. [At my restaurants] we have a philosophy of "getting to yes" with our guests.

RELATED ARTICLE: Fried Frog's Legs, Basil and Purple Peruvian Potatoes with Elisa Sauce (Serves 6)

GEORGES BLANC

Sancerre Blant, Jadis

Domaine Bourgeois

Loire, France 2000

directions

For the frog's legs: Separate each leg, at the joint, into two pieces. Set aside the second-joint (smaller piece). Beginning at the narrower end of the first-joint (larger piece), use a sharp knife to cut the tendons and, holding the exposed end of the bone with a kitchen towel, scrape the meat down the bone as far as possible toward the thicker end to create a drumstick. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining frog's legs and the reserved second-joints. Reserve bones and season meat with salt and pepper.

For the Elisa sauce: In a bowl, combine egg yolk, mustard, saffron and vinegar. Whisk in oil and fold in cooked eggs. Add water as needed to adjust consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed. Note: Recipe for sauce will make more than needed.

For the batter: In a bowl, combine all ingredients, except basil, and mix well. Add water as needed to achieve a creamy consistency. Stir in chopped basil leaves.

For the garnish: Peel potatoes and, using a mandoline, cut into 1/4-inch thick matchsticks.

To finish: Preheat deep-fryer to 350 degrees. Fry potato matchsticks until crisp, drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the frog's legs through batter, drain a few seconds to remove excess batter. Carefully fry in oil, until golden brown, about one minute, and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve: Divide potatoes among center of each plate. Surround with frog's legs and Elisa sauce. Place a basil leaf under every leg and serve.

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ingredients

For the frog's legs:
36 fresh frog legs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


For the Elisa sauce:
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon mustard
Pinch of saffron powder
Splash of sherry vinegar
2 cups grapeseed oil
3 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and finely chopped
Water, as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


For the batter:
3 3/4 ounces whole wheat flour
3/4 ounce corn starch
1/2 ounce semolina flour
1/4 ounce baking powder
1/4 ounce sugar
Pinch of salt
Water, as needed (approximately 1 cup)
1/4 bunch basil, leaves only, finely chopped


For the garnish:
1 pound 10 ounces purple Peruvian potatoes
1/4 bunch basil leaves, deep-fried


To finish:
Vegetable oil for frying, as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


RELATED ARTICLE: Bresse Chicken Breasts and Stuffed Thigh Braised in Corsican Broth with Truffle Oil (Serves 6)

GEORGES BLANC

Volnay, Santenots du Milieu

Domaine Lafon

Burgundy, France 2001

directions

For the chicken: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate the breasts and thighs from the chicken, keeping bones and skin intact. Season all pieces with Fleur de Sel and pepper. Slip four slices of truffles under skin of each breast. Roast breasts for 20 minutes. Debone thighs and stuff with foie gras. Sew thighs with trussing needle and string. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, being sure to tie the ends with twine. Fill a pot with water and heat to 175 degrees. Poach thighs for 1 hour and 20 minutes, while keeping the water temperature constant.

For the vegetables: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook carrots in boiling water until tender, about five minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, keeping warm. Repeat procedure with turnips and radishes. Toss hot vegetables with butter, sugar and salt to taste and set aside, keeping warm. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add snap peas and cook until tender, while still maintaining their color. Shock in ice water to prevent them from further cooking. Repeat with green beans and celery. With a medium parisienne scoop, scoop out balls from the potatoes. Cook in salted water until fork tender.

For the Corsican broth: In a small saucepan, heat truffle juice. Reduce by half, add consomme and simmer for five minutes. Season with truffle oil, salt and pepper. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve, keeping hot.

To finish: Debone the chicken breasts. Remove string from thighs and cut thighs and breasts into three or four pieces each.

To serve: Place thighs and breasts in center of plate. Add vegetables and coat with Corsican broth. Garnish with truffle slices, Fleur de Sel and pepper.

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ingredients

For the chicken:
4 1/2-pound Bresse chicken*
8 slices fresh black truffles
6 1/2 ounces foie gras, deveined and cut into 2 X 1/4-inch batons
Guerande Fleur de Sel and freshly ground black pepper to taste


For the vegetables:
24 baby carrots with tops, peeled
6 baby turnips with tops, peeled
6 pink radishes, peeled
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
10 ounces fresh snap peas, shelled
1 pound green beans
10 ribs celery, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 large potatoes, peeled
Salt to taste


For the Corsican broth:
5 tablespoons truffle juice
1 1/4 cups chicken consomme
5 tablespoons truffle oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the garnish:
12 slices fresh black truffles
Guerande Fleur de Sel, to taste and freshly ground black pepper to taste


*A chicken with blue legs, white plumage, skin and flesh, raised under strict standards in the Bresse region of France; may substitute organic free-range chicken.

RELATED ARTICLE: Spiced Foie Gras with Grapefruit Confit and Fig and Red Beet Puree (Serves 6)

GEORGES BLANC

Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive

Domaine Faller

Alsace, France 2000

directions

For the spice mixture: In a bowl, combine all ingredients and reserve.

For the foie gras: Season foie gras with salt and pepper on all surfaces and coat entirely in spice mixture. Gently tap to eliminate excess spice mixture and then coat uniformly with bread crumbs. Place in a cold saute pan and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. To ensure that it is thoroughly cooked, prick with a long needle; if it is warm when removed, it is done. Place on a rack and refrigerate 2 1/2 hours.

For the grapefruit confit: In a pot, combine grapefruit sections, water and sugar and cook on low until the peel is tender when pricked. Reserve, refrigerated.

For the fig and red beet puree: In a pot, heat butter; add shallots and cook until translucent, about four minutes. Add figs, sugar and thyme and continue to cook until shallots are lightly caramelized. Deglaze with cognac and reduce until nearly dry. Add citrus juices and reduce again until nearly dry. Add wine and reduce until nearly dry. Remove thyme, transfer to a blender and puree. Pass fig puree and beet puree through separate fine-mesh seives. Combine the two, using approximately one-third beet puree and two-thirds fig puree. Season with salt and pepper and adjust ratio as desired.

To finish: Cut foie gras into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place a slice in the center of each plate and add a grapefruit section and a quenelle of fig and beet puree. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar on one side of plate and garnish the other side with carrots and flowers. Sprinkle dish with Fleur de Sel and serve.

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ingredients

For the spice mixture:
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper


For the foie gras:
1 lobe foie gras, deveined
3 tablespoons spice mixture, from above
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


For the grapefruit confit:
1 grapefruit, cut into 8 sections
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar


For the fig and red beet puree:
1 tablespoon butter
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
8 dry figs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 sprig thyme
Splash of cognac
Juice of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon red wine
1 red beet, cooked and pureed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


To finish:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
18 baby carrots, peeled and cooked with thyme and chives
6 edible flowers
Guerande Fleur de Sel to taste


RELATED ARTICLE: Crepe Parmentiere with Wild Salmon, Caviar and Lemon-Shallot Butter Sauce (Serves 6)

GEORGES BLANC

Macon Aze

Domaine de Azenay

Burgundy, France 2002

directions

For the crepes: In a pot, cover potatoes with cold water. Add salt; cook until tender and drain. Return potatoes to pot. Stir over medium-high heat for one minute to dry. Remove from heat and transfer potatoes to food mill or potato ricer. Push potatoes through into a large bowl. Let cool in bowl to room temperature. Once cool, fold in flour. Whisk in eggs, then egg whites. Season to taste with salt and finish with cream. Reserve in refrigerator until ready to use. Note: Recipe will make more than necessary for six servings.

For the lemon butter sauce: Finely chop the lemon zest and place in a small saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil and strain. Repeat two more times and reserve. In a small saucepan, bring lemon juice to a boil and reduce until nearly dry. Add salt, pepper and cream and reduce to a thick, creamy consistency. Slowly whisk in diced butter to emulsify. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and add drained lemon zest. Season to taste and set aside.

For the shallot butter sauce: Heat one tablespoon butter in saute pan; add shallots and saute until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze with white wine and vinegar and cook until nearly dry. Add cream and reduce to a thick, creamy consistency. Slowly whisk in cubed butter to emulsify and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Season to taste and set aside.

For the salmon: Arrange salmon on a plate and place a pinch of caviar atop each piece. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

For the garnish: Cut tomatoes into 24 1/2-inch diamond shapes.

To finish: In large non-stick skillet over high heat, warm one tablespoon clarified butter. When butter is hot, pour in as many 2-inch circles of batter as will fit in the pan. Cook until golden brown, 20 to 30 seconds. Flip crepes and cook on the second side until golden brown, 20 to 30 seconds. Immediately place each salmon disk on a crepe so that it adheres well. Return crepes to skillet and cook two more minutes on crepe side. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to pan as needed. Drain crepes on paper towels. In a pot, mix together 2/3 of lemon butter sauce and 1/3 of shallot butter sauce. Reheat and foam with a hand-held immersion blender.

To serve: Garnish one side of plate with tomato diamonds. Drizzle sauce around edges and place remainder of sauce in center of plate. Place crepe on sauce and garnish with dill. Serve immediately.

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ingredients

For the crepes:
10 ounces Idaho potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (approximately 2
 potatoes)
1 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
2 eggs
3 egg whites
1/2 ounce double cream
Salt and pepper to taste


For the lemon butter sauce:
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon double cream
3 ounces cold butter, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


For the shallot butter sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons white wine
Splash of white wine vinegar
2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons cold butter, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


For the salmon:
12 ounce fillet wild salmon, skinned, cut into six 4-inch circles
1 ounce caviar


For the garnish:
2 tomatoes, peeled and quartered


To finish:
Clarified butter, as needed
Dill sprigs
Salt and pepper to taste


RELATED ARTICLE: Caramel Ice Cream Pockets with Milk Sauce (Serves 6)

GEORGES BLANC

Sautemes

Chateau Gillette

Bordeaux, France 1959

directions

For the French meringue: Preheat oven to 215 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, whisk egg whites to soft peak stage. Add sugar and incorporate slowly. Transfer the mix to a pastry bag and place the meringue on parchment paper in a leaf shape of 1 1/2 X 3-inches long. Place in oven and cook for three hours. Let cool. When meringue is cold, scrape the inside with the assistance of a knife to obtain a hollow shell.

For the milk sauce: In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cook until the mixture turns a brown caramel color, about 45 minutes to one hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve at room temperature.

For the caramel ice cream: In a pot, combine milk, powdered milk, heavy cream and stabilizer and bring to a scald. Remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk together yolks and seven ounces sugar. Temper yolk mixture by adding one-third of hot milk mixture to yolk mixture, while whisking constantly. Whisk tempered yolk mixture back into hot milk mixture and place over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and cool slightly. In another pot, wet remaining sugar and heat to a blond caramel. Carefully whisk in butter and stir into the milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Refrigerate for three hours. Pour into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Set aside in freezer.

For the leaves: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine butter and sugar and whisk together. Add egg whites, green dye and flour and mix well. Make a leaf stencil and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Spread the sugar mixture thinly onto the stencil and repeat with the rest of the sugar mixture. Transfer to oven and cook eight minutes. Remove from oven and curve edges of leaves.

For the spun sugar: In a small pot, mix together all ingredients. Cook mixture to a medium caramel color. Deposit caramel on parchment-lined sheet pan with assistance of a fork. While falling, it will form fine crunchy hair.

To finish: Fill each meringue with ice cream and place one leaf on each side of cup. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with very small round tip and squeeze small grains of cream atop the meringue, to reproduce the effect of grains of corn.

To serve: Decorate each "ear" with two leaves and spun sugar to resemble corn beards. Drizzle milk sauce on each plate.

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ingredients

For the French meringue:
7 egg whites
14 ounces granulated sugar


For the milk sauce:
10 ounces milk
6 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped


For the caramel ice cream:
3 ounces milk
2 ounces powdered milk
6 ounces heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon ice cream stabilizer
6 egg yolks
4 ounces granulated sugar
3 1/2 ounces butter


For the leaves:
2 ounces soft butter
2 ounces confectioners' sugar
2 egg whites
2 drops green food dye
2 ounces all-purpose flour


For the spun sugar:
5 1/4 ounces sugar
3/4 ounce corn syrup
8 1/2 ounces water


For the garnish:
14 ounces whipped cream


RELATED ARTICLE: Caraibe Chocolate Ganache with Old Maury Prunes (Serves 6)

GEORGES BLANC

Rasteau, Vin doux Naturel

Domaine Romero

Rhone, France 2000

directions

For the prunes: Soak prunes in Old Maury wine for 24 hours.

For the chocolate spiral: On a parchment-lined sheet pan, pour a line of chocolate 8-inches long and drag a rubber comb through chocolate. Lift edges of parchment away from each other to create a spiral, tape to maintain shape and freeze for two hours. Remove chocolate spirals from parchment and store in freezer until ready to use.

For the chocolate ganache: In a bowl, combine yolks and sugar and whisk until the mixture is pale and creamy. In a bowl over a double boiler, combine chocolate, butter, cocoa powder and praline and melt, stirring constantly. Temper yolk mixture by adding one-third of chocolate mixture to yolk mixture, while whisking constantly. Whisk tempered yolk mixture back into remaining chocolate mixture and mix well. Fold in whipped cream. Pour ganache into 1/2 X 3-inch molds. Refrigerate until hardened and then remove from mold. Combine chocolate and cocoa butter, mixing well, and transfer to a chocolate sprayer (or a Wagner airless spray gun). Spray each ganache mold to create an even coat of chocolate.

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For the tuile: Preheat oven to 320 degrees. In a bowl, combine sugar and flour and mix well. Slowly whisk in orange juice, then melted butter. Spread batter on Silpat[R]-lined sheet pan in 3-inch circles. Cook until hardened, about ten to fifteen minutes. Once cooked, fold circles into 2-inch diameter tubes.

To serve: Deposit a tuile on every plate and place the macerated prunes inside. Cover with chocolate ganache and top with a prune. Garnish with chocolate spiral and fondant.

ingredients

For the prunes:
17 1/2 ounces pitted prunes
1 bottle (25 1/4 ounces) Old Maury


For the chocolate spiral:
10 1/2 ounces Valrhona Caraibe chocolate, tempered


For the Caraibe chocolate ganache:
6 egg yolks
4 1/2 ounces confectioners' sugar
5 1/4 ounces Valrhona Caraibe chocolate, roughly chopped
3 1/2 ounces butter
1/2 ounce cocoa powder
1/2 ounce praline
4 1/2 ounces cream, whipped
12 1/4 ounces dark chocolate, melted
5 1/4 ounces cocoa butter, melted


For the tuile:
5 1/2 ounces sugar
2 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
3 1/2 ounces orange juice
4 1/2 ounces butter, melted


For the garnish:
1/2 ounce soft fondant rolled into balls


RELATED ARTICLE: Frog's Legs with Mousserons, Edamame and Watercress Emulsion (Serves 4)

DANIEL BOULUD AND JEAN FRANCOIS BRUEL

Riesling

Clos Clare

Care Valley, Australia 2004

directions

For the mushrooms: In a medium saucepan, combine mushroom trimmings with heavy cream and bring to a gentle boil. Remove pan from heat and let infuse for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding trimmings. Whisk together infused cream, curry powder, and Hawaij spice and set aside. In a clean skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme and cook until almost all liquid in the pan has evaporated. Add sherry vinegar, discard garlic and thyme, and season with salt and white pepper.

For the watercress emulsion: Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Add watercress leaves and blanch until tender, five to six minutes. Drain; transfer watercress to blender, along with butter, and puree until smooth. If sauce is too thick, add one to two tablespoons water. If sauce does not emulsify, transfer to a pot and heat briefly, then transfer back to the blender and puree. Strain through fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

For the edamame: In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add edamame and saute until glazed; season to taste with salt and white pepper. Transfer edamame to warm plate.

For the frog's legs: Separate each pair of frog's legs. Fold each leg in half, twisting it under and over on itself to secure it. Season legs with salt and white pepper and lightly dust with flour. In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add the legs to pan and cook on all sides until golden brown, about three to four minutes. Discard half the butter and pour spiced cream over remaining butter. Bring to a simmer and cook until legs are tender, about seven to eight minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer legs to warm plate. Strain sauce through fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

To serve: In bowl, mix together watercress emulsion and butter. Froth using hand-held immersion blender. Divide legs among four warmed dinner plates. Spoon emulsion over legs. Scatter mushrooms, edamame and parsley sprigs on top. Sprinkle with chopped chives.

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ingredients

For the mousseron mushrooms:
1 pound mousseron mushrooms, cleaned and trimmings reserved for the
 sauce
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Hawaij spice*
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 sprig thyme
2 drops sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the watercress emulsion:
1 small bunch watercress, leaves only, 4 sprigs reserved for garnish
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the edamame:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 pound shelled and cooked edamame beans
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the frog's legs:
1 1/2 pounds frog's legs
All-purpose flour, for dusting
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Spiced cream, from above
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


To serve:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives


*A Yemeni ground spice mixture of ginger, white cardamom, white pepper and cinnamon. Available through Kalustyans at (212) 685-3451 or www.kalustyans.com.

RELATED ARTICLE: Almond-Crusted Snails with Garlic and Black Trumpet Mushrooms (Serves 4)

DANIEL BOULUD AND JEAN FRANCOIS BRUEL

Morgon, "A la Cote du Py"

Domaine Marcel Lapierre

Beaujolais, France 2002

directions

For the almond crust: Place bread in bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until crumbs form. Add butter, almond flour, almonds, parsley and garlic and blend together in food processor; season with salt and white pepper. Place butter mixture between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll to 1/8-inch thick. Refrigerate at least two hours or freeze at least 30 minutes.

For the garlic heads: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each head of garlic crosswise, one-third of the way down from the top; discard tops. Drizzle cut side of each garlic half with olive oil and season with salt. Put the heads of garlic, cut side up, on baking sheet with parchment paper and bake until cloves are tender and light golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

For the garlic sauce: Place garlic cloves in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, drain and repeat two more times. In small saucepan, bring heavy cream and blanched garlic to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until garlic is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

For the parsley sauce: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add parsley; blanch until tender, five to six minutes, and drain. Transfer parsley to blender, add butter and puree until smooth. If sauce is too thick, add one to two tablespoons water. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

For the black trumpet mushrooms: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, until almost all liquid has evaporated. Discard garlic and thyme and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

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For the snails: In medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add snails and cook, stirring for one to two minutes. Add parsley leaves, garlic and shallots and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

For the fried sage and garlic chips: In deep-fryer or a tall-sided pot, preheat vegetable oil to 275 degrees. Add the sage and fry until crisp, about 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with garlic.

To finish: For each head of garlic, carefully remove garlic cloves, leaving three cloves equidistant from each other in outer ring of head. Put six snails into the remaining "slots" next to garlic cloves, leaving center empty. Remove crust from freezer, and, using a 3/4-inch round cutter, cut 24 circles from the crust. Place a circle over each snail. Bake in oven until crust is golden brown. Finish by placing a snail in center of each head of garlic.

To serve: In a bowl, whisk together walnut oil and sherry vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Toss parsley leaves with walnut sherry vinaigrette. Reserve 1/4 cup of garlic sauce. In a bowl, combine 2/3 cup parsley sauce, 1/3 cup garlic sauce and butter. Froth sauce using a hand-held immersion blender. On each plate, place small mound of black trumpet mushrooms in center and top with a head of garlic stuffed with snails. Arrange three dots of garlic sauce around each head and place a clove of roasted garlic on top of each dot. Drizzle parsley-garlic sauce around and sprinkle fried sage and garlic chips on top.

ingredients

For the almond crust:
2 1/4-inch-thick slices white bread, crusts trimmed
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon almond flour
1 tablespoon roughly chopped almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the garlic heads:
4 heads garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste


For the garlic sauce:
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the parsley sauce:
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted or softened
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the black trumpet mushrooms:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound black trumpet mushrooms, cleaned
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 sprig thyme
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the snails:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
28 large Burgundy snails, removed from shells
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the fried sage and garlic chips:
Vegetable oil for frying, as needed
4 sprigs sage
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced


To finish:
Garlic heads, from above
Snails, from above
Almond crust, from above


To serve:
1 1/2 teaspoons walnut oil
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
Garlic sauce, from above
Parsley sauce, from above
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


RELATED ARTICLE: Asian-Inspired Crepes Vonnassiennes (Makes 30 3-inch pancakes)

DANIEL BOULUD

Gruner Veltliner Federspiel, Wachauer

Rudi Pichler

Wachou, Austria 2001

directions

For the scallion and squid pancakes: Place potatoes in pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes can be easily pierced with pairing knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes. While potatoes are still hot, pass through a food mill or potato ricer. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature. Using hand-held blender or whisk, mix together potatoes, flour, milk, eggs, egg yolks, pepper and daikon. Mixture should have consistency of thick custard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In large non-stick skillet, warm sesame oil; add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for one to two minutes. Add squid and continue to cook until squid is light golden brown. Add scallions and continue to cook for two to three minutes; season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to plate.

For the ginger-pepper sauce: In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Set aside until ready to use.

To finish: In a large non-stick skillet, warm one tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Spoon as many 3-inch circles of batter as will fit in pan and top each pancake with one teaspoon of squid mixture. Cook until golden brown, 20 to 30 seconds. Flip pancakes over and cook on second side until golden brown, 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining batter, adding oil to the pan as needed. Drain pancakes on paper towels.

To serve: Place pancakes on warm plate and drizzle with ginger-pepper sauce.

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ingredients

For the scallion and squid pancakes:
2 large Idaho potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into large chunks
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, deveined and finely diced
1/4 cup grated daikon
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoons grated fresh garlic
1 pound cleaned squid, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch scallions, finely sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


For the ginger-pepper sauce:
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar


To finish:
Extra virgin olive oil


RELATED ARTICLE: Volaille a la Creme (Serves 4)

DANIEL BOULUD AND PATRICE MARTINEAU

Pouilly Fuisse, "Vieilles Vignes"

Domaine Cordier

Burgundy, France 2002

ingredients

For the chicken stock:*
4 pounds chicken parts, skinned, trimmed and rinsed
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 medium onions, peeled, trimmed and cut into quarters
2 small carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 stalk celery, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium leek, trimmed and split lengthwise
1/2 head garlic, split crosswise in half
1 bay leaf
5 sprigs Italian parsley
1 teaspoon white peppercorns


*This recipe makes more stock than you will need. The stock can be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for 4 days or frozen for up to a month.

For the chicken:
2 3-pound chickens
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups unsalted chicken stock, from above
Salt and freshly ground white pepper


For the filling:
2 chicken gizzards, from above
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon four spice**
1/2 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
4 sprigs thyme
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 chicken drumsticks, from above
2 cups duck fat
4 cock's combs
8 duck kidneys
2 chicken livers, from above
4 chicken oysters
16 chanterelle mushrooms
4 Thumbelina carrots, peeled and trimmed
1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the gnocchi:
Coarse sea salt
2 large Idaho potatoes (about I pound), well scrubbed
1 small egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest


For the bechamel sauce:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups unsalted chicken stock, from above
3/4 cup creme fraiche
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground white pepper


To finish:
1 frozen puff pastry sheet (from a 17 1/4-ounce package), thawed
2 eggs, beaten


**Four spice is a ground spice mixture usually containing white pepper, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon or cloves.

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For the chicken stock: In a tall stockpot, combine chicken and seven quarts of cold water and bring to a rolling boil. Add remaining three quarts water (it should be very cold) and skim off impurities that rise to top. Bring to a simmer and cook, skimming regularly, for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer three hours, continuing to skim so that stock will be clear. Drain stock through a fine-mesh sieve. Allow solids to drain for a few minutes before discarding them, then strain stock again through a fine-mesh sieve. Reserve until needed.

For the chicken: Remove legs and wings from chickens. Debone wings and breasts and remove skin from each breast. Reserve livers and gizzards. Fill large bowl with ice cubes and water and place smaller bowl on top. Put one chicken breast into bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade; add egg and blend just until smooth. Do not process chicken too long or mixture will become too warm and cook egg. Push mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the smaller bowl. Mix chicken over ice bath to facilitate cooling. Stir in cream and chives and season with nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Spoon mixture into pastry bag fitted with medium round tip. Season inside of each chicken wing with salt and white pepper. Insert pastry bag into each wing and stuff with chicken mousseline. Lay large piece of plastic wrap on flat surface. Season outside of each chicken wing with salt and white pepper. Lay wings, lengthwise, end to end. Using plastic wrap, roll wings into tight cylinder about 2 inches in diameter. Make sure wings are wrapped very tightly and secure both ends of log with kitchen string. Bring large pot of water to a boil and carefully lower log into water. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer log into ice water bath and let cool. Remove plastic wrap. Bring chicken stock to a boil. Season remaining three chicken breasts with salt and white pepper. Add chicken to pot, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and reserve stock for a future use. When chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into large dice.

For the filling: Combine gizzards with three teaspoons salt, sugar, four spice, bay leaf, one clove garlic and one sprig thyme and refrigerate overnight. The next day, discard bay leaf, thyme and garlic and rinse gizzards very well under cold water. Melt two tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Season drumsticks with salt and white pepper. Cook on all sides until golden brown. Add gizzards and pour in duck fat, making sure that fat completely covers drumsticks and gizzards. Warm duck fat to 176 degrees. Cook for two hours at 176 degrees. Remove drumsticks and gizzards from fat. Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Add cock's combs, lower heat and simmer three hours, or until cock's combs are tender. Cut each comb in half. Bring small saucepan of water to a boil. Add duck kidneys, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Drain and very carefully remove skin from livers. In small skillet, melt one tablespoon butter; add chicken livers, one clove garlic and one sprig thyme and cook on all sides until rare, about one to two minutes. Season with salt and white pepper and cut in half. Repeat with chicken oysters, but do not cut in half. In small skillet, melt one tablespoon butter; add mushrooms, remaining garlic and remaining sprig of thyme and cook, stirring, until almost all the liquid in the pan has evaporated. Discard garlic and thyme and season to taste with salt and white pepper. In a small skillet, melt remaining butter; add carrots and chicken stock and cook until liquid in pan has reduced to a glaze. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

For the gnocchi: Center a rack in oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Line a baking dish with a 1/2-inch thick layer of sea salt. Prick each potato several times with a fork and place on top of salt. Transfer pan to oven and bake until potatoes are tender when pierced with fork, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle, 5 to 10 minutes. Peel potatoes while they are still very warm. Pass peeled potatoes through a food mill or a potato ricer into bowl. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir remaining ingredients into warm potatoes until combined. Do not overwork dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Cut off one-eighth of dough and roll into a log about 1/2-inch thick and 16 inches long. Cut log into 1/2-inch pieces and place on lightly floured tray or plate. Repeat using remaining dough. (Gnocchi may be refrigerated for up to 6 hours.)

For the bechamel sauce: In medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook slowly, stirring, until butter and flour froth together for two minutes. Do not allow mixture to brown. Whisk in chicken stock, lower heat and simmer 20 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove any skin that has formed on surface of sauce. Whisk in creme fraiche and simmer for 20 minutes more. Again remove any skin on surface. Season with lemon juice, nutmeg, salt and white pepper.

To finish: Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi and boil until they rise to the surface, about one to two minutes. Cook 30 seconds more and drain immediately. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Combine gnocchi, chicken, filling components and bechamel sauce in a five quart casserole; season with salt and white pepper as needed. On lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry into a circle at least 2 inches larger than casserole. Brush evenly with egg wash. Drape pastry, egg wash side down, over casserole. Trim overhang and press scraps along the rim and side of casserole to seal. Brush crust evenly with egg wash, and using a small knife, score top of pastry with diamond pattern. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and slightly puffed.

To serve: Serve family style.

RELATED ARTICLE: Crepes Vonnassiennes Tarte Flambe (Makes about 4 dozen crepes)

OLIVIER MULLER

Riesling Spatlese, Urziger Wurzgarlen Vineyard

Alfred Merkelbach

Mosel-Soar-Ruwer, Germany 2003

directions

For the crepes: In a pot, cover potatoes with cold water. Add salt; cook until tender and drain. Return potatoes to the same pot. Stir over medium-high heat for one minute to dry. Remove from heat and transfer potatoes to a food mill fitted with fine blade, or a potato ricer. Push the potatoes through into a large bowl. Stir in milk and let cool to room temperature. Using a whisk, stir in flour, eggs, egg whites, creme fraiche, and colza oil, mixing well after each addition. Mixture should have the consistency of thick custard. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. In large non-stick skillet over high heat, warm one tablespoon clarified butter. When butter is hot, pour in as many 2-inch circles of batter as will fit in the pan. Cook until golden brown, 20 to 30 seconds. Flip crepes and cook on the second side until golden brown, 20 to 30 seconds, Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to pan as needed. Transfer the crepes to a paper towel lined plate.

For the assembly: Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until its fat is rendered and browns lightly. Add onion and cook, stirring until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together fromage blanc, creme fraiche, flour, egg and colza oil; season to taste with nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Top each crepe with one tablespoon of fromage blanc mixture, then add a tablespoon of the bacon and onion mixture to each crepe. Transfer crepes to prepared baking sheet and bake one to two minutes until the cheese is golden brown. Serve immediately.

ingredients

For the crepes:
1 pound Idaho potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs
4 egg whites
1 ounce creme fraiche
1 tablespoon colza oil*
Clarified butter, as needed
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the assembly:
6 ounces double smoked bacon, thickly julienned
1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound 2 ounces fromage blanc**
8 ounces creme fraiche
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons colza oil*
Freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


*Light yellow to brown oil from the rapeseed plant, a.k.a rape oil or rapeseed oil.

**A soft, fresh cream cheese that has the consistency of sour cream.

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RELATED ARTICLE: Baekehofe d'Escargots (Serves 4)

OLIVIER MULLER

Vin d'Assemblage, Grand Cru Sonnenglanz

Bott-Geyl

Alsace, France 1999

directions

For the pork stock: In a large pot, combine all ingredients and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer three hours, ensuring foot is submerged. Boil until foot is very tender and can be pierced easily with the point of a knife. Remove foot from pot; remove bones and nails while still hot. Finely chop the skin and meat and set aside. Strain stock through a colander, pass it through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve.

For the vegetables: Center a rack in oven and preheat to 350 degrees. In large, high-sided, ovenproof skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, leeks and garlic; saute until vegetables are translucent, but not browned, about 10 minutes. Deglaze with wine and add pork stock, potatoes, foot meat and bouquet garni; season to taste with salt and white pepper. Bring to a boil and transfer to oven. Bake one hour, until potatoes are tender but not falling apart.

For the leeks: Fill a bowl with ice cubes and water. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch leeks one minute, then drain and shock in ice bath. Drain again and pat dry.

For the snails: In medium skillet over medium heat, warm brown butter. Add snails; saute for one to two minutes. Add parsley, scallions and garlic and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

To assemble the baekehofe: Center a rack in oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide half the potatoes evenly among four individual-sized casseroles. Place half the leeks on top of potatoes and season with salt and white pepper. Add snails and season with salt and white pepper. Place remaining leeks on top of snails, season and top with remaining potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes, then broil until potatoes are golden brown. Serve immediately.

ingredients

For the pork stock:
1 pig's foot
1 pound pig bones
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, white part only, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon juniper berries, 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, 1/2
 teaspoon coriander seeds and 1 whole clove, tied together in
 cheesecloth


For the vegetables:
2 tablespoons butter
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
2 leeks, white parts only, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup dry Riesling wine
3 cups pork stock, from above
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
Pig foot meat, from above
Bouquet garni (4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, and 1 bay
 leaf, tied with a leek green)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the leeks:
1 leek, white part only, cut into 1/2-inch slices


For the snails:
2 tablespoons brown butter
24 large Burgundy snails, removed from shells
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


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RELATED ARTICLE: Frog's Legs Fricassee with Mehlknepfle, Chicken Oysters and Persillade Cream (Serves 4)

OLIVIER MULLER

Gruner Veltliner, Kremser Freiheit

Nigl

Kremstal, Austria 2002

directions

For the mehlknepfle: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic and thyme; saute until almost all liquid in pan has evaporated, about five minutes. Discard garlic and thyme and toss mushrooms with chives. Reserve two-thirds of mushrooms for garnish and finely chop remaining third. In a bowl, combine chopped mushrooms, flour, milk, fromage blanc, eggs and porcini flour. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice cubes and water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Use two spoons to form quenelles from the batter, carefully dropping each into the simmering water. Cover and cook until the mehlknepfle rise to the surface, one to two minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mehlknepfle to the ice water bath to cool. Drain on a plate lined with a double layer of paper towels.

For the persillade cream: Place the garlic in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, drain, and repeat two more times. In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream and blanched garlic to a boil. Add parsley leaves and, using a hand-held immersion blender, mix until smooth. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

For the frog's legs and sauce: Separate each leg, at the joint, into two pieces. Set aside the second-joint (smaller piece). Beginning at the narrower end of the first-joint (larger piece), use a sharp knife to cut the tendons and, holding the exposed end of the bone with a kitchen towel, scrape the meat down the bone as far as possible toward the thicker end to create a drumstick. Season with salt and white pepper and dust with flour. Repeat with remaining frog's legs and the reserved second-joints. Reserve the bones and season the meat with salt and white pepper. In a medium saucepan, combine reserved bones, mushroom trimmings, parsley stems, half the shallots and the wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until almost all the liquid in the pan has evaporated. Remove the bones, stir in two tablespoons butter and season the sauce with salt and white pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt two tablespoons butter. Add the drumsticks and cook eight minutes. Add the deboned frog's leg meat and continue to cook, stirring, until drumsticks and meat are golden brown, four to five minutes. Stir in remaining shallots, garlic and parsley; taste and season with salt and white pepper. Season oysters with salt and white pepper. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the remaining butter. Add oysters, presentation-side down, to pan and cook, until exterior is golden brown and crisp, about five minutes.

To finish: Combine reserved mushrooms with deboned frog's leg meat and reheat if needed. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm heavy cream. Add mehlknepfle and cook until warmed through.

To serve: Divide reserved mushrooms among four warmed dinner plates. On each plate, stand three drumsticks and place three oysters and three mehlknepfle around. Spoon sauce around and garnish with persillade cream.

ingredients

For the mehlknepfle:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound mixed wild mushrooms (chanterelles, porcini, black trumpets),
 cleaned and trimmings reserved for the sauce
1/4 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 sprig thyme
2 chives, finely chopped
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
2 1/4 ounces fromage blanc*
3 eggs
1 tablespoon porcini flour
Freshly ground nutmeg to taste
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the persillade cream:
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup heavy cream
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, stems reserved for sauce
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


For the frog's legs and sauce:
2 pounds frog's legs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Mushroom trimmings, from above
Parsley stems, from above
4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup dry Riesling wine
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
12 chicken oysters
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


To finish:
1 cup heavy cream


*A soft, fresh cream cheese that has the consistency of sour cream.

RELATED ARTICLE: Crayfish Matelote (Makes 10 hors d'oeuvre)

OLIVIER MULLER

Pinot Noir

Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Los Carneros, CA 2001

directions

For the pasta dough: In a bowl, mix together flour, egg yolk, egg, olive oil and salt by hand. Transfer to a lightly-floured work surface and knead dough until smooth, about five minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Line a baking sheet or jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour. Divide dough into four pieces and roll each piece through a pasta machine until nearly translucent. Cut pasta into 10 sheets, about 5-inches square each. Put pasta on prepared baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

For the matelote: In a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine pike, heavy cream and egg yolk and mix until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with salt and white pepper. In large pot, combine fish trimmings and bones, mushrooms, leeks, thyme, shallots, garlic, bay leaf and white wine. Add enough water to cover the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Return stock to pot and bring to a boil. Add crayfish and poach two to three minutes. Using a strainer, remove the crayfish. To peel crayfish, twist off the heads and peel off the top three sections of shell. Holding the meat in one hand and the tip of tail in the other, squeeze tail while pulling the meat from shell. Vein in the center of the crayfish should come off with shell. If it doesn't, remove by hand, then rub off any yellow coral that clings to the meat. Set meat aside and reserve claws for garnish. Return stock to a boil and add eel. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Using a strainer, remove eel. Cut eel into 12 pieces and season with salt and white pepper. Keep stock at a gentle simmer. Use two spoons to form quenelles from the pike puree, carefully dropping each into the simmering stock, working in batches of three or four at a time. Cover and cook until quenelles rise to the surface, one to two minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove quenelles once they rise to the surface, or after about two to three minutes and drain on a plate lined with a double layer of paper towels. Bring stock to a boil again and reduce by half. Stir in heavy cream and lemon juice; season to taste with salt and white pepper. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until almost al dente, about 2 minutes. Gently remove the pasta with a strainer and drain.

To serve: Fill each of ten ceramic serving spoons with one teaspoon of sauce. To each spoon, add a pasta square, one crayfish, one quenelle and a piece of eel. Serve immediately.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ingredients

For the pasta dough:
1 cup type 00 flour
1 egg yolk
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
All-purpose flour, as needed


For the matelote:
8-ounce pike fillet
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1 pound fish trimmings and bones
10 button mushrooms, trimmed
1/2 leek, white part only, roughly chopped
1 bunch thyme
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup white wine
10 crayfish
1/2 pound eel
1/4 cup heavy cream
Splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


RELATED ARTICLE: Bass Baked Tableside (Serves 4)

HOMARO CANTU

Campo Marzio

La Tunella

Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy 2002

directions

For the bass: Season fish with sea salt and nori and let sit five minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat boxes in oven until the internal temperature is 350 degrees. Divide water among box bottoms. Divide lemon zest among boxes and place each screen on top. Place fish on screen and place lid on top. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove bass and serve.

ingredients

For the bass:
Four 3-ounce pieces of hapu'upu'u*
4 ilux bass boxes**
2 1/2 cups boiling water
Zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt to taste
Powdered nori to taste


*Hawaiian sea bass.

**A device patented by Chef Homaro Cantu.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

RELATED ARTICLE: Champagne and Oysters with Maki (Serves 4)

HOMARO CANTU

Brut Polisot

Raymond Henriot

Champagne, France NV

directions

For the champagne and oysters: Place oysters and grapes into two separate carbonating cans. Pressurize with food grade carbon dioxide to 80 pounds per square inch in each container, and allow to sit for a minimum of four hours. In a small bowl, whisk together creme fraiche, lemon zest and juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the maki: Print images onto paper and allow to dry. Cut images to desired shape and season back of images with nori and soy powders. Using steam injector, lightly steam seasoned side of paper so that powders adhere.

To finish: Decompress oysters and grapes, which will be carbonated and fizzy.

To serve: Arrange one oyster, one of each grape and a small quenelle of creme fraiche mixture and a dollop of caviar on each of four plates. Serve maki paper alongside.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ingredients

For the champagne and oysters:
4 Kumamoto oysters, shucked and left in their juices
4 green grapes
4 red grapes
1/4 cup creme fraiche
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Food grade carbon dioxide, as needed*


For the maki:
1 high-resolution digital image of maki rolls
1 computer printer fitted with edible ink cartridges**
1 sheet of edible paper**
2 pinches nori powder
1 pinch soy powder
1 ilux steam injector***


For the garnish:
1/2 ounce sturgeon caviar


*Available at www.praxair.com.

**Available at www.tastyfotoart.com.

***A device patented by Chef Homaro Cantu.

RELATED ARTICLE: Edible Menu with Pear and Squash Soups and Beet Cotton Candy (Serves 4)

HOMARO CANTU

Pinat Gris

Torii Mor

Willamette Valley, OR 2003

directions

For the menu: Print menu and allow to dry.

For the beet cotton candy: Melt isomalt in a stainless steel pan. Lubricate a large stockpot with grapeseed oil and using a hand held blender with whisk attachment, spin the hot mixture. Collect the strands that suspend on the sides of the pot until you have four cotton candy spheres. Sprinkle with beet powder.

For the pear soup: Toss pears with lemon juice and salt. Sous vide at 140 degrees. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

For the Hokkaido squash soup: Place all ingredients into a Cryovac[R] bag and cook in a water bath at 180 degrees. Transfer to a blender and puree. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

To serve: Place pear soup and squash soup in opposite sides of a small bowl and cotton candy next to it. Tear menu into small pieces and sprinkle over soup.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ingredients

For the menu:
4 sheets of edible paper*
1 custom fitted printer with edible food based ink heads*
1 Moto menu


For the beet cotton candy:
2 cups isomalt**
Grapeseed oil, as needed
1/4 cup beet powder


For the pear soup:
4 Anjou pears, peeled and cored
Lemon juice and salt to taste


For the Hokkaido squash soup:
9 ounces Hokkaido squash, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped***
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
Splash of white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


*Available at www.tastyfotoart.com.

**Available through www.isomaltusa.net.

***A winter squash sporting a dark green skin with sweet orange flesh.

RELATED ARTICLE: Rosemary and Vanilla Ice Cream Pellets with 125 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar (Serves 4)

HOMARC CANTU

Old Tawny Port, Colheita

Quinta do Noval

Duoro Valley, Portugal 1976

directions

For the vanilla ice cream pellets: Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until mixture thickens. Strain through fine-mesh sieve into small saucepan. Heat over very low heat until mixture is slightly warm, about two minutes, Transfer to squeeze bottle. Squeeze thin stream of warm base into liquid nitrogen to create pellets. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside in freezer.

For the rosemary ice cream pellets: Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until mixture thickens. Strain through fine-mesh sieve into small saucepan. Heat over very low heat until mixture is slightly warm, about two minutes. Transfer to squeeze bottle. Squeeze thin stream of warm base into liquid nitrogen to create pellets. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside in freezer

For the pipettes: With a syringe, inject balsamic vinegar into pipettes. Thread each pipette into the handles of four corkscrew-handled ilux spoons.

To finish: Cut the vanilla pod into two equal pieces. Tie a piece of the pod to two of the other four spoons. Thread a rosemary sprig into each of the two remaining spoons.

To serve: Place rosemary pellets onto two balsamic utensils and the rosemary utensils. Place vanilla pellets onto vanilla utensils and remaining two balsamic utensils. Consume both ice creams and finish by squeezing the pipette into the mouth.

ingredients

For the vanilla ice cream pellets:
4 ounces whole milk
4 ounces heavy cream
3 egg yolks
2 ounces granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 fresh vanilla bean, scraped, pod reserved for garnish
1/2 gallon food grade liquid nitrogen*


For the rosemary ice cream pellets:
4 ounces whole milk
4 ounces heavy cream
3 egg yolks
2 ounces granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
3/4 ounce chopped rosemary, plus 2 sprigs for go
1/2 gallon food grade liquid nitrogen*


For the pipettes:
1 ounce 125 year old Balsamic vinegar
Four 8-milliliter pipettes**


To Serve:
8 corkscrew-handled ilux spoons***


*Available through www.praxair.com.

**Available through www.marketlabinc.com.

***A device patented by Chef Homaro Cantu.

RELATED ARTICLE: Scallop Poached in Saffron Broth with Black Squid Bubbles (Serves 4)

HOMARO CANTU

Rully, 1er Cru Raborce

Marc Morey

Burgundy, France 2002

directions

For the squid bubbles: In a pot, combine vegetable stock and squid ink and bring to a simmer. Season with salt, transfer to a blender and puree, slowly adding sodium alginate until thoroughly incorporated. Strain through fine-mesh sieve and transfer mixture to squeeze bottle. Place squeeze bottle in a 140 degree water bath for five minutes. Fill a large pot with water and add calcium chloride. Once calcium chloride is dissolved, heat to 160 degrees. Slowly drip squid liquid into calcium chloride bath and cook three minutes. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove bubbles and rinse with hot tap water to completely remove chloride mixture. Pat bubbles dry. Freeze in a bath of food grade liquid nitrogen. Set aside in freezer until ready to use.

For the saffron broth: In a pot, heat olive oil; add onions and garlic and sweat until translucent, about three minutes. Add tomato and cook until dry. Add Chardonnay and saffron, bring to a steep and cook out alcohol. Remove from heat, cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add vegetable stock and season with lemon juice, salt and white pepper. Strain through fine-mesh sieve and reheat stock. While liquid is still hot, transfer half to blender. Add sodium alginate and puree until fully incorporated. Mixture should be free of lumps. Add remaining saffron mixture and blend again until smooth. Transfer mixture to a 4-inch deep, half hotel pan and Cryovac[R] without a bag, to eliminate bubbles on top. Pour just enough broth into four large hemisphere silicone molds to cover the bottom of each. Freeze molds.

For the scallops: Season scallops with salt and pepper. Place one scallop in each mold and cover with remaining broth. Drop in 10 squid bubbles for each scallop. Place into a bath of food grade liquid nitrogen to quickly freeze so as not to destroy the scallop. Fill a large pot with water and add calcium chloride. Once calcium chloride is dissolved, heat to 160 degrees. Place frozen hemispheres into calcium chloride bath for five minutes. Transfer hemispheres to water bath at 160 degrees for eight more minutes. Remove from water bath and pat dry. Scallop is now poached to medium rare.

To serve: Place hemisphere on plate.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ingredients

For the squid bubbles:
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3/4 teaspoon squid ink
1/4 teaspoon sodium alginate*
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons calcium chloride**
Food grade liquid nitrogen, as needed***
Salt to taste


For the saffron broth:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons grated tomato
1 cup Chardonnay
2 1/2 tablespoons saffron threads
3 cups vegetable stock
2 1/2 teaspoons sodium alginate*
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and white pepper to taste


For the scallops:
4 large diver scallops
Food grade liquid nitrogen, as needed***
1 quart 3 1/4 ounces water
1 1/2 tablespoons calcium chloride**
Salt and pepper to taste


*Available through www.iherb.com.

**Available through www.sciencelab.com.

***Available through www.praxair.com

RELATED ARTICLE: Heirloom Tomatoes with Hearts of Palm Sorbet and Arugula-Goat Cheese Cream (Serves 4)

CHARLIE TROTTER

Terre Alte

Livio Felluga

Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy 2001

directions

For the basil oil: Blanch basil, spinach and parsley in boiling salted water for 45 seconds. Immediately shock in ice water and drain. Roughly chop mixture and squeeze out excess water. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree with olive and grapeseed oils for one minute, or until bright green. Pour into a container, cover and refrigerate for one day. Strain oil through a fine-mesh sieve, then again through cheesecloth and refrigerate until ready to use, or up to two weeks.

For the sorbet syrup: In a small pot, combine all ingredients and cook, over low heat, until mixture is clear. Chill before use.

For the hearts of palm sorbet: Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a clean container and chill mixture in an ice water bath. Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Set aside in freezer.

For the pickled celery: In a pot, combine all ingredients except celery and bring to a simmer. Cook until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove liquid from heat and combine in clean bowl with celery. Refrigerate until needed.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

For the basil and pickled celery gelee: In a bowl, combine all ingredients and refrigerate until slightly firm. When ready to use, whisk with a fork to break up.

For the heirloom tomatoes: Rub basil oil onto tomatoes and season with salt

For the arugula-goat cheese cream: In a bowl, fold all ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve: Arrange tomatoes in a square in center of plate. Place one quenelle of sorbet and one quenelle of arugula-goat cheese cream on top. Add two fried basil leaves and arrange gelee and remaining garnishes in a ring around each serving.

ingredients

For the basil oil:
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup firmly packed spinach
1/4 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup grapeseed oil


For the sorbet syrup:
16 ounces sugar
3 1/2 ounces glucose
1 1/2 cups water


For the hearts of palm sorbet:
1/4 cup pine nuts, soaked overnight in water and drained
2 cups hearts of palm, blanched
2 tablespoons yuzu juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sorbet syrup, from above


For the pickled celery:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 whole clove
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh ginger
1/4 jalapeno, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup celery, finely diced


For the basil and pickled celery gelee:
1/4 cup pickled celery, from above
1/4 cup basil leaves, blanched and pureed
1 cup cucumber juice, hot
3 sheets gelatin, softened


For the heirloom tomatoes:
8 heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded, quartered and squared off (e.g.
 Green Zebra, Yellow Taxi, Brandywine)
4 teaspoons basil oil, from above
Salt to taste


For the arugula-goat cheese cream:
1/2 cup goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup arugula, blanched and pureed
Salt and pepper to taste


For the garnish:
8 fried basil leaves
1 small red tomato, pureed and passed through a fine-mesh sieve
2 teaspoons capers, fried
1/2 cup julienned hearts of palm
1/2 cup tiny heirloom tomatoes, cut into sixths
8 sprigs micro arugula
8 sprigs micro mint
4 pineapple sage flowers
4 teaspoons basil oil


RELATED ARTICLE: Roasted Eggplant and Matsutake Mushroom Lasagna with Red Wine Cabbage Emulsion (Serves 4)

CHARLIE TROTTER

La Migoua, Bandol

DomaineTempier

Provence, France 2001

directions

For the herb oil: In a saute pan, heat one tablespoon grapeseed oil; add chives, parsley and watercress and saute over medium heat for two minutes, or until wilted. Immediately shock in ice water and drain. Roughly chop mixture and squeeze out excess water. Transfer mixture to blender and puree with remaining grapeseed and olive oils for approximately one minute, or until bright green. Pour into a container, cover and refrigerate for one day.

For the pasta sheets: In a bowl, mix together flour, egg yolks, olive oil and salt by hand. Transfer to a lightly-floured work surface and knead until smooth, about five minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for at least two hours. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour. Divide dough into four pieces and roll each piece through a pasta machine until nearly translucent. Cut pasta into 10 sheets, each 5-inch squares. Place pasta on prepared baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to use, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta squares and simmer until cooked. Remove from heat and drain.

For the lasagna: Roughly chop half of the matsutake mushrooms. Transfer remaining half to a food processor fitted with the metal blade; puree until smooth and fold into chopped mushrooms. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 6-inch square baking dish with olive oil. Place a square of cooked pasta on bottom and spread an even layer of eggplant over the pasta. Sprinkle lightly with parmesan cheese and thyme and cover with a second pasta sheet. Spread mushroom mixture over second sheet of pasta and sprinkle lightly with cheese. Cover with a third sheet of pasta and repeat this process until you have 10 layers total. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through. Cool slightly and cut into eight equal pieces. Just prior to serving, flash under broiler to caramelize cut edges.

For the red wine reduction: In a medium saucepan, heat oil; add onions, carrots and leeks and saute over high heat for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and caramelized. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer over medium heat uncovered, for one hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and return to saucepan. Simmer 30 to 40 minutes, or until reduced to one cup. Store in refrigerator for up to four days or freeze for up to two months.

For the red wine cabbage emulsion: Transfer red wine reduction and cabbage to a blender and puree with chicken stock until smooth. Remove from blender and place in a saucepan with vinegar, bacon fat and butter. Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Just prior to use, froth using a hand-held immersion blender.

To serve: Place two pieces of lasagna in a bowl. Garnish with frothed emulsion, chanterelles, micro parsley and herb oil.

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ingredients

For the herb oil:
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup firmly packed, roughly chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup firmly packed watercress leaves
1/4 cup olive oil


For the pasta sheets:
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons semolina flour
Semolina flour as needed, for dusting work surface
20 egg yolks
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt


For the lasagna:
4 cups matsutake mushrooms, roasted
1/4 cup olive oil
10 semolina pasta sheets, from above
1 large eggplant, roasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 sprigs thyme, leaves only, roughly chopped


For the red wine reduction:
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, white part only, roughly chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and roughly chopped
6 cups Merlot
3 cups Port


For the red wine cabbage emulsion:
1 cup red wine reduction, from above
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons bacon fat
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste


For the garnish:
2 cups tiny chanterelle mushrooms, roasted
1/4 cup micro parsley
4 teaspoons herb oil, from above


RELATED ARTICLE: Confit of Turnips with Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Collard Greens and Red Wine Essence (Serves 4)

CHARLIE TROTTER

Cuvee Terroir

Charles Joguet

Chinon, France 2001

directions

For the stock: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place bones in a roasting pan and roast for one hour or until golden brown. Turn bones after 30 minutes to ensure even browning. Remove bones from roasting pan and transfer to large stockpot. Place roasting pan on stovetop over medium-high heat and add grapeseed oil, carrots, celery, onions and garlic; cook until caramelized. Add tomatos and cook for two minutes. Deglaze pan with red wine and cook until most of the wine has been absorbed. Transfer vegetables and any remaining liquid to stockpot. Add bay leaf and peppercorns and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until reduced to two quarts, periodically skimming impurities that rise to the surface. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and store in refrigerator for up to four days or freeze for up to two months.

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For the stock reduction: In a medium saucepan, combine oil, onions, carrots, and celery and saute over high heat for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and caramelized. Deglaze pan with red wine and cook until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add stock and simmer for one hour, periodically skimming impurities that rise to the surface. Strain, return to saucepan with thyme and simmer for five minutes. Remove thyme and simmer for about 30 minutes or until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Store in refrigerator for up to four days or freeze for up to two months.

For the turnip confit: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a roasting pan, combine all ingredients, ensuring that turnips are submerged. Bake until turnips are tender, about one hour. Remove turnips from pan and reserve cooking liquid for garnish. Just prior to use, in a saute pan, heat oil; add turnips and saute until caramelized.

For the red wine reduction: In a medium pot, heat oil; add onions, carrots and leeks and saute over high heat for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and caramelized. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer over medium heat uncovered, for one hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and return to saucepan. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until reduced to a quarter cup. Store in refrigerator for up to four days or freeze for up to two months.

For the roasted mushrooms: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In an ovenproof pan, toss mushrooms with onions, garlic, thyme and olive oil. Add stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Remove from oven and let mushrooms cool in pan.

To serve: Place mushrooms and turnips on plate; add cippolini onions, ham, collard greens and celery. Drizzle with turnip confit cooking liquid, stock reduction and red wine reduction. Sprinkle dish with micro celery.

ingredients

For the stock:
6 pounds beef or veal bones
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 cups roughly chopped carrots
2 cups roughly chopped celery
4 cups roughly chopped Spanish onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup roughly chopped tomato
1 pint red wine
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon black peppercorns


For the stock reduction:
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 cups roughly chopped Spanish onion
1 cup roughly chopped carrot
1 cup roughly chopped celery
1 cup red wine
2 quarts stock, from above
4 sprigs thyme


For the turnip confit:
8 small turnips, peeled and cut into a
1 1/2 inch round disc (resembling a scallop)
1/2 cup olive oil plus more to saute
1/2 cup duck fat, room temperature
4 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf


For the red wine reduction:
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 cup roughly chopped Spanish onion
1/2 cup roughly chopped carrot
1 leek, white part only, roughly chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and roughly chopped
3 pints Merlot
3 cups Port


For the roasted mushrooms:
3 cups assorted wild mushrooms (such as shiitake, cremini, black
 trumpet, hedgehog, portobello), cleaned
1/2 cup finely chopped Spanish onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 sprig thyme or rosemary, leaves only
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup mushroom stock or water
Salt and pepper to taste


For the garnish:
4 cippolini onions, roasted, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup finely diced ham hock meat, sauteed
1/2 cup braised collard greens, finely chopped
1 rib celery, peeled, sliced thinly on a bias and blanched
1/4 cup micro white celery


RELATED ARTICLE: Carrots, Jicama and Pickled Radish with Apple-Wasabi Vinaigrette (Serves 4)

CHARLIE TROTTER

Riesling Kabinett, Piesporler Goldtropfchen

Reinhold Haart

Mosel, Germany 2001

directions

For the pickled radish: In a pot, combine all ingredients, except radishes, and simmer until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and combine in a bowl with radishes. Refrigerate until needed.

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For the carrots: In a bowl, combine all ingredients and set aside.

For the jicama: In a bowl, combine all ingredients and set aside.

For the apple-wasabi vinaigrette: In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mash into a pulp. Set aside until ready to use.

To serve: Working on a plate, place carrots in a 5-inch round ring mold and pack down halfway. Place jicama on top and pack down so it is three-fourths full. Remove mold and garnish plate with pickled radish, vinaigrette, basil seeds, cucumber blossoms, micro seacress, ground coriander and olive oil.

ingredients

For the pickled radish:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 whole clove
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh ginger
1/4 jalapeno, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon salt
4 red radishes, cut into eighths


For the carrots:
1 cup finely julienned carrots
2 teaspoons mirin
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar


For the jicama:
1/2 cup jicama, finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons lemon juice


For the apple-wasabi vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons grated Granny Smith apple
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh wasabi
1/2 teaspoon olive oil


For the garnish:
2 tablespoons basil seeds, soaked overnight in filtered water and
 drained
4 cucumber blossoms, cut in half
4 teaspoons micro seacress
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
4 teaspoons olive oil


RELATED ARTICLE: Michigan Strawberries with Sauternes Cake, Olive Oil Ice Cream and Opal Basil (Serves 4)

CHARLIE TROTTER

Eiswein Riesling, Urziger Wurzgarten Vineyard

JJ Christoffel

Mosel, Germany 2002

directions

For the olive oil ice cream: In a pot, combine half-and-half and milk and bring to a boil. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt and olive oil. Temper yolk mixture by adding one-third hot milk mixture to mixture while whisking constantly. Whisk tempered yolk mixture back into remaining hot milk mixture and place over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and set in an ice water bath until chilled. Pour into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Set aside in freezer.

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For the basil oil: Blanch basil, spinach and parsley in boiling salted water for 45 seconds. Immediately shock in ice water and drain. Roughly chop mixture and squeeze out excess water. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree with olive and grapeseed oils for one minute, or until bright green. Pour into a container, cover and refrigerate for one day. Strain oil through a fine-mesh sieve, then again through cheesecloth and refrigerate until ready to use, or up to two weeks.

For the olive oil Sauternes cake: Preheat oven to 310 degrees. In a bowl, sift together baking powder, pastry and semolina flours. In separate bowl, whip together eggs and sugar until mixture triples in volume. Add Sauternes and olive oil to egg mixture. In another bowl, add dry and wet ingredients in three batches, alternating between the two. Fold in creme fraiche. Spread evenly on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until it springs back to the touch. When cool, cut cake into small dice.

For the Michigan strawberries: In a bowl, combine strawberries, white pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, tossing gently. Reserve juices from strawberries for garnish.

To serve: Place strawberries in center of plate and garnish with cake. Place a scoop of olive oil ice cream on top of strawberries. Drizzle basil oil, olive oil and strawberry juices. Garnish with sea salt, micro opal basil, micro basil and strawberry chips.

ingredients

For the olive oil ice cream:
1 pint half-and-half
1 pint milk
14 egg yolks
7 ounces granulated sugar
1 cup olive oil
Pinch of salt


For the basil oil:
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup firmly packed spinach
1/4 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup grapeseed oil


For the olive oil Sauternes cake:
2 1/2 ounces baking powder
15 ounces pastry flour
9 ounces semolina flour
6 eggs
12 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups Sauternes
2 1/4 cups olive oil
4 1/2 ounces creme fraiche


For the Michigan strawberries:
1 1/2 cups Michigan strawberries, hulled and small dice (approximately
 12 strawberries)
Splash of olive oil
Splash of balsamic vinegar
White pepper to taste


For the garnish:
Apricot-scented sea salt
Premium extra virgin olive oil
6 sprigs micro opal basil
6 sprigs micro basil
4 teaspoons basil oil, from above
20 oven dried strawberry chips, eight crumbled


RELATED ARTICLE: Roasted Pears with Chocolate Curd, Thyme Ice Cream and Black Pepper Tuile (Serves 4)

CHARLIE TROTTER

20 Year Old Tawny Port

Warre's Port

Douro Valley, Portugal NV

directions

For the thyme ice cream: In a pot, bring cream and thyme sprigs to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes, then remove and discard thyme. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar and yolks. Temper the yolk mixture by adding one-third hot cream mixture to yolk mixture while whisking constantly. Whisk tempered yolk mixture back into remaining hot cream mixture and place over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and set in an ice water bath until chilled. Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Set aside in freezer.

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For the chocolate curd: In a pot, combine cream, syrup and butter and bring to a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, yolks and egg. Temper the yolk mixture by adding one-third hot cream mixture to yolk mixture while whisking constantly. Whisk tempered yolk mixture back into remaining hot cream mixture and place over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and fold in chocolate. Set in an ice water bath until chilled.

For the chocolate streusel: Preheat oven to 310 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, combine all ingredients and mix until cut together. Crumble onto a Silpat[R]-lined sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For the roasted pears: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a roasting pan, combine all ingredients, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until pears are tender.

For the black pepper tuile: Preheat oven to 320 degrees. In a pot, combine orange juice, brown sugar, sugar and butter and bring to a boil. Take off heat and cool completely. Working in three batches, whisk in pastry flour. Spread thinly on a Silpat[R]-lined sheet pan into 2-inch circles and sprinkle lightly with pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

For the thyme syrup: Place simple syrup and thyme leaves in a mortar and grind with the pestle until leaves are crushed.

To serve: Arrange chocolate curd in a pear shape on the plate. Fill chocolate pear outline with roasted pears, chocolate streusel and micro thyme. Place a scoop of thyme ice cream and a tuile toward the top of the pear and drizzle with thyme syrup.

ingredients

For the thyme ice cream:
1 pint heavy cream
6 sprigs thyme
3 ounces granulated sugar
4 egg yolks


For the chocolate curd:
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 ounces birch syrup
4 ounces butter
3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1 egg
8 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped


For the chocolate streusel:
4 ounces butter
7 ounces all-purpose flour
4 ounces granulated sugar
1 ounce cocoa


For the roasted pears:
1 1/2 cups diced Bartlett pears (approximately 1 1/2 pears)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 star anise
2 sprigs thyme
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup simple syrup


For the black pepper tuile:
2 ounces orange juice
2 ounces brown sugar
2 ounces granulated sugar
2 ounces butter
2 ounces pastry flour
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper


For the thyme syrup:
1/4 cup simple syrup
2 tablespoons thyme leaves


For the garnish:
6 sprigs micro thyme


RELATED ARTICLE: Kome Kome Sake Sorbet with Makombu and Nori Tuile (Serves 4)

CHARLIE TROTTER

Kome Kome Sake

Kamoizumi

Hiroshima, Japan

directions

For the kombu: In a bowl, combine kombu and enough water to cover. Soak for three days, changing water daily. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a pot, wet sugar and heat to a dark caramel. Remove from heat and slowly stir in reduced orange juice (mixture will bubble vigorously). Return to heat and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Cut each piece of kombu into three equal pieces, stack all kombu pieces on top of each other and tie together tightly with twine. Pour hot caramel over and bake for six hours or until tender. Trim into perfectly straight sides and cut into twelve 1/4 X 1-inch pieces. Reserve braising juices.

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For the sorbet syrup: In a small pot, combine all ingredients and cook, over low heat, until mixture is clear. Chill before use.

For the Kome Kome sake sorbet: In a saucepot, combine all ingredients and simmer for five minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and chill mixture in an ice water bath. Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Set aside in freezer for at least four to five hours.

For the orange tuile: Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Bring orange juice, brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter to a boil. Take off heat and cool completely. Working in three batches, whisk in pastry flour. Spread thinly on Silpat[R]-lined sheet pan into 2-inch circles and sprinkle lightly with nori. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

For the basil syrup: In a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside until ready to use.

To finish: Spread sorbet across the surface of one tuile. Repeat with two more layers and top with a final tuile. You should have three layers of sorbet with four tuiles.

To serve: Sprinkle ground nori across the bottom of a shallow bowl. Place three kombu stacks in a ring and sorbet/tuile stack in the center of the plate. Garnish with braising juices and basil syrup.

ingredients

For the kombu:
2 12-inch pieces Makombu*
14 ounces granulated sugar
3 pints fresh orange juice, reduced by 1/3


For the sorbet syrup:
16 ounces granulated sugar
3 1/2 ounces glucose
1 1/2 cups water


For the Kome Kome sake sorbet:
1 quart Kome Kome sake**
1 sprig thyme
Zest of 1 orange
10 ounces sorbet syrup, from above


For the orange tuile:
2 ounces orange juice
2 ounces brown sugar
2 ounces granulated sugar
2 ounces butter
2 ounces pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nori


For the basil syrup:
1/2 cup simple syrup, from above
1/2 ounce blanched basil leaves


For the garnish:
1 teaspoon finely ground nori
Makombu braising juices, from above
Basil syrup, from above


*Grows in the waters off the coast of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. It is prized for its natural glutamic salts that make it an excellent flavoring agent.

**A very light sake with mild sweetness.

RELATED ARTICLE: Rhum and Pepper Painted Pork Belly on Salsify Polenta with Poached Quail Egg (Serves 4-6 as an entree or 6-8 as an appetizer)

NORMAN VAN AKEN

Syrah/Petite Syrah

Shafer Relentless

Napa Valley, CA 2001

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

directions

For the rhum and pepper paint: In a non-stick skillet, combine peppercorns and cloves and toast until puffs of smoke appear, about one minute. Ina spice grinder, pulverize peppercorns and cloves to a fine powder. In a pot, combine spice powder and all remaining ingredients. Reduce by half over medium heat for about 25 to 35 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve until needed.

For the pork belly: Rub pork belly with paint and drizzle excess over pork to cover it. Cover and refrigerate for two to three days. Once pork has been marinated, remove from refrigerator and place on a perforated rack to drain off excess paint. Reserve excess paint. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat half the duck fat over high heat. Right before it begins to smoke, carefully add the pork belly and sear on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside in a warm place. Drain excess fat and place in a saute pan with remaining duck fat. Heat fat; add carrots, celery, onions, leeks, peppercorns and garlic. Cook vegetables until caramelized, but not burnt. Deglaze with red wine and reduce by three-fourths. Add pork stock and bring to a simmer. Skim impurities and add pork belly and herbs. Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook until pork is tender, about two to three hours. Remove pork and set aside. Strain and reduce braising liquid by three-fourths. When pork is cool enough to handle, remove thickest part of fat and discard it. Cut pork belly into four-ounce portions and set aside, keeping warm.

For the polenta: In a pot, combine salsify and milk. Bring milk to a boil and cook salsify until tender. Strain milk and save for later use. There should be about four cups remaining. Set salsify in refrigerator to cool. Place three cups of milk in a pot and bring to a simmer. Reserve remaining cup for pick-up. Slowly add polenta, whisking constantly, until it thickens. Add nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool. When ready to serve, heat a skillet over high heat and add salsify. Cook until lightly browned, about seven minutes. Add a small amount of polenta and stir to prevent salsify from burning. Add some of the remaining milk so it starts to loosen. Add mascarpone and salt and pepper to taste. Finish with truffle oil.

For the dandelion greens and mushrooms: In a saute pan, heat duck fat until hot; add two tablespoons butter and heat until it foams. Add mushrooms and saute until slightly tender, about three minutes. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add stock and season with salt and pepper. Reduce stock until almost dry, add remaining butter and dandelion greens and cook until the greens begin to soften. Season to taste and set aside.

For the quail eggs: Crack quail eggs with a quail egg cutter and set back into their container until ready to use. In a pot, heat duck fat to 175-180 degrees and maintain temperature. When ready to serve, slip quail eggs into duck fat and poach.

To finish: In a saute pan, heat oil; add pork belly and sear again on all sides. Brush with paint. In a pot, warm braising liquid and whisk butter into it.

To serve: Place a 4-inch ring mold in center of plate and place polenta in mold. Remove mold and place greens and mushroom mixture atop polenta. Top with quail egg and rest pork belly against the vegetables and polenta. Garnish each plate with the three tablespoons pepper paint.

ingredients

For the rhum and pepper paint:
1/2 cup whole black peppercorns
40 whole cloves
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1 1/2 cups light rum*
Zest of 8 lemons
Juice of 3 lemons


For the pork belly:
1 1/2 cups rhum and pepper paint, from above
2 pounds fresh pork belly
1/4 cup duck fat or canola oil
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
6 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 white onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, toasted
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 cups red wine
6 cups pork or chicken stock
6 to 8 sprigs thyme
6 to 8 sprigs rosemary


For the polenta:
1 pound salsify, peeled and roughly chopped
6 cups whole milk
1 cup yellow polenta
2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons truffle oil
Salt and pepper to taste


For the dandelion greens and mushrooms:
1 tablespoon duck fat
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 pound wild mushrooms
1 white rose onion, peeled and julienned**
1/2 cup pork or chicken stock
1 to 2 bunches dandelion greens, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt and pepper to taste


For the quail eggs:
12 quail eggs
2 cups duck fat or canola oil


To finish:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons rhum and pepper paint, from above
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into cubes


*Rum may ignite during reducing. Be sure to have a lid or another pan on hand to cover and extinguish flames, should rum ignite. After extinguishing flame, reduce heat and continue.

**A variety of onion. Cipollini or pearl onions may be substituted.

RELATED ARTICLE: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Maine Lobster, Black Truffles and Artichoke Chips (Serves 6)

NORMAN VAN AKEN

Chardonnay, Sleepy Hollow Vineyard

Talbott

Monterey County, CA 2000

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

directions

For the court bouillon: Combine all ingredients except wine in a stockpot and bring to a light boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 30 minutes. Add wine and return to a boil for 15 seconds. Remove from heat and steep for at least 2 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and cool completely. Refrigerate overnight. May be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

For the soup: In a large pot, heat butter. When it begins to foam, add onions, celery and garlic, and saute until onions are translucent, about three minutes. Drain fat and add Jerusalem artichokes. Add flour and stir to coat. Pour in chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until Jerusalem artichokes are soft when pricked with a knife, about 10 minutes. When cooked, remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Puree mixture and strain through a fine mesh-sieve. Add cream, season with salt and pepper, chill and reserve.

For the lobster: Bring court bouillon to a boil over high heat. Add lobster tails and cook for 3 minutes. Remove and place in an ice water bath. When lobster is cool, remove from shell, taking care to keep it in one piece.

For the artichoke chips: Preheat oil in deep-fryer or tall sided pot to 325 degrees. Slice artichoke hearts very thinly on a mandoline. Fry in batches until artichokes are browned and crispy, about two minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

To finish: Warm soup in a pot over low heat, being careful not to reduce. Adjust consistency if necessary with a little more cream. Warm the water in a pot over low heat and whisk in butter a few pieces at a time until fully emulsified. Add thyme and season to taste with salt. Keep over low heat and add lobster tails until they are cooked through, approximately four minutes. Remove and season with salt and pepper.

To serve: Divide soup among 6 bowls and place a tail in the center of each bowl. Garnish with truffle and top with artichoke chips.

ingredients

For the court bouillon:
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
5 stalks celery, cleaned and finely chopped
1 1/2 small heads garlic, cut in half crosswise
1 1/2 small bulbs fennel, cleaned, cored and finely chopped
24 button mushrooms, quartered
2 1/2 tablespoons toasted and crushed black peppercorns
2 1/2 tablespoons toasted and crushed coriander seeds
2 bay leaves, broken
Zest of 2 lemons
Zest of 2 oranges
5 sprigs thyme, roughly chopped
5 sprigs basil, roughly chopped
1 bunch tarragon, roughly chopped
3 1/2 quarts water
2 1/2 cups dry white wine


For the soup:
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 celery rib, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 pounds Jerusalem artichokes, peeled, roughly chopped and held in
 acidulated water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste


For the lobster:
2 quarts court bouillon, from above
6 Maine lobsters, tails only, claws and bodies reserved for another use


For the artichoke chips:
Grapeseed or canola oil for frying, as needed
2 globe artichokes hearts
Salt and pepper to taste


To finish:
1/2 cup water
1 pound butter
1 sprig thyme
1 black truffle, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


RELATED ARTICLE: Bagna Cauda with Cardoon, Dragon Carrot and White Anchovy (Makes 6 skewers)

NORMAN VAN AKEN

Sauvignon Blanc

Martinelli

Russian River Valley, CA 2003

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

directions

For the garlic dipping sauce: In a pot, heat oil; add garlic and sweat over low heat until the garlic gives off aroma, but has not yet browned. Add cream, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to lowest setting and steep for one hour. Strain through a fine mesh-sieve and chill. Whip egg whites to soft peaks and fold in chilled garlic cream. Place into a commercial whipped cream canister that is suitable for heat, and add one charger. Warm in a hot water bath for one hour.

For the vegetable and anchovy garnish: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add cardoon and cook until tender, about five minutes. Cool in ice water bath. Assemble skewers, starting with raw carrot, then cardoon, and finishing with white anchovy.

To serve: Dispense 1/2 cup of warm whipped garlic dipping sauce into each of 6 glass tumblers or white wine glasses. Garnish with thyme leaves. Serve immediately with the skewers.

ingredients

For the garlic dipping sauce:
1/2 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 1/2 heads garlic, cloves separated and crushed but not peeled
2 cups heavy cream
2 egg whites
Nitrous oxide charger


For the vegetable and anchovy garnish:
1 rib cardoon, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
6 metal or wood skewers
6 small baby dragon carrots
6 white anchovy fillets, marinated in vinegar


To finish:
1 sprig of thyme, leaves only


RELATED ARTICLE: Guinea Hen Barigule (Serves 6)

NORMAN VAN AKEN

Volnay, Clos de Ducs

Domaine Marquid D'Angerville

Burgundy, France 2000

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

directions

For the tomato caponata: Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Drizzle tomatoes with one tablespoon olive oil, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a rack, place rack on a sheet pan and dehydrate in oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until perimeters are dry and centers are slightly moist. Remove from oven. Place tomatoes, capers and almonds in food processor fitted with metal blade, season with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and pulse until it comes together, being careful not to puree.

For the guinea mousse: Place meat in food processor fitted with metal blade. Add heavy cream, season with salt and pulse just until fully incorporated. Do not overwork. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve and refrigerate.

For the salsa escalivada: In a large saute pan, heat two tablespoons peanut oil and two tablespoons butter; add onions and peppers and cook until they just begin to blister and caramelize. Season with salt and pepper, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl. In a large saute pan, heat one tablespoon peanut oil and one tablespoon butter over high heat; add celery and fennel, season to taste and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over vegetables and cook until glazed. Combine with onions and peppers. In a saute pan, heat roasted garlic oil and two tablespoons butter; add eggplant, season with salt and pepper and saute. When eggplant is cooked, add to other vegetables. In a small pot, combine vinegar, wine and herbs. Reduce by half to concentrate flavors. Add olives and capers to pan and immediately add this mix to vegetables. Toss gently and season if necessary.

For the guinea hen farce: In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Place in a pastry bag with no tip. Reserve.

For the guinea hens: Make a vertical incision on the wish bone side of each breast with a thin boning knife, to create a pouch inside each breast without tearing it. Place tip of pastry bag inside each pouch and stuff each breast with guinea hen farce.

For the artichoke, baby fennel and pearl onions: Clean artichokes by slicing off all but one inch of stem and snap off tough outer leaves closest to stem. Trim off about 1/2-inch from pointed top, then use scissors to snip off prickly tips of outer leaves. Quarter hearts and rub cut edges with lemon and soak in acidulated water until ready to use. Divide artichokes, fennel, and pearl onions into three groups and arrange in a single layer in three Cryovac[R] bags. Add olive oil, thyme, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper to each bag. Seal each bag and poach separately in 150 degree water, about three hours. Reserve.

For the barigule: In a saute pan, melt foie gras fat, butter and olive oil. Increase heat, add herbs, chile, garlic and Serrano ham and saute for two minutes. Deglaze with vinegar. Add wine and reduce by half. Add guinea hen jus, olives, artichokes, fennel and pearl onions and caramelize. Season and reserve.

To finish: Divide butter between two saute pans and heat butter over high heat until it froths. Place breasts in pan, skin side down and cook until golden brown. Turn breasts and cook until medium rare, basting every so often. Let rest for five minutes before serving. In the meantime, reheat barigule, check seasoning and add ham, preserved lemon and olives.

To serve: Divide barigule among six serving plates. Place one hen atop each serving and top with a quenelle of caponata.

ingredients

For the tomato caponata:
10 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more to taste
10 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons capers, well rinsed
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
Sherry vinegar to taste
Salt and pepper to taste


For the guinea mousse:
4 ounces guinea hen thighs, bones and skin removed
1/2 ounce heavy cream
Salt to taste


For the salsa escalivada:
3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
5 tablespoons butter
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 yellow pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup roasted garlic oil
1 Japanese eggplant, finely chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons roughly chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup Nicoise or Arbequina olives, pitted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


For the guinea hen farce:
Guinea mousse, from above
14 ounces salsa escalivada, from above


For the guinea hens:
6 guinea hen breasts, deboned, skin on, wings frenched
Guinea hen farce, from above


For the artichoke, baby fennel and pearl onions:
8 artichokes
8 baby fennel bulbs, 1 inch of each stem left intact
1 cup white pearl onions, peeled
1 cup olive oil
1 bunch thyme
6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Juice of 8 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste


For the barigule:
1/4 cup foie gras fat
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Portuguese olive oil
1/4 bunch oregano
1 sprig rosemary
1 chipotle chile, split and seeded
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 X 2-inch slice Serrano ham
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 cup Spanish white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 ounces Spanish olives, split and pitted
Cooked artichokes, fennel and pearl onions, from above
Salt and pepper to taste


To finish:
1/4 cup butter
6 stuffed Guinea hen breasts, from above
Spanish barigule, from above
1/2 cup finely diced Serrano ham
Zest of 1 preserved lemon
1/2 cup picholine olives, pitted and sliced
6 quenelles of tomato caponata from above
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:chefs and recipes
Publication:Art Culinaire
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Mar 22, 2005
Words:22128
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