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The relevance of fat.

And ye shall eat the fat of the land.

Genesis 45:18

A feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees.

Isaiah 25:6

Not all fat is created equal. Though much of the fat removed from a pig is usable, some is better than others. Supple fat deposits found around the loin and kidney of the pig, are considered superior for their clarity when rendered and used as a cooking medium. Pork belly fat and salt pork from the belly and sides of the pig are tender and best when smoked or salt cured for use in stews, casseroles, or cooked as for bacon. Fatback, more firm and dense, resides between the flesh and skin and is best for lining terrine molds, to enrich forcemeats, make sausages, and for larding and barding (Davidson 443). Because fatback is compact and has a high smoke point it will not melt immediately, but rather serve its purpose of protecting lean cuts of meat during the cooking process. Fatback is also popular in the southeastern United States where it is rendered and fried until crisp. These "cracklings," as they are known are added to other recipes such as cornbread and collard greens, or simply eaten out of hand as a sn ack, Though hot dogs, ham hocks, and cracklings are mainstays of Americana, a vast majority of the pig trade emanates from Europe and Asia. China alone is home to 40% of the total porcine inventory; pork plays an important part of the Chinese food culture and way of life (Kiple and Ornelas 539).

In most countries, every part of the pig is valued. In fact in the early Middle Ages when only affluent households could afford to keep pigs, fat was regarded as highly as meat. To use lard in a recipe was highly esteemed. In France, goose and pork fat are still highly regarded often characterizing the regional dishes of Gascony, Bearn, and the Languedoc; cassoulet, a casserole of beans, duck, goose, and pork fat and bardatte, a classical French dish from Nantes of rabbit and herb stuffed cabbage wrapped with bacon fat are among the many country dishes prepared with animal fat. In the European countryside pate makers, charcutiere, and salumiere gobble up trimmed bits of fat. As the domestication of pigs became more common, and the diet of the classes merged, lard became a staple of any good home. According to William Cobbett, author of Cottage Economy, proper table etiquette in the early 1800s dictated that one should enjoy a slab of bread spread with a generous amount of sweet lard at mealtime. English lardy cakes, made in the public ovens during the 1500s were served with afternoon tea and during holidays. The dough was rolled and folded several times around chunks of fat to create rich layers, each fortified with a healthy dose of sugar, currants, and dried fruit. The result was a rich bread, sweet and moist, capable of staying fresh a few days longer than whole grain breads of the time. Today lardy cakes are served for birthdays or special occasions.

No matter the use, fat is a valuable tool. The act of larding and barding protects lean, fragile cuts of meat, fish, poultry, or produce. The fat itself acts as a tenderizer by preventing the loss of moisture and as a flavor booster by preserving natural juices. Barding is a French term for wrapping thin sheets of fat, usually pork fat, around lean items. Bardes are thin sheets of fatback or lard dur used to line terrine and pate molds or wrap lean cuts of meat. Terrines, galantines, and ballotines are perhaps the most familiar examples of the barding technique in the classical kitchen. When preparing whole roasts, the bards or leaves of fat are usually removed before service. Alternately, threading whole roasts or lean items with thin strips of fat is referred to as larding. Lard strips are trimmed from large slabs of fatback. To maneuver the lard through an item, one of two larding needles must be used. An aiguille A piquer has a very sharp tip and a flared opening at the back is loaded with small strips of fat. The sharp, tapered tip is used to pierce and thread smaller cuts without damaging its appearance. A lardoire is a two-sided beveled needle in which long, thick strips of fat can be stuffed. The hefty needle is injected into whole roasts and large cuts of meat in order to thread the fat. When these cuts are sliced for service, the blade runs "against the grain," therefore the larding must be done with the grain to prevent the larded fat from coming off in long strips with the meat. When using alternative forms of fat, a aiguille a piquer enables strips of fat or chilled butter and vegetable oil to be thread through delicate cuts (Davidson 445).

Perhaps the most familiar technique of incorporating whole pieces of fat in the contemporary kitchen is practiced by bakers and pastry chefs. It is this technique that allows pastry doughs to rise and pie crusts to flake. When employing fat in baking, keep in mind that the higher the melting point of the fat, the more volume the finished product will have. Fat with a low smoking point will be absorbed into the layers before it has a chance to bubble and leaven the dough. Animal fat, or lard, which has a high smoking point, is very effective as a leavener in flaky pastries and tart shells. Liquid or warm fats, like vegetable oil never have a chance to separate the layers because their melting point is low (McGee 303). Many pastry recipes require the "creaming of butter," a process in which fat, usually butter is whipped with sugar. This creates a sweet, aerated mass of fat that will act as an effective leavener and sweetener. This creaming process was the precursor to chemical leaveners like "hydrogenated oils ." The hydrogenated process raises the melting point of vegetable oils so they can sustain initial oven temperatures and act as effective leaveners without adding all the saturated fat and cholesterol (Lang 610) of animal fat. Larding pastry doughs in a succession of folding motions and rolling steps creates layers of fat between sheets of gluten. When baked, these chilled fat solids expand, separating the sheets of gluten instead of seeping into them. The result is a flaky dough or pastry with many airy layers. Many of today's cooks have trimmed the fat from heirloom recipes in order to accommodate more healthy life styles. However, the technique of larding and barding need not be abandoned. Different types of fat, or fatty ingredients can replace the high saturated fat found in lard. An innovative chef need not part with tradition or practices of the past. In fact, it's best if he threads ideas with practical application.

RELATED ARTICLE: Ken Vedrinski Woodlands Resort & Inn Charleston, South Carolina

Vedrinski was born in Columbus, Ohio but moved to St. Petersburg, Florida as a young boy, where he was raised by his Italian grandmother. Her traditional ideas about mealtime and long, multi-course sit down dinners were thoroughly impressed upon him. He attended Columbus College where he received an AOS degree in restaurant management. One of the program's requirements was an American Culinary Federation (ACF) directed apprenticeship for two years under a Certified Master Chef. Vedrinski worked under CMC Hartmut Handke, one of the first ACF master chefs. Though only two years were required, Vedrinski remained with his mentor for an extra year. "He was German and tough!" Vedrinski recalls. "But working under a European chef was good. He made sure that we were going to be really dedicated; he was not going to let anyone graduate from his kitchen without passing through him." Though the work was grueling, Vedrinski knew, "Something cool was happening. The discipline of the kitchen, doing things absolutely the perfect way, from peeling a carrot to cooking an egg in the morning, no technique went unmentioned," he continues. "You learn from the very, very bottom, the correct way to do everything and why." It was not until his third year that Vedrinski even cooked on the line. "He expected you to do things the way he taught you, with no variance in between. I would never be in this position today if it hadn't been for him," he confirms. After graduation, Vedrinski spent a year in Disney World at the Buena Vista Palace then took a job on the Sea Goddess I. After that he had an opportunity, which changed his perception of food: a trip to Thailand. To this day, Vedrinski considers Asian cuisine, the most pure cuisine. Under the guidance of Andre Jager at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok he learned to cook with an entirely different repertoire of ingredients. "Jager is very 'country Swiss' in his cooking style, hut he managed to use Asian ingredients in a conservative way. It was very interesting and worked well," Vedrinski explains. "So, when I was offered the position at the Woodlands, I saw the same opportunity to take low-country cuisine and modernize it with a lighter twist and the addition of Asian ideas."

Honey, ginger, spiced pecans, cider reductions, Asian spices, and spiced caramel sauce, all define Vedrinski's 'innovative low-country cooking.' But, before he could define his flavors, he had to refine his leadership skills. During two Executive Chef posts at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago and the Swissotel Atlanta, Vedrinski learned the importance of diplomacy and management style. "It wasn't about how good you were on the line; I was a jerk as a cook, or yelled, or was late. I could always cook well enough that it smoothed over that ugliness. As an Executive Chef, I knew great cooking wasn't going to make me successful, there were numbers and employee relations to deal with; there were an amazing amount of people involved," Vedrinski emphasizes. "I realized you're only as good as the person washing lettuce down in banquets." It seems his lessons in professionalism paid off. Woodlands Resort & Inn has been acknowledged for their excellence in wine and service by Wine Spectator and as a AAA Five Diamond prop erty. Vedrinski believes these are all important in the grand scheme of things, however, "It is the "little guys, the farmers who come to the back door selling their goods that keep me interested. I still get to cook what I want. I have dinner guests who come to the restaurant just to have the chef cook for them. It's a buzz to be here."

Terrance Brennan Picholine New York, NY

At once he is gracious and intense. Relaxed and focused. He is a consummate perfectionist. Born with a passion for cooking. At the age of thirteen, Chef Terrance Brennan began cooking in his parents' Virginia restaurant. Over the course of ten years, Brennan ventured into the Washington D.C. restaurant scene to gain some exposure to fine dining cuisine, While in D.C. Brennan became friends with Andre Soltner, who arranged for him to work under Alain Sailhac at Le Cirque in Manhattan. Brennan embraced the French cuisine immediately. Though his experience with Sailhac was intense he wanted to experience first hand, the workings of a French kitchen, the unparalleled products and artisanal farmers. He left New York and traveled through Europe for one and a half years, working, eating, and learning. He moved from country to country accepting stages at Taillevent, Le Tour d'Argent, Au Quai Des Ormes, and Les Crayeres, in France, Gualtiero Marchesi and Kicabda Dell' Angelo in Italy, and La Gavraoche in England. It was the time he spent at Le Moulin de Mougins, however, where Brennan was transfixed by the cuisine of Roger Verge. The "cuisine of the sun" as Verge called it, captured for Brennan the eloquence of cuisine.

He returned to New York with a vision and fully prepared to take on the best kitchens. He worked at Montrachet as the sous chef, then spent brief stints at the Hotel Westbury and Prix Fixe and Steak Frites, as Executive Chef. Now fully capable of defining his style and managing a kitchen, Brennan was ready to open Picholine; a restaurant devoted to fine dining and the elegant pleasures of Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant quickly built a reputation for its high end cuisine and superb cheese service, an unfamiliar experience in most American restaurants. Picholine now being established as a favorite, Brennan was ready to embark on a project that would pay homage to two other passions. Though a hardcore fan of the finer things, Brennan also has a love for bistro cuisine and the casual ease of an evening of fine wine accompanied by the perfect assortment of properly aged cheese; a topic he takes very seriously. A caesophile by his own admission, Brennan has amassed a collection of over 200 cheeses and 125 p lus wines by the glass for his newest restaurant Artisanal. How many walk-ins do you need to store 200 cheeses? Zero, only a cheese cave will due. So, Brennan built a cheese cave to accommodate a wide range of required temperatures and humidity levels. Each area of the cave is climate controlled. Brennan also imported European beechwood, a specialty porous and dry wood that is an effective material to rest the cheese on during the aging process. In order to keep dinner guests abreast of what's what on the cheese cart, nightly selections are presented by knowledgeable maitre fromager, Max McCalman and Peter J. Kindel. In addition to some 60 cheeses, which are assembled for service each night, there are twelve different cheese fondues to share at the table. And, if your grocer doesn't carry the cheese you fell in love with at the restaurant, the market at Artisanal can accommodate your every craving.

Crispy Bluefin Tuna Barded with Foie Gras

(Serves 6)

Ken Vedrinski

ingredients

For the sweet and sour sauce:

1 cup fresh blood orange juice

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

1 tablespoon pickled ginger, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped mint

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Salt to taste

For the orange salad:

Segments of 3 blood oranges

Segments of 2 naval oranges

1 teaspoon black sesame seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon Mosto olive oil

For the tuna:

12 ounces Bluefin tuna loin

7 ounces foiegras, cut into thin, 6-inch strips and chilled

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

Sesame oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Sea salt

Black sesame seeds

Micro celery sprouts*

*Available through The Chef's Garden at (800) 289-4644.

directions

For the sweet and sour sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Season and set aside for two hours.

For the orange salad, in a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss to coat and set aside.

For the tuna, preheat a fryer to 400 degrees. Season the foie gras and set aside to bring to room temperature. Place the tuna loin on a parchment-lined sheet pan and wrap to encase with foie gras. Set aside in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Dredge the tuna in flour, patting off any excess. Dip in the eggs and roll to coat well with breadcrumbs. Place the tuna in the fryer and cook until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and place on a paper-towel lined sheet pan to drain. Season, cut into six slices, and reserve.

To serve, place a slice of tuna in the center of a plate and sprinkle with salt. Spoon some orange salad to one side and top with micro celery sprouts. Accompany with sweet and sour sauce.

Premia Sangiovese

Pikes

Clare Valley Australia 1998

Wild Sturgeon Barded with Duck Prosciutto (Serves 6)

For the Vidalia onion:

Ken Vedrinski

1 small Vidalia onion, peeled and cut into 6 1/4-inch slices

Salt and pepper to taste

For the sturgeon:

6 3-ounce wild sturgeon fillets

2 egg whites, beaten

12 slices duck prosciutto

Salt and pepper to taste

For the melon salad:

1/2 cup diced cantaloupe melon

1/2 cup pepino melon (*)

1/2 cup diced honeydew melon

6 grape tomatoes, peeled and sliced

1 cup frisee leaves

1/2 cup parsley sprigs

Salt and sugar to taste

For the dish:

Chopped Pistachios

Pistachio oil (**)

100 year old balsamic vinegar

For the garnish:

Chervil sprigs

Bulls blood lettuce (*)

Salt

Cracked black pepper

(*.) Available through The Chef's Garden at (800) 289-4644.

(**.) Available in specialty food stores.

For the Vidalia onion, prepare a hot grill. Season and grill the onion slices on both sides to mark. Remove from the heat and sea aside keeping warm.

For the sturgeon, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Season the sturgeon fillets, brush with egg whites, and wrap each with two slices of prosciutto. Transfer to a sheet pan coated with non-stick spray and place in the oven to roast until desired doneness. Remove from the heat and set aside keeping warm.

For the melon salad, in a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss to coat. Season and set aside.

To serve, set a Vidalia onion slice in the center of a plate and place a sturgeon fillet on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon some melon salad over the dish, drizzle with pistachio oil and balsamic vinegar, and garnish with pistachios, chervil, bulls' blood lettuce.

Raussane

Alban Vineyards

Central Coast, California 1997

Suckling Veal with Antebellum Grits

(Serves 6)

ingredients

For the oven dried tomatoes:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and mineed

1 teaspoon chopped basil leaves

1 teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon chopped parsley leaves

1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

2 small Brandywine tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the veal sauce.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 racks suckling veal, frenched and trimmings reserved

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 stalk celery, peeled and chopped

1 tomato, peeled and chopped

1 cup red wine

Zest of 1 lemon

1 head roasted garlic

1 cup chicken jus

Salt and pepper to taste

For the herb paste:

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon chopped basil

1 tablespoon olive oil

For the veal shanks:

6 1-inch slices suckling veal osso buco, foreshanks

1 tablespoon reserved herb paste

2 cups duck fat, heated to 275 degrees

For the grits:

6 ounces coarse ground grits

1 cup whole milk

1 1/4 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons truffle butter

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

For the veal racks:

1 tablespoon reserved herb paste

Reserved Frenched veal racks

26x4 inch sheets caul fat

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the dish:

Salt and pepper to taste

Diced carrots, blanched in chicken stock

For the garnish:

Butter beans; blanched in chicken stock

Black truffle slices

Lemon zest

Micro basil

Note: The term antebellum is an old idiom referring to a period in history before the American Civil War. Suckling veal is under 100 days old. Available upon request through most butchers.

For the oven dried tomatoes, preheat the oven to 200 degrees and arrange the tomatoe slices on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Using a mortar and pestle, combine the olive oil, garlic, basil, rosemary, parsley, and thyme and grind to form a rough paste. Liberally coat both sides of the tomatoes with herb paste and place in the oven until dry, about six hours. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the veal sauce, in a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the veal trimmings and sear on all sides. Add the carrot, onion, and celery and saute until golden brown, about five minutes. Add the tomato and saute until tender. Add the red wine and simmer until almost dry. Add the lemon zest, garlic, and chicken jus and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by one-third. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine mesh sieve, season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the herb paste, using a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, basil, and olive oil grind to form a rough paste, and set aside.

For the veal shanks, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium roasting pan heat the duck fat to 275 degrees and remove from the heat. Liberally coat both sides of the veal shanks with herb paste and p lace in the duck fat. Transfer to the oven and roast until tender, about two hours. Remove from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the shanks to a parchment-lined sheet pan and set aside, keeping warm. Discard the duck fat and set aside keeping warm.

For the grits, in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, bring the grits, milk, and chicken stock to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until tender, about one hour, stirring frequently. Add the truffle butter and cheese and mix to combine. Season and set aside keeping warm.

For the veal racks, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Liberally coat the veal racks with herb paste. Season, wrap each rack in caul fat, and set aside. In a large, ovenproof saute pan, heat the duck fat over medium heat. Season and sear the veal racks on both sides. Transfer to the oven and roast until desired doneness. Remove from the heat and set aside to rest for one minute. Place on a cutting board, slice into separate chops, and set aside keeping warm.

To serve, set an oven-dried tomato and veal shank in the center of a plate and spoon some carrots, butter beans, and veal sauce on top. Set a veal rack and some grits in the center and garnish with truffle slices, lemon zest, and micro basil.

Maine Halibut Larded with Yellowfin Toro (Serves 6)

Ken Vedrinski

Ingredients

For the red bull pepper sauce:

1/4 cup Lee Kum Kee[R]

1/2 cup chicken stock

oyster sauce (*)

1 teaspoon chopped cilantro

1 small red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced

2 ounces unsalted butter Salt, white pepper, and mirin to taste.

For the egg foo yong:

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 cup honshimeji mushrooms (*)

1 shallot, peeled and minced

1/2 cup mung bean sprouts (*)

1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1 scallion, chopped

1 egg

1 teaspoon cornstarch, diluted in 1 teaspoon water

Salt and pepper to taste

For the halibut:

1 tablespoon peanut oil

6 3-ounce halibut fillets

6 ounces toro, cut into 2x1/4-inch strips

Salt and white pepper to taste

For the tempura vegetables:

12 ounces 2 Elephants[R] banana shrimp tempura mix (**)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar

1 1/4 cups ice cold water

1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed

1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch long strips

12 broccoli florets

2 scallions, cut into thin strips

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Fried cilantro

(*) Available in Asian markets.

(**) Available through Sing Kung Corp. at (714) 836-4868.

Note: Toro comes from the belly of bluefin tuna and is prized for its high fat content.

For the red bell pepper sauce, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the oyster sauce and chicken stock to a simmer. Add the cilantro, red bell pepper, and butter and whisk to combine. Simmer until the peppers are tender. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the egg foo yong, in a medium saute pan, heat one tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, shallot, bean sprouts, ginger, garlic, and scallion and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a medium bowl, and set aside to cool. Add the egg and cornstarch and toss to combine. Season and set aside. In a medium, non-stick saute pan, eat the remaining oil over medium heat. Place a 3-inch ring mold in the pan, spoon some egg foo yon mix in the center, and press gently to form a cake. Remove the mold and sear thc egg Coo yong cake on both sides until golden brown, about two minutes. Remove from the heat and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining mix to form five more egg foo yong cakes, and reserve keeping warm.

For e halibut, in a medium saute pan, melt the utter over medium heat. Season and sear the halibut on both sides until desired doneness. Remove from the heat and set aside. Using a larding needle, thread each halibut fillet with eight strips of yellowfin toro and set aside keeping warm.

For the tempura vegetables, preheat the fryer to 365 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the tempura mix, oil, and water and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and sugar and set aside. Liberally coat the vegetables with tempura batter and place in e fryer until golden brown, about two minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet pan to drain. Season, slice three of the shiitake mushrooms in half, and set aside with the remaining vegetables keeping warm.

To serve, place an egg Coo yong cake in the center of a plate and set a halibut fillet on top. Arrange some tempura vegetables around the dish, drizzle with red bell pepper sauce, and garnish with fried cilantro.

Patutahi Estate Gewiitzraminer Branott Vineyards Gisbome, New Zealand 1998

Tuna Barded with Tuna Bacon (Serves 6)

Ingredients

For the cranberry beans:

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup olive oil

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 leek, chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

4 cups chicken stock

12 ounces dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight

1 head garlic, split

1/4 cup melted butter

Salt and pepper to taste

For the baby fennel:

2 tablespoons olive oil

18 baby fennel

12 cloves garlic, crushed

2 sprigs thyme

2 ounces lemon juice

4 cups chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

For the lemon sauce:

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons lemon confit, chopped (*)

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tomato confit, chopped

2 tablespoons rosemary oil

4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the tuna:

6 6-ounce tuna loins

12 ounces tuna bacon, thinly sliced (**)

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Lemon zest

Chopped parsley

(*.) Lemon confit is available in most specialty stores.

(**.) Available through Browne Trading at (207) 766-2402.

directions

For the cranberry beans, in a medium saucepan, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add to carrot, leek, and onion and saute until translucent. Add the remaining olive oil, chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Add the beans and garlic, brush a piece of parchment paper with butter and cover. Simmer until tender, about one hour. Remove from the heat, remove and discard the garlic, season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the baby fennel, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the baby fennel and saute until caramelized, about five minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and saute for one minute. Add the lemon juice and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, and cover with parchment paper. Place in the oven to braise until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, remove the fennel from the liquid and set aside keeping warm.

For the lemon sauce, in a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, lemon confit, parsley, garlic, and tomatoes. Whisk to combine and add the rosemary oil and olive oil. Whisk to combine, season, and set aside.

For the tuna, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the tuna loins on a cutting board and season. Cover each loin with some tuna bacon and secure with butchers' twine. In a medium saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sear the tuna until crisp on all sides. Remove from the heat and place in the oven until desired doneness. Remove from the heat, remove the butchers' twine, slice, and set aside keeping warm.

To serve, spoon some cranberry beans in the center of a plate and arrange some tuna on top. Spoon some baby fennel around the dish, drizzle with lemon sauce, and garnish with lemon zest and parsley.

McCrae Wood Shiraz

Jim Barry's Wines

Clara Valley, Australia 1998

Fried Sweetbreads Larded with Smoked Bacon (Serves 6)

Ingredients

For the rutabaga sauerkraut

4 ounces duck fat

2 onions, peeled and sliced

2 1/2 pounds rutabaga peeled and grated

4 springs thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup sherry vinegar

1 1/2 cups white wine

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons honey

Salt and pepper to taste

For the mustard emulsion:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 shallots, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1/2 cup sherry vinegar

2 1/2 cups white wine

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the sweetbreads:

1 1/2 pounds sweetbreads, soaked for 24 hours and cut into 6 4-ounce pieces

6 ounces smoked bacon, cut into thin strips and blanched

1 cup Wondr"" flour

6 ounces clarified butter

Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

1 cup wild watercress

1 1/2 cup green grapes, peeled and halved

1/2 tablespoon verjus

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Caraway seeds

Mustard seeds

(*.) Available through Blooming Hill Farms at (845) 782-7310.

directions

For the rutabaga sauerkraut, preheat the oven to 850 degrees, in a large saucepan, heat the duck fat over medium heat. Add the onions, rutabaga thyme, and bay leaf and saute until translucent. De-glaze with the sherry vinegar and white wine. Simmer until reduced by one-quarter, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock butter and salt. Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat, and place in the oven to braise for two hours. Remove from the heat, add the honey, season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the mustard emulsion, in a medium saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until translucent. Add the caraway seeds and saute for two minutes. De-glaze with the sherry vinegar and white wine. Bring to a simmer and reduce by one-quarter, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and reduce by half, about 20 minutes. Add the Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, and olive oil, whisking to combine. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the sweetbreads, place the sweetbreads on a cutting board and, using a thin larding needle, lard with smoked bacon. Season and coat the sweetbreads with flour. In a medium saute pan, heat the clarified butter over medium heat. Place the sweetbreads in the pan and sear on both sides until crisp, about five minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside keeping warm.

For the salad, in a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Toss to combine, season, and set aside.

To serve, spoon some rutabaga sauerkraut onto a plate, spoon some salad in the center and set a sweetbread on top. Spoon some mustard sauce around the dish and garnish with caraway seeds and mustard seeds.

Moray-St. Denis

Huber ""

Burgundy France 1998

(Serves 6)

Roasted Beets Larded with Anchovies

ingredients

Blason de France Rose

Perrier-Jouet

Champagne, France

For the horseradish ice cream:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

3 tablespoons horseradish

2 ounces corn syrup

4 egg yolks

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 1/8 teaspoons salt

For the beets:

6 3-ounce beets

5 ounce olive oil

72 salt cured anchovies, rinsed

Salt to taste

For the dressing:

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup walnut oil

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

2 bunches arugula leaves

3 ounces endive leaves

1/4 cup reserved dressing

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Fleur de sel

Fried leeks

directions

For the horseradish ice cream, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream, milk, horseradish, and corn syrup to a boil. Reduce the heat and maintain at a simmer. Place the yolks in a medium bowl, whisk until smooth. Temper the egg yolks, adding one-third of the hot cream while whisking constantly. Whisk the tempered yolks into the hot cream and place over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, add the mustard and salt. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside in an ice bath until chilled and freeze in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For the beets, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the beets and olive oil. Season, toss to coat, and wrap each beet separately in aluminum foil. Place on a sheet pan and place in the oven until tender, about one and a half hours. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Unwrap the beets and peel. Using a larding needle, lard each beet with 12 anchovies. Cut into thin slices and set aside.

For the dressing, in a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Whisk to combine, season, and set aside.

For the salad, in a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Toss to coat, season, and set aside.

To serve, arrange some beet slices in a soup plate, sprinkle with fleur de sel and spoon some salad on top. Drizzle the dressing around the dish, top with a quenelle of horseradish ice cream in the center, and garnish with leeks.

Scallpos Larded with Truffle (Serves 6)

Bianco Rovere di Uve Merlot

Guido Brivo

Ticino, Switzerland 1997

* ""

* ""

* For the salsify pure""

* 1 1/4 pounds salsify, peeled and diced

* quarts chicker stock

* 1 1/2 ounces unsalted butter

* 1 sprig thyme

* 1 bay leaf

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* Salt and pepper to taste

For the caramelized salsify:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoon grapeseed oil

2 stalks salsify, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces each

Salt and pepper to taste

For the poached salsify:

2 stalks salsify; peeled and cut into 6 pieces each

2 cups whole milk

Salt and pepper to taste

For the shaved salsify:

2 stalks salsify, shaved

1/2 cup Wondra [R] flour

Salt and pepper to taste

For the porcini mushrooms:

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 ounces porcini mushrooms, stemmed

1 shallot, peeled and minced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

For the truffle consomme:

2 cups chicken consomme

2 ounces black truffle, cut into thin strips

For the pistachio dressing:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 shallot, peeled and minced

3 ounces pistachio oil

2 ounces black truffles, diced

2 tablespoons verjus

1/2 cup reserved truffle consomme

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

For the scallops:

12 sea scallops

Reserved black truffle strips

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Ground pistachios

Fried sage leaves

For the salsify puree, preheat the oven to 200 degrees, In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through fine mesh sieve, discarding the thyme and bay leaf. Place the salsify on a parchment-lined sheet pan and place in the oven to dry for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment. Puree until smooth, about two minutes and transfer to a fine mesh sieve. Strain, season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the caramelized salsify, in a medium saute pan, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the salsify and saute until caramelized, about five minutes. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the poached salsify, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the salsify and milk. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the milk. Season and set aside keeping warm.

For the shaved salsify, preheat the fryer to 250 degrees. Coat the salsify with the four and place in the fryer until golden brown, about three minutes. Remove from the heat and place on a paper towel-lined sheet pan to drain. Season and set aside keeping warm.

For the porcini mushrooms, in a medium saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and shallot and saute until tender, about four minutes. Add the garlic and saute for two minutes. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, and toss to combine. Season and set aside keeping warm.

For the truffle consomme, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the consomme to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the truffles, and simmer for three minutes. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine mesh sieve, and set aside, reserving the consomme and the truffles separately.

For the pistachio dressing, in a medium saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until translucent. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium bowl to cool. Add the pistachio oil, truffle, verjus, truffle consomme, and sherry vinegar. Whisk to combine, season, and set aside.

For the scallops, place the scallops on a cutting board and, using a thin larding needle, lard each scallop with five strips of truffles. In a medium saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Season and sear the scallops on both sides until desired doneness. Remove from the heat and place on a cutting board. Slice each scallop in half transversely and set aside keeping warm.

To serve, spoon some salsify puree and pistachio dressing around a plate and place four scallop halves in the center. Arrange some caramelized salsify, porcini mushrooms, poached salsify, and shaved salsify around the dish and garnish with ground pistachios and sage.

Cod Barded with Serrano Ham

For the vegetables:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 onions, peeled and sliced

4 red bell peppers, roasted and chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1 1/2 tablespoons capers

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

For the risotto:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

2 teaspoons threads saffron

1/4 cup dry white wine

3 1/2 cups chicken stock

6 littleneck clams

1/3 cup reserved vegetables, minced

1/2 cup nicoise olives

1/2 cup caper berries

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Sea salt and pepper to taste

For the vinaigrette:

1 quart red pepper juice, reduced by three-quarters and strained

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

Ground pepper to taste

For the cod:

6 6-ounce center cut cod fillets

12 thin slices Serrano ham

2 ounces olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Parsley sprigs

For the vegetables, in a medium saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and saute until translucent. Add garlic, capers and cayenne pepper and saute for two minutes. De-glaze with sherry vinegar and Simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside keeping warm.

For the risotto, in a medium saute pan, melt one tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the rice and saute for three minutes to coat the grains evenly with butter. Add the saffron and wine, and one cup of the chicken stock, reduce the beat, and simmer stirring occasionally until the liquid has been absorbed. Add 1 cup of the stock and simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the remaining stock and continue to simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed, the mixture is creamy, and the rice is still slightly firm. Add the clams and reserved vegetables and simmer until the clams have opened about three minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining butter olives, caper berries, and parsley and mix to combine. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside keeping warm.

Coteaux du Languedoc Blanc Selections

Mas Jullien

Laguedac-Roussillan, France 1999

For the vinaigrette, in a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Whisk to combine, season, and set aside.

For the cod, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cod fillets on a flat work surface and cover each fillet with two slices of the ham. Tie with butchers' twine to secure and place on sheet pan. In a medium saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sear the cod on both sides, about three minutes. Remove from the heat and place in the oven to roast for eight minutes, or until desired doneness. Remove from the heat, remove the butchers' twine, and set aside keeping warm.

To serve, spoon some risotto in the center of a soup bowl and spoon some vegetables around a dish. Place a cod fillet in the center, drizzle some vinaigrette around the dish, and garnish with a parsley sprig.

(Services 6)

Foie Gras and Prosciutto Ballotine directions

ingredients

For the ballotine:

3 pounds foie gras, cleaned

1 1/2 cups Sauternes

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon sodium nitrate

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 gallon duck consomme

1 breast duck prosciutto trimmed and thinly sliced (*)

For the truffle and apple gelee:

1 quart fresh Granny Smith apple juice

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons diced black truffles

6 sheets gelatin, softened in 6 cups cold water

1/2 tablespoon vitamin C powder (**)

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon superfine sugar

For the apple chips:

1 cup Sauternes

1 cup water

4 ounces granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon Vitamin C powder (**)

1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon superfine sugar

For the garnish:

Vanilla bean halves

Parisienne scooped Granny Smith apples

(*.) Available through D'Artagnan at (800) 372-8246.

(**.) Available in most health food stores.

For the ballotine, in a medium bowl, combine the foie gras, Sauternes, nutmeg, sodium nitrate, salt, pepper and sugar and set aside in the refrigerator overnight Wrap the foie gras tightly in cheesecloth and set aside. In a medium saucepan over in drum heat, bring the duck consomme to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the foie gras. Set aside for six minutes. Remove the foie gras, place on a sheet pan, and set aside for one hour. Remove the cheesecloth and rewrap the foie gras tightly in cheesecloth to form a 24-inch cylindrical shape. Secure the ends with butchers' twine and hang in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Unwrap the foie gras, discard the cheesecloth, and set aside. Arrange the prosciutto slices on a parchment-lined flat work surface to form one large sheet. Set the foie gras ballotine on top and roll to enclose. Transfer to a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, trim the edges and cut the ballotine into six pieces. Transfer to a sheet pan and reserve.

For the truffle and apple gelee, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the apple juice, salt, and truffles to a simmer until just warmed through, about four minutes. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin and vitamin C and whisk to combine. Set aside in an ice bath until set, about 30 minutes. Remove from the ice bath and set aside in the refrigerator until firm, about three hours.

Bonnezeaux, La Malabe

Domaine des Petits Quarts

Loire, France 1995

For the apple chips, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the Sauternes, water, sugar, Vitamin C powder and salt to a simmer. Add the apples and simmer until tender, about five minutes. Remove from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, place the apples on a silpat-lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with the sugar and place in the oven until crisp, about six hours. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

To serve, place some foie gras and duck prosciutto ballotine in the center of a plate and insert a vanilla bean on top. Spoon some truffle and apple gelee around the dish and garnish with parisienne scooped Granny Smith apples and apple chips.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Culinaire, Inc.
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Date:Jan 1, 2002
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