January 2008 Recipes
Here are this month's recipes, all selected by Michael.
For the Classic Club
All of the Classic Club recipes have a Mardi Gras theme (Michael worked at Bayona, a wonderful restaurant in the French Quarter). Laissez les bons temps rouler!!
For the Grecanico: Crabmeat Ravigote
A simple salad that makes a great appetizer and features crab (in season and delicious right now)
- ½ cup homemade mayonnaise (see below)
- ½ cup Creole or Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp grated horseradish
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup chopped capers
- 2 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
- 1lb Crab meat, shells removed
Combine mayonnaise, mustard, dry mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and horseradish.
Mix in parsley, capers, and hard cooked eggs
Add the crab meat and toss gently
Serve chilled on a small bed of butter lettuce
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mild olive oil
Put the egg and all the rest of the ingredients except the oil into a blender. Pulse once, add1/4 cup of oil and blend on low speed. Remove cover and immediately pour the rest of the oil in a steady stream with the blender running.
For the Zinfandel: Pan-fried Quail with Dirty Rice
This is a great old New Orleans dish. I have simplified it somewhat as most recipe would have you
stuff the quail and the sauce with a rich roux-based sauce. For me, the dirty rice is flavorful enough and pan frying the quail and serving along side easy and delicious.
- 3 ¾ cups chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups uncooked white rice
- 1 tbs plus 5 tsp creole meat seasoning
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ½ cup finely chopped chicken livers
- ½ cup finely chopped chicken gizzards
- ½ cup ground pork
- ¾ cup chopped onions
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- 2 tbs minced garlic
Bring 2 ¼ cups of chicken stock to a boil, add the rice and creole seasoning. Cover and cook over low heat until all the stock is absorbed.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a sauté pan and sauté the livers, gizzards, and pork until lightly browned. Add onions, celery, green bell pepper, green onions, and garlic and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat.
Add the remaining stock and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in 4 cups of cooked rice and cook until all the stock is absorbed. Set aside while you cook the quail.
- 6 quail ( I am assuming that you will get the boneless kind as that seems to be the only kind available these days)
Tuck the wings underneath and try to the form the quail into a neat package. It will firm up as you cook it. Season with creole meat seasoning and pan fry crisp in clarified butter. Serve with a generous spoonful of dirty rice and perhaps some sautéed artichoke hearts.
For the Spanish blend: Red Beans and Rice
This is the classic Monday night special in New Orleans. It comes from a tradition that dates back to taking the laundry down to the river leaving a pot of beans on the stove to cook unattended on Mondays which was laundry day.
- 2lbs dried red kidney beans
- ¾ lb andouille sausage, sliced
- ½ lb ham or picked pork
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- Louisiana hot sauce to taste
Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water to cover. Drain and put into a heavy stockpot. Cover the beans with 2 inches of fresh water.
In a skillet, sauté the sausage and ham and add to the pot. Saute the onion and garlic in the leftover oil and add to the pot.
Bring the pot to a boil and then cook over medium heat for about 2 hours until soft and creamy. Season the beans with salt only after about an hour so the skins do not toughen. Some of the beans will have broken down. Serve with a scoop of white rice and pass the hot sauce.
For the Sherry: Turtle Soup
Frozen (or fresh, if you're lucky) turtle meat can be found in many Chinatown meat or fish markets.
- 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 lb turtle meat cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 cup minced celery
- 1 ¼ cup minced onions
- 1 ½ tsp minced garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups tomato puree
- 1 quart beef or chicken stock
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 5 hard cooked eggs, finely chopped
- 1 tbs minced parsley
- 6 tsp of dry (Fino or Amontillado) sherry
Melt 1 cup butter in a heavy saucepan, add flour, and cook. Stir frequently over medium heat
until roux is light brown. Set aside.
In another pot melt rest of butter and add turtle meat. Cook over high heat until turtle meat is browned. Add celery, onions, and garlic and seasonings and cook until vegetables are translucent.
Add tomato puree, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add stock and continue to simmer for 30 more minutes. Add roux and stir and cook until soup is smooth and thickened. Correct the seasoning
with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice, eggs, and parsley. Remove from heat and serve. At the table
add a tsp of sherry to each bowl of soup.
For the High End Red Wine Club: Beef Tenderloin with Raisins and Pepper Sauce
This dish is a slightly sweeter version of steak au poivre . 4 filet mignon about 6oz eac
½ cup yellow raisins
- ¼ cup cognac
- 2 tbs crushed black pepper
- Coarse sea salt
- 1/3 cup strong beef stock
- 4 tbs butter or ghee (available from Indian markets)
Bring two cups of water to a boil, drop the raisins in and simmer for five minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Pat the raisins dry and then put them in a small bowl and pour the cognac over them.
Crush the black peppercorns by spreading them in a kitchen towel and then using a rolling pin to break them up. You want a coarse cracked result.
Season the beef with coarse salt and then press the filets into the coarse pepper on each side so that they peppercorns adhere.
Saute the beef in butter or ghee until cooked to your preferred doneness. ( I use ghee for this dish. Ghee, or clarified butter, has a higher smoke point so you still get the flavor of butter and a nice brown result.)
Set the filets on a rack over a plate and cover with a large bowl or aluminum foil. This will keep the filets from stewing in juices they might release as they sit.
Pour out the fat but leave the scrapings in the pan.
Add the cognac and raisins all at once. Be careful to do this step off the heat as cognac is highly flammable and the fumes can create quite a fireball in your kitchen.
Scrape the pan as you bring the cognac to a boil so as to release the caramelized juices on the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock and boil for 2 minutes. Swirl in 2 tbs of butter a little at a time and then coat the filets.
Serve with wilted spinach and mashed potatoes.
For the Pinot Noir Club:Sausage and Winter Greens Pasta
This is a simple and delicious winter pasta that's is easy to put together on a weeknight. I always forget how much I enjoy these flavors together. The silky fruitiness of the Pali pinot will be great with this on a cold, rainy night!
- 2 leeks
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 bunches winter greens (beets, mustard, turnip, green chard, rapini, etc)
- 4 sweet Italian sausage
- 6 tbs olive oil
- Fresh Linguini for 4
- Salt and pepper
- Pitted black olives
- Crushed red pepper
- Parmigiano Reggiano
Wash and thinly slice the leeks. Peel and chop the garlic. Remove the leaves from the greens if it has large stems. Slice the greens and wash and dry. Slice the sausages.
Stew the garlic, leeks, and sausage in 5 tbs of olive oil for 10 minutes or so. Add the greens and continue to cook until greens are soft and wilted. Add a little water to help the greens steam. Cook the pasta and add to the mixture, season with salt and pepper, and a couple of tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Let the mixture cook for another minute so that it all comes together.
Garnish with pitted olives, red pepper, and generous shavings of Reggiano.
For the Italian Club
With the Il Moro Nero d'Avola: Farsumauro, Sicilian Style Meatloaf
The many recipes for this dish often include Parma ham, hard cooked eggs, and salt pork, which makes for a very rich dish. This recipe adapted from Marcella Hazan is more simple and straight forward in execution and flavor. The only real trick with this recipe is sewing the pouch of meat ,which can seem a little intimidating. The easiest way to go about this is to sew the two slices of beef together on three
sides and then stuff the pork meatloaf inside. Then sew up the last side securely so the ground meat will not escape during cooking.
- 2 slices of beef from the center of a top or bottom round about ½ inch thick. In total this should weigh about 1 ½ lbs.
- Needle and thin trussing string
- ¾ lb ground pork
- 1 garlic clove chopped fine
- 2 tbs flat leaf parsley
- 1 egg
- 2 tbs fresh grated parmesan
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
Begin by placing the two pieces of beef on top of each other and stitch the edge together on three sides leaving one side open like a pillowcase.
Put the ground pork, garlic, parsley, egg, parm, with salt and pepper into a bowl and combine well.
Place the mix inside the meat wrapper distributing it evenly. Sew the last side closed and place the needle and thread far away from the food. Definitely do not lose the needle in the food! Dont worry if the whole thing looks kind of floppy as it will firm up as it cooks.
Take a sauté pan, put in butter and oil and heat onto medium high. Toss the meat pouch in flour and coat it all over.
Brown the meat in the oil and then season the meat with salt and pepper. Add the wine, lower the heat and simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours turning the meat from time to time. If the liquid runs short add a couple tablespoons of water.
It may seem like a long time to cook the meat but you want it to cook slowly so that it is very tender with layers of complex flavor.
Transfer the Farsumauro to a cutting board, slice into half inch slices. Spoon off fat from the liquid in the pan and nap the slices with the pan juices. If you like this can also been served with tomato sauce.
With the Inzolia: Sarde a Beccafico- Stuffed Sardines Sicilian Style
Sardines are available fresh in most good fish markets. They are both inexpensive and good for you ( high in Omega 3!) This is an easy and delicious preparation.
- 2 ½ lbs fresh sardines
- olive oil
- 6 tbssoft breadcrumbs
- ½ cup white raisins
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 tsp sugar
- 6 salted anchovies
- 2-3 sprigs flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 bay leaves
- juice of 1 lemon or orange
Cut off the heads of the sardines, slit them open and clean. Remove backbone but dont divide completely. Pat dry
Heat 1 ¼ cup olive oil in a small pan and add 5 tbs of breadcrumbs. Stir and cook until brown and put them into a bowl. Add the white raisins, pine nuts, and sugar.
Wash the anchovies of all salt and pound or chop into small pieces and add to the crumbs. Add the onion and black pepper and knead until well blended. Stuff a little of the breadcrumb mixture into each sardine and close the sardinearound the stuffing.
Lightly oil a backing pan and lay the sardines in one layer. Tear the bay leaves into strips and sprinkle them over the sardines.
Cover with remaining soft crumbs and sprinkle with a bit of olive oil. Bake in a 375 oven for 30 minutes. The breadcrumbs will be brown and fish cooked through. Serve immediately sprinkled with lemon or orange juice.
For the Spanish Club: Empañadas (Pork Pie)
These pies or empañadas were originally emptied-out loaves of bread with a variety of cooked fillings,
always based on a sauce called zaragallada made of onion, pepper, saffron, and a little tomato. They
were a practical way for pilgrims to carry food on their way to Santiago de Compostela.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- A pinch of sweet pimentón (Spanish paprika)
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup water, or half water and half white wine
- 5 tbsp oil
- 2 onions
- 2 green peppers, minced
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce
- 10 oz cubed pork loin
- 2.5 oz serraño ham
- 2.5 oz chorizo
- 3 tbsp white wine
- A few threads of saffron
Place the flour, pimenton and salt in a bowl. Heat the oil until it is beginning to smoke then add
all at once to the flour. Stir with a spoon and add the water. Sprinkle a work surface with flour
and knead the dough until smooth. Form into a ball and leave to cool covered with a damp cloth.
Fry the seasoned pork, diced ham, and sliced chorizo. Remove from the pan and in the same oil fry
the thinly-sliced onion and finely-chopped peppers until soft. Add the fried tomato and saffron then add the meats. Pour in the wine and cook the mixture until the meat is tender.
Cut the pastry dough into two pieces. Place one half on the floured work surface and roll out until 1/4 inch thick. Line a greased and floured pie tin 9 1/2 inches in diameter--the pastry should overlap the edges--then fill with the meat and vegetable mixture.
Roll out the other half and cover the pie. Moisten the edges then press together and crimp. Decorate the pie with strips of pastry made from what is left over and brush with beaten egg. Prick the surface to allow any steam to escape and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.