PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS
PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

PORK BELLY IS WHAT BACON IS BEFORE IT IS CURED.  IF ALL THAT FAT SEENS DAUNTING, YOU’LL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH OF IT MELTS OFF IN THE COOKING, LEAVING A RICH AND SUCCULENT SQUARE OF PORK. BRAISED WITH FENNEL, LEEKS AND FEW STAR ANISE FOR SEASONING, PORK BELLY IS NOTHING SHORT OF DELICIOUS.  SERVE WITH RICE, PASTA OR A CRUNCHY BAGUETTE TO SOP UP THE JUICES.
Click here to download recipe

STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC
STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC

HALIBUT IS NOT MY FAVORITE FISH. IT HAS A MILD TASTE AND IF NOT COOKED PERFECTLY, ITS RATHER DENSE FLESH TURNS TOUGH AND DRY. I’VE TRIED COOKING HALIBUT SLOWLY IN OLIVE OIL OR MELTED BUTTER. SOMETIMES I GET IT RIGHT, BUT OFTEN I DON’T. (more…)

SWORDFISH SICILIANA
SWORDFISH SICILIANA

IN THE OUTDOOR MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SILVER SARDINES, RED MULLET, TUNA, BRANZINO, VONGOLE, MUSSELS, AND ALL KINDS OF PRAWNS GLITTER ON A BED OF SHAVED ICE.  A FISHMONGER WITH ARMS LIKE TREE LIMBS SHOUTS OUT, “SPADA!  SPADA!” AND USING A FOOTLONG STAINLESS STEEL CLEAVER SLICES SEVEN PERFECT STEAKS. (more…)

COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES
COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES

ALTHOUGH RADICCHIO NEVER SEEMS TO GO OUT OF SEASON, IN ADDITION TO THE FAMILIAR RADICCHIO DI VERONA, WHICH RESEMBLES A SMALL RED CABBAGE, TREVISO WITH ITS TAPERING GREEN STEMS AND GREEN AND RED LEAVES IS ALSO AVAILABLE. I LIKE THEM BOTH.  RADICCHIO WITH ITS CRUNCH AND BITTER BITE IS A NATURAL FOR SALADS, BUT IT IS ALSO EXCELLENT GRILLED OR PAN-BRAISED.  I THOUGHT THE LATTER MIGHT PAIR WELL WITH NORWEGIAN COD, WHICH IS SWEET AND FLAKEY.  COOKED WITH SLICED GARLIC AND SWEETENED WITH WHITE SOY SAUCE, IT SERVES AS A FLAVORFUL AND ATTRACTIVE PILLOW FOR THE PAN-COOKED COD. SERVE IT WITH BOILED FINGERLING POTATOES, SMASHED WITH CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND CHOPPED HERBS.
Click here to download recipe

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

MY FATHER, WHOSE DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAS ON FIFTH AVENUE, WOULD PRAY FOR RAIN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY.  OUR GENERATION HAS A MORE BENIGN ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE IRISH.  SO FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER WITH TWO GUESTS OF IRISH EXTRACTION AT OUR TABLE, MY WIFE, WHOSE FAMILY MADE CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE FOR THANKSGIVING, URGED ME TO COOK THE SAME DISH. (more…)

MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

MONKFISH IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE POOR MAN’S LOBSTER, NOT SO MUCH FOR THE TASTE BUT THE TEXTURE WHICH RESEMBLES A LOBSTER TAIL.  THE TASTE IS SUBTLE AND SWEET.  THIS SAUCE, WHICH IS MADE IN THE PAN, IS PIQUANT WITH THE BITE OF WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD, ENRICHED WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOT, AND CRÉME FRAÎCHE.

Click here to download recipe

FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS
FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS

IN MY WEEKLY COOKING CLASS AT THE L.A. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TEACH MY STUDENTS BASIC TECHNIQUES.  I HAD FOUR KIDS ON WEDNESDAY, SO I BROUGHT WITH ME FOUR WHOLE, BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS AND FOUR SETS OF INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DIFFERENT RECIPES. (more…)

SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD
SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD

THIS IS A LOVELY FIRST COURSE. OR, ON A WARM DAY, YOU MIGHT DOUBLE THE RECIPE AND SERVE IT FOR LUNCH WITH A CRUSTY BAGUETTE. SMOKED TROUT, WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN MOST GOOD SUPERMARKETS, HAS A SUBTLE, SAVORY FLAVOR AND A FIRM TEXTURE. (more…)

LE COUCOU
LE COUCOU

THERE AREN’T MANY RESTAURANTS WHERE I WOULD EAT TWO DAYS IN A ROW, BUT THE FIRST LUNCH AT LE COUCOU DEMANDED I RETURN TO SAMPLE MORE DISHES ON THE MENU. THIS WAS PARTIALLY MY OWN FAULT SINCE I BROKE MY OWN RULE OF NEVER ORDERING THE SAME THING AS ANYONE ELSE. BUT WHEN PETE WELLS DESCRIBED THE QUENELLES DE BROCHET AS “FLUFFY” AND WENT ON TO RHAPSODIZE ABOUT THE SAUCE AMERICAINE; WHEN LYNN AND HELEN BOTH INSISTED ON ORDERING THE QUENELLES, WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?

I DID NOT REGRET MY DECISION. THE OVAL LOBES OF PIKE, TAMIS-SMOOTH, AS AIRY AS SOUFFLÉS, FLOAT IN A SEA OF CRAYFISH OR LOBSTER CREAM. EACH BITE PRODUCES A LITTLE GROAN. A BLIND MAN AT AN ADJACENT TABLE MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED WE WERE ALL HAVING SEX, BECAUSE DANIEL ROSE’S QUENELLES ARE ABOUT AS CLOSE AS YOU’RE GOING TO GET. FIRST COURSES, THOUGH NOT AS LASCIVIOUS WERE EQUALLY SUBLIME: RAW BAY SCALLOPS IN A MILD VINAIGRETTE, PRETTILY ADORNED WITH CLEMENTINES, CHESTNUTS AND CELERY LEAVES; LEEKS WITH HAZELNUTS; AN AUTUMN SALAD OF BIBB LETTUCE WITH WALNUTS AND BLUE CHEESE. DESSERT? MAIS, OUI. RICE PUDDING WITH PISTACHIOS AND CHARTREUSE, PAVÉ OF BITTER CHOCOLATE WITH PRALINE ICE CREAM AND AN EXQUISITE GRILLED PEAR WITH MUSCADET, VANILLA ICE CREAM AND ALMOND BRITTLE.

BUT SECOND THINGS SECOND. THE RESTAURANT ITSELF IS LOCATED ON A RATHER UGLY STRETCH OF LAFAYETTE, JUST NORTH OF CANAL. ONCE YOU PASS THROUGH THE MAGIC CURTAINS, HOWEVER, YOU ENTER A VAULTED SPACE OF RAW, LIME-BLEACHED BRICK, DESIGNED BY ROMAN AND WILLIAMS. THE ELEGANT BAR, FRAMED IN AN ARCH IS UP FRONT; THE OPEN KITCHEN TOWARDS THE BACK. CHANDELIERS AND SCONCES BATH THE TABLES IN A WARM GLOW. A VERITABLE ARMY OF WAITSTAFF GLIDE GRACEFULLY BETWEEN WELL-SPACED, LINEN-DRAPED TABLES. OUR WAITER INFORMED US THAT THE RESTAURANT REPLACES A DOLLAR STORE AND THE LOBBY OF A HOLIDAY INN.

THE CHEF, DANIEL ROSE, WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF AMERICAN CHEFS WHO MADE THEIR NAME IN PARIS; CHEF ROSE WITH SPRING, THEN LA BOURSE AND, FINALLY, LA VIE. ROSE IS INTERESTED IN THE CLASSIC REPERTOIRE OF HAUTE CUISINE, BUT LIKE POINT AND CHAPELLE BEFORE HIM, HE REPLACES RICH, FLOUR-BASED SAUCES WITH REDUCTIONS. NOR IS HE DOGMATIC ABOUT CLASSIC FRENCH FOOD. THUS MY RAW SCALLOPS WERE COMPLIMENTED BY CLEMENTINES AND THE FRIED MONTAULK EEL COMES BATHED IN A CURRY VINAIGRETTE.

THE WINE LIST IS HEFTY AND THOUGH WEIGHTED TOWARDS FRANCE INCLUDES BOTTLES FROM SLOVENIA, GREECE AND LEBANON. OUR FIRST DAY’S WINE WAS A DRY ALSATIAN RIESLING FOR AROUND $48.

THE NEXT DAY I RETURNED WITH A NEW LUNCH PARTNER, WHO WAS EAGER TO TRY THE QUENELLES. LIZ STARTED WITH THE AUTUMN SALAD. I TRIED THE CELERY REMOULADE, A MOUND OF WHICH CONCEALED VELVETY HOUSE-CURED SALMON. I’D COME BACK FOR THE RABBIT POT-AU-FEU WITH ROOT VEGETABLES POACHED IN RABBIT BOUILLON. WOULD I LIKE THE FOIE GRAS SUPPLEMENT? BUT OF COURSE. CLEAR, MAHOGANY BROTH WAS RICH WITH THE BONES OF MANY BUNNIES, BUT LIGHT. IT SEEPED INTO THE PARSNIPS, CARROTS AND BABY TURNIPS. NICE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FOIE GRAS.

I REMEMBER THE COMELY SOMMELIER RECOMMENDED A CRISP AND CHALKY GREEK WINE, WHICH I’D NEVER HEARD OF, BUT I’M A BIT FUZZY ABOUT WHICH DESSERTS WE HAD AT WHICH LUNCH. I’M PRETTY SURE THE RICE PUDDING REAPPEARED. I HOPE IT’S ON THE MENU THE NEXT TIME I GO BACK. AND THE NEXT.

CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI
CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI

EVEN IN SOMETIME SUNNY CALIFORNIA, FALL’S HARVEST GIVES WAY TO WINTER SQUASHES, KALE, BEETS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, AND ALL MANNER OF ROOT VEGETABLES. (more…)

PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS
PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

PORK BELLY IS WHAT BACON IS BEFORE IT IS CURED.  IF ALL THAT FAT SEENS DAUNTING, YOU’LL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH OF IT MELTS OFF IN THE COOKING, LEAVING A RICH AND SUCCULENT SQUARE OF PORK. BRAISED WITH FENNEL, LEEKS AND FEW STAR ANISE FOR SEASONING, PORK BELLY IS NOTHING SHORT OF DELICIOUS.  SERVE WITH RICE, PASTA OR A CRUNCHY BAGUETTE TO SOP UP THE JUICES.
Click here to download recipe

STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC
STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC

HALIBUT IS NOT MY FAVORITE FISH. IT HAS A MILD TASTE AND IF NOT COOKED PERFECTLY, ITS RATHER DENSE FLESH TURNS TOUGH AND DRY. I’VE TRIED COOKING HALIBUT SLOWLY IN OLIVE OIL OR MELTED BUTTER. SOMETIMES I GET IT RIGHT, BUT OFTEN I DON’T. (more…)

SWORDFISH SICILIANA
SWORDFISH SICILIANA

IN THE OUTDOOR MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SILVER SARDINES, RED MULLET, TUNA, BRANZINO, VONGOLE, MUSSELS, AND ALL KINDS OF PRAWNS GLITTER ON A BED OF SHAVED ICE.  A FISHMONGER WITH ARMS LIKE TREE LIMBS SHOUTS OUT, “SPADA!  SPADA!” AND USING A FOOTLONG STAINLESS STEEL CLEAVER SLICES SEVEN PERFECT STEAKS. (more…)

COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES
COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES

ALTHOUGH RADICCHIO NEVER SEEMS TO GO OUT OF SEASON, IN ADDITION TO THE FAMILIAR RADICCHIO DI VERONA, WHICH RESEMBLES A SMALL RED CABBAGE, TREVISO WITH ITS TAPERING GREEN STEMS AND GREEN AND RED LEAVES IS ALSO AVAILABLE. I LIKE THEM BOTH.  RADICCHIO WITH ITS CRUNCH AND BITTER BITE IS A NATURAL FOR SALADS, BUT IT IS ALSO EXCELLENT GRILLED OR PAN-BRAISED.  I THOUGHT THE LATTER MIGHT PAIR WELL WITH NORWEGIAN COD, WHICH IS SWEET AND FLAKEY.  COOKED WITH SLICED GARLIC AND SWEETENED WITH WHITE SOY SAUCE, IT SERVES AS A FLAVORFUL AND ATTRACTIVE PILLOW FOR THE PAN-COOKED COD. SERVE IT WITH BOILED FINGERLING POTATOES, SMASHED WITH CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND CHOPPED HERBS.
Click here to download recipe

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

MY FATHER, WHOSE DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAS ON FIFTH AVENUE, WOULD PRAY FOR RAIN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY.  OUR GENERATION HAS A MORE BENIGN ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE IRISH.  SO FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER WITH TWO GUESTS OF IRISH EXTRACTION AT OUR TABLE, MY WIFE, WHOSE FAMILY MADE CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE FOR THANKSGIVING, URGED ME TO COOK THE SAME DISH. (more…)

MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

MONKFISH IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE POOR MAN’S LOBSTER, NOT SO MUCH FOR THE TASTE BUT THE TEXTURE WHICH RESEMBLES A LOBSTER TAIL.  THE TASTE IS SUBTLE AND SWEET.  THIS SAUCE, WHICH IS MADE IN THE PAN, IS PIQUANT WITH THE BITE OF WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD, ENRICHED WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOT, AND CRÉME FRAÎCHE.

Click here to download recipe

FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS
FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS

IN MY WEEKLY COOKING CLASS AT THE L.A. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TEACH MY STUDENTS BASIC TECHNIQUES.  I HAD FOUR KIDS ON WEDNESDAY, SO I BROUGHT WITH ME FOUR WHOLE, BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS AND FOUR SETS OF INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DIFFERENT RECIPES. (more…)

SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD
SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD

THIS IS A LOVELY FIRST COURSE. OR, ON A WARM DAY, YOU MIGHT DOUBLE THE RECIPE AND SERVE IT FOR LUNCH WITH A CRUSTY BAGUETTE. SMOKED TROUT, WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN MOST GOOD SUPERMARKETS, HAS A SUBTLE, SAVORY FLAVOR AND A FIRM TEXTURE. (more…)

LE COUCOU
LE COUCOU

THERE AREN’T MANY RESTAURANTS WHERE I WOULD EAT TWO DAYS IN A ROW, BUT THE FIRST LUNCH AT LE COUCOU DEMANDED I RETURN TO SAMPLE MORE DISHES ON THE MENU. THIS WAS PARTIALLY MY OWN FAULT SINCE I BROKE MY OWN RULE OF NEVER ORDERING THE SAME THING AS ANYONE ELSE. BUT WHEN PETE WELLS DESCRIBED THE QUENELLES DE BROCHET AS “FLUFFY” AND WENT ON TO RHAPSODIZE ABOUT THE SAUCE AMERICAINE; WHEN LYNN AND HELEN BOTH INSISTED ON ORDERING THE QUENELLES, WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?

I DID NOT REGRET MY DECISION. THE OVAL LOBES OF PIKE, TAMIS-SMOOTH, AS AIRY AS SOUFFLÉS, FLOAT IN A SEA OF CRAYFISH OR LOBSTER CREAM. EACH BITE PRODUCES A LITTLE GROAN. A BLIND MAN AT AN ADJACENT TABLE MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED WE WERE ALL HAVING SEX, BECAUSE DANIEL ROSE’S QUENELLES ARE ABOUT AS CLOSE AS YOU’RE GOING TO GET. FIRST COURSES, THOUGH NOT AS LASCIVIOUS WERE EQUALLY SUBLIME: RAW BAY SCALLOPS IN A MILD VINAIGRETTE, PRETTILY ADORNED WITH CLEMENTINES, CHESTNUTS AND CELERY LEAVES; LEEKS WITH HAZELNUTS; AN AUTUMN SALAD OF BIBB LETTUCE WITH WALNUTS AND BLUE CHEESE. DESSERT? MAIS, OUI. RICE PUDDING WITH PISTACHIOS AND CHARTREUSE, PAVÉ OF BITTER CHOCOLATE WITH PRALINE ICE CREAM AND AN EXQUISITE GRILLED PEAR WITH MUSCADET, VANILLA ICE CREAM AND ALMOND BRITTLE.

BUT SECOND THINGS SECOND. THE RESTAURANT ITSELF IS LOCATED ON A RATHER UGLY STRETCH OF LAFAYETTE, JUST NORTH OF CANAL. ONCE YOU PASS THROUGH THE MAGIC CURTAINS, HOWEVER, YOU ENTER A VAULTED SPACE OF RAW, LIME-BLEACHED BRICK, DESIGNED BY ROMAN AND WILLIAMS. THE ELEGANT BAR, FRAMED IN AN ARCH IS UP FRONT; THE OPEN KITCHEN TOWARDS THE BACK. CHANDELIERS AND SCONCES BATH THE TABLES IN A WARM GLOW. A VERITABLE ARMY OF WAITSTAFF GLIDE GRACEFULLY BETWEEN WELL-SPACED, LINEN-DRAPED TABLES. OUR WAITER INFORMED US THAT THE RESTAURANT REPLACES A DOLLAR STORE AND THE LOBBY OF A HOLIDAY INN.

THE CHEF, DANIEL ROSE, WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF AMERICAN CHEFS WHO MADE THEIR NAME IN PARIS; CHEF ROSE WITH SPRING, THEN LA BOURSE AND, FINALLY, LA VIE. ROSE IS INTERESTED IN THE CLASSIC REPERTOIRE OF HAUTE CUISINE, BUT LIKE POINT AND CHAPELLE BEFORE HIM, HE REPLACES RICH, FLOUR-BASED SAUCES WITH REDUCTIONS. NOR IS HE DOGMATIC ABOUT CLASSIC FRENCH FOOD. THUS MY RAW SCALLOPS WERE COMPLIMENTED BY CLEMENTINES AND THE FRIED MONTAULK EEL COMES BATHED IN A CURRY VINAIGRETTE.

THE WINE LIST IS HEFTY AND THOUGH WEIGHTED TOWARDS FRANCE INCLUDES BOTTLES FROM SLOVENIA, GREECE AND LEBANON. OUR FIRST DAY’S WINE WAS A DRY ALSATIAN RIESLING FOR AROUND $48.

THE NEXT DAY I RETURNED WITH A NEW LUNCH PARTNER, WHO WAS EAGER TO TRY THE QUENELLES. LIZ STARTED WITH THE AUTUMN SALAD. I TRIED THE CELERY REMOULADE, A MOUND OF WHICH CONCEALED VELVETY HOUSE-CURED SALMON. I’D COME BACK FOR THE RABBIT POT-AU-FEU WITH ROOT VEGETABLES POACHED IN RABBIT BOUILLON. WOULD I LIKE THE FOIE GRAS SUPPLEMENT? BUT OF COURSE. CLEAR, MAHOGANY BROTH WAS RICH WITH THE BONES OF MANY BUNNIES, BUT LIGHT. IT SEEPED INTO THE PARSNIPS, CARROTS AND BABY TURNIPS. NICE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FOIE GRAS.

I REMEMBER THE COMELY SOMMELIER RECOMMENDED A CRISP AND CHALKY GREEK WINE, WHICH I’D NEVER HEARD OF, BUT I’M A BIT FUZZY ABOUT WHICH DESSERTS WE HAD AT WHICH LUNCH. I’M PRETTY SURE THE RICE PUDDING REAPPEARED. I HOPE IT’S ON THE MENU THE NEXT TIME I GO BACK. AND THE NEXT.

CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI
CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI

EVEN IN SOMETIME SUNNY CALIFORNIA, FALL’S HARVEST GIVES WAY TO WINTER SQUASHES, KALE, BEETS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, AND ALL MANNER OF ROOT VEGETABLES. (more…)

PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS
PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

PORK BELLY IS WHAT BACON IS BEFORE IT IS CURED.  IF ALL THAT FAT SEENS DAUNTING, YOU’LL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH OF IT MELTS OFF IN THE COOKING, LEAVING A RICH AND SUCCULENT SQUARE OF PORK. BRAISED WITH FENNEL, LEEKS AND FEW STAR ANISE FOR SEASONING, PORK BELLY IS NOTHING SHORT OF DELICIOUS.  SERVE WITH RICE, PASTA OR A CRUNCHY BAGUETTE TO SOP UP THE JUICES.
Click here to download recipe

STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC
STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC

HALIBUT IS NOT MY FAVORITE FISH. IT HAS A MILD TASTE AND IF NOT COOKED PERFECTLY, ITS RATHER DENSE FLESH TURNS TOUGH AND DRY. I’VE TRIED COOKING HALIBUT SLOWLY IN OLIVE OIL OR MELTED BUTTER. SOMETIMES I GET IT RIGHT, BUT OFTEN I DON’T. (more…)

SWORDFISH SICILIANA
SWORDFISH SICILIANA

IN THE OUTDOOR MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SILVER SARDINES, RED MULLET, TUNA, BRANZINO, VONGOLE, MUSSELS, AND ALL KINDS OF PRAWNS GLITTER ON A BED OF SHAVED ICE.  A FISHMONGER WITH ARMS LIKE TREE LIMBS SHOUTS OUT, “SPADA!  SPADA!” AND USING A FOOTLONG STAINLESS STEEL CLEAVER SLICES SEVEN PERFECT STEAKS. (more…)

COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES
COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES

ALTHOUGH RADICCHIO NEVER SEEMS TO GO OUT OF SEASON, IN ADDITION TO THE FAMILIAR RADICCHIO DI VERONA, WHICH RESEMBLES A SMALL RED CABBAGE, TREVISO WITH ITS TAPERING GREEN STEMS AND GREEN AND RED LEAVES IS ALSO AVAILABLE. I LIKE THEM BOTH.  RADICCHIO WITH ITS CRUNCH AND BITTER BITE IS A NATURAL FOR SALADS, BUT IT IS ALSO EXCELLENT GRILLED OR PAN-BRAISED.  I THOUGHT THE LATTER MIGHT PAIR WELL WITH NORWEGIAN COD, WHICH IS SWEET AND FLAKEY.  COOKED WITH SLICED GARLIC AND SWEETENED WITH WHITE SOY SAUCE, IT SERVES AS A FLAVORFUL AND ATTRACTIVE PILLOW FOR THE PAN-COOKED COD. SERVE IT WITH BOILED FINGERLING POTATOES, SMASHED WITH CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND CHOPPED HERBS.
Click here to download recipe

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

MY FATHER, WHOSE DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAS ON FIFTH AVENUE, WOULD PRAY FOR RAIN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY.  OUR GENERATION HAS A MORE BENIGN ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE IRISH.  SO FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER WITH TWO GUESTS OF IRISH EXTRACTION AT OUR TABLE, MY WIFE, WHOSE FAMILY MADE CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE FOR THANKSGIVING, URGED ME TO COOK THE SAME DISH. (more…)

MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

MONKFISH IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE POOR MAN’S LOBSTER, NOT SO MUCH FOR THE TASTE BUT THE TEXTURE WHICH RESEMBLES A LOBSTER TAIL.  THE TASTE IS SUBTLE AND SWEET.  THIS SAUCE, WHICH IS MADE IN THE PAN, IS PIQUANT WITH THE BITE OF WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD, ENRICHED WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOT, AND CRÉME FRAÎCHE.

Click here to download recipe

FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS
FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS

IN MY WEEKLY COOKING CLASS AT THE L.A. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TEACH MY STUDENTS BASIC TECHNIQUES.  I HAD FOUR KIDS ON WEDNESDAY, SO I BROUGHT WITH ME FOUR WHOLE, BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS AND FOUR SETS OF INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DIFFERENT RECIPES. (more…)

SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD
SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD

THIS IS A LOVELY FIRST COURSE. OR, ON A WARM DAY, YOU MIGHT DOUBLE THE RECIPE AND SERVE IT FOR LUNCH WITH A CRUSTY BAGUETTE. SMOKED TROUT, WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN MOST GOOD SUPERMARKETS, HAS A SUBTLE, SAVORY FLAVOR AND A FIRM TEXTURE. (more…)

LE COUCOU
LE COUCOU

THERE AREN’T MANY RESTAURANTS WHERE I WOULD EAT TWO DAYS IN A ROW, BUT THE FIRST LUNCH AT LE COUCOU DEMANDED I RETURN TO SAMPLE MORE DISHES ON THE MENU. THIS WAS PARTIALLY MY OWN FAULT SINCE I BROKE MY OWN RULE OF NEVER ORDERING THE SAME THING AS ANYONE ELSE. BUT WHEN PETE WELLS DESCRIBED THE QUENELLES DE BROCHET AS “FLUFFY” AND WENT ON TO RHAPSODIZE ABOUT THE SAUCE AMERICAINE; WHEN LYNN AND HELEN BOTH INSISTED ON ORDERING THE QUENELLES, WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?

I DID NOT REGRET MY DECISION. THE OVAL LOBES OF PIKE, TAMIS-SMOOTH, AS AIRY AS SOUFFLÉS, FLOAT IN A SEA OF CRAYFISH OR LOBSTER CREAM. EACH BITE PRODUCES A LITTLE GROAN. A BLIND MAN AT AN ADJACENT TABLE MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED WE WERE ALL HAVING SEX, BECAUSE DANIEL ROSE’S QUENELLES ARE ABOUT AS CLOSE AS YOU’RE GOING TO GET. FIRST COURSES, THOUGH NOT AS LASCIVIOUS WERE EQUALLY SUBLIME: RAW BAY SCALLOPS IN A MILD VINAIGRETTE, PRETTILY ADORNED WITH CLEMENTINES, CHESTNUTS AND CELERY LEAVES; LEEKS WITH HAZELNUTS; AN AUTUMN SALAD OF BIBB LETTUCE WITH WALNUTS AND BLUE CHEESE. DESSERT? MAIS, OUI. RICE PUDDING WITH PISTACHIOS AND CHARTREUSE, PAVÉ OF BITTER CHOCOLATE WITH PRALINE ICE CREAM AND AN EXQUISITE GRILLED PEAR WITH MUSCADET, VANILLA ICE CREAM AND ALMOND BRITTLE.

BUT SECOND THINGS SECOND. THE RESTAURANT ITSELF IS LOCATED ON A RATHER UGLY STRETCH OF LAFAYETTE, JUST NORTH OF CANAL. ONCE YOU PASS THROUGH THE MAGIC CURTAINS, HOWEVER, YOU ENTER A VAULTED SPACE OF RAW, LIME-BLEACHED BRICK, DESIGNED BY ROMAN AND WILLIAMS. THE ELEGANT BAR, FRAMED IN AN ARCH IS UP FRONT; THE OPEN KITCHEN TOWARDS THE BACK. CHANDELIERS AND SCONCES BATH THE TABLES IN A WARM GLOW. A VERITABLE ARMY OF WAITSTAFF GLIDE GRACEFULLY BETWEEN WELL-SPACED, LINEN-DRAPED TABLES. OUR WAITER INFORMED US THAT THE RESTAURANT REPLACES A DOLLAR STORE AND THE LOBBY OF A HOLIDAY INN.

THE CHEF, DANIEL ROSE, WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF AMERICAN CHEFS WHO MADE THEIR NAME IN PARIS; CHEF ROSE WITH SPRING, THEN LA BOURSE AND, FINALLY, LA VIE. ROSE IS INTERESTED IN THE CLASSIC REPERTOIRE OF HAUTE CUISINE, BUT LIKE POINT AND CHAPELLE BEFORE HIM, HE REPLACES RICH, FLOUR-BASED SAUCES WITH REDUCTIONS. NOR IS HE DOGMATIC ABOUT CLASSIC FRENCH FOOD. THUS MY RAW SCALLOPS WERE COMPLIMENTED BY CLEMENTINES AND THE FRIED MONTAULK EEL COMES BATHED IN A CURRY VINAIGRETTE.

THE WINE LIST IS HEFTY AND THOUGH WEIGHTED TOWARDS FRANCE INCLUDES BOTTLES FROM SLOVENIA, GREECE AND LEBANON. OUR FIRST DAY’S WINE WAS A DRY ALSATIAN RIESLING FOR AROUND $48.

THE NEXT DAY I RETURNED WITH A NEW LUNCH PARTNER, WHO WAS EAGER TO TRY THE QUENELLES. LIZ STARTED WITH THE AUTUMN SALAD. I TRIED THE CELERY REMOULADE, A MOUND OF WHICH CONCEALED VELVETY HOUSE-CURED SALMON. I’D COME BACK FOR THE RABBIT POT-AU-FEU WITH ROOT VEGETABLES POACHED IN RABBIT BOUILLON. WOULD I LIKE THE FOIE GRAS SUPPLEMENT? BUT OF COURSE. CLEAR, MAHOGANY BROTH WAS RICH WITH THE BONES OF MANY BUNNIES, BUT LIGHT. IT SEEPED INTO THE PARSNIPS, CARROTS AND BABY TURNIPS. NICE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FOIE GRAS.

I REMEMBER THE COMELY SOMMELIER RECOMMENDED A CRISP AND CHALKY GREEK WINE, WHICH I’D NEVER HEARD OF, BUT I’M A BIT FUZZY ABOUT WHICH DESSERTS WE HAD AT WHICH LUNCH. I’M PRETTY SURE THE RICE PUDDING REAPPEARED. I HOPE IT’S ON THE MENU THE NEXT TIME I GO BACK. AND THE NEXT.

CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI
CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI

EVEN IN SOMETIME SUNNY CALIFORNIA, FALL’S HARVEST GIVES WAY TO WINTER SQUASHES, KALE, BEETS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, AND ALL MANNER OF ROOT VEGETABLES. (more…)

PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS
PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

PORK BELLY IS WHAT BACON IS BEFORE IT IS CURED.  IF ALL THAT FAT SEENS DAUNTING, YOU’LL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH OF IT MELTS OFF IN THE COOKING, LEAVING A RICH AND SUCCULENT SQUARE OF PORK. BRAISED WITH FENNEL, LEEKS AND FEW STAR ANISE FOR SEASONING, PORK BELLY IS NOTHING SHORT OF DELICIOUS.  SERVE WITH RICE, PASTA OR A CRUNCHY BAGUETTE TO SOP UP THE JUICES.
Click here to download recipe

STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC
STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC

HALIBUT IS NOT MY FAVORITE FISH. IT HAS A MILD TASTE AND IF NOT COOKED PERFECTLY, ITS RATHER DENSE FLESH TURNS TOUGH AND DRY. I’VE TRIED COOKING HALIBUT SLOWLY IN OLIVE OIL OR MELTED BUTTER. SOMETIMES I GET IT RIGHT, BUT OFTEN I DON’T. (more…)

SWORDFISH SICILIANA
SWORDFISH SICILIANA

IN THE OUTDOOR MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SILVER SARDINES, RED MULLET, TUNA, BRANZINO, VONGOLE, MUSSELS, AND ALL KINDS OF PRAWNS GLITTER ON A BED OF SHAVED ICE.  A FISHMONGER WITH ARMS LIKE TREE LIMBS SHOUTS OUT, “SPADA!  SPADA!” AND USING A FOOTLONG STAINLESS STEEL CLEAVER SLICES SEVEN PERFECT STEAKS. (more…)

COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES
COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES

ALTHOUGH RADICCHIO NEVER SEEMS TO GO OUT OF SEASON, IN ADDITION TO THE FAMILIAR RADICCHIO DI VERONA, WHICH RESEMBLES A SMALL RED CABBAGE, TREVISO WITH ITS TAPERING GREEN STEMS AND GREEN AND RED LEAVES IS ALSO AVAILABLE. I LIKE THEM BOTH.  RADICCHIO WITH ITS CRUNCH AND BITTER BITE IS A NATURAL FOR SALADS, BUT IT IS ALSO EXCELLENT GRILLED OR PAN-BRAISED.  I THOUGHT THE LATTER MIGHT PAIR WELL WITH NORWEGIAN COD, WHICH IS SWEET AND FLAKEY.  COOKED WITH SLICED GARLIC AND SWEETENED WITH WHITE SOY SAUCE, IT SERVES AS A FLAVORFUL AND ATTRACTIVE PILLOW FOR THE PAN-COOKED COD. SERVE IT WITH BOILED FINGERLING POTATOES, SMASHED WITH CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND CHOPPED HERBS.
Click here to download recipe

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

MY FATHER, WHOSE DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAS ON FIFTH AVENUE, WOULD PRAY FOR RAIN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY.  OUR GENERATION HAS A MORE BENIGN ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE IRISH.  SO FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER WITH TWO GUESTS OF IRISH EXTRACTION AT OUR TABLE, MY WIFE, WHOSE FAMILY MADE CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE FOR THANKSGIVING, URGED ME TO COOK THE SAME DISH. (more…)

MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

MONKFISH IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE POOR MAN’S LOBSTER, NOT SO MUCH FOR THE TASTE BUT THE TEXTURE WHICH RESEMBLES A LOBSTER TAIL.  THE TASTE IS SUBTLE AND SWEET.  THIS SAUCE, WHICH IS MADE IN THE PAN, IS PIQUANT WITH THE BITE OF WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD, ENRICHED WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOT, AND CRÉME FRAÎCHE.

Click here to download recipe

FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS
FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS

IN MY WEEKLY COOKING CLASS AT THE L.A. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TEACH MY STUDENTS BASIC TECHNIQUES.  I HAD FOUR KIDS ON WEDNESDAY, SO I BROUGHT WITH ME FOUR WHOLE, BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS AND FOUR SETS OF INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DIFFERENT RECIPES. (more…)

SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD
SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD

THIS IS A LOVELY FIRST COURSE. OR, ON A WARM DAY, YOU MIGHT DOUBLE THE RECIPE AND SERVE IT FOR LUNCH WITH A CRUSTY BAGUETTE. SMOKED TROUT, WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN MOST GOOD SUPERMARKETS, HAS A SUBTLE, SAVORY FLAVOR AND A FIRM TEXTURE. (more…)

LE COUCOU
LE COUCOU

THERE AREN’T MANY RESTAURANTS WHERE I WOULD EAT TWO DAYS IN A ROW, BUT THE FIRST LUNCH AT LE COUCOU DEMANDED I RETURN TO SAMPLE MORE DISHES ON THE MENU. THIS WAS PARTIALLY MY OWN FAULT SINCE I BROKE MY OWN RULE OF NEVER ORDERING THE SAME THING AS ANYONE ELSE. BUT WHEN PETE WELLS DESCRIBED THE QUENELLES DE BROCHET AS “FLUFFY” AND WENT ON TO RHAPSODIZE ABOUT THE SAUCE AMERICAINE; WHEN LYNN AND HELEN BOTH INSISTED ON ORDERING THE QUENELLES, WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?

I DID NOT REGRET MY DECISION. THE OVAL LOBES OF PIKE, TAMIS-SMOOTH, AS AIRY AS SOUFFLÉS, FLOAT IN A SEA OF CRAYFISH OR LOBSTER CREAM. EACH BITE PRODUCES A LITTLE GROAN. A BLIND MAN AT AN ADJACENT TABLE MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED WE WERE ALL HAVING SEX, BECAUSE DANIEL ROSE’S QUENELLES ARE ABOUT AS CLOSE AS YOU’RE GOING TO GET. FIRST COURSES, THOUGH NOT AS LASCIVIOUS WERE EQUALLY SUBLIME: RAW BAY SCALLOPS IN A MILD VINAIGRETTE, PRETTILY ADORNED WITH CLEMENTINES, CHESTNUTS AND CELERY LEAVES; LEEKS WITH HAZELNUTS; AN AUTUMN SALAD OF BIBB LETTUCE WITH WALNUTS AND BLUE CHEESE. DESSERT? MAIS, OUI. RICE PUDDING WITH PISTACHIOS AND CHARTREUSE, PAVÉ OF BITTER CHOCOLATE WITH PRALINE ICE CREAM AND AN EXQUISITE GRILLED PEAR WITH MUSCADET, VANILLA ICE CREAM AND ALMOND BRITTLE.

BUT SECOND THINGS SECOND. THE RESTAURANT ITSELF IS LOCATED ON A RATHER UGLY STRETCH OF LAFAYETTE, JUST NORTH OF CANAL. ONCE YOU PASS THROUGH THE MAGIC CURTAINS, HOWEVER, YOU ENTER A VAULTED SPACE OF RAW, LIME-BLEACHED BRICK, DESIGNED BY ROMAN AND WILLIAMS. THE ELEGANT BAR, FRAMED IN AN ARCH IS UP FRONT; THE OPEN KITCHEN TOWARDS THE BACK. CHANDELIERS AND SCONCES BATH THE TABLES IN A WARM GLOW. A VERITABLE ARMY OF WAITSTAFF GLIDE GRACEFULLY BETWEEN WELL-SPACED, LINEN-DRAPED TABLES. OUR WAITER INFORMED US THAT THE RESTAURANT REPLACES A DOLLAR STORE AND THE LOBBY OF A HOLIDAY INN.

THE CHEF, DANIEL ROSE, WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF AMERICAN CHEFS WHO MADE THEIR NAME IN PARIS; CHEF ROSE WITH SPRING, THEN LA BOURSE AND, FINALLY, LA VIE. ROSE IS INTERESTED IN THE CLASSIC REPERTOIRE OF HAUTE CUISINE, BUT LIKE POINT AND CHAPELLE BEFORE HIM, HE REPLACES RICH, FLOUR-BASED SAUCES WITH REDUCTIONS. NOR IS HE DOGMATIC ABOUT CLASSIC FRENCH FOOD. THUS MY RAW SCALLOPS WERE COMPLIMENTED BY CLEMENTINES AND THE FRIED MONTAULK EEL COMES BATHED IN A CURRY VINAIGRETTE.

THE WINE LIST IS HEFTY AND THOUGH WEIGHTED TOWARDS FRANCE INCLUDES BOTTLES FROM SLOVENIA, GREECE AND LEBANON. OUR FIRST DAY’S WINE WAS A DRY ALSATIAN RIESLING FOR AROUND $48.

THE NEXT DAY I RETURNED WITH A NEW LUNCH PARTNER, WHO WAS EAGER TO TRY THE QUENELLES. LIZ STARTED WITH THE AUTUMN SALAD. I TRIED THE CELERY REMOULADE, A MOUND OF WHICH CONCEALED VELVETY HOUSE-CURED SALMON. I’D COME BACK FOR THE RABBIT POT-AU-FEU WITH ROOT VEGETABLES POACHED IN RABBIT BOUILLON. WOULD I LIKE THE FOIE GRAS SUPPLEMENT? BUT OF COURSE. CLEAR, MAHOGANY BROTH WAS RICH WITH THE BONES OF MANY BUNNIES, BUT LIGHT. IT SEEPED INTO THE PARSNIPS, CARROTS AND BABY TURNIPS. NICE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FOIE GRAS.

I REMEMBER THE COMELY SOMMELIER RECOMMENDED A CRISP AND CHALKY GREEK WINE, WHICH I’D NEVER HEARD OF, BUT I’M A BIT FUZZY ABOUT WHICH DESSERTS WE HAD AT WHICH LUNCH. I’M PRETTY SURE THE RICE PUDDING REAPPEARED. I HOPE IT’S ON THE MENU THE NEXT TIME I GO BACK. AND THE NEXT.

CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI
CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI

EVEN IN SOMETIME SUNNY CALIFORNIA, FALL’S HARVEST GIVES WAY TO WINTER SQUASHES, KALE, BEETS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, AND ALL MANNER OF ROOT VEGETABLES. (more…)

PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS
PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

PORK BELLY IS WHAT BACON IS BEFORE IT IS CURED.  IF ALL THAT FAT SEENS DAUNTING, YOU’LL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH OF IT MELTS OFF IN THE COOKING, LEAVING A RICH AND SUCCULENT SQUARE OF PORK. BRAISED WITH FENNEL, LEEKS AND FEW STAR ANISE FOR SEASONING, PORK BELLY IS NOTHING SHORT OF DELICIOUS.  SERVE WITH RICE, PASTA OR A CRUNCHY BAGUETTE TO SOP UP THE JUICES.
Click here to download recipe

STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC
STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC

HALIBUT IS NOT MY FAVORITE FISH. IT HAS A MILD TASTE AND IF NOT COOKED PERFECTLY, ITS RATHER DENSE FLESH TURNS TOUGH AND DRY. I’VE TRIED COOKING HALIBUT SLOWLY IN OLIVE OIL OR MELTED BUTTER. SOMETIMES I GET IT RIGHT, BUT OFTEN I DON’T. (more…)

SWORDFISH SICILIANA
SWORDFISH SICILIANA

IN THE OUTDOOR MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SILVER SARDINES, RED MULLET, TUNA, BRANZINO, VONGOLE, MUSSELS, AND ALL KINDS OF PRAWNS GLITTER ON A BED OF SHAVED ICE.  A FISHMONGER WITH ARMS LIKE TREE LIMBS SHOUTS OUT, “SPADA!  SPADA!” AND USING A FOOTLONG STAINLESS STEEL CLEAVER SLICES SEVEN PERFECT STEAKS. (more…)

COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES
COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES

ALTHOUGH RADICCHIO NEVER SEEMS TO GO OUT OF SEASON, IN ADDITION TO THE FAMILIAR RADICCHIO DI VERONA, WHICH RESEMBLES A SMALL RED CABBAGE, TREVISO WITH ITS TAPERING GREEN STEMS AND GREEN AND RED LEAVES IS ALSO AVAILABLE. I LIKE THEM BOTH.  RADICCHIO WITH ITS CRUNCH AND BITTER BITE IS A NATURAL FOR SALADS, BUT IT IS ALSO EXCELLENT GRILLED OR PAN-BRAISED.  I THOUGHT THE LATTER MIGHT PAIR WELL WITH NORWEGIAN COD, WHICH IS SWEET AND FLAKEY.  COOKED WITH SLICED GARLIC AND SWEETENED WITH WHITE SOY SAUCE, IT SERVES AS A FLAVORFUL AND ATTRACTIVE PILLOW FOR THE PAN-COOKED COD. SERVE IT WITH BOILED FINGERLING POTATOES, SMASHED WITH CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND CHOPPED HERBS.
Click here to download recipe

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

MY FATHER, WHOSE DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAS ON FIFTH AVENUE, WOULD PRAY FOR RAIN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY.  OUR GENERATION HAS A MORE BENIGN ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE IRISH.  SO FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER WITH TWO GUESTS OF IRISH EXTRACTION AT OUR TABLE, MY WIFE, WHOSE FAMILY MADE CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE FOR THANKSGIVING, URGED ME TO COOK THE SAME DISH. (more…)

MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

MONKFISH IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE POOR MAN’S LOBSTER, NOT SO MUCH FOR THE TASTE BUT THE TEXTURE WHICH RESEMBLES A LOBSTER TAIL.  THE TASTE IS SUBTLE AND SWEET.  THIS SAUCE, WHICH IS MADE IN THE PAN, IS PIQUANT WITH THE BITE OF WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD, ENRICHED WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOT, AND CRÉME FRAÎCHE.

Click here to download recipe

FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS
FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS

IN MY WEEKLY COOKING CLASS AT THE L.A. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TEACH MY STUDENTS BASIC TECHNIQUES.  I HAD FOUR KIDS ON WEDNESDAY, SO I BROUGHT WITH ME FOUR WHOLE, BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS AND FOUR SETS OF INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DIFFERENT RECIPES. (more…)

SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD
SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD

THIS IS A LOVELY FIRST COURSE. OR, ON A WARM DAY, YOU MIGHT DOUBLE THE RECIPE AND SERVE IT FOR LUNCH WITH A CRUSTY BAGUETTE. SMOKED TROUT, WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN MOST GOOD SUPERMARKETS, HAS A SUBTLE, SAVORY FLAVOR AND A FIRM TEXTURE. (more…)

LE COUCOU
LE COUCOU

THERE AREN’T MANY RESTAURANTS WHERE I WOULD EAT TWO DAYS IN A ROW, BUT THE FIRST LUNCH AT LE COUCOU DEMANDED I RETURN TO SAMPLE MORE DISHES ON THE MENU. THIS WAS PARTIALLY MY OWN FAULT SINCE I BROKE MY OWN RULE OF NEVER ORDERING THE SAME THING AS ANYONE ELSE. BUT WHEN PETE WELLS DESCRIBED THE QUENELLES DE BROCHET AS “FLUFFY” AND WENT ON TO RHAPSODIZE ABOUT THE SAUCE AMERICAINE; WHEN LYNN AND HELEN BOTH INSISTED ON ORDERING THE QUENELLES, WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?

I DID NOT REGRET MY DECISION. THE OVAL LOBES OF PIKE, TAMIS-SMOOTH, AS AIRY AS SOUFFLÉS, FLOAT IN A SEA OF CRAYFISH OR LOBSTER CREAM. EACH BITE PRODUCES A LITTLE GROAN. A BLIND MAN AT AN ADJACENT TABLE MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED WE WERE ALL HAVING SEX, BECAUSE DANIEL ROSE’S QUENELLES ARE ABOUT AS CLOSE AS YOU’RE GOING TO GET. FIRST COURSES, THOUGH NOT AS LASCIVIOUS WERE EQUALLY SUBLIME: RAW BAY SCALLOPS IN A MILD VINAIGRETTE, PRETTILY ADORNED WITH CLEMENTINES, CHESTNUTS AND CELERY LEAVES; LEEKS WITH HAZELNUTS; AN AUTUMN SALAD OF BIBB LETTUCE WITH WALNUTS AND BLUE CHEESE. DESSERT? MAIS, OUI. RICE PUDDING WITH PISTACHIOS AND CHARTREUSE, PAVÉ OF BITTER CHOCOLATE WITH PRALINE ICE CREAM AND AN EXQUISITE GRILLED PEAR WITH MUSCADET, VANILLA ICE CREAM AND ALMOND BRITTLE.

BUT SECOND THINGS SECOND. THE RESTAURANT ITSELF IS LOCATED ON A RATHER UGLY STRETCH OF LAFAYETTE, JUST NORTH OF CANAL. ONCE YOU PASS THROUGH THE MAGIC CURTAINS, HOWEVER, YOU ENTER A VAULTED SPACE OF RAW, LIME-BLEACHED BRICK, DESIGNED BY ROMAN AND WILLIAMS. THE ELEGANT BAR, FRAMED IN AN ARCH IS UP FRONT; THE OPEN KITCHEN TOWARDS THE BACK. CHANDELIERS AND SCONCES BATH THE TABLES IN A WARM GLOW. A VERITABLE ARMY OF WAITSTAFF GLIDE GRACEFULLY BETWEEN WELL-SPACED, LINEN-DRAPED TABLES. OUR WAITER INFORMED US THAT THE RESTAURANT REPLACES A DOLLAR STORE AND THE LOBBY OF A HOLIDAY INN.

THE CHEF, DANIEL ROSE, WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF AMERICAN CHEFS WHO MADE THEIR NAME IN PARIS; CHEF ROSE WITH SPRING, THEN LA BOURSE AND, FINALLY, LA VIE. ROSE IS INTERESTED IN THE CLASSIC REPERTOIRE OF HAUTE CUISINE, BUT LIKE POINT AND CHAPELLE BEFORE HIM, HE REPLACES RICH, FLOUR-BASED SAUCES WITH REDUCTIONS. NOR IS HE DOGMATIC ABOUT CLASSIC FRENCH FOOD. THUS MY RAW SCALLOPS WERE COMPLIMENTED BY CLEMENTINES AND THE FRIED MONTAULK EEL COMES BATHED IN A CURRY VINAIGRETTE.

THE WINE LIST IS HEFTY AND THOUGH WEIGHTED TOWARDS FRANCE INCLUDES BOTTLES FROM SLOVENIA, GREECE AND LEBANON. OUR FIRST DAY’S WINE WAS A DRY ALSATIAN RIESLING FOR AROUND $48.

THE NEXT DAY I RETURNED WITH A NEW LUNCH PARTNER, WHO WAS EAGER TO TRY THE QUENELLES. LIZ STARTED WITH THE AUTUMN SALAD. I TRIED THE CELERY REMOULADE, A MOUND OF WHICH CONCEALED VELVETY HOUSE-CURED SALMON. I’D COME BACK FOR THE RABBIT POT-AU-FEU WITH ROOT VEGETABLES POACHED IN RABBIT BOUILLON. WOULD I LIKE THE FOIE GRAS SUPPLEMENT? BUT OF COURSE. CLEAR, MAHOGANY BROTH WAS RICH WITH THE BONES OF MANY BUNNIES, BUT LIGHT. IT SEEPED INTO THE PARSNIPS, CARROTS AND BABY TURNIPS. NICE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FOIE GRAS.

I REMEMBER THE COMELY SOMMELIER RECOMMENDED A CRISP AND CHALKY GREEK WINE, WHICH I’D NEVER HEARD OF, BUT I’M A BIT FUZZY ABOUT WHICH DESSERTS WE HAD AT WHICH LUNCH. I’M PRETTY SURE THE RICE PUDDING REAPPEARED. I HOPE IT’S ON THE MENU THE NEXT TIME I GO BACK. AND THE NEXT.

CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI
CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI

EVEN IN SOMETIME SUNNY CALIFORNIA, FALL’S HARVEST GIVES WAY TO WINTER SQUASHES, KALE, BEETS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, AND ALL MANNER OF ROOT VEGETABLES. (more…)

PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS
PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

PORK BELLY IS WHAT BACON IS BEFORE IT IS CURED.  IF ALL THAT FAT SEENS DAUNTING, YOU’LL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH OF IT MELTS OFF IN THE COOKING, LEAVING A RICH AND SUCCULENT SQUARE OF PORK. BRAISED WITH FENNEL, LEEKS AND FEW STAR ANISE FOR SEASONING, PORK BELLY IS NOTHING SHORT OF DELICIOUS.  SERVE WITH RICE, PASTA OR A CRUNCHY BAGUETTE TO SOP UP THE JUICES.
Click here to download recipe

STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC
STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC

HALIBUT IS NOT MY FAVORITE FISH. IT HAS A MILD TASTE AND IF NOT COOKED PERFECTLY, ITS RATHER DENSE FLESH TURNS TOUGH AND DRY. I’VE TRIED COOKING HALIBUT SLOWLY IN OLIVE OIL OR MELTED BUTTER. SOMETIMES I GET IT RIGHT, BUT OFTEN I DON’T. (more…)

SWORDFISH SICILIANA
SWORDFISH SICILIANA

IN THE OUTDOOR MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SILVER SARDINES, RED MULLET, TUNA, BRANZINO, VONGOLE, MUSSELS, AND ALL KINDS OF PRAWNS GLITTER ON A BED OF SHAVED ICE.  A FISHMONGER WITH ARMS LIKE TREE LIMBS SHOUTS OUT, “SPADA!  SPADA!” AND USING A FOOTLONG STAINLESS STEEL CLEAVER SLICES SEVEN PERFECT STEAKS. (more…)

COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES
COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES

ALTHOUGH RADICCHIO NEVER SEEMS TO GO OUT OF SEASON, IN ADDITION TO THE FAMILIAR RADICCHIO DI VERONA, WHICH RESEMBLES A SMALL RED CABBAGE, TREVISO WITH ITS TAPERING GREEN STEMS AND GREEN AND RED LEAVES IS ALSO AVAILABLE. I LIKE THEM BOTH.  RADICCHIO WITH ITS CRUNCH AND BITTER BITE IS A NATURAL FOR SALADS, BUT IT IS ALSO EXCELLENT GRILLED OR PAN-BRAISED.  I THOUGHT THE LATTER MIGHT PAIR WELL WITH NORWEGIAN COD, WHICH IS SWEET AND FLAKEY.  COOKED WITH SLICED GARLIC AND SWEETENED WITH WHITE SOY SAUCE, IT SERVES AS A FLAVORFUL AND ATTRACTIVE PILLOW FOR THE PAN-COOKED COD. SERVE IT WITH BOILED FINGERLING POTATOES, SMASHED WITH CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND CHOPPED HERBS.
Click here to download recipe

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

MY FATHER, WHOSE DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAS ON FIFTH AVENUE, WOULD PRAY FOR RAIN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY.  OUR GENERATION HAS A MORE BENIGN ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE IRISH.  SO FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER WITH TWO GUESTS OF IRISH EXTRACTION AT OUR TABLE, MY WIFE, WHOSE FAMILY MADE CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE FOR THANKSGIVING, URGED ME TO COOK THE SAME DISH. (more…)

MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

MONKFISH IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE POOR MAN’S LOBSTER, NOT SO MUCH FOR THE TASTE BUT THE TEXTURE WHICH RESEMBLES A LOBSTER TAIL.  THE TASTE IS SUBTLE AND SWEET.  THIS SAUCE, WHICH IS MADE IN THE PAN, IS PIQUANT WITH THE BITE OF WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD, ENRICHED WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOT, AND CRÉME FRAÎCHE.

Click here to download recipe

FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS
FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS

IN MY WEEKLY COOKING CLASS AT THE L.A. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TEACH MY STUDENTS BASIC TECHNIQUES.  I HAD FOUR KIDS ON WEDNESDAY, SO I BROUGHT WITH ME FOUR WHOLE, BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS AND FOUR SETS OF INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DIFFERENT RECIPES. (more…)

SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD
SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD

THIS IS A LOVELY FIRST COURSE. OR, ON A WARM DAY, YOU MIGHT DOUBLE THE RECIPE AND SERVE IT FOR LUNCH WITH A CRUSTY BAGUETTE. SMOKED TROUT, WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN MOST GOOD SUPERMARKETS, HAS A SUBTLE, SAVORY FLAVOR AND A FIRM TEXTURE. (more…)

LE COUCOU
LE COUCOU

THERE AREN’T MANY RESTAURANTS WHERE I WOULD EAT TWO DAYS IN A ROW, BUT THE FIRST LUNCH AT LE COUCOU DEMANDED I RETURN TO SAMPLE MORE DISHES ON THE MENU. THIS WAS PARTIALLY MY OWN FAULT SINCE I BROKE MY OWN RULE OF NEVER ORDERING THE SAME THING AS ANYONE ELSE. BUT WHEN PETE WELLS DESCRIBED THE QUENELLES DE BROCHET AS “FLUFFY” AND WENT ON TO RHAPSODIZE ABOUT THE SAUCE AMERICAINE; WHEN LYNN AND HELEN BOTH INSISTED ON ORDERING THE QUENELLES, WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?

I DID NOT REGRET MY DECISION. THE OVAL LOBES OF PIKE, TAMIS-SMOOTH, AS AIRY AS SOUFFLÉS, FLOAT IN A SEA OF CRAYFISH OR LOBSTER CREAM. EACH BITE PRODUCES A LITTLE GROAN. A BLIND MAN AT AN ADJACENT TABLE MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED WE WERE ALL HAVING SEX, BECAUSE DANIEL ROSE’S QUENELLES ARE ABOUT AS CLOSE AS YOU’RE GOING TO GET. FIRST COURSES, THOUGH NOT AS LASCIVIOUS WERE EQUALLY SUBLIME: RAW BAY SCALLOPS IN A MILD VINAIGRETTE, PRETTILY ADORNED WITH CLEMENTINES, CHESTNUTS AND CELERY LEAVES; LEEKS WITH HAZELNUTS; AN AUTUMN SALAD OF BIBB LETTUCE WITH WALNUTS AND BLUE CHEESE. DESSERT? MAIS, OUI. RICE PUDDING WITH PISTACHIOS AND CHARTREUSE, PAVÉ OF BITTER CHOCOLATE WITH PRALINE ICE CREAM AND AN EXQUISITE GRILLED PEAR WITH MUSCADET, VANILLA ICE CREAM AND ALMOND BRITTLE.

BUT SECOND THINGS SECOND. THE RESTAURANT ITSELF IS LOCATED ON A RATHER UGLY STRETCH OF LAFAYETTE, JUST NORTH OF CANAL. ONCE YOU PASS THROUGH THE MAGIC CURTAINS, HOWEVER, YOU ENTER A VAULTED SPACE OF RAW, LIME-BLEACHED BRICK, DESIGNED BY ROMAN AND WILLIAMS. THE ELEGANT BAR, FRAMED IN AN ARCH IS UP FRONT; THE OPEN KITCHEN TOWARDS THE BACK. CHANDELIERS AND SCONCES BATH THE TABLES IN A WARM GLOW. A VERITABLE ARMY OF WAITSTAFF GLIDE GRACEFULLY BETWEEN WELL-SPACED, LINEN-DRAPED TABLES. OUR WAITER INFORMED US THAT THE RESTAURANT REPLACES A DOLLAR STORE AND THE LOBBY OF A HOLIDAY INN.

THE CHEF, DANIEL ROSE, WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF AMERICAN CHEFS WHO MADE THEIR NAME IN PARIS; CHEF ROSE WITH SPRING, THEN LA BOURSE AND, FINALLY, LA VIE. ROSE IS INTERESTED IN THE CLASSIC REPERTOIRE OF HAUTE CUISINE, BUT LIKE POINT AND CHAPELLE BEFORE HIM, HE REPLACES RICH, FLOUR-BASED SAUCES WITH REDUCTIONS. NOR IS HE DOGMATIC ABOUT CLASSIC FRENCH FOOD. THUS MY RAW SCALLOPS WERE COMPLIMENTED BY CLEMENTINES AND THE FRIED MONTAULK EEL COMES BATHED IN A CURRY VINAIGRETTE.

THE WINE LIST IS HEFTY AND THOUGH WEIGHTED TOWARDS FRANCE INCLUDES BOTTLES FROM SLOVENIA, GREECE AND LEBANON. OUR FIRST DAY’S WINE WAS A DRY ALSATIAN RIESLING FOR AROUND $48.

THE NEXT DAY I RETURNED WITH A NEW LUNCH PARTNER, WHO WAS EAGER TO TRY THE QUENELLES. LIZ STARTED WITH THE AUTUMN SALAD. I TRIED THE CELERY REMOULADE, A MOUND OF WHICH CONCEALED VELVETY HOUSE-CURED SALMON. I’D COME BACK FOR THE RABBIT POT-AU-FEU WITH ROOT VEGETABLES POACHED IN RABBIT BOUILLON. WOULD I LIKE THE FOIE GRAS SUPPLEMENT? BUT OF COURSE. CLEAR, MAHOGANY BROTH WAS RICH WITH THE BONES OF MANY BUNNIES, BUT LIGHT. IT SEEPED INTO THE PARSNIPS, CARROTS AND BABY TURNIPS. NICE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FOIE GRAS.

I REMEMBER THE COMELY SOMMELIER RECOMMENDED A CRISP AND CHALKY GREEK WINE, WHICH I’D NEVER HEARD OF, BUT I’M A BIT FUZZY ABOUT WHICH DESSERTS WE HAD AT WHICH LUNCH. I’M PRETTY SURE THE RICE PUDDING REAPPEARED. I HOPE IT’S ON THE MENU THE NEXT TIME I GO BACK. AND THE NEXT.

CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI
CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI

EVEN IN SOMETIME SUNNY CALIFORNIA, FALL’S HARVEST GIVES WAY TO WINTER SQUASHES, KALE, BEETS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, AND ALL MANNER OF ROOT VEGETABLES. (more…)

PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS
PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

PORK BELLY IS WHAT BACON IS BEFORE IT IS CURED.  IF ALL THAT FAT SEENS DAUNTING, YOU’LL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH OF IT MELTS OFF IN THE COOKING, LEAVING A RICH AND SUCCULENT SQUARE OF PORK. BRAISED WITH FENNEL, LEEKS AND FEW STAR ANISE FOR SEASONING, PORK BELLY IS NOTHING SHORT OF DELICIOUS.  SERVE WITH RICE, PASTA OR A CRUNCHY BAGUETTE TO SOP UP THE JUICES.
Click here to download recipe

STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC
STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC

HALIBUT IS NOT MY FAVORITE FISH. IT HAS A MILD TASTE AND IF NOT COOKED PERFECTLY, ITS RATHER DENSE FLESH TURNS TOUGH AND DRY. I’VE TRIED COOKING HALIBUT SLOWLY IN OLIVE OIL OR MELTED BUTTER. SOMETIMES I GET IT RIGHT, BUT OFTEN I DON’T. (more…)

SWORDFISH SICILIANA
SWORDFISH SICILIANA

IN THE OUTDOOR MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SILVER SARDINES, RED MULLET, TUNA, BRANZINO, VONGOLE, MUSSELS, AND ALL KINDS OF PRAWNS GLITTER ON A BED OF SHAVED ICE.  A FISHMONGER WITH ARMS LIKE TREE LIMBS SHOUTS OUT, “SPADA!  SPADA!” AND USING A FOOTLONG STAINLESS STEEL CLEAVER SLICES SEVEN PERFECT STEAKS. (more…)

COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES
COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES

ALTHOUGH RADICCHIO NEVER SEEMS TO GO OUT OF SEASON, IN ADDITION TO THE FAMILIAR RADICCHIO DI VERONA, WHICH RESEMBLES A SMALL RED CABBAGE, TREVISO WITH ITS TAPERING GREEN STEMS AND GREEN AND RED LEAVES IS ALSO AVAILABLE. I LIKE THEM BOTH.  RADICCHIO WITH ITS CRUNCH AND BITTER BITE IS A NATURAL FOR SALADS, BUT IT IS ALSO EXCELLENT GRILLED OR PAN-BRAISED.  I THOUGHT THE LATTER MIGHT PAIR WELL WITH NORWEGIAN COD, WHICH IS SWEET AND FLAKEY.  COOKED WITH SLICED GARLIC AND SWEETENED WITH WHITE SOY SAUCE, IT SERVES AS A FLAVORFUL AND ATTRACTIVE PILLOW FOR THE PAN-COOKED COD. SERVE IT WITH BOILED FINGERLING POTATOES, SMASHED WITH CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND CHOPPED HERBS.
Click here to download recipe

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

MY FATHER, WHOSE DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAS ON FIFTH AVENUE, WOULD PRAY FOR RAIN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY.  OUR GENERATION HAS A MORE BENIGN ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE IRISH.  SO FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER WITH TWO GUESTS OF IRISH EXTRACTION AT OUR TABLE, MY WIFE, WHOSE FAMILY MADE CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE FOR THANKSGIVING, URGED ME TO COOK THE SAME DISH. (more…)

MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

MONKFISH IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE POOR MAN’S LOBSTER, NOT SO MUCH FOR THE TASTE BUT THE TEXTURE WHICH RESEMBLES A LOBSTER TAIL.  THE TASTE IS SUBTLE AND SWEET.  THIS SAUCE, WHICH IS MADE IN THE PAN, IS PIQUANT WITH THE BITE OF WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD, ENRICHED WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOT, AND CRÉME FRAÎCHE.

Click here to download recipe

FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS
FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS

IN MY WEEKLY COOKING CLASS AT THE L.A. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TEACH MY STUDENTS BASIC TECHNIQUES.  I HAD FOUR KIDS ON WEDNESDAY, SO I BROUGHT WITH ME FOUR WHOLE, BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS AND FOUR SETS OF INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DIFFERENT RECIPES. (more…)

SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD
SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD

THIS IS A LOVELY FIRST COURSE. OR, ON A WARM DAY, YOU MIGHT DOUBLE THE RECIPE AND SERVE IT FOR LUNCH WITH A CRUSTY BAGUETTE. SMOKED TROUT, WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN MOST GOOD SUPERMARKETS, HAS A SUBTLE, SAVORY FLAVOR AND A FIRM TEXTURE. (more…)

LE COUCOU
LE COUCOU

THERE AREN’T MANY RESTAURANTS WHERE I WOULD EAT TWO DAYS IN A ROW, BUT THE FIRST LUNCH AT LE COUCOU DEMANDED I RETURN TO SAMPLE MORE DISHES ON THE MENU. THIS WAS PARTIALLY MY OWN FAULT SINCE I BROKE MY OWN RULE OF NEVER ORDERING THE SAME THING AS ANYONE ELSE. BUT WHEN PETE WELLS DESCRIBED THE QUENELLES DE BROCHET AS “FLUFFY” AND WENT ON TO RHAPSODIZE ABOUT THE SAUCE AMERICAINE; WHEN LYNN AND HELEN BOTH INSISTED ON ORDERING THE QUENELLES, WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?

I DID NOT REGRET MY DECISION. THE OVAL LOBES OF PIKE, TAMIS-SMOOTH, AS AIRY AS SOUFFLÉS, FLOAT IN A SEA OF CRAYFISH OR LOBSTER CREAM. EACH BITE PRODUCES A LITTLE GROAN. A BLIND MAN AT AN ADJACENT TABLE MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED WE WERE ALL HAVING SEX, BECAUSE DANIEL ROSE’S QUENELLES ARE ABOUT AS CLOSE AS YOU’RE GOING TO GET. FIRST COURSES, THOUGH NOT AS LASCIVIOUS WERE EQUALLY SUBLIME: RAW BAY SCALLOPS IN A MILD VINAIGRETTE, PRETTILY ADORNED WITH CLEMENTINES, CHESTNUTS AND CELERY LEAVES; LEEKS WITH HAZELNUTS; AN AUTUMN SALAD OF BIBB LETTUCE WITH WALNUTS AND BLUE CHEESE. DESSERT? MAIS, OUI. RICE PUDDING WITH PISTACHIOS AND CHARTREUSE, PAVÉ OF BITTER CHOCOLATE WITH PRALINE ICE CREAM AND AN EXQUISITE GRILLED PEAR WITH MUSCADET, VANILLA ICE CREAM AND ALMOND BRITTLE.

BUT SECOND THINGS SECOND. THE RESTAURANT ITSELF IS LOCATED ON A RATHER UGLY STRETCH OF LAFAYETTE, JUST NORTH OF CANAL. ONCE YOU PASS THROUGH THE MAGIC CURTAINS, HOWEVER, YOU ENTER A VAULTED SPACE OF RAW, LIME-BLEACHED BRICK, DESIGNED BY ROMAN AND WILLIAMS. THE ELEGANT BAR, FRAMED IN AN ARCH IS UP FRONT; THE OPEN KITCHEN TOWARDS THE BACK. CHANDELIERS AND SCONCES BATH THE TABLES IN A WARM GLOW. A VERITABLE ARMY OF WAITSTAFF GLIDE GRACEFULLY BETWEEN WELL-SPACED, LINEN-DRAPED TABLES. OUR WAITER INFORMED US THAT THE RESTAURANT REPLACES A DOLLAR STORE AND THE LOBBY OF A HOLIDAY INN.

THE CHEF, DANIEL ROSE, WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF AMERICAN CHEFS WHO MADE THEIR NAME IN PARIS; CHEF ROSE WITH SPRING, THEN LA BOURSE AND, FINALLY, LA VIE. ROSE IS INTERESTED IN THE CLASSIC REPERTOIRE OF HAUTE CUISINE, BUT LIKE POINT AND CHAPELLE BEFORE HIM, HE REPLACES RICH, FLOUR-BASED SAUCES WITH REDUCTIONS. NOR IS HE DOGMATIC ABOUT CLASSIC FRENCH FOOD. THUS MY RAW SCALLOPS WERE COMPLIMENTED BY CLEMENTINES AND THE FRIED MONTAULK EEL COMES BATHED IN A CURRY VINAIGRETTE.

THE WINE LIST IS HEFTY AND THOUGH WEIGHTED TOWARDS FRANCE INCLUDES BOTTLES FROM SLOVENIA, GREECE AND LEBANON. OUR FIRST DAY’S WINE WAS A DRY ALSATIAN RIESLING FOR AROUND $48.

THE NEXT DAY I RETURNED WITH A NEW LUNCH PARTNER, WHO WAS EAGER TO TRY THE QUENELLES. LIZ STARTED WITH THE AUTUMN SALAD. I TRIED THE CELERY REMOULADE, A MOUND OF WHICH CONCEALED VELVETY HOUSE-CURED SALMON. I’D COME BACK FOR THE RABBIT POT-AU-FEU WITH ROOT VEGETABLES POACHED IN RABBIT BOUILLON. WOULD I LIKE THE FOIE GRAS SUPPLEMENT? BUT OF COURSE. CLEAR, MAHOGANY BROTH WAS RICH WITH THE BONES OF MANY BUNNIES, BUT LIGHT. IT SEEPED INTO THE PARSNIPS, CARROTS AND BABY TURNIPS. NICE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FOIE GRAS.

I REMEMBER THE COMELY SOMMELIER RECOMMENDED A CRISP AND CHALKY GREEK WINE, WHICH I’D NEVER HEARD OF, BUT I’M A BIT FUZZY ABOUT WHICH DESSERTS WE HAD AT WHICH LUNCH. I’M PRETTY SURE THE RICE PUDDING REAPPEARED. I HOPE IT’S ON THE MENU THE NEXT TIME I GO BACK. AND THE NEXT.

CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI
CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI

EVEN IN SOMETIME SUNNY CALIFORNIA, FALL’S HARVEST GIVES WAY TO WINTER SQUASHES, KALE, BEETS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, AND ALL MANNER OF ROOT VEGETABLES. (more…)

PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS
PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

PORK BELLY IS WHAT BACON IS BEFORE IT IS CURED.  IF ALL THAT FAT SEENS DAUNTING, YOU’LL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH OF IT MELTS OFF IN THE COOKING, LEAVING A RICH AND SUCCULENT SQUARE OF PORK. BRAISED WITH FENNEL, LEEKS AND FEW STAR ANISE FOR SEASONING, PORK BELLY IS NOTHING SHORT OF DELICIOUS.  SERVE WITH RICE, PASTA OR A CRUNCHY BAGUETTE TO SOP UP THE JUICES.
Click here to download recipe

STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC
STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC

HALIBUT IS NOT MY FAVORITE FISH. IT HAS A MILD TASTE AND IF NOT COOKED PERFECTLY, ITS RATHER DENSE FLESH TURNS TOUGH AND DRY. I’VE TRIED COOKING HALIBUT SLOWLY IN OLIVE OIL OR MELTED BUTTER. SOMETIMES I GET IT RIGHT, BUT OFTEN I DON’T. (more…)

SWORDFISH SICILIANA
SWORDFISH SICILIANA

IN THE OUTDOOR MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SILVER SARDINES, RED MULLET, TUNA, BRANZINO, VONGOLE, MUSSELS, AND ALL KINDS OF PRAWNS GLITTER ON A BED OF SHAVED ICE.  A FISHMONGER WITH ARMS LIKE TREE LIMBS SHOUTS OUT, “SPADA!  SPADA!” AND USING A FOOTLONG STAINLESS STEEL CLEAVER SLICES SEVEN PERFECT STEAKS. (more…)

COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES
COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES

ALTHOUGH RADICCHIO NEVER SEEMS TO GO OUT OF SEASON, IN ADDITION TO THE FAMILIAR RADICCHIO DI VERONA, WHICH RESEMBLES A SMALL RED CABBAGE, TREVISO WITH ITS TAPERING GREEN STEMS AND GREEN AND RED LEAVES IS ALSO AVAILABLE. I LIKE THEM BOTH.  RADICCHIO WITH ITS CRUNCH AND BITTER BITE IS A NATURAL FOR SALADS, BUT IT IS ALSO EXCELLENT GRILLED OR PAN-BRAISED.  I THOUGHT THE LATTER MIGHT PAIR WELL WITH NORWEGIAN COD, WHICH IS SWEET AND FLAKEY.  COOKED WITH SLICED GARLIC AND SWEETENED WITH WHITE SOY SAUCE, IT SERVES AS A FLAVORFUL AND ATTRACTIVE PILLOW FOR THE PAN-COOKED COD. SERVE IT WITH BOILED FINGERLING POTATOES, SMASHED WITH CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND CHOPPED HERBS.
Click here to download recipe

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

MY FATHER, WHOSE DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAS ON FIFTH AVENUE, WOULD PRAY FOR RAIN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY.  OUR GENERATION HAS A MORE BENIGN ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE IRISH.  SO FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER WITH TWO GUESTS OF IRISH EXTRACTION AT OUR TABLE, MY WIFE, WHOSE FAMILY MADE CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE FOR THANKSGIVING, URGED ME TO COOK THE SAME DISH. (more…)

MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

MONKFISH IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE POOR MAN’S LOBSTER, NOT SO MUCH FOR THE TASTE BUT THE TEXTURE WHICH RESEMBLES A LOBSTER TAIL.  THE TASTE IS SUBTLE AND SWEET.  THIS SAUCE, WHICH IS MADE IN THE PAN, IS PIQUANT WITH THE BITE OF WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD, ENRICHED WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOT, AND CRÉME FRAÎCHE.

Click here to download recipe

FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS
FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS

IN MY WEEKLY COOKING CLASS AT THE L.A. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TEACH MY STUDENTS BASIC TECHNIQUES.  I HAD FOUR KIDS ON WEDNESDAY, SO I BROUGHT WITH ME FOUR WHOLE, BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS AND FOUR SETS OF INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DIFFERENT RECIPES. (more…)

SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD
SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD

THIS IS A LOVELY FIRST COURSE. OR, ON A WARM DAY, YOU MIGHT DOUBLE THE RECIPE AND SERVE IT FOR LUNCH WITH A CRUSTY BAGUETTE. SMOKED TROUT, WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN MOST GOOD SUPERMARKETS, HAS A SUBTLE, SAVORY FLAVOR AND A FIRM TEXTURE. (more…)

LE COUCOU
LE COUCOU

THERE AREN’T MANY RESTAURANTS WHERE I WOULD EAT TWO DAYS IN A ROW, BUT THE FIRST LUNCH AT LE COUCOU DEMANDED I RETURN TO SAMPLE MORE DISHES ON THE MENU. THIS WAS PARTIALLY MY OWN FAULT SINCE I BROKE MY OWN RULE OF NEVER ORDERING THE SAME THING AS ANYONE ELSE. BUT WHEN PETE WELLS DESCRIBED THE QUENELLES DE BROCHET AS “FLUFFY” AND WENT ON TO RHAPSODIZE ABOUT THE SAUCE AMERICAINE; WHEN LYNN AND HELEN BOTH INSISTED ON ORDERING THE QUENELLES, WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?

I DID NOT REGRET MY DECISION. THE OVAL LOBES OF PIKE, TAMIS-SMOOTH, AS AIRY AS SOUFFLÉS, FLOAT IN A SEA OF CRAYFISH OR LOBSTER CREAM. EACH BITE PRODUCES A LITTLE GROAN. A BLIND MAN AT AN ADJACENT TABLE MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED WE WERE ALL HAVING SEX, BECAUSE DANIEL ROSE’S QUENELLES ARE ABOUT AS CLOSE AS YOU’RE GOING TO GET. FIRST COURSES, THOUGH NOT AS LASCIVIOUS WERE EQUALLY SUBLIME: RAW BAY SCALLOPS IN A MILD VINAIGRETTE, PRETTILY ADORNED WITH CLEMENTINES, CHESTNUTS AND CELERY LEAVES; LEEKS WITH HAZELNUTS; AN AUTUMN SALAD OF BIBB LETTUCE WITH WALNUTS AND BLUE CHEESE. DESSERT? MAIS, OUI. RICE PUDDING WITH PISTACHIOS AND CHARTREUSE, PAVÉ OF BITTER CHOCOLATE WITH PRALINE ICE CREAM AND AN EXQUISITE GRILLED PEAR WITH MUSCADET, VANILLA ICE CREAM AND ALMOND BRITTLE.

BUT SECOND THINGS SECOND. THE RESTAURANT ITSELF IS LOCATED ON A RATHER UGLY STRETCH OF LAFAYETTE, JUST NORTH OF CANAL. ONCE YOU PASS THROUGH THE MAGIC CURTAINS, HOWEVER, YOU ENTER A VAULTED SPACE OF RAW, LIME-BLEACHED BRICK, DESIGNED BY ROMAN AND WILLIAMS. THE ELEGANT BAR, FRAMED IN AN ARCH IS UP FRONT; THE OPEN KITCHEN TOWARDS THE BACK. CHANDELIERS AND SCONCES BATH THE TABLES IN A WARM GLOW. A VERITABLE ARMY OF WAITSTAFF GLIDE GRACEFULLY BETWEEN WELL-SPACED, LINEN-DRAPED TABLES. OUR WAITER INFORMED US THAT THE RESTAURANT REPLACES A DOLLAR STORE AND THE LOBBY OF A HOLIDAY INN.

THE CHEF, DANIEL ROSE, WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF AMERICAN CHEFS WHO MADE THEIR NAME IN PARIS; CHEF ROSE WITH SPRING, THEN LA BOURSE AND, FINALLY, LA VIE. ROSE IS INTERESTED IN THE CLASSIC REPERTOIRE OF HAUTE CUISINE, BUT LIKE POINT AND CHAPELLE BEFORE HIM, HE REPLACES RICH, FLOUR-BASED SAUCES WITH REDUCTIONS. NOR IS HE DOGMATIC ABOUT CLASSIC FRENCH FOOD. THUS MY RAW SCALLOPS WERE COMPLIMENTED BY CLEMENTINES AND THE FRIED MONTAULK EEL COMES BATHED IN A CURRY VINAIGRETTE.

THE WINE LIST IS HEFTY AND THOUGH WEIGHTED TOWARDS FRANCE INCLUDES BOTTLES FROM SLOVENIA, GREECE AND LEBANON. OUR FIRST DAY’S WINE WAS A DRY ALSATIAN RIESLING FOR AROUND $48.

THE NEXT DAY I RETURNED WITH A NEW LUNCH PARTNER, WHO WAS EAGER TO TRY THE QUENELLES. LIZ STARTED WITH THE AUTUMN SALAD. I TRIED THE CELERY REMOULADE, A MOUND OF WHICH CONCEALED VELVETY HOUSE-CURED SALMON. I’D COME BACK FOR THE RABBIT POT-AU-FEU WITH ROOT VEGETABLES POACHED IN RABBIT BOUILLON. WOULD I LIKE THE FOIE GRAS SUPPLEMENT? BUT OF COURSE. CLEAR, MAHOGANY BROTH WAS RICH WITH THE BONES OF MANY BUNNIES, BUT LIGHT. IT SEEPED INTO THE PARSNIPS, CARROTS AND BABY TURNIPS. NICE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FOIE GRAS.

I REMEMBER THE COMELY SOMMELIER RECOMMENDED A CRISP AND CHALKY GREEK WINE, WHICH I’D NEVER HEARD OF, BUT I’M A BIT FUZZY ABOUT WHICH DESSERTS WE HAD AT WHICH LUNCH. I’M PRETTY SURE THE RICE PUDDING REAPPEARED. I HOPE IT’S ON THE MENU THE NEXT TIME I GO BACK. AND THE NEXT.

CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI
CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI

EVEN IN SOMETIME SUNNY CALIFORNIA, FALL’S HARVEST GIVES WAY TO WINTER SQUASHES, KALE, BEETS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, AND ALL MANNER OF ROOT VEGETABLES. (more…)

PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS
PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

PORK BELLY IS WHAT BACON IS BEFORE IT IS CURED.  IF ALL THAT FAT SEENS DAUNTING, YOU’LL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH OF IT MELTS OFF IN THE COOKING, LEAVING A RICH AND SUCCULENT SQUARE OF PORK. BRAISED WITH FENNEL, LEEKS AND FEW STAR ANISE FOR SEASONING, PORK BELLY IS NOTHING SHORT OF DELICIOUS.  SERVE WITH RICE, PASTA OR A CRUNCHY BAGUETTE TO SOP UP THE JUICES.
Click here to download recipe

STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC
STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC

HALIBUT IS NOT MY FAVORITE FISH. IT HAS A MILD TASTE AND IF NOT COOKED PERFECTLY, ITS RATHER DENSE FLESH TURNS TOUGH AND DRY. I’VE TRIED COOKING HALIBUT SLOWLY IN OLIVE OIL OR MELTED BUTTER. SOMETIMES I GET IT RIGHT, BUT OFTEN I DON’T. (more…)

SWORDFISH SICILIANA
SWORDFISH SICILIANA

IN THE OUTDOOR MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SILVER SARDINES, RED MULLET, TUNA, BRANZINO, VONGOLE, MUSSELS, AND ALL KINDS OF PRAWNS GLITTER ON A BED OF SHAVED ICE.  A FISHMONGER WITH ARMS LIKE TREE LIMBS SHOUTS OUT, “SPADA!  SPADA!” AND USING A FOOTLONG STAINLESS STEEL CLEAVER SLICES SEVEN PERFECT STEAKS. (more…)

COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES
COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES

ALTHOUGH RADICCHIO NEVER SEEMS TO GO OUT OF SEASON, IN ADDITION TO THE FAMILIAR RADICCHIO DI VERONA, WHICH RESEMBLES A SMALL RED CABBAGE, TREVISO WITH ITS TAPERING GREEN STEMS AND GREEN AND RED LEAVES IS ALSO AVAILABLE. I LIKE THEM BOTH.  RADICCHIO WITH ITS CRUNCH AND BITTER BITE IS A NATURAL FOR SALADS, BUT IT IS ALSO EXCELLENT GRILLED OR PAN-BRAISED.  I THOUGHT THE LATTER MIGHT PAIR WELL WITH NORWEGIAN COD, WHICH IS SWEET AND FLAKEY.  COOKED WITH SLICED GARLIC AND SWEETENED WITH WHITE SOY SAUCE, IT SERVES AS A FLAVORFUL AND ATTRACTIVE PILLOW FOR THE PAN-COOKED COD. SERVE IT WITH BOILED FINGERLING POTATOES, SMASHED WITH CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND CHOPPED HERBS.
Click here to download recipe

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

MY FATHER, WHOSE DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAS ON FIFTH AVENUE, WOULD PRAY FOR RAIN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY.  OUR GENERATION HAS A MORE BENIGN ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE IRISH.  SO FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER WITH TWO GUESTS OF IRISH EXTRACTION AT OUR TABLE, MY WIFE, WHOSE FAMILY MADE CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE FOR THANKSGIVING, URGED ME TO COOK THE SAME DISH. (more…)

MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

MONKFISH IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE POOR MAN’S LOBSTER, NOT SO MUCH FOR THE TASTE BUT THE TEXTURE WHICH RESEMBLES A LOBSTER TAIL.  THE TASTE IS SUBTLE AND SWEET.  THIS SAUCE, WHICH IS MADE IN THE PAN, IS PIQUANT WITH THE BITE OF WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD, ENRICHED WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOT, AND CRÉME FRAÎCHE.

Click here to download recipe

FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS
FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS

IN MY WEEKLY COOKING CLASS AT THE L.A. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TEACH MY STUDENTS BASIC TECHNIQUES.  I HAD FOUR KIDS ON WEDNESDAY, SO I BROUGHT WITH ME FOUR WHOLE, BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS AND FOUR SETS OF INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DIFFERENT RECIPES. (more…)

SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD
SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD

THIS IS A LOVELY FIRST COURSE. OR, ON A WARM DAY, YOU MIGHT DOUBLE THE RECIPE AND SERVE IT FOR LUNCH WITH A CRUSTY BAGUETTE. SMOKED TROUT, WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN MOST GOOD SUPERMARKETS, HAS A SUBTLE, SAVORY FLAVOR AND A FIRM TEXTURE. (more…)

LE COUCOU
LE COUCOU

THERE AREN’T MANY RESTAURANTS WHERE I WOULD EAT TWO DAYS IN A ROW, BUT THE FIRST LUNCH AT LE COUCOU DEMANDED I RETURN TO SAMPLE MORE DISHES ON THE MENU. THIS WAS PARTIALLY MY OWN FAULT SINCE I BROKE MY OWN RULE OF NEVER ORDERING THE SAME THING AS ANYONE ELSE. BUT WHEN PETE WELLS DESCRIBED THE QUENELLES DE BROCHET AS “FLUFFY” AND WENT ON TO RHAPSODIZE ABOUT THE SAUCE AMERICAINE; WHEN LYNN AND HELEN BOTH INSISTED ON ORDERING THE QUENELLES, WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?

I DID NOT REGRET MY DECISION. THE OVAL LOBES OF PIKE, TAMIS-SMOOTH, AS AIRY AS SOUFFLÉS, FLOAT IN A SEA OF CRAYFISH OR LOBSTER CREAM. EACH BITE PRODUCES A LITTLE GROAN. A BLIND MAN AT AN ADJACENT TABLE MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED WE WERE ALL HAVING SEX, BECAUSE DANIEL ROSE’S QUENELLES ARE ABOUT AS CLOSE AS YOU’RE GOING TO GET. FIRST COURSES, THOUGH NOT AS LASCIVIOUS WERE EQUALLY SUBLIME: RAW BAY SCALLOPS IN A MILD VINAIGRETTE, PRETTILY ADORNED WITH CLEMENTINES, CHESTNUTS AND CELERY LEAVES; LEEKS WITH HAZELNUTS; AN AUTUMN SALAD OF BIBB LETTUCE WITH WALNUTS AND BLUE CHEESE. DESSERT? MAIS, OUI. RICE PUDDING WITH PISTACHIOS AND CHARTREUSE, PAVÉ OF BITTER CHOCOLATE WITH PRALINE ICE CREAM AND AN EXQUISITE GRILLED PEAR WITH MUSCADET, VANILLA ICE CREAM AND ALMOND BRITTLE.

BUT SECOND THINGS SECOND. THE RESTAURANT ITSELF IS LOCATED ON A RATHER UGLY STRETCH OF LAFAYETTE, JUST NORTH OF CANAL. ONCE YOU PASS THROUGH THE MAGIC CURTAINS, HOWEVER, YOU ENTER A VAULTED SPACE OF RAW, LIME-BLEACHED BRICK, DESIGNED BY ROMAN AND WILLIAMS. THE ELEGANT BAR, FRAMED IN AN ARCH IS UP FRONT; THE OPEN KITCHEN TOWARDS THE BACK. CHANDELIERS AND SCONCES BATH THE TABLES IN A WARM GLOW. A VERITABLE ARMY OF WAITSTAFF GLIDE GRACEFULLY BETWEEN WELL-SPACED, LINEN-DRAPED TABLES. OUR WAITER INFORMED US THAT THE RESTAURANT REPLACES A DOLLAR STORE AND THE LOBBY OF A HOLIDAY INN.

THE CHEF, DANIEL ROSE, WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF AMERICAN CHEFS WHO MADE THEIR NAME IN PARIS; CHEF ROSE WITH SPRING, THEN LA BOURSE AND, FINALLY, LA VIE. ROSE IS INTERESTED IN THE CLASSIC REPERTOIRE OF HAUTE CUISINE, BUT LIKE POINT AND CHAPELLE BEFORE HIM, HE REPLACES RICH, FLOUR-BASED SAUCES WITH REDUCTIONS. NOR IS HE DOGMATIC ABOUT CLASSIC FRENCH FOOD. THUS MY RAW SCALLOPS WERE COMPLIMENTED BY CLEMENTINES AND THE FRIED MONTAULK EEL COMES BATHED IN A CURRY VINAIGRETTE.

THE WINE LIST IS HEFTY AND THOUGH WEIGHTED TOWARDS FRANCE INCLUDES BOTTLES FROM SLOVENIA, GREECE AND LEBANON. OUR FIRST DAY’S WINE WAS A DRY ALSATIAN RIESLING FOR AROUND $48.

THE NEXT DAY I RETURNED WITH A NEW LUNCH PARTNER, WHO WAS EAGER TO TRY THE QUENELLES. LIZ STARTED WITH THE AUTUMN SALAD. I TRIED THE CELERY REMOULADE, A MOUND OF WHICH CONCEALED VELVETY HOUSE-CURED SALMON. I’D COME BACK FOR THE RABBIT POT-AU-FEU WITH ROOT VEGETABLES POACHED IN RABBIT BOUILLON. WOULD I LIKE THE FOIE GRAS SUPPLEMENT? BUT OF COURSE. CLEAR, MAHOGANY BROTH WAS RICH WITH THE BONES OF MANY BUNNIES, BUT LIGHT. IT SEEPED INTO THE PARSNIPS, CARROTS AND BABY TURNIPS. NICE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FOIE GRAS.

I REMEMBER THE COMELY SOMMELIER RECOMMENDED A CRISP AND CHALKY GREEK WINE, WHICH I’D NEVER HEARD OF, BUT I’M A BIT FUZZY ABOUT WHICH DESSERTS WE HAD AT WHICH LUNCH. I’M PRETTY SURE THE RICE PUDDING REAPPEARED. I HOPE IT’S ON THE MENU THE NEXT TIME I GO BACK. AND THE NEXT.

CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI
CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI

EVEN IN SOMETIME SUNNY CALIFORNIA, FALL’S HARVEST GIVES WAY TO WINTER SQUASHES, KALE, BEETS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, AND ALL MANNER OF ROOT VEGETABLES. (more…)

PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS
PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

PORK BELLY IS WHAT BACON IS BEFORE IT IS CURED.  IF ALL THAT FAT SEENS DAUNTING, YOU’LL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH OF IT MELTS OFF IN THE COOKING, LEAVING A RICH AND SUCCULENT SQUARE OF PORK. BRAISED WITH FENNEL, LEEKS AND FEW STAR ANISE FOR SEASONING, PORK BELLY IS NOTHING SHORT OF DELICIOUS.  SERVE WITH RICE, PASTA OR A CRUNCHY BAGUETTE TO SOP UP THE JUICES.
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STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC
STEAMED HALIBUT WITH SAFFRON BUERRE BLANC

HALIBUT IS NOT MY FAVORITE FISH. IT HAS A MILD TASTE AND IF NOT COOKED PERFECTLY, ITS RATHER DENSE FLESH TURNS TOUGH AND DRY. I’VE TRIED COOKING HALIBUT SLOWLY IN OLIVE OIL OR MELTED BUTTER. SOMETIMES I GET IT RIGHT, BUT OFTEN I DON’T. (more…)

SWORDFISH SICILIANA
SWORDFISH SICILIANA

IN THE OUTDOOR MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SILVER SARDINES, RED MULLET, TUNA, BRANZINO, VONGOLE, MUSSELS, AND ALL KINDS OF PRAWNS GLITTER ON A BED OF SHAVED ICE.  A FISHMONGER WITH ARMS LIKE TREE LIMBS SHOUTS OUT, “SPADA!  SPADA!” AND USING A FOOTLONG STAINLESS STEEL CLEAVER SLICES SEVEN PERFECT STEAKS. (more…)

COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES
COD WITH RADICCHIO AND SMASHED POTATOES

ALTHOUGH RADICCHIO NEVER SEEMS TO GO OUT OF SEASON, IN ADDITION TO THE FAMILIAR RADICCHIO DI VERONA, WHICH RESEMBLES A SMALL RED CABBAGE, TREVISO WITH ITS TAPERING GREEN STEMS AND GREEN AND RED LEAVES IS ALSO AVAILABLE. I LIKE THEM BOTH.  RADICCHIO WITH ITS CRUNCH AND BITTER BITE IS A NATURAL FOR SALADS, BUT IT IS ALSO EXCELLENT GRILLED OR PAN-BRAISED.  I THOUGHT THE LATTER MIGHT PAIR WELL WITH NORWEGIAN COD, WHICH IS SWEET AND FLAKEY.  COOKED WITH SLICED GARLIC AND SWEETENED WITH WHITE SOY SAUCE, IT SERVES AS A FLAVORFUL AND ATTRACTIVE PILLOW FOR THE PAN-COOKED COD. SERVE IT WITH BOILED FINGERLING POTATOES, SMASHED WITH CRÉME FRAÎCHE AND CHOPPED HERBS.
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CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

MY FATHER, WHOSE DOCTOR’S OFFICE WAS ON FIFTH AVENUE, WOULD PRAY FOR RAIN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY.  OUR GENERATION HAS A MORE BENIGN ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE IRISH.  SO FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER WITH TWO GUESTS OF IRISH EXTRACTION AT OUR TABLE, MY WIFE, WHOSE FAMILY MADE CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE FOR THANKSGIVING, URGED ME TO COOK THE SAME DISH. (more…)

MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
MONKFISH WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

MONKFISH IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE POOR MAN’S LOBSTER, NOT SO MUCH FOR THE TASTE BUT THE TEXTURE WHICH RESEMBLES A LOBSTER TAIL.  THE TASTE IS SUBTLE AND SWEET.  THIS SAUCE, WHICH IS MADE IN THE PAN, IS PIQUANT WITH THE BITE OF WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD, ENRICHED WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOT, AND CRÉME FRAÎCHE.

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FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS
FOUR RECIPES FOR CHICKEN BREASTS

IN MY WEEKLY COOKING CLASS AT THE L.A. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TEACH MY STUDENTS BASIC TECHNIQUES.  I HAD FOUR KIDS ON WEDNESDAY, SO I BROUGHT WITH ME FOUR WHOLE, BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS AND FOUR SETS OF INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DIFFERENT RECIPES. (more…)

SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD
SMOKED TROUT AND ENDIVE SALAD

THIS IS A LOVELY FIRST COURSE. OR, ON A WARM DAY, YOU MIGHT DOUBLE THE RECIPE AND SERVE IT FOR LUNCH WITH A CRUSTY BAGUETTE. SMOKED TROUT, WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN MOST GOOD SUPERMARKETS, HAS A SUBTLE, SAVORY FLAVOR AND A FIRM TEXTURE. (more…)

LE COUCOU
LE COUCOU

THERE AREN’T MANY RESTAURANTS WHERE I WOULD EAT TWO DAYS IN A ROW, BUT THE FIRST LUNCH AT LE COUCOU DEMANDED I RETURN TO SAMPLE MORE DISHES ON THE MENU. THIS WAS PARTIALLY MY OWN FAULT SINCE I BROKE MY OWN RULE OF NEVER ORDERING THE SAME THING AS ANYONE ELSE. BUT WHEN PETE WELLS DESCRIBED THE QUENELLES DE BROCHET AS “FLUFFY” AND WENT ON TO RHAPSODIZE ABOUT THE SAUCE AMERICAINE; WHEN LYNN AND HELEN BOTH INSISTED ON ORDERING THE QUENELLES, WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?

I DID NOT REGRET MY DECISION. THE OVAL LOBES OF PIKE, TAMIS-SMOOTH, AS AIRY AS SOUFFLÉS, FLOAT IN A SEA OF CRAYFISH OR LOBSTER CREAM. EACH BITE PRODUCES A LITTLE GROAN. A BLIND MAN AT AN ADJACENT TABLE MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED WE WERE ALL HAVING SEX, BECAUSE DANIEL ROSE’S QUENELLES ARE ABOUT AS CLOSE AS YOU’RE GOING TO GET. FIRST COURSES, THOUGH NOT AS LASCIVIOUS WERE EQUALLY SUBLIME: RAW BAY SCALLOPS IN A MILD VINAIGRETTE, PRETTILY ADORNED WITH CLEMENTINES, CHESTNUTS AND CELERY LEAVES; LEEKS WITH HAZELNUTS; AN AUTUMN SALAD OF BIBB LETTUCE WITH WALNUTS AND BLUE CHEESE. DESSERT? MAIS, OUI. RICE PUDDING WITH PISTACHIOS AND CHARTREUSE, PAVÉ OF BITTER CHOCOLATE WITH PRALINE ICE CREAM AND AN EXQUISITE GRILLED PEAR WITH MUSCADET, VANILLA ICE CREAM AND ALMOND BRITTLE.

BUT SECOND THINGS SECOND. THE RESTAURANT ITSELF IS LOCATED ON A RATHER UGLY STRETCH OF LAFAYETTE, JUST NORTH OF CANAL. ONCE YOU PASS THROUGH THE MAGIC CURTAINS, HOWEVER, YOU ENTER A VAULTED SPACE OF RAW, LIME-BLEACHED BRICK, DESIGNED BY ROMAN AND WILLIAMS. THE ELEGANT BAR, FRAMED IN AN ARCH IS UP FRONT; THE OPEN KITCHEN TOWARDS THE BACK. CHANDELIERS AND SCONCES BATH THE TABLES IN A WARM GLOW. A VERITABLE ARMY OF WAITSTAFF GLIDE GRACEFULLY BETWEEN WELL-SPACED, LINEN-DRAPED TABLES. OUR WAITER INFORMED US THAT THE RESTAURANT REPLACES A DOLLAR STORE AND THE LOBBY OF A HOLIDAY INN.

THE CHEF, DANIEL ROSE, WAS ONE OF A HANDFUL OF AMERICAN CHEFS WHO MADE THEIR NAME IN PARIS; CHEF ROSE WITH SPRING, THEN LA BOURSE AND, FINALLY, LA VIE. ROSE IS INTERESTED IN THE CLASSIC REPERTOIRE OF HAUTE CUISINE, BUT LIKE POINT AND CHAPELLE BEFORE HIM, HE REPLACES RICH, FLOUR-BASED SAUCES WITH REDUCTIONS. NOR IS HE DOGMATIC ABOUT CLASSIC FRENCH FOOD. THUS MY RAW SCALLOPS WERE COMPLIMENTED BY CLEMENTINES AND THE FRIED MONTAULK EEL COMES BATHED IN A CURRY VINAIGRETTE.

THE WINE LIST IS HEFTY AND THOUGH WEIGHTED TOWARDS FRANCE INCLUDES BOTTLES FROM SLOVENIA, GREECE AND LEBANON. OUR FIRST DAY’S WINE WAS A DRY ALSATIAN RIESLING FOR AROUND $48.

THE NEXT DAY I RETURNED WITH A NEW LUNCH PARTNER, WHO WAS EAGER TO TRY THE QUENELLES. LIZ STARTED WITH THE AUTUMN SALAD. I TRIED THE CELERY REMOULADE, A MOUND OF WHICH CONCEALED VELVETY HOUSE-CURED SALMON. I’D COME BACK FOR THE RABBIT POT-AU-FEU WITH ROOT VEGETABLES POACHED IN RABBIT BOUILLON. WOULD I LIKE THE FOIE GRAS SUPPLEMENT? BUT OF COURSE. CLEAR, MAHOGANY BROTH WAS RICH WITH THE BONES OF MANY BUNNIES, BUT LIGHT. IT SEEPED INTO THE PARSNIPS, CARROTS AND BABY TURNIPS. NICE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF FOIE GRAS.

I REMEMBER THE COMELY SOMMELIER RECOMMENDED A CRISP AND CHALKY GREEK WINE, WHICH I’D NEVER HEARD OF, BUT I’M A BIT FUZZY ABOUT WHICH DESSERTS WE HAD AT WHICH LUNCH. I’M PRETTY SURE THE RICE PUDDING REAPPEARED. I HOPE IT’S ON THE MENU THE NEXT TIME I GO BACK. AND THE NEXT.

CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI
CHICKEN LEGS WITH TURNIPS AND CIPOLLINI

EVEN IN SOMETIME SUNNY CALIFORNIA, FALL’S HARVEST GIVES WAY TO WINTER SQUASHES, KALE, BEETS, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, AND ALL MANNER OF ROOT VEGETABLES. (more…)

This Week’s Meal

PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

PORK BELLY WITH FENNEL AND LEEKS

BROWSE BY TYPE

RECENT RECIPES

BATTERIE DE CUISINE

People often ask me about kitchen equipment, something I've been collecting (and giving away) for over forty years.

My mother made good with Reynold's Ware and some Le Creuset casseroles. In those days, there was a clear distinction between equipment for the home cook and professional chef.

Fred Bridge changed all that. Fred was a former Army cook who opened a cookware store for pros when he got out of the service. In the early Sixties, Fred, who didn't think much of domestic chefs, almost all of whom were women, opened his shop a couple of days a week, and only for a few hours a day, to us amateurs.

Wandering into his store in Turtle Bay (it later moved to the east 52nd) was, for me, a version of food porn. Copper sautoirs, carbon steel chefs knives, stainless steel stock pots, and every conceivable gadget or kitchen tool filled the shelves, hung from the ceiling and lay hidden in wooden drawers. Fred knew the stock number of every item and would shout out, "Jose, get me an 1127 and a dozen 962s!" and a frightened stock boy would dash off to fill the order.

Despite his gruffness, Fred was intrigued by me, a 23-year-old kid interested in serious cooking. He got even friendlier when I stocked my sister's kitchen as a wedding present.

After the success of the Cuisinart, which was just a professional Robot Coupe reconfigured for home use; plus the popularity of Industrial Chic, a number of companies began making restaurant equipment for home cooks.

Another important innovation was copper and aluminum sandwiches married to stainless steel pans. Stainless is bullet-proof and easy to maintain, but it's a terrible conductor of heat. Before that the best pots were tin-lined copper with cast iron handles. I lugged a set home from Paris sometime in the Eighties. They are beautiful and wonderful to cook with, but expensive to maintain, since once the tin wears down, they have to be re-lined and that costs more than what I paid for them in the first place.

When I was in KNOT'S LANDING, I made friends with a product-placement rep, who hung around the set, trying to place Toshiba microwaves and Black and Decker toaster ovens in the kitchen scenes. She represented Cuisinart cookware, so I asked her if I used those pans in the scenes where I was cooking if I could get a few cookware. To make a long story short, I wound up with a full set of Cuisinart cookware: sauce pans, frying pans, stockpots, and knives. I'm still using my Cuisnart pots and my original Cuisnart food processor, which my mom gave me in 1965.

As a brand, Cuisinart has been eclipsed by All-Clad, Calphalon, Demeyere, Mauviel, and a score of others. (William Sonoma carries 28 brands of cookware, but not Cuisinart).

I have a few All-Clad pans, a fantastic Sitram roundel, two excellent round-bottomed saucepans by Paderno, a set of Le Creuset au gratin dishes, and Lodge cast iron skillets in diameters ranging from six to twelve inches. Nothing beats cast iron for searing a steak, roasting potatoes or a whole chicken. Nor have I found a competitor for Le Creuset. They last forever.

Recently, I stocked the kitchen for my class at the L.A. Leadership Academy. I went to Amazon. It was just after the holidays, so everything was on sale. Still, when I compared the sale prices for practically every high-end brand, nothing came close to Cuisinart's prices. I bought a full set of pots and pans for less than I would have paid for two All-Clad frying pans. And I've been cooking with those Cuisinart pans in class, so I can attest to their quality, which seems not to have flagged in thirty years.

Knives? Who can resist a beautiful knife? I recently paid a fortune for a few Japanese-made knives designed by Michel Bras. I love working with them, but, frankly, you can do just as well with inexpensive knives from Forschner with composite handles. They're lightweight, easily sharpened and when they wear down in five years, you can replace them for a lot less than you'll pay for expensive knives.

What else? Well, I love my immersion blender and my moulis, which can't be beat for mashed potatoes or tomato soup. Wooden spoons, natch. A large colander, strainers, few heat-resistant silicone scrapers, a good box grater, Good Grips peelers, a microplane, and a wooden citrus reamer.

I have lots of stainless steel bowls; six small ones for my mis-en-place. When you're making a complicated dish or making a last minute sauce, it's great to have your ingredients sliced and diced and ready to go.

Lynn, who's a serious baker, swears by her Hobart K5A standing mixer.

Whatever you buy, and if you're starting off, you can get by with a few saucepans, frying pans, one casserole, a stockpot, and a limited set of knives, spend the money or high-quality equipment, which will last you a lifetime. They are the best investment you'll ever make. Most important, good kitchen equipment makes cooking a pleasure.