One layer at a time

One layer at a time – lacquering food

L:

Lacquer -1. [varnish, hairspray] laque f. -2. [varnished object] laque m. vt [wood] lacquer; [hair] mettre de la laque sur.)

Although lacquering existed in Japan as far back as the Stone Ages, it wasn’t until the middle of the sixth century that it developed into an ornamental art. In fact, lacquer was originally used as an adhesive to fix arrowheads onto the shafts of arrows.

With the introduction of Buddhism to Japan by Korean and Chinese missionaries, craftsmen, technical experts, and woodworkers came to assist the Japanese in making Buddhist sculptures and constructing temples. In addition, those from Central Asia brought craftsman trained in the art of lacquering. Over time, the art of lacquering became more refined, and the medium progressed to the decorative art form we still appreciate today.

The more sophisticated lacquering techniques included using sap from the urushi tree. Although indigenous to Central Asia, this tree soon became widely cultivated in Japan for its sap. Eventually, the Japanese government established an official agency whose purpose was to supervise the production of lacquer ware. Under supervision of the central government, urushi sap was collected and lacquer ware was systematically created for members of the judicial court as well as for aristocrats.

Reflecting the trends of elaborate and decorative art during this period, lacquer ware was adapted to include a highly popular form of decorative display known as “makie.” This technique involves drawing on a lacquered base with additional lacquer; gold or silver powder is then sprinkled on the wet lacquer to produce a design. Eventually, techniques used in both lacquer ware and lacquer art became even more varied and developed into spiritual and inspirational art forms.

Although there is no hard evidence to support the theory, the art of lacquering food may also have emanated from Asian cultures. At the very least, observing the beauty and value of lacquer art may have familiarized cooks with the concept and inspired them to create the same effect in the culinary arts.

From Lacquer Ware to Lacquer Fare

Although Peking duck might come to mind as one of the very first examples of a commonly lacquered food, Chinese culinary historians maintain that this dish does not have a long history. To understand its short but popular past, it is important to first realize that the term “Peking duck” refers to both a breed of duck, as well as to a method of preparation for cooking. As a breed, this species of duck also became popular outside of China, most notably in North America and Japan in the late 1800’s. However, even though other countries had access to Peking ducks, China was the only country that prepared “Beijing kaoya,” or “Peking duck,” a roasted bird with a glossy, varnish-like, crisp exterior, whose intensely concentrated flavors lie just below the surface.

There are many different accounts of just how Peking duck has been prepared over the years; however, the recipes share similar steps and ingredients. Prepped ducks are usually five or six pounds in weight. The ducks are then inflated by blowing air between the skin and the body. The skin is pricked and then doused with boiling water, and the ducks are hung up to dry in an airy spot from four to five hours — or sometimes overnight during the winter months. At this point, some Peking duck recipes advise coating the duck skin with maltose to give it an amber color, or rubbing the skin with one part malt sugar to six parts water; then the duck is allowed to dry again for a short period. Now ready for roasting, the birds are hung on iron rods with wooden handles in vertical ovens built similarly to kilns, which are rectangular on the outside and round on the inside. This method of hanging the birds also allows excess fat to drip downwards onto an inclined piece of sheet metal, with the grease eventually being con ducted into an outside bucket. The combination of the special preparation and actual roasting of the duck treats those partaking of this dish to a cooked bird that boasts a shiny, golden appearance, crisp skin, and moist meat devoid of excess fat.

Although the original methods of preparing Peking duck are still followed today, a few modifications to the recipe are sometimes made to save both time and labor. For instance, chefs may use a bicycle pump to inflate the ducks instead of their own “wind,” a practice which allows them to save their “breath” to talk about their “visions” of cooking. And instead of hanging the ducks to dry for hours at a time, they can be quickly dried in a warm oven.

Candy Coated Popcorn, Peanuts, and a Prize

When it comes to food, the act of lacquering isn’t limited to savory creations. Lacquering also translates well to sweet-filled pastries and can be achieved with a variety of materials and techniques. Although it does not produce a hard exterior, apricot jam, when heated and reduced and then brushed on top of a cooked pastry shell, gives the shell a smooth, shiny, and somewhat transparent finish. This visual appeal of the finished dish is paramount to both cook and baker. Brushing breads and rolls with eggs, egg yolks, or milk before baking produces various golden brown and glossy hues on baked goods freshly emerged from the oven. Likewise, a dessert sprinkled with sugar and then “flashed” under a salamander’s quick flames — or hit with a torch for one brief moment– will take on a nice, shiny glaze and add textural overtones as well.

Along these same sugary lines, caramel comes to mind, and, according to Bill Yosses, Executive Pastry Chef at Citarella The Restaurant, is the ultimate food lacquer: “It’s shiny, it’s crunchy, and can be made into a very thin layer. To me, lacquering by way of using caramel allows pastry chefs to get an appealing shine without using something artificial or employing fakery. Many times our final goal in pastry is to achieve a certain crunch or thin layer over an exterior that you break into to get to a soft interior. You can easily achieve this using caramel.”

Whether it’s a hearty piece of Arctic char glazed with Asian tastes of honey, mirin and soy sauce or a sweet and shiny candied apple from the county fair, lacquering, in its many forms, earns a respectful and artful place on everyone’s menu.

Sandro Gamba

NoMI Garden

Chicago, Illinois

At the age of thirty-two, Chef Sandro Gamba has been cooking for eighteen years. At the impressionable age of fourteen, he announced with much bravado to his parents that he was quitting school. Without missing a beat, his parents responded to his announcement by telling him that although his leaving school was fine with them, he’d have to get a job. He inevitably landed in a hometown restaurant kitchen as an apprentice for four years. And so, Chef Gamba’s foray into a lifelong passion for food began.

It’s been said that we are the product of the influences in our lives. Luckily for all of us, Chef Gamba had the good fortune to work for the greats–Verge, Robuchon, and Ducasse. The fact that these stellar chefs so profoundly influenced Chef Gamba makes him the envy of many.

When asked to describe his experiences with Roger Verge, Chef Gamba says, “Verge had a “joie de vive” for the cuisine but knew that it was equally important for a chef to take care of the customer as well as the food.” According to Chef Gamba, Joel Robuchon was very tough to work for. He taught Chef Gamba respect, professionalism, and attention to detail. He also instilled in him the necessity to respect recipes and their traditions. But perhaps the most interesting lesson Chef Gamba learned from Robuchon was how to use salt properly to achieve the maximum flavor from each dish. From Alain Ducasse, Chef Gamba learned to respect and work with seasonings. He also took away a life’s lesson in the importance of working with suppliers to ensure they understood how their produce was used in a final dish. Ducasse taught him to set goals, push his limits, and challenge himself at every opportunity. And perhaps the hardest task of all, Ducasse taught Chef Gamba how to teach others, not to hold back any secrets, and to share every recipe. It was important for Ducasse to impress upon Chef Gamba that he should always keep an open mind to many different cultural influences as well.

When asked about his philosophies on food, Chef Gamba is adamant that one respect the word “chef” and have pride in the work he or she does: “There is good food and bad food. It’s as simple as that. I look for simple, tasty ingredients. You have to understand that when creating a dish, 70% of it is produce and 30% of it is the chef. The chef helps the produce become better – it’s technique.”

What drives Chef Gamba on a day-to-day basis? It’s his passion for meeting, working, and learning with others that keeps him going–“making history with people,” as he puts it. And his advice for others choosing the life of a chef and all it entails? “Don’t do it for the money or celebrity. In the end, it’s not just about getting your picture in a magazine; you need to be motivated by the food, your team, and your suppliers.” Based on Chef Gamba’s philosophies and life experiences, it’s easy to see why, at such a young age, his food reflects his self-esteem and has garnered the respect of those who are lucky enough to be around him.

Marco Moreira

Toqueville

New York, New York

marco Moreira thinks back to a much simpler time in his life. Growing up in a family that loved food and the total dining experience brings back welcome memories: “I remember going to the Green Market with my family three or four times a week, looking for that one perfect, little ripe peach that could transform a meal into something spectacular. It was at this time in my life that I learned to appreciate good ingredients–something I believe is vital to a cook’s success.” Chef Moreira’s initial stint in a kitchen wasn’t one you would ordinarily expect of a native Brazilian. Arriving in New York City in the early 1980’s, he was first trained as a sushi chef: “It may have seemed like an ill-suited marriage at first, but Japanese sushi-making, combined with my love for quality ingredients, was the perfect pairing. It taught me a lot about technique, precision, knife skills, and of course, respect for the product — it was a great garde manger experience.”

At age twenty-one, Moreira opened up a sushi catering business. As the business grew, Moreira and his business and life partner, Jo-Ann Makovitzky, decided to expand their operation to include other cuisine in addition to Asian-influenced fare. This was the stimulus that led Chef Moreira into the kitchens of a few world-class restaurants — namely Bouley, The Quilted Giraffe, and The Mark Hotel.

Eventually, Moreira and his wife ventured out on their own with Toqueville — a cozy, yet elegant, restaurant that consistently serves food that, as Chef Moreira states, “always surprises you and always gives you a little more than you expected.” This doesn’t mean that Moreira is willing to go too far out on a culinary limb: “I’ve heard of other restaurants pairing pigeon with caviar and wasabe sorbet. This mix is a bit too different for me. I’d rather surprise my diners by doing something as simple as a tomato salad. I want them to realize just how wonderful this can taste with ripe tomatoes, flavorful olive oil, and great salt. The use of these three simple ingredients is literally all it takes. I think it’s important to keep the character of the dish as well as the character of the ingredients. Plus, it makes my life much easier by using the freshest products available in that I don’t have to try so hard — the ingredients speak for themselves.”

Matthew Reguin

71 Clinton Fresh Food

New York, New York

Just out of graduate school and three credits shy of a Master’s Degree in Economics, Chef Matthew Reguin decided it was time to do some serious soul-searching. Embarking on a career that focused on Economics was not going to fulfill his grandiose dreams of saving the world: “When I reached the end of the Master’s program, I got to thinking that I wanted to do something with my life that satisfied people’s most basic needs — food, shelter, and companionship. Economics really didn’t fit into this scheme, but cooking for others did. Satisfying the need to feed others brings me the satisfaction of saving the world in some small way. Since I’d had such positive experiences in the kitchen while working my way through school, a career in food seemed to be my next logical pursuit, and I’ve never looked back.”

Perseverance and the desire to learn pushed Reguin into becoming the best cook in each of the kitchens where he has worked. This determination not only assisted him in honing his skills, but also gave him the confidence to come to New York City to try his hand at working in well-known, upscale restaurants such as Le Cirque and Danube.

Working in established restaurants known for their high-end cuisine and renowned chefs was truly an eye-opening experience for Reguin: “When I got to Le Cirque, it was a real ‘kick in the pants.’ I started out as a junior, second, double, not-so-special commis garde manger–pretty much the lowest position in any large house. I knew a handful of French terms and a handful of French people, and that’s where it ended. It was like starting all over again.”

In December of 2001, Reguin became the chef at 71 Clinton Fresh Food after joining the staff as sous chef in August of 2000. As sous chef of 71 Clinton, he had the good fortune to work, with Chef Wylie Dufresne. Chef Dufresne’s menu, which emphasized the use of fresh market ingredients, was one that Reguin truly admired. In fact, their “simpatico” relationship was based on their mutual belief that as chefs, they should use the best ingredients and support local growers: “Although Chef Dufresne is no longer at 71 Clinton, we still spend a lot of time together at the market. We both believe that support of local growers is critical. I actually buy more than fifty percent of the food for the restaurant from small, individual farms where I know the grower and his family. I can depend on these people to sell me the best possible product whether it’s apples, Swiss chard, or squab.”

Chef Reguin’s menu reflects his credo that using market driven, seasonal products produces an array of clean tastes and flavors, all of which reside harmoniously–side-by-side–on his dishes. And although he may not be saving the world single-handedly, his attempt to satisfy others with his food is expressed in very simple but heartfelt terms: “My primary goal is to put food in front of people that they find compelling and delicious. When you take a bite, you’ll want to take another; you’ll tell your friends about it, and you’ll want to come back again and again.”

Bill Yosses

Citarella The Restaurant

New York, New York

at Citarella The Restaurant, pastry chef Bill Yosses believes in the power of quality ingredients: “Ingredients inspire me, especially new ingredients. It’s a challenge to adapt them to my desserts and present them to customers in a compelling manner. It takes time to build up a clientele that trusts you. When you put something a bit different on the menu, you want your customers to be intrigued, not put off. But there is a kind of a tightwire that all chefs walk when it comes to introducing new ingredients to your menu. Chefs are tempted by the exotic because they come in contact with a lot of different foods, recipes, and ingredients. For us, what may be banal may not be typical to the everyday customer. We are drawn to the unusual, whether we simply have exotic tastes, or we’re trying to make a mark for ourselves within the industry. Through all of this, we find ourselves being edited by our public. What we think is going to be a blockbuster, isn’t always one.”

ChefYosses’ interest in food as a career started in 1982. While in France, he visited the Rungis, a French marketplace just south of Paris, known for its abundance of fresh produce, meat, and fish. He found in the French a profound love for food and decided that this zeal was something he wanted to cultivate back in the States. Happily, while working with Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller at The Polo, he was able to foster this same passion for food in American diners. His culinary journey eventually steered him to the Ram’s Head Inn on Shelter Island where his interest in pastry became established. After heading back to France and working with the likes of Pierre Herme at Fauchon, Yosses returned to New York in 1985 and teamed up with David Bouley at Montrachet. From there, he moved on to Bouley and Bouley Bakery.

As pastry chef at Citarella, Yosses has come full circle; working at Citarella affords him, once again, access to marketplaces and a wealth of ingredients, not unlike the Rungis in France: “One of the reasons I like working at Citarella is because our sources are extremely varied. My desserts reflect products from the best producers in the country. Citarella has the buying power to move a lot of produce sold to us by good organic and artisan farmers. These farmers are growing items of the highest quality, and I’m able to gain access to them immediately. From there, it’s my job not to screw it up.”

Gamba Sandro

Lacquered Maine Lobster (Serves 4)

ingredients

For the lobster sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 lobster bodies, halved

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1/2 onion, peeled and chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 star anise

1 quart water

2 ounces unsalted butter, chilled

For the cherries and fava beans:

1 cup dried cherries

1 cup red wine

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup fava beans, blanched and peeled

For the lobster:

1 gallon water

1/4 cup star anise

1/2 bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup white peppercorns

3 bay leaves

2 lemons, halved

4 1 1/4-pound Maine lobsters, claws and tails separated

2 tablespoons olive oil

Reserved lobster sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

For the cranberry sauce:

2 cups cranberry juice

1 tablespoon arrowroot

2 tablespoons mustard seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Chervil

directions

For the lobster sauce: In a saute pan, heat the oil.

Add the lobster bodies and sear on all sides. Add the carrot, onion, tomato, and star anise. Saute until thc onion is golden brown. Deglaze with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce yields one cup. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Whisk the chilled butter into the sauce to finish. Set aside, keeping warm.

For the cherries and fava beans: Combine the dried cherries with the red wine and red wine vinegar and let soften. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discard the liquid, and set aside. In a saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the butter and olive oil. When the stock starts to thicken, add the cherries and fava beans. Simmer in the liquid until coated and warmed through. Remove from the heat, season and set aside, keeping warm.

For the lobster: In a large saucepan, bring the water, star anise, fennel, celery, onion, white peppercorns, bay leaves, lemons, and salt to a boil. Simmer for fifteen minutes. Add the claws and simmer for two minutes. Using metal tongs, transfer the claws to a plate and let cool to room temperature. Remove the claw and knuckle meat from the shells and set aside. Discard the shells. Split the lobster bodies and tails down the center and season with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Sear the lobsters on all sides for two minutes. Remove the lobsters from the pan and set aside. Add the lobster sauce to the pan and simmer until the liquid starts to thicken. Add the split lobsters, claw meat and knuckle meat to the pan. Toss to coat and simmer until desired doneness.

For the cranberry sauce: In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of cranberry juice to a boil. Combine the arrowroot with the remaining cranberry juice and whisk to form a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the cranberry juice, add the mustard seeds, and simmer until thickened, about ten minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, keeping warm.

To serve: Place the lobster body halves and tails in the center of the plate. Arrange the claw and knuckle meat around the dish. Drizzle with the cranberry sauce. Spoon the dried cherries and fava beans on top. Garnish with the chervil.

Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos

Jean- Marc Brocard

Burgundy, France 1999

Lacquered Braised Sea Bass with Ragout of Chanterelles (Serves 4)

ingredients

For the sea bass:

2 ounces olive oil

1 onion, peeled and minced

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1 pound chanterelle mushrooms

2 slices minced San Daniele prosciutto

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 cups veal stock

2 cups fish stock

4 6-ounce sea bass filets, skin on, center cut

4 ounces unsalted butter

Salt and pepper and taste

For the garnish:

12 Brussels sprouts, stemed and halved

12 slices San Diniele prosciutto, toasted in a dry pan

4 sprigs coriander, fried

directions

For the sea bass: Preheat the oven to 275 (legrecs. In an ovenproof saute pan, heat one ounce of the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until translucent. Add the chanterelles, prosciutto, and coriander seeds. Degiaze with the veal and fish stocks and place in the oven for one-half hour. Remove from the heat and keep warm. In a separate saute pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Season and sear the sea bass on both sides until the skin is crisp. Remove from the paii and add the sea bass to the mushroom mixture. Brush the sea bass with some of the reduced braising liquid and return to the oven. Season and continue to braise until desired doneness. Remove from the oven and transfer the sea bass to a parchment-lined sheet pan; keep warm. Place the saute pan over medium heat until one cup of the braising liquid remains. Finish with the butter; season to taste and keep warm. To serve: Spoon a portion of the chanterelle mixture into a small cast iron skillet. Place a filet in the center of the mixture and garnish with the Brussels sprouts, prosciutto chips, and fried coriander.

Pinol Gris

Willakenzie Estate

Williamette Valley, Oregon 2000

Lacquered Maine Scallop with Ragout of Foie Gras and Truffles (Serves 4)

ingredients

For the sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 large sea scallops, muscles and

scallops reserved separately

2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 bay leaf

14 ounces vermouth

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 ounces unsalted butter

2 ounces black truffles, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

For the pasta:

2 ounces unsalted butter

1 ounce all-purpose flour, sifted

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 ounces truffle juice

8 rigatoni pasta, cooked

Salted and pepper to taste

For the scallops:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Reserved scallops

Reserved sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

1 black truffle, julienned

Foie gras, cut into 1/2-inch

cubes and seared

Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

directions

For the sauce: In a saucepan, heat the oil. Season and sear the scallop muscles. Add the shallots, carrots, and bay leaf and saute until translucent. Deglaze with the vermouth and simmer for 20 minutes, reducing by three-quarters. Add the cream and reduce slightly. Gradually add the butter, whisking to combine. Strain through a fine mesh sieve; season and add the truffles, keeping warm.

For the pasta: In a saucepan melt the butter. Add the flour and simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture is pale blonde in color. Add the milk, cream, and truffle juice and whisk to combine. Simmer for ten minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Season and add the rigatoni; toss to coat and keep warm.

For the scallops: Prepare a grill and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the scallops on both sides and grill to mark quickly. Transfer to a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. Lacquer the scallops with the reserved sauce and place in the oven until the lacquer is set, about one minute.

To serve: Place two rigatoni on a plate and top with the julienned black truffle. Place a scallop in the center of the plate. Arrange the foie gras and the sliced black truffles around the scallops and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked peppercorn. Drizzle a small amount of the sauce around the dish.

Viagnier

Darioush Winery

Napa, California 2001

Steak Tartare with Beef Gelee (Serves 4)

ingredients

For the beef gelee:

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 pounds flank steak

2 carrots, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes

2 ribs celery, diced into 1-inch cubes

3 1/2 quarts water

1 1/2 onion brulee

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, cracked

1 veal foot

For the leek wontons:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 pound leeks, white part only cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 spring mint, stemmed and julienned

12 wonton skins, 3×3-inch squares

1 egg, beaten with 1/4 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste

For the beef tartare:

2 8-ounce beef tenderloin fillets, chilled in freezer for 30

minutes

2 tablespoon peeled and finely diced Braeburn apple

1 tablespoon finely diced cornichons

1 teaspoon finely diced red onion

1/4-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 jicama, peeled and sliced thinly to the same size as the beef

tenderloin

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Ground Tellicherry peppercorns *

Pink peppercorns

* Tellicherry black peppercorns are renown for their size and flavor.

Available through The Spice House at (312) 274-0378.

directions

For the beef gelee: In a saute pan, heat the oil until smoking. Add the flank steak and scar until brown. Add the carrots and celery and saute until golden brown. Add the water, onion brulee, oyster sauce, pink peppercorns, and veal foot. Bring to a gentle simmer, skimming the surface occasionally. Reduce the heat and maintain the heat at 175 degrees. Place a piece of unbleached muslin cloth on the surface and continue to simmer for five hours. Remove from the heat; strain one time through a fine mesh sieve and a second time through a coffee-filter lined, fine mesh sieve. Season and pour the liquid onto four plates with a recessed center. Set aside in the refrigerator until set, about one hour.

For the leek wontons: Preheat a deep fryer to 350 degrees. In a saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and leeks and saute until translucent. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Add the mascarpone and Parmigiano-Reggiano and fold to combine. Add the mint leaves; cold gently and season. Place the wonton wrappers on a flat work surface and brush the edges with the egg wash. Place two teaspoons of filling onto the center of each wrapper. Bring the corners of the wrapper together and pinch to seal. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan and set aside.

For the beef tartare: Place a stainless steel bowl in an ice bath to chill and set aside. Remove the fillet from the freezer and using an electric slicer, cut four thin slices and set aside on plastic wrap. Mince the remaining fillet and place in the chilled steel bowl. Add the apple, cornichons, onion, ginger, and olive oil. Mix to combine and season. Place four 3-inch ring molds on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Place a slice of jicama on the bottom of the ring molds and spoon the tartare into each mold. Smooth the surface so the edges are level with the top of the mold. Place a slice of beef on top and set aside, keeping cool.

To finish the wontons: Place the wontons into the fryer until golden brown. Remove from the heat and place on a paper towel-lined sheet pan to drain. Season with salt and keep warm.

To serve: Place a ring mold of the tartare in the center of the gelee. Remove the ring mold and sprinkle with Tellicherry pepper. Arrange three leek wontons around the dish. Sprinkle Tellicherry pepper in the middle of the wontons. Garnish with pink peppercorns.

Barolo La Volata

Viberti

Piedmont, Italy 1996

Sweet Lacquered Onion(Serves 4)

ingredients

For the onions:

3 cups duck fat, melted

1 head garlic

1 bay leaf

1/4 bunch thyme

1/4 bunch parsley

1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns

4 large onions, peeled

1 tablespoon salt

For the onion jam:

1/2 cup olive oil

4 large onions, peeled and julienned

1/4-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced

1/4 cup chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

For the stuffing:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 chicken livers

4 ounces chanterelle mushrooms

1/2 cup dried red currants

1/2 cup kidney beans, cooked

1/4 bunch thyme, stemmed

1 cup pearl onions

1/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts

2 cups reserved onion jam

Reserved onion centers

1/4 cup chicken stock

2 ounces unsalted butter

Salt and pepper to taste

For the white bean sauce:

1/2 pound great Northern beans,

soaked overnight

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 sprigs rosemary

1/2 onion, peeled and chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 1/2 quarts water

Salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken jus:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 pounds chicken wings

1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally

2 onions, peeled and chopped

3 quarts chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Thyme, stemmed

Micro herbs *

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

directions

For the onions: In a saucepan large enough to hold four large onions, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook until the onions are soft, about two hours. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Remove the onions from the duck fat and transfer to a cutting board. Discard the duck fat. Slice off the top of the onions. Carefully scoop out the centers with a spoon. Reserve the hollowed onions and centers separately and set aside.

For the onion jam: In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and ginger and saute until golden brown. Add the chicken stock and reduce until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat; season and set aside, keeping warm. Reserve two cups for the stuffing.

For the stuffing: In a saute pan, heat the oil. Season the chicken livers and sear on both sides. Remove from the heat and set aside. Add the chanterelles to the pan and saute until tender. Add the currants, kidney beans, thyme, pearl onions, pistachios, onion jam, reserved onion centers, and the chicken stock. Reduce until thickened. Add the butter and season. Remove from the heat and set aside. Place the chicken livers on a cutting board; slice and set aside, keeping warm.

For the white bean sauce: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine all of the ingredients. Simmer until the beans are soft, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor. Puree until smooth; strain through a fine mesh sieve and season, keeping warm.

For the chicken jus: In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the chicken wings, garlic, and onions, and saute until golden brown. Deglaze with a small amount of the chicken stock. Add the remaining stock. Reduce the heat, simmer, and reduce the stock to yield one and one-half cups. Remove from the heat; strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside, keeping warm.

To finish the dish: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the hollowed onions in a roasting pan. Place a small amount of the chicken livers in the bottom of each onion. Spoon a layer of stuffing on top. Place another layer of chicken livers on top and cover with the remaining stuffing. Add enough chicken jus to cover the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and bake until the onions are heated through, basting often with the chicken jus.

To serve: Using an immersion hand held blender, foam the white bean sauce. Pour into shallow bowls and spoon onion jam in the center. Set an onion in the center of the onion jam and drizzle with the chicken jus. Sprinkle thyme leaves on the onions and garnish with the micro herbs.

Riesling, Spatlese Trocken Forster Pechstein

Dr. Burklin-Wolf

Pfalz, Germany 1997

Lacquered Guinea Hen with Chestnuts and Truffles (Serves 4)

ingredients

For the chicken broth:

3 quarts chicken stock

5 ounces oyster sauce

5 ounces soy sauce

4 ounces Thai superior

sweet sauce *

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chooped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

6 springs thyme

6 sprigs sage

1/4 cup black peppercorns

1 chicken

For the guinea hens:

1 cup sea salt

1/4 cup pink peppercorns

6 sprigs thyme

6 sprigs sage

6 sprigs rosemary

2 guinea hens, breasts and legs rescrved

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup reserved chicken broth

For the chestnuts:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound chestnuts, peeled

6 sprigs thyme

3 ribs celery

1 quart chicken stock

1 bay leaf

For the sauce:

1 cup truffle juice

2 cups reserved chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup white truffle butter **

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Black winter truffles, sliced

* Thai Superior Sweet Sauce is available in Asian markets.

** Available through Urbani at (800) 281-2330.

directions

For the chicken broth: In a large, covered saucepan, bring the chicken stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and Thai sweet sauce to a boil. Add the remaining ingredients; cover and simmer for three hours. Strain through a fine mesh. sieve. Reserve one cup for the guinea hen breasts and two cups for the sauce.

For the guinea hen: On a sheet pan, combine the sea salt, pink peppercorns, thyme, sage, and rosemary. Rub the legs with the mixture. Place the legs on the sheet pan, skin-side down, and cover with the mixture. Set aside in the refrigerator for six hours. Remove the legs from the mixture and brush off excess. In a medium saute pan, heat the oil. Add the legs and cook until golden brown. Add one cup of the chicken broth; reduce the heat and braise until tender, about forty minutes. Remove from the heat. Remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve. Transfer to a saucepan and reduce until thickened. Adjust seasonings and set aside, keeping warm. Heat a large saucepan of water to 180 degrees. Season the guinca hen breasts with salt and white pepper. Place the guinca hen breasts in a sous vide package with one cup of the chicken broth and poach for 10 minutes. Remove the sous vide package from the water and set aside, keeping warm.

For the chestnuts In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the chestnuts and saute for two minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Braise the chestnuts until tender, about thirty minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, keeping warm.

For the sauce: In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth and truffle juice to a boil. Reduce by half and add the cream. Whisk in the truffle butter and simmer until thickened, about ten minutes. Season and remove from the heat. Using a hand held immersion blender, purce the sauce until frothy. Set aside, keeping warm.

To serve: Remove the guinea hen breasts from the sous vide package and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Toss the chestnuts and guinea hen leg meat in the sauce to coat. Place the leg meat in the center of the bowls and top with a sliced guinea hen breast. Spoon the sauce around the guinea hen and arrange glazed chestnuts around the guinea hen breast. Garnish with sliced black winter truffles.

Pinol Noir Jerome Reserve

Lemelson Vineyards

Willamette Valley, Oregon 1999

Lacquered Orange Confit with Madeleines (Serves 4)

ingredients

For the ice cream:

14 ounces whole milk

8 ounces heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Zest of 1 orange

5 ounces granulated sugar

5 egg yolks

2 1/2 ounces Grand Marnier

For the oranges:

4 oranges, blanched

2 quarts orange juice

1/2 cup honey

3 pods white cardamom

1 pod green cardamom

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 star anise

2 ounces salted butter

For the madeleines:

Softened butter, as needed

3 ounces all-purpose flour

3 ounces almond flour

7 ounces granulated sugar

7 ounces unsalted butter, browned

6 egg whites

2 Tahitian vanilla beans, split and scraped

Confectioners’ sugar, as needed

For the garnish:

4 bay leaves

4 vanila beans

directions

For the ice cream: Prepare an ice bath. In a saucepan, bring the milk, cream, vanilla bean, and orange zest to a boil. Reduce the heat and maintain at a simmer. In a bowl, combine the sugar and egg yolks and whisk until smooth. Temper the egg yolks, adding one-third of the hot milk while whisking constantly. Whisk the tempered yolks back into the remaining hot milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Grand Marnier. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside in the ice bath until chilled. Refrigerate overnight and freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a medium, round tip.

For the oranges: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a roasting pan, combine all of the ingredients. Bake in the oven for two hours, basting often with the liquid. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Remove the oranges from the liquid; cut off and reserve the tops. Reserve the cooking liquid. Hollow out the oranges, discarding the centers. Pipe the ice cream into the center of each orange; place the orange top over the ice cream and freeze.

For the madeleines: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter the madeleine molds. Sift the flours together into a bowl. Ad the sugar and butter and mix until just combined. In he bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and vanilla and whisk to form stiff peaks. Gradually add the flour and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared molds and bake until golden brown, about six minutes. Remove the madeleines while still warm and dust with the confectioners’ sugar.

To serve: Place an orange on a rectangular plate. Drizzle with the reserved cooking liquid and garnish with a bay leaf and vanilla bean. Place two madeleines on a small plate and place next to the orange.

Riesling Eiswein Wehlener Abtei

Markus Molitor

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany 1998

More air Marco

Lacquered Taylor Bay Scallops with Citrus Beurre Fondue (Serves 4)

ingredients

For the orange sauce:

1 cup orange juice

Zest of 1 orange

4 springs cilantro, stems only

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 teaspoon arrowroot

1 teaspoon water

For the citrus beurre fondue:

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons vermouth

1 small shallot, peeled and minced

4 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Juice and zest of 1 lime

Juice of 1/2 orange

White soy sauce to taste

Reserved orange sauce

1/4 bunch chives, minced

For the sea lettuce:

2 ounces Japanese Kaiso lettuce, rehydrated in water *

2 ounces sea beans, blanched **

1 tablespoon reserved citrus beurre fondue

For the scallops:

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

24 Taylor Bay scallops, shelled **

1 tablespoon reserved orange sauce

Salt and white pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Coriander oil

Micro spring onions ***

Young coriander flowers ***

Upland cress greens ***

Note: The coriander oil is made by blanching and pureeing one pound of

cilantro leaves with one cup of chilled olive oil and then straining the

mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

* Kaiso is Japanese seaweed and found in Asian markets.

** Sea beans are a domestic version of samphire that grows in tidal

marshlands. There are two types of samphire. The true variety is

imported from Europe. The domestic variety is also known as glasswort,

sea pickle, and marsh samphire. Available through New York Fish House at

(917) 742-1173.

** Available through New York Fish House at (917) 742-1173.

*** Available through Blue Moon Acres at (215) 794-3093.

directions

For the orange sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, zest, cilantro, and chili flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Return the orange mixture to the saucepan and reduce by one-third. In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot and water to form a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the orange mixture and simmer until thickened, about four minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, keeping warm.

For the citrus beurre fondue: In a saucepan, bring the water and vermouth to a boil. Add the shallots and reduce the heat. Whisk in the butter gradually. Add the lemon, lime juice, and zest. Season with the soy sauce to taste. Add the orange sauce and chives and set aside, keeping warm. Reserve one tablespoon of the citrus beurre fondue.

For the sea lettuce: In a small saucepan, warm the Kaiso and sea beans in the reserved citrus beurre fondue.

For the scallops: In a saute pan, add the oil. Season the scallops and sear on one side until golden brown. Deglaze the pan with the orange sauce, using just enough to coat the scallops. Continue cooking to the desired doneness. Remove from the heat and set aside, keeping warm.

To serve: Arrange some Kaiso and sea beans in the center of a plate. Spoon the citrus beurre fondue on top. Set the scallops on top of the lettuce and bean mixture. Drizzle with the orange sauce. Garnish with micro spring onions, coriander flowers, and Upland cress greens.

Vermentino Ariento

Massa Vecchia

Tuscany, Italy 1999

Cold Smoked and Lacquered Ivory Salmon with Bean Meli-Melo (Serves 8)

ingredients

For the barbecue sauce:

1/2 lime, zest and juice

2 ounces hoisin sauce *

2 ounces oyster sauce *

2 ounces Thai fish sauce *

2 ounces ketchup

1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger

1/2 tablespoon shichimi togarashi **

1/2 tablespoon Mario Bianca citrus honey ***

2 ounces soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

For the smoked salmon:

8 2-ounce salmon filets, skin on

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

8 chives, blanched

Reserved barbecue sauce

For the orange sauce:

1 cup orange juice

Zest of 1 orange

4 sprigs cilantro, stems only

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 teaspoon arrowroot

1 teaspoon water

For the citrus beurre fondue:

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons vermouth

1 small shallot, peeled and minced

8 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Juice and zest of 1 lime

Juice of 1/2 orange

White soy sauce to taste

1/4 bunch chives, minced

For the beans meli-melo:

1 tablespoon shallots, peeled and minced

4 ounces edamame, shelled, peeled, and blanched

2 ounces sugar snap peas, blanched and sliced on the bias

2 ounces haricot verts, trimmed and blanched

2 ounces wax beans, blanched and cut into 1/2-inch lengths

Reserved citrus beurre fondue

For the vinaigrette:

2/3 cup red wine

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 teaspoon ground star anise

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon juniper berries

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

For the garnish:

Mixed greens

Enoki mushrooms

Salmon skin

Garlic chips, fried

* Available in Asian markets.

** Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese red pepper powder. Available in

Asian markets.

*** Available through Rosenthal Wine Merchant Specialty Foods at (800)

910-1990.

directions

For the barbecue sauce:

In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and simmer until thickened. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside, keeping warm.

For the smoked salmon: Prepare a smoker. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Skin the salmon and cut the skin into eight equal rectangles. Heat the oil in a saute pan and sear the skin pieces on both sides until golden. Remove from the heat and while hot, curl the skin into cylinders. Tie a blanched chive around each cylinder to help retain its shape. Allow the skin to cool. Place the salmon in the smoker for 15 minutes. Remove and brush wit barbecue sauce and air-dry for five minutes. Heat a non-stick saute pan and add the grapeseed oil. Sear the salmon and remove from the heat. Transfer to a sheet pan and bake for two minutes, basting with the barbecue sauce. Remove from the oven and set aside, keeping warm.

For the orange sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, zest, cilantro, and chili flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Return the orange mixture to the saucepan and reduce by one-third. In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot and water to form a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the orange mixture and simmer until thickened, about four minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, keeping warm.

For the citrus beurre fondue: In a saucepan, bring the water and vermouth to a boil. Add the shallots and reduce the heat. Whisk in the butter gradually. Add the lemon, lime juice, and zest. Flavor with a portion of the soy sauce. Add the orange sauce and chives and set aside, keeping warm.

For the beans: In a saucepan, cook the shallots in a small amount of vegetable oil until translucent. Add the beans and citrus beurre fondue and warm through. Adjust seasonings and set aside, keeping warm.

For the vinaigrette: In a saucepan, combine the red wine with the star anise, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, and juniper berries. Bring to a simmer and reduce by two-thirds. Remove from the heat. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the red wine reduction, olive oil, and soy sauce. Adjust seasonings.

To serve: Spoon the beans into the center of the plate and top with a piece of salmon. Arrange a bouquet of mixed greens with enoki mushrooms inside the salmon skin and place next to the salmon. Sprinkle with garlic chips and drizzle the vinaigrette around the salmon and beans.

Condrieu La Petite Cote

Yves Cuilleron

Rhone, France 2000

Barbecued Lacquered Unagi with Cucumber and Avocado Salad (Serves 4)

ingredients

For the unagi:

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sansho pepper *

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 cup fish stock

1/2 cup mirin **

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1-inch piece ginger, peeled and crushed

3 shallots, peeled and minced

1 bunch coriander, stems only

1 side unagi ***

For the avocado salad:

1 lemon, segmented, juice reserved

1 lime, segmented, juice reserved

1/4 bunch cilantro, stemmed and julienned

1/4 bunch chives, minced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 avocados, diced

Chipotle oil to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish:

Seedless cucumber, peeled and sliced into

1/4-inch thick strips

Toasted sesame seeds

Micro greens

Coriander leaves

* Available through Katagiri at (212) 755-3566.

** Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine often used in cooking. Available

in Asian markets.

*** Unagi is a type of Japanese freshwater eel and is available through

True World Foods at (908) 351-1400.

directions

For the unagi: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, combine the soy sauce, pepper, sugar, fish stock, mirin, garlic, ginger, shallots, and coriander stems. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer until the liquid has reduced to a sauce-like consistency. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Place the unagi in an oiled pan and brush with the sauce. Roast in the oven until desired doneness. Remove from the heat and set aside, keeping warm. Set aside the remaining sauce, keeping warm.

For the salad: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lime juice, coriander, and chives. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk to combine. Combine the avocados, lemon segments, lime segments, and chipotle oil with the vinaigrette and toss well to coat. Season and set aside, keeping chilled.

To finish the dish: Lay a cucumber slice down on a work space. Spoon avocado salad on top of the cucumber. Place the unagi on top of the salad. Cut on the bias into four equal portions.

To serve: Set on a plate and drizzle with additional sauce. Garnish with micro greens and cilantro flowers.

Tokay Pinol Gris

Gerard Schuller

Alsace, France 1998

Matthew Reguin

Lacquered Arctic Char with Chorizo and Hazelnut Vinaigrette (Serves 6)

Ingredients

For the lacquer mixture:

1 cup hon mirin *

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons yuzu juice **

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons toasted and ground coriander seed

1 teaspoon lavender

For the vinaigrette:

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons hazelnut oil

Salt to taste

For the port wine reduction:

1 cup port wine

1/2 cup red wine

5 allspice berries

1 bay leaf

For the vegetables:

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

4 green onions, sliced on the bias

2 shallots, peeled and minced

3 ounces chorizo, sliced and halved

6 heads baby bok choy, trimmed and halved

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon reserved vinaigrette

1 tablespoon toasted and coarsely ground hazelnuts

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Arctic char:

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

6 3 1/2-ounce filets Arctic char

Salt and pepper to taste

Reserved lacquer mixture

For the garnish:

1/2 cup toasted and coarsely ground hazelnuts

* Hon mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine. Available in Asian markets.

** Yuzu is a citrus fruit unique to Japan. Yuzu juice is available in

Japanese markets.

directions

For the lacquer mixture: In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about five minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

For the vinaigrette: Place the raisins in a bowl. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard seeds; bring to a boil. Pour over the raisins and let cool. cover and refrigerate overnight. Strain the raisins and transfer to a blender.

Puree until smooth. With the blender running, add the oils and the salt. Reserve one tablespoon of the vinaigrette. Transfer the remaining vinaigrette to a plastic squeeze bottle.

For the port wine reduction: In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until a thick syrup is formed. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and let cool. Transfer the reduction to a plastic squeeze bottle.

For the vegetables: In a saute pan, heat the oil. Add the chorizo and onions and cook for five minutes. Once the onions have wilted and the chorizo has rendered, add the shallots and cook until translucent. Add the bok choy and saute briefly. Add the water; cover the pan and cook until the bok choy is tender. Remove from the heat and add the reserved vinaigrette and hazelnuts. Season to taste and keep warm.

For the Arctic char: Line a sheet pan with paper towels. In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the oil. Season the char and sear, skin-side clown, until crisp. Turn the char over and cook just until the flesh begins to become opaque. Transfer to the sheet pan to drain. Drain the excess oil from the skillet and add the lacquer mixture to the pan. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture achieves the consistency and color of molasses.

To serve: Arrange a portion of the vegetables and chorizo on a plate. Place a piece of the char on top of the vegetables. Using the squeeze bottle filled with vinaigrette, draw a right angle on two sides of the char. Repeat using the port wine reduction to complete a box shape. Sprinkle with the ground hazelnuts.

Sylvaner, Vielles Vignes

Domaine Ostertag

Alsace, France 2000

Smoked Squad with Vanila-Quince Lacquer (Serves 4)

ingredients

For the squab:

2 1-pound squabs

Salt and pepper to taste

For squab leg confit:

Reserved squab legs

2 tablespoons kosher salt

3 sprigs thyme

10 black peppercorns

10 juniper berries, crushed

1 cup duck fat

1 cup grapeseed oil

For the smoked squab breasts:

1 cup cherry wood chips

Reserved squab breasts

For the cracklings:

Reserved squab skin

Salt and pepper to taste

For the turnip lasagna:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 shallot, peeled and diced

1 bunch red Swiss chard, leaves

julienned, ribs diced on the bias

1/2 teaspoon vinegar

2 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

10 Medjool dates, pitted, softened

in hot water, peeled and pureed

1/4 cup toasted and chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 Japanese turnip, peeled,

steamed, and trimmed to 12,

1/4-inch slices

Reserved squab leg confit,

meat removed and shredded

Salt and pepper to taste

For the vanilla-quince syrup:

2 quinces, washed and

chopped, skin on

1 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Reserved squab carcasses, chopped

1 onion, peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 rib celery, diced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/3 cup red wine

1 sprig thyme

4 allspice berries, crushed

1 cup chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

For the garnish.

Sea salt

Swiss chard leaves, chopped

Note: Chef Reguin prefer the quince to be washed and chopped with the

skin on.

directions

For the squab: Remove the skin from the squab, keeping the skin intact, and reserve. Remove the legs and reserve. Remove the breasts and reserve the carcasses. Remove the wing tips; french the end bones of the wings and reserve with the carcasses.

For the squab leg confit: In a medium bowl, combine the squab legs, salt, thyme, peppercorns, and juniper berries. Toss to coat and refrigerate in a covered container overnight. Remove the legs and rinse with water to remove excess salt; pat dry. Transfer to a saucepan; add the duck fat and grapeseed oil and submerge the legs. Simmer over low heat until very tender, about one and one-half hours. Remove from the heat and allow the legs to cool in the fat. Cover and refrigerate for three days.

For the squab breasts: Prepare a hot smoker with the cherry wood chips and a wire rack. Set the squab breasts on the rack and smoke for ten minutes. Remove from the smoker; wrap the squab breasts in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For the cracklings: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Season the squab skin and trim into eight square-shaped pieces. Place on a silpat-lined sheet pan and cover with another silpat and sheet pan. Place in the oven to bake until the skin is crispy and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet pan to drain and reserve in a dry, cool place.

For the turnip lasagna: Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Heat a saute pan with the olive oil and add the shallots. Saute the shallots until they are translucent. Add the Swiss chard leaves and cook until tender Season and remove from the heat. Prepare an ice bath and set aside. In a saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil. Bland the Swiss chard ribs until tender and place in the ice water to shock. Drain and reserve fox garnish. Place the date paste into a bowl and mix with the walnuts to combine. Season and set aside. Brush a parchment-lined sheet par with melted butter. Cut four 9 1/2-inch long strips of aluminum foil and brush with butter. Arrange four slices of turnip on the sheet pan; season and top with date mixture, tablespoon of squab confit, and a tablespoon of Swiss chard leaves. Lay another slice of turnip on top and repeat the process. Cover the top with a slice of turnip and wrap the aluminum foil around the sides to make collar. Bake in the oven until warmed through, about 10 minu tes. Remove from th heat and keep warm.

For the vanilla-quince syrup: In a saucepan combine all of the ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes and strain through a fine mesh sieve Return the liquid to a saucepan and reduce until thickened. Keep warm.

For the sauce: In a saute pan, heat the oil Add the squab carcasses and brown. Add th onions, carrot, and celery. Add the butter and saute until the vegetables are browned. Drain the excess oil and deglaze with the red wine Reduce until dry. Add the thyme, allspice berries and chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and reduce until thickened. Season and keep warm.

To finish the squab: Season the squab breasts. In a saute pan, bring the vanilla quince syrup to a boil. Add the squab breasts and simmer, basting constantly, and cook to the desired doneness. Place on a wire rack to drain.

To serve: Cut the squab breast in half and place on a plate. Sprinkle with sea salt. Places the turnip lasagna and two crackling pieces next to the squab. Spoon a portion of th Swiss chard stems around the crackling Drizzle sauce around the plate and garnish with the Swiss chard leaves.

Riesling Kabinett

Robert Weil

Rheingau, Germany 2000

Apple Lacquered Pork with Roasted Onions (Serves 4)

ingredients

For the pork:

2 1/2 pounds pork loin, ribs attached and tied

1 head garlic, peeled and chopped

1 bunch thyme, chopped

1 bunch sage, chopped

1/2 cup grapeseed oil

1 cup toasted and ground hazelnuts

For the apple lacquer:

2 quarts apple cider

1/4 cup tamari

3 Ida red apples *

1/2 bunch sage, stemmed and minced

For the beer sauce:

4 pounds pork bones and trimmings

1 pound chopped onions

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 head garlic

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 1/2 pints chicken stock

1 1/2 pints water

24 ounces dark beer, reduced to 1/2 cup

1 preserved lemon, diced

1 tablespoon honey

For the roasted onions:

1 bunch thyme

4 small sweet onions

4 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces porcini mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 taplespoon unsalted butter

1 spring sage

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced

Salt and peper to taste

For the garnish:

Sage Sprigs

* Ida red apples are preferred for their naturally high pectin content.

Available through specialty produce purveyors.

directions

For the pork: In a medium bowl, combine the pork loin, garlic, thyme, sage, and grapeseed oil. Toss to coat; cover and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.

For the apple lacquer: In a large saucepan, combine the apple cider, tamari and apples. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for one hour. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing firmly on the apples to extract the juice and pulp. Transfer the liquid to a saucepan and simmer over low heat until it thickens, Transfer to a bowl; add the sage and let cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For the beer sauce: In a large saute pan, season and brown the pork bones. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic and saute until browned. Drain the excess oil and deglaze with the sherry vinegar, adding water as needed. Add the chicken stock and simmer for one hour. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve and return to a saucepan. Reduce until thickened. Add the beer reduction, preserved lemon, and honey. Season and keep warm.

For the roasted onions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Reserve five sprigs of thyme and place the remaining thyme in the bottom of a roasting pan. In a medium bowl, combine the onions and two tablespoons of the olive oil. Season and toss to coat; place in the roasting pan and roast until golden brown and soft, about 2 hours. Remove from the heat and let cool, maintaining a hot oven. Slice the tops off of the onions and using a small spoon, gently hollow out the centers and reserve. In a separate roasting pan, combine the remaining olive oil, porcini mushrooms, garlic, and reserved thyme.

Toss to combine; season and roast until the mushrooms are softened, about 25 minutes, and let cool. Finely dice the mushrooms and reserve. In a saute pan, melt the butter and allow to brown slowly. Add the sage leaves and infuse the butter for one minute. Remove the sage leaves and discard. Add the apples and saute until softened. Transfer the apples to a large mixing bowl to cool. Add the reserved onion centers and the porcini mixture. Mix to combine; season and fill the hollowed onions with the mixture. Replace the tops and keep warm.

To finish the pork: Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Season the pork and place in the pan, fat-side down. Sear all sides of the pork and remove from the pan. Wipe out the excess fat while maintaining the heat of the pan. Return the pork to the saute pan and place in the oven. Roast until three-quarters done. Add the apple lacquer and return to the oven, basting frequently, until desired doneness. Coat with the toasted hazelnuts; slice and keep warm. Place the apple lacquer over medium heat and reduce slightly.

To serve: Arrange the pork in a cast iron skillet and coat with the apple lacquer. Arrange the baked onions next to the pork and garnish with the sage.

St. Laurent

Weingut Brundlmayer

Kamptal, Austria 1999

Bill Yosses

Baked Baby Pineapples and Lacquered Cherries (Serves 4)

ingredients

For the pineapples:

8 baby pineapples, peeled, scored, tops intact

2 1/2 cups water

1 3/4 pounds granulated sugar

2 vanilla beans, split and scraped 1/2 bunch mint, stemmed

For the lacquered Bing cherries:

2 pounds granulated sugar

10 ounces glucose

8 ounces water

3 drops red food coloring

1 drop brown food coloring

28 Bing cherries

For the pineapples:

Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the pineapple leaves with aluminum foil. In a shallow roasting pan, combine the water, sugar, vanilla, and mint leaves. Whisk to dissolve the sugar. Place the pineapples in the pan and bake in the oven, basting often until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Remove the aluminum foil from the pineapple leaves.

For the lacquered Ring cherries: Prepare a silpat-lined sheet pan. In a saucepan, bring the sugar, glucose, water, and food coloring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid reaches 300 degrees. Remove from the heat and holding a cherry by the stem, dip into the hot liquid to coat, allowing the excess to drip off the cherry. Place the cherry onto the silpat to harden. Repeat the process with the remaining cherries.

To serve: Place two pineapples on a plate with a wedge cut out of one. Arrange a portion of the lacquered cherries in a small dish and place next to the pineapples.

Souternes

Chateau D’Yaquem

Bordeaux, France 1995

Lacquered Chocolate Truffles

(Makes approximately 100, 1-ounce truffles)

ingredients

For the ganache:

3 3/4 pounds 60% semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

2 quarts heavy cream

2 1/2 teaspoons rose water *

17 ounces unsalted butter, softened

2 1/2 teaspoons jasmine tea leaves **

2 1/2 teaspoons bergamonte sevarome ***

2 1/2 teaspoons violette sevarome ***

For the chocolate shells:

2 3/4 ounce assorted liposoluble food coloring ****

14 ounces cocoa butter, room temperature

6 ounces white chocolate, tempered

Note: The truffles are made using small demi-sphere chocolate molds.

Available through J.B. Prince at (212) 683-3553. The lacquered chocolate

boxes in the photograph were made by Chef Yosses.

* Available through Kalustyan’s at (212) 685-3451.

** Available through Ten Ren Tea Company at (800) 292-2049.

*** Available through Dairyland The Chef’s Warehouse at (800) 878-3247.

**** Liposoluble food coloring is a powdered, food grade color that is

fat soluble. Available through Paris Gourmet at (800) PASTRY-1.

directions

For the ganache: Divide the chocolate evenly into four medium bowls. In a saucepan, bring two cups of heavy cream to a boil. Add the rose water; remove from the heat and pour into one bowl of the chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Set aside for ten minutes. Whisk in 4 1/4 ounces of the butter. In another saucepan, bring two cups of heavy cream to a boil. Acid the jasmine tea leaves and steep for ten minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve; return the saucepan to the heat and bring the mixture back to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour the cream over the second bowl of chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Set aside for ten minutes and whisk in 4 1/4 ounces of the butter. Set aside and repeat the procedure with the bergamonte and violette sevaromes separately. Transfer the four separate ganaches to separate pastry bags, each fitted with a small, round tip.

For the chocolate shells: Prepare a sheet pan with a wire rack insert. Place the four different food colorings into separate bowls and mix each with 3 1/2 ounces of cocoa butter. Using a small paintbrush, brush desired colors into the small dome-shaped molds. Pour the tempered white chocolate into the molds to coat the insides. Invert the molds to pour out the excess chocolate and place inverted onto the wire rack to harden. When the chocolate begins to set, use a knife to scrape off the excess chocolate against the surface of the molds. Prepare a parchment-lined sheet pan. When the chocolate is fully set, gently tap the molds to release the chocolate shells onto the sheet pan. Pipe the ganaches into the shells, taking care not to oven ‘ill. To assemble a truffle, rub the edge of one side of a shell with the warmed blade of a knife. Top the half shell with a second shell filled with the same flavor of ganache and let harden. Repeat the process with the remaining filled shells.

To serve: Arrange the truffles in a chocolate lacquered box or as desired.

Malvasia delle Lipari

Hauner Carlo

Sicily, Italy 1998

Red Boxes with Lacquered Cookies (Serves 12)

ingredients

For the sable cookies:

1 pound unsalted butter,

chilled and cubed

1 1/2 vanilla beans, split and scraped

7 ounces granulated sugar

1 1/2 pounds all-purpose flour, sifted

2 1/2 ounces white dessert wine

For the decoration:

1 egg

1 ounce trimoline

1/2 ounce all-purpose flour

Assorted food colors

For the lacquer:

8 ounces granulated sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

Note: Chef Yosses recommends storing the lacquered cookies in a single

layer and serving them the same day.

directions

For the sable cookies: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, vanilla, and sugar until just combined. Add the flour and wine and mix until just combined. Remove the dough from the bowl; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For the decoration: In a bowl, whisk together the egg, trimoline, and flour. Cover and set aside for two hours. Divide the mixture into small containers and mix in food colorings to create desired colors.

To finish the cookies: Precheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes. Transfer to a sheet pan and refrigerate for one hour. Using a paintbrush, decorate the cookies with the food coloring mixtures. Bake in the oven until lightly golden, about six minutes. Let cool.

For the lacquer: In a small saucepan, combine the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sugar turns a light golden brown. Brush the decorated cookies with the warm lacquer and set aside to cool.

To serve: Arrange the cookies in decorative boxes.

Passioto Muscat Canelli

Robert Pecofa

Napa, Colifornia 1999

Plum Reglisse Financier with a Lacquered Wing (Serves 8)

ingredients

For the plum reglisse financier:

Softened unsalted butter, as needed

7 ounces granulated sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

3 1/2 ounces hot water

23 ounces confectioners’ sugar, sifted

8 1/2 ounces almond flour, sifted

1 ounce reglisse powder, sifted *

2 ounces trimoline

20 ounces egg whites

2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

6 ounces Le Blanc pistachio oil **

6 ounces unsalted butter, melted

4 plums, pitted and halved

For the lacquered wings:

3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

3 1/2 ounces glucose

Juice of 1 lemon

1 ounce dark couverture chocolate, melted **

For the caramel-vanilla sauce:

3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

3 1/2 ounces hot water

* Reglisse is locorice powder. Available through S.O.S. Chefs of New

York at (212) 505-5813.

** Avilable through Dairyland. The Chef’s Warehouse at (800) 878-3247.

directions

For the plum reglisse financier: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter eight 3-inch, round molds and set aside on a sheet pan. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and lemon juice. Melt the sugar, stirring constantly until the liquid becomes a dark brown caramel sauce. Remove from the heat and carefully add the hot water. Return to the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour, reglisse powder, and mix to combine. Add the trimoline, egg whites, baking powder and vanilla. Mix until just combined. With the mixer running, slowly add the pistachio oil and melted butter. Mix to combine; cover and refrigerate the batter for three hours. Pour a tablespoon of caramel sauce into each of the prepared molds and place a halved plum, cut-side down, in the caramel. Cover the plum with one inch of batter. Place in the oven and bake unt il golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and unmold the financiers while hot.

For the lacquered wings: Prepare a parchment-lined sheet pan. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, glucose, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture reaches 355 degrees. Slowly add the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Pour the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for two hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the sheet pan and place in the oven for about five minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a work surface. Working directly from the hot pan, carefully and quickly pull the edges of the sugar into thin, wide strips or wings. Cut off the thick ends of the lacquered wings and set aside to harden.

For the caramel-vanilla sauce: In a saucepan, combine the sugar and lemon juice. Melt the sugar, stirring constantly until the liquid becomes a dark brown caramel sauce. Remove from the heat and carefully add the hot water. Return to the heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla bean. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve; cool slightly and transfer to a plastic squeeze bottle.

To serve: Place a plum reglisse financier in the center of a plate and top with a lacquered wing. Using the squeeze bottle, make three dots of caramel-vanilla sauce on the plate.

Monbazilac Cuvee Diana

Grande Maison

Bardeaux, France 1996

Lacquered Mille-Feuille with Raspberry Gelee (Serves 8)

ingredients

For the raspberry gelee:

2 pounds assorted fresh raspberries

2 pounds frozen raspberry puree

7 ounces granulated sugar

16 sheets gelatin, soaked in cold water

For the puff pastry:

1 pound puff pastry

4 ounces granulated sugar

4 ounces confectioners’ sugar

All-purpose flour, as needed

directions

For the raspberry gelee: Line an 8 x 16-inch pan with a piece of All-purpose flour, as needed plastic wrap and sprinkle with the raspberries. In a saucepan, bring thc raspberry puree and sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat; add the gelatin and stir to dissolve. Let cool to room temperature. Pour the raspberry puree mixture over the raspberries on the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until set, about four hours. Remove the plastic wrap; place a cutting board on top of the pan and invert the gelee onto the cutting board. Carefully remove the plastic wrap and trim off the edges of the gelee. Cut into eight 4 x 4-inch squares. Cover and keep chilled.

For the puff pastry: Preheat the oven to 440 degrees. Prepare a parchment-lined sheet pan. Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and roll out to 1/8-inch in thickness and place on the sheet pan. Bake for eight minutes. Cut out sixteen 4 x 4-inch squares. Transfer the squares back onto the sheet pan, cover with parchment paper; place a wire rack on top, and bake for an additional eight minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Turn the squares over and sprinkle generously with the granulated and confectioners’ sugar. Bake until the sugar is caramelized, Set aside to cool.

To serve: Sandwich a raspberry gelee square between two squares of puff pastry and place on a dish. Repeat the process with the remaining gelee and puff pastry squares.

Riesling Ice Wine

Inniskillin

Ontario, Canada 2000

COPYRIGHT 2002 Culinaire, Inc.

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