The Food Section has started to gradually assemble a glossary of modern gastronomic terms -- a new class of words and phrases (above, an illustration of "Goodfellas thin") that have entered the culinary consciousness.
Here are all of the dictionary entries to date:
Parsley and garlic are essential components in so many recipes. When the two are finely chopped together, they become persillade, a powerful combination that brings enormous flavor to a dish when added just at the very end of the cooking process.
Read more: Parsley Plus Garlic Equals Persillade
This series of posts on Montreal may be a little out of date (they were first published back in 2004), so inevitably some of the shops and restaurants mentiioned may have closed. But, if you are still looking for delicious bagels, fugasse (above), rousse beer, the porcine hedonism of Au Pied de Cochon, roasted bone marrow at L'Express, and great food markets, these entries should still make for a useful guide.
Montreal is one of my favorite cities to visit, especially for it gastronomical offerings, and a trip there again is long overdue.
I've never been to Mexico, so I haven't had the chance to pull over and taste a roadside "Sinaloa-style" chicken, but thanks to Rick Bayless, I've mastered grilling a beautifully blackened, spicy, smokey, and succulent bird in my backyard, well north of the border. This easy, delicious dish has become a summer standby.
This post originally appeared on March 11, 2005
Italian Easy: Recipes from the London River Cafe (Clarkson Potter, $35), the latest cookbook from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers of London’s River Café, promises Italian dishes that are easy to make, or, as the book jacket boldly proclaims, "straightforward and sexy."
The book is filled with simple, uncomplicated recipes for bruschettas, salads, pastas, risottos, meat and fish dishes, and desserts. The recipes have stripped-down names like "Fig and Chile," a pasta of tagliatelle, black figs, dried chiles, and lemon, and "Spirale, Clams, Shrimp," fusilli tossed with shellfish, garlic, and arugula. Opposite each page of recipes is a mouthwatering, full-bleed photo of the final product.Read More >
This post originally appeared on July 16, 2004
The PaninoLog returns -- this time with a grilled cheese sandwich inspired by master cheesemonger Steven Jenkins, author of The Cheese Primer, who is participating this week in an online Q&A at eGullet.
In response to a question about what kind of cheese to use to make great macaroni and cheese, Mr. Jenkins went on a riff about grilled cheese sandwiches (noting, "you asked me about mac and cheese but my brain read grilled cheese"):
I am particularly partial to the grilled cheese sandwich my wife and I raised our boy Max on: Open-faced slice of bread spread with sweet butter or olive oil liberally sprinkled with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, placed horizontally in the toaster oven until the Parm bubbles, cut into triangles. I am equally smitten by the conventional closed-face grilled cheese sandwich using sourdough or rye or whole-grain slices and shredded mountain cheeses such as the following spectaculars: Beaufort from Savoie, Fontina d'Aosta from Aosta, Comte from Franche-Comte, raclette cheese from either of these two regions, any Basque sheep's milk cheese (Erhaki, Matocq, Ossau-Iraty, Etorki, Prince de Claverolles), Roncal from Navarra. Certainly Swiss Gruyere or Emmental or Appenzeller figure, though they're way down my preference list. Also Asiago from the Veneto, Majorero (unlike the rest of these, Majorero from Fuenteventura in the Canaries is NOT a raw milk cow's milk cheese, but is a raw milk goat's milk cheese), Sao Jorge (St. George, a sharp cow's cheese from the Portuguese Azores).
I have to admit to being pretty simple in my taste for grilled cheese sandwiches. I rarely eat them, but when I do, the filling is usually a few slices of cheddar. But, after reading Mr. Jenkins' comments, a whole new world opened to me.
I considered using Comté, but in a taste test before purchasing, Beaufort, which has a distinctly nutty, tangy, and sweet flavor, was the superior cheese. At $20 a pound, this was an extravagant choice (double the price of Comté). In the end, it worked out to about $2.50 a sandwich (two ounces per) -- at least this was less than what you would spend in a restaurant.
I followed Mr. Jenkins' instructions on how to make the sandwich, starting with sourdough bread ("Both sides of the bread are spread with sweet butter"), to which I added slices of an amazingly ripe, purple-red heirloom tomato ("occasionally a slice of tomato") and grated Beaufort ("the cheese is always shredded, not place aboard in slices"). I skipped his addition of hot sauce and sprinkled the sandwich with freshly ground pepper before placing it in the panini press.
The nutty and sweet Beaufort, which melted from a pile of shreds into a single layer of molten cheese, contrasted with the cool, fresh sliced tomato and the textural crunch of the toasted bread. This may be the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Beaufort will break the bank, but there's no turning back to cheddar.
BEFORE AND AFTER Beaufort from Savoie and heirloom tomatoes (below) are the main ingredients in an extravagant grilled cheese sandwich (above).
This post originally appeared on March 18, 2005
On the left, weighing in at 6 ounces, is a Sunkist blood orange grown in California. On the right, weighing in at 7 ounces and sporting a paper wrapper, is a Bella Vita blood orange hailing from Sicily. Both were purchased at Agata & Valentina on New York's Upper East Side.
Aside from their state of dress (or lack thereof in the case of the Californian), both oranges look pretty similar on the surface. However, when sliced, they reveal their differences.
The California orange bears a thick skin, slightly dry flesh, and deep, dark ruby red color, while its thin-skinned, juicier, and sweeter Sicilian cousin resembles a typical orange marbled with more saturated orange tones resembling, dare I say, saffron. Both taste great, but I would hand the victory to the Californian in delivering on the visual promise of its moniker.
I was surprised at the difference between these blood oranges, particularly since this New York magazine article describes Sicilian blood oranges as having flesh "so dark it’s nearly black." This could not have been farther than the case for my (unscientific) sample, but, who knows when it comes to fruits and vegetables? Perhaps on a return visit or a trip to another store, I would find a batch of Sicilian blood oranges as dark as the Californian ones I picked up this week.
I made the most of my international blood orange supply, and against chef Jody Williams's wishes, I prepared her Insalata D’arancia using both varieties. The salad is fantastic and easy to prepare: sweet from the oranges, salty from the anchovies and olives, and crunchy from the onions, not to mention lovely to look at.
Make it now as a protest against this neverending winter.
California blood oranges and Sicilian blood oranges are both $2.99 per pound at Agata & Valentina, 1505 First Avenue at 79th Street (212.452.0690).
This post originally appeared on September 10, 2004
We stayed in Vieux Montreal (old Montreal), the city’s historic core. Dating from Montreal’s founding as a French settlement in the 17th century, old Montreal has been lovingly preserved and restored since the 1960s after years of neglect. Today, the area is a major tourist destination, though a beautiful one (it beats Times Square any day).
Its narrow, cobblestone streets are lined with formidable 18th and 19th century buildings, a number of which have been converted into boutique hotels. Hotel Nelligan, Hotel Place d’Armes, and the St. Paul Hotel (where we stayed) retain their period façades, though their interiors have been largely overhauled with cool modernist design.Read More >
This post originally appeared on December 4, 2004
Parsley and garlic are essential components in so many recipes. When the two are finely chopped together, they become persillade, a powerful mixture that brings enormous flavor to a dish when added just at the very end of the cooking process.Read More >
This post originally appeared on September 9, 2003
Cooperstown, New York, is a mecca for baseball fans, but there is another, albeit less-traveled, destination only a short drive away from the Baseball Hall of Fame. Just a few miles from the center of town, but 3,624 miles away from Brussels, is the Brewery Ommegang, an outpost of artisanal Belgian beer making that bills itself as “the only brewery in America dedicated to producing all bottle-conditioned Belgian style ales.”
Ommegang, a Flemish word meaning “to walk about," refers to the Ommegang Pageant, an annual celebration in Belgium that commemorates a festival held in the 16th century by the Magistrate of Brussels in honor of King Charles V.
A wide archway at the entrance to the brewery, a pristine white oblong building located on a 136-acre former hops farm, marks two dates: 1549, the year of the first Ommegang Pageant, and 1997, the year that the brewery was founded by its original owners, Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield, who have operated a business importing Belgian beers into the United States since 1982. They selected the location in part because of Otsego County's history as a major center for hops farming. During the 1800s, as much as 80 percent of the hops produced in the United States came from farms in and around Cooperstown.
Brewery Ommegang is modeled on Belgian farmstead breweries, which, in addition to brewing and selling beer, sell agricultural products as well as breads and cheeses based on ingredients used in the brewing process. The Brasserie DuPont in Tourpes, Belgium, is an example of the typical Belgian farmstead brewery. Brewery Ommegang does not produce any of its own bread or cheese, but shares its spent grains with local artisan bakers and cheese makers.
Unlike German beers, which are made strictly with malted grain, water, hops, and yeast, according to a German Purity Law dating back to 1519, Belgian Beers are typically infused with spices during the brewing process. Orange peel, star anise, ginger, coriander, and other spices provide a complex balance of peppery, sweet, and citrus flavors to the beers produced at the Brewery Ommegang.
The brewery produces three styles of beer (Ommegang Abbey Ale, Hennepin Farmhouse Ale, and Rare Vos Brabant Style Ale), all of which are bottle conditioned, which means they undergo two fermentations, the second taking place in the bottle, so that the flavor of the beer continues to develop well after it leaves Cooperstown. In fact, the brewery suggests cellaring the beer as one would store and age wine.
The brewery is committed to Belgian culture, as well as beer making, and sponsors events throughout the year, from a "Waffles and Puppets" celebration in October to an annual evocation of the Ommegang Pageant in July. Tours and tastings are offered throughout regular business hours.
Brewery Ommegang, 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown, New York (800.544.1809).