Thursday, January 26, 2012

Game of the Goose Meatballs, 3 Different Ways


 Game of the Goose, American,1851 Strong Museum 

For good society is but a game,
'The royal game of Goose,' as I may say, 
Where every body has some separate aim,
An end to answer, or a plan to lay

Lord Byron, Don Juan 1819

For another meeting of 5 Star Foodie Makeover group, the topic is meatballs and I thought I would think outside the beef, veal & pork box and play with goose.  

As I searched for some goose images for the post,  I found an intriguing game that I had to share with you ––  Game of the Goose.  A roll of the dice takes you further on the board if you hit a goose image on your throw. I'd never heard of it, but as you can see Lord Byron referenced it most deftly in his poem, Don Juan. It was a popular game for a very long time and the game boards are just fabulous.

Game of the Goose, 1598

The game has been played for at least hundreds of years but its roots go back to the 2nd Millenium BC's Phaistos Disc,  nearly as far back in history as the meatball itself!

Jeu de l'oie

Enough about games, we're here to talk about meatballs!  It doesn’t take a food historian to figure that there have been meatballs since the dawn of forever.  I am sure they evolved when some canny cook, faced with unchewably tough meat, chopped it or smashed it, rolled it and stuck it on a stick to roast.  I imagine the concept was well received and the rest is, well, history. I checked the 4000 year-old Yale clay tablets and couldn’t find them there (although only a few tablets have survived… the meatball chapter could have been broken) but they are all over Apicius and in the Baghdad cookbook going back around 1500 years. Meatballs are all over the cuisines of the European and English Renaissance, in India, the Middleast and Africa.  You name the place… there are meatballs.  Meatballs aren’t just for your tomato-sauced spaghetti either, there are a million different kinds made from just about anything.

Interestingly enough, Apicius (you can read about it HERE) is full of meatball recipes and many of them are made with fowl.  There is a whole chapter devoted to ‘minces”. Apicius even uses the technique of adding softened bread to the mix, albeit soaked in wine rather than milk. 

The Food Timeline interpreted a line in Apicius to mean that with ground meat peacock is the best, followed by rabbit, lobster, chicken and pig, in that order (when I read it, I wasn’t so sure it only meant ground meat… but that’s me).  There are indeed meatball recipes for all of them (come on, don’t lobster meatballs sound interesting?). No goose perhaps, but peacock is a flavor-cousin. I was going to make goose meatballs.


I posed this concept to Jim Schlitz when I saw him a few weeks ago on his visit to NYC.  He is the owner of Schiltz Goose Farm  in South Dakota.  He sent me a 10-pound package of trimmings to make into ground goose meat.    It is easier to do if you use their goose breast that's 1.5 - 2.5 pounds with no waste (almost no work at all that way).  Divide the meat and fat up to get the right proportion, cut it into chunks, and freeze it up for an hour and then put it through the meat grinder twice (large and small disk in the Kitchenaid—but you can use your food processor and pulse it to grind).   7 ½ pounds of the trimmings gave me 3 pounds 9 ounces of meat.  What happened to the other 2 ½?  Petunia, the St. Bernard, ate 2 ½ pounds of raw goose!!  She is so in the doghouse for stealing the meat off the kitchen table –– gives you an idea how good the goose is!



I looked to a favorite source for how best to work with ground goose. Hank Shaw at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook  is a wizard with goose and game (you need to buy his indispensible book Hunt, Gather, Cook –– I use it all the time when I’m doing game).  His goose sausage had lovely spicing, with wine, 5 spice, sage and juniper and he had actually made duck meatballs… I thought I would use some of his methods.  I used a combination of meat and goose fat (and rendered the leftovers for more delicious goose fat for my freezer).  I then combined it with a little ground pork to make my meatballs. Another thing that I wanted to use,  based on old Apicius sauce, was fig.  I had just used a little fig jam in a sauce for a beef stew and found the result a delight… and we all know how good those meatballs are at Ikea with lingonberry.  Meatballs really go well with a bit of sweet fruit with them!

If you make these with ground chicken or turkey they are easy as could be.  If you grind the meat… it’s a recipe that takes time, but isn’t hard.  The glaze is delicious.

You can serve them over noodles or as an appetizer on a skewer or with toothpicks.  They were also great on focaccia with a little St. Andre cheese.



Game of the Goose Meatballs serves 4

1 pound of goose or duck (2/3 meat, 1/3 fat –either what comes with the meat or with added pork fat if you don’t have enough) - get your goose breast from Schiltz Goose Farm , best on the planet
OR, the easy way –– use ground chicken or turkey thigh meat as is
¼ lb ground pork
3 T port or madeira
1 T Cognac or Armagnac
1 clove garlic, minced or put through a press.
½ t nutmeg
¼ c mixed fresh herbs (thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary, parsley), chopped
½  t 5-spice powder
1 t crushed juniper berries, chopped
1 t  brined green peppercorns, chopped
2 t  ground black pepper
2 t salt or to taste
2  T fig jam (or chop and soak 1 or 2 dried figs in port or madeira for a few hours until softened)

1/3 c hot milk
1 cup bread cubes, without crusts
1 egg

2 T olive oil

Cream Sauce (optional)

1 ½ c warm stock
3 T flour
¼ c cream
salt to taste
½ t pepper
¼ t nutmeg
½ t thyme
2 T madeira or sherry

 Cut the meat and fat into chunks and freeze 1 hour.  Put through the meat grinder twice, large and small disk or pulse a few times in a processor till ground fairly fine. Skip this step if you are using ground chicken or turkey thigh meat.

Put the bread in the milk and let sit till bread becomes like a paste.  Whip up the eggs and add the liquors and the bread.  Combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well, then mix with the meats.  Put the mixture in the food processor and process a few pulses… it will look a bit messy, but don’t worry.  Put back in the fridge to chill… this also makes the flavors come together. 

After an hour, make into meatballs and put back in the fridge. Warm the oil in a large skillet and brown the meatballs on all sides over a medium flame. Cook the meatballs till done and remove from the pan.

While the meatballs are cooking make the glaze.

If you want to serve with the cream sauce, pour off most of the fat from the pan and sprinkle the flour in the pan.  Slowly add the stock and stir as it thickens to a paste, stirring all the while.  Keep adding stock, stirring all the while till you have a good sauce, add the cream and taste for seasoning.

Roll the meatballs in the glaze to warm and coat.  Serve with the cream sauce on the plate if you would like, or toss the cream sauce with fresh noodles or serve as an hors d’oeurvre with toothpicks or as a snack on bread with a little St Andre cheese, warmed for a melting minute in a toaster oven.

Glaze

4 c unsalted chicken stock, reduced to 1 cup
2 -3 T fig jam to taste (or chop and soak 2 dried figs in port or madeira for a few hours)
s & p to taste
1 T madeira

Take the reduced chicken stock and add the fig and madeira, s & p to taste. Warm up all the ingredients (if you want to be fancy, you can strain it at this point).   Roll the meatballs in it to glaze.

 
Meatballs on pasta with the cream sauce


 Meatballs on warm focaccia with melted St. Andre cheese - perfect for the Superbowl!










Deborah over at A Doctor's Kitchen has created Trufflehead, an iPhone/iPad healthy cooking app for cooks of all levels. It’s packed with over 260 full-flavored recipes, as well as 170 step-specific technique demos, ingredient and equipment IDs, selection and storage info, and “Priority Organics” labeling of ingredients best purchase in organic form. Check out the Trufflehead video on YouTube.  I gave it to a young friend who is just learning how to cook and she was crazy about it.. especially all the tutorials on how to prep things, chop things... well it's great.  I like the shopping list you can make up and send out to whoever is running a shopping errand for you... check it out! 

Thanks to Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday

Thanks again to my friend Linda at Statewide Marble in Jersey City for the gorgeous piece of stone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs and Crêpes Suzette

Picture from Downton Abbey

I am hooked on the PBS series, Downton Abbey and have been since it premiered last year.  What’s not to love?  It has great drama, wonderful actors and it’s shot in one of the great houses of England.  For an hour on Sunday, the present fades away and it’s 1914 (and if you've missed them, you can watch them all on PBS.org).

Downton Abbey flowed from the golden pen (keyboard?) of Julian Fellowes who also wrote the sparkling, Oscar-winning script for Gosford Park in 2001–– a deliciously detailed story about a house party murder mystery set in 1932, filmed mostly at real locations in Wrotham Park and Syon House, and directed by Robert Altman. After a long if quiet career as a character actor, Fellowes has hit his stride later in life as the consummate creator of dramas about the aristocracy and their servants in a changing cultural climate.

Fellowes said in a Daily Mail piece that he was approached in 2009 to do a series that would  “revisit Gosford Park territory” after the film was such a hit.  He wasn’t keen on the idea at the beginning, worrying “it would be like trying to make lightning strike twice in the same place’, but then embraced the challenge.  Interestingly, he had been reading about American heiresses coming to England at the time and began by imagining a single character and her story ––a rich American heiress marrying into a title –– the rest of the script fell into place.

Downton Abbey is shot at the magnificent Highclere Castle in Hampshire England, home (since 1679) of the Carnarvon family. It currently houses the 8th Earl, George Herbert.  Although there has been a structure there since the middle ages, the better part of the current house was completely remodeled in the 19th century in the Jacobean style.



The heiress that helped the Carnarvon family at the end of the 19th century was not American but rather a beautiful and diminutive Englishwoman, Almina Wombwell, referred to as a “pocket Venus”, who married the 5th Earl.  He was the famous Lord Carnarvon that financed Egyptologist Howard Carter’s  digging about in The Valley of Kings that led to the sensational discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun  in 1922.

Almina was the illegitimate daughter of Alfred de Rothchild who brought a £500,000 dowry from her “godfather Alfred” to sweeten the pot for Carnarvon undertaking a socially dangerous union. She wasn’t officially illegitimate ––she was christened Wombwell after the scamp her French mother had married –– but she was spurned by most of society. Lord Carnarvon was not deterred, he had his own demons to contend with, not the least of which were crushing sporting debts that the marriage erased. She showed her gratitude by underwriting his Egyptian digs. Although not American, she was certainly an outsider and you could say she was one of the more highly colored inspirations for the Wisconsin heiress that was to become Lady Cora (according to Fellowes there were 350 American heiresses that saved British royalty from ruin in the 19th Century –– the NYT's has a great story about Edith Wharton and this trend).


Photos of house from Highclere Castle site



It seems that the series came just in time to save the current Lord Carnarvon from a distasteful sale of some of his land for a housing development to pay for £12 million in necessary repairs (I read that most of the upstairs rooms were in a terrible state of decay with mold and leaks undermining the structure of the house –– the photos were disturbing). Andrew Lloyd Webber also offered to buy the Highclere to house his massive art collection after hearing it was in tough straights ... an offer that mightily insulted Lord Carnavon.

 

Only the grand rooms downstairs have been well maintained.  Downton Abbey has proved to be a windfall for the Earl who’s not only reaped location fees, he’s also seen an explosion in tourism at the house.  Downton has saved Highclere. Bravo!

 

 

It’s not just the Highclere Castle location that makes the series so richly textured.  Fellowes has been a stickler on the use of correct props, dressing and service for the series –– he has a gimlet eye for the minutia of this stately, structured world. Production also had an historical expert on hand named Alistair Bruce to answer any questions about protocol that came up, from seating to eating –– like would asparagus be eaten with the fingers? Answer? Bruce was unavailable as cameras were about to roll so they chopped them to look like green beans so as not to make an incorrect choice.  Even the menus were written out in French, as would have been the fashion (although, if one dish wasn’t translatable then the whole menu would have been in English –– wonder who downstairs was writing the French?).

I think one of the reasons the show is so addictive is that not a hair is out of place in the recreation of WWI England so you feel as if you are truly there.


Pictures that follow are from Downton Abbey

Most of the silver and glassware used are antiques from the period around the WWI or earlier… some things were borrowed from Highclere.  The dishes are Spode and the fictional crest of Earl of Grantham was created by the art director Charmian Woods and applied to each and every plate by the art department.


The table settings and floral arrangements were created from historical images.  The use of greens placed directly on the table rather that big tall arrangements must have made the film crew terribly happy… nothing to get in the way for shooting!


Still, there was much to be done by the crew with all the table service and matching and endless replacements of the food that was served and eaten over and over again during the course of filming. 



Actors are always reminded not to eat too much in their first take.  After 12 hours of shooting the same scene, they will have to eat the same food through all the takes ––singles, doubles, wides and reverses.

 


I remember as a kid being endlessly fascinated at the way servants held the silver trays and covered dishes and the guests helped themselves with such grace with double spoons or large forks and such… one waiter with the fish, another following with the sauce… remarkable man power involved in serving a meal!



Things were different for the downstairs scenes.  The kitchen area is an impeccably outfitted set on a London stage and not at Highclere since the old kitchen didn’t exist any longer (the remarkable call board was custom made by the last remaining craftsman specializing in this old fashioned contraption… and it actually worked).  It was mentioned in a Daily Mail article that shooting would often involve an actor leaving the kitchen set holding a tray of food and delivering it to the dining room at Highclere 2 weeks later.  It made for nerve-wracking continuity matching.


I loved this photo of crew fussing over the actors and the set and the food plates covered with foil to keep 
them from congealing (and keep wardrobe sleeves out of the sauce).

Fellowes said that recipes for all the food all came from Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management .  Although published in the 1860’s, the book was widely reprinted and altered to account for changes in style and equipment (gas stoves, for instance) and was still very popular in the early 20th century.  It is entirely possible that Downton’s cook, Mrs. Patmore, had this book as a reference on that shelf above the desk.

I was looking for things to make when I watched the first show of the second season. When a new maid told the downstairs staff she longed to try the Crêpes Suzette they were serving at a Grantham dinner that evening (very much an upstair’s treat), it seemed an invitation to make the dish.  What happened with the cheeky maid’s request to have the Lord and Ladies’ leftover crêpes made me smile –– the maid didn’t get her wish because she had ticked off the cook, Mrs. Patmore.
 



Rather than give the leftover pancake (crêpe) to the maid…


Mrs. Patmore gives it to the master’s dog, Isis (who was called Pharoah earlier)

Crêpes Suzette, at least according to one version of its history, was a favorite of soon to be King Edward VII of England (because Victoria lived so long, he was only king from 1902 to his death in 1910).

Henri Charpentier preparing Crêpes Suzette

Henri Charpentier (1880-1961), in his very charming autobiography, Life a la Henri: Being the Memories of Henri Charpentier  (a great favorite of Alice Waters) tells of the near disaster that created the dessert that earlier had just been crepes in orange sauce when he worked at the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo in 1895.  While preparing the simpler dish for Edward, he mistakenly lit up the liquors while warming them.  It made for a dramatic presentation and improved the flavor instead of ruining it. Charpentier recalled,  “It was, I thought, the most delicious medley of sweet flavors I had ever tasted. I still think so. That accident of the flame was precisely what was needed to bring all those various instruments into one harmony of taste . . . He [Edward] ate the pancakes with a fork; but he used a spoon to capture the remaining syrup.” His version of the legend has the dessert named in honor of Edward’s niece, Princess Suzanne who accompanied him at this momentous luncheon. “Thus was born and baptized this confection, one taste of which, I really believe, would reform a cannibal into a civilized gentleman. The next day I received a present from the Prince, a jeweled ring, a panama hat and a cane.”  Priceless.

Although there is another candidate for the creator of the dish (an actress named Suzette had to serve pre-prepared crêpes on stage and lit them up for extra drama and to warm the cold crêpes for her fellow cast members who had to eat them), I like this story best.

It would only be right, given its connection to a recent English King, that it would be a favorite at Downton. The recipe is not in Mrs. Beeton’s original book that I have (it was written 30 years before the dessert arrived on the scene) so I used Henri’s original recipe.

The way Charpentier’s version differs from modern versions is that he uses 3 liqueurs, Maraschino, Kirsch and Curaçao instead of today’s standard Grand Marnier and no additional orange juice... it also uses buckets of butter!  It does not use the citrus sugar method that I remember from the first time I had it, with the maître d’ rubbing cubes of sugar on the lemons and oranges and using the cubes… it was almost as fun to watch as a kid as the flaming part.  It is meant to impress.

It is quite easy to make most of it ahead and finish it a minute before serving.  I thought a few orange suprêmes would be a welcome addition to this great classic and you can whip up a batch and share it with your friends watching the show together with a glass of bubbly!

These crêpes are very eggy... don't get me wrong, they are delicious in the sauce but not what many are used to.   I enclose a less eggy recipe just in case.  There is also a lot of sauce, so be generous with it! The dish is insanely luxurious with all the butter and liquor... you can see why someone would long to try it after catching the scent of it wafting from the dining room... it is intoxicating... the scent of aristocracy.



Crêpes Suzette for 2, original recipe


Crêpes, original recipe (makes 4 good size crêpes)

3 eggs
2 T flour
1 T water
1 T milk
pinch of salt
1-2 T butter

Stir to the consistency of thick olive oil and let rest for 30 minutes to an hour (modern change, I put all the ingredients in a blender and mix then strain the batter and use it after it rests 15 minutes). 

For the first crepe, generously coat the pan with butter… but do not puddle it… too much butter makes bad crepes.  After that, add a smear of butter for each crepe (I often use a stick of butter and paint the pan with it). Make crepes using all the batter and fold each one twice, forming a wedge shape and reserve.

Crepes with less egg

¾ c milk
2 eggs
½ c flour
¼ t salt

Put everything in the blender and blend.  Strain into a bowl and cover for 15 -30 minutes then continue with the instructions above.



Sauce

Piece of lemon peel the size of the ball of your thumb, cut in thin strips
Piece of orange peel the size of the ball of your thumb, cut in thin strips

OR use a micro plane and grate the zest into the sugar (which is what I did)

2 T vanilla sugar (you can make this by scraping a pinch of vanilla off the pod into the sugar or stir a drop of vanilla into sugar)

Combine and let sit 2 days (I am not sure this is really necessary, I think you can use it soon after making it)

¼ lb butter
5 oz. (he calls for 5 ponies) of an equal blend of maraschino, curaçao and kirshwasser (if you don’t have them all, you can use just Curaçao or Grand Marnier or Cointreau or Triple Sec which are all orange-flavored like curaçao)

suprêmes of 1 blood orange (skinless, membraneless segments cut away from the orange -I threw the juice that collect from doing it into the butter)
orange zest for decoration (optional)

Melt butter.  When it bubbles, add 3 ponies of liqueur blend, light on fire –– there will be a LOT of fire (it will go up about 6”) so pay attention, have a lid handy just in case.  I didn’t need it but good to have to be on the safe side… don’t have anything flammable hanging around it!!!

As the fire goes out, add the vanilla sugar and stir till it is melted.  Add the crepes and turn them ‘deftly’ in the hot sauce.  Then add 2 more ponies of mixed liqueurs, flame again and serve.  I had trouble with the second light.  Might be good to light the alcohol in a small skillet and pour or at least warm the alcohol to get the vapors going. Place the crepes on the plate, toss the suprêmes and zest on top and pour the sauce over all.

**I want to mention I got most of my information from a series of articles in the Daily Mail and ITV… bravo for their great research.  Also, if you want to learn more, Fellowes’ niece Jessica has written a companion book to the series that has most of this information and much more in The World of Downton Abbey.





Deborah over at A Doctor's Kitchen has created Trufflehead, an iPhone/iPad healthy cooking app for cooks of all levels. It’s packed with over 260 full-flavored recipes, as well as 170 step-specific technique demos, ingredient and equipment IDs, selection and storage info, and “Priority Organics” labeling of ingredients best purchase in organic form. Check out the Trufflehead video on YouTube.  I gave it to a young friend who is just learning how to cook and she was crazy about it.. especially all the tutorials on how to prep things, chop things... well it's great.  I like the shopping list you can make up and send out to whoever is running a shopping errand for you... check it out! 

Crepes

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Harry Luke –– World Traveling, Copeaux Favorite (Gorgonzola Bacon Crisps) and Pineapple Mousse


Harry Luke with Edward, Prince of Wales, 1925, Sierra Leone

Sir Harry Luke was born Harry Lukach in London in 1884.  His father was Austro-Hungarian and his mother was Polish nobility.

After education at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford, he went on to an illustrious career in the Foreign Service that took him from Barbados to Cyprus to Georgia and Armenia, then to Jerusalem/Palestine, Sierra Leone, Malta, Fiji and the Caribbean with others in between.  He died in Cyprus in 1969.


Luke with Hashimite Dynasty, Jerusalem, 1929 (Luke is right of center with his son)

His friend, the author  Lawrence Durrell  said of Harry in Bitter Lemons  (his book on his time in Cyprus),  “ Sir Harry Luke, whose gentleness, and magnanimity of soul were married to a mind far reaching and acute, who was fantastically erudite without being bookish, and whose life had been one of travel and adventure…” The Dictionary of National Biography said his diplomatic mission “sprang…from conscience and culture… combined with a prismatic cosmopolitanism.”


Harry Luke in Jerusalem, 1924 (standing 3rd from right)

During his life he wrote many books on the countries he was posted to, bartered many treaties and ate many meals. All the while he took notes about the foods he ate (lucky for us) and in 1954 wrote a book called The Tenth Muse (its introduction supplied most of the information about Luke).

I found 10th Muse last year reading  An Omelette and a Glass of Wine by British food goddess, Elizabeth David.  She loved it and recommended it highly.  I can see why.   It has 400 recipes from great cooks all over the world and some fine tales.  The 10th Muse, by the way, is Nectambrosia –– a muse invented by Sir Harry to overcome the lapse of the Greeks.  They neglected to include food’s muse with those for drama, dancing and poetry and the rest, can you imagine?

David said “During a lifetime spent –– and uncommonly well spent, one deduces from the book – in the Colonial Service, Sir Harry has collected recipes from the British Residencies and Government Houses, from their chatelaines, their cooks –– cooks Maltese and Cypriot, Hindu and Persian and Assyrian, cooks Goanese and Polynesian, cooks naval, military and consular, cooks in Union Clubs in South American capitals, cooks of French Princes and Brazilian countesses, of Turkish Grand Viziers and Patriarchs of the Syrian Orthodox Church –– and in setting down his recipes, Sir Harry has acknowledged the source of each and every one …. Few authors… provide the stimulus, the improbable information, the traveller’s tales, the new visions which to me makes the  book a true collector’s piece.” 


Luke with Queen Salote, Tonga, 1938


Luke began his love affair with food as a child when his parents took him along on their frequent trips to Europe. It was from those trips he remembers Sunday lunches at Voisin on the Rue St-Honoré (headed by legendary chef Choron).  It made such an impression on child Harry, that he recalls the meal perfectly –– petite marmite, chateaubriand with a “pyramid of butter and chopped parsley on top”, sauce Bearnaise, pommes soufflés followed by perfect brie, toasted pain de ménage and Cuisse-Madame pears.  No wonder that he was bitten by the travel bug ––with such experiences to inspire him so early in life.

Luke dined on peacocks, ostriches, armadillos, iguanas and very delicious smoked reindeer tongue as well as politely partaking of what most of us would consider unsavory or even inedible dishes like sea-slug broth in the South Pacific or a dish made from the brown and green milt of the mbalolo (an 18” clear sea-worm in Fiji) that is considered delicious by the natives. 

He also regales his readers with stories of grand feasts that most of us can’t even dream of and exotic meals that were delicious to the point of rapture.

He talks about the height of subtlety in the famous “State Soup of the Hapsburgs” served (from the time of Charles V to that of Franz Joseph) in small white and gold cups… entire herd’s worth of animal bits were reduced and reduced again, clarified with egg white, ground meat and liver and finished with the flesh of flocks of many different fowls… wild and domestic.  It took 48 hours and 10 people to make it and served 1000 to 2500 people.


Melek Taus, Peacock Angel of the Yezidi –– not the Devil!

He ate with Yezidis (mistakenly known as Devil worshippers because of a bad translation) in a palace outside of Mosul (that had excellent, sophisticated cuisine), and shared delectable food with Dervishes in Turkey with gorgeous meat patties, stuffed vegetables and honeyed desserts served on tinned copper plates.

He gave thanks to his own cooks in all the places he had lived –– a nice touch and appropriate since he did not cook himself.  He did take great pains to give proper instruction to his staff in his many kitchens all over the world –– he was proud of his ability to speak the language of the kitchen well.  I imagine that’s where the collection of cookbooks and recipes came in.

I always love finding out what cookbooks people own, and Luke didn’t disappoint. I found a whole new selection I had never heard of, yippee!  He revealed that the first cookbook he ever owned was Leaves from our Tuscan Kitchen (for cooking vegetables) by Janet Ross of the Villa of Poggio Gherardo (where some of the Decameron tales were told and where young Luke met Ms Ross in her 80’s).  He also praised French Dishes for English Tables by Berjane, The Cordon Bleu Cookbook by Dione Lucas, Wiener Küche by Hess and Recipes from Vienna by Bac and mentioned Elizabeth David fondly.

He didn’t forget American food in his list and cited The United States Regional Cookbook by Berolzheimer and Steiff’s Eat Drink and be Merry in Maryland as favorites. He also kept a private stock of recipes –– each one attached to the person/place he had gotten it from like taste postcards.

He recounts extravagant meals –– a perfect “dîner de circonstance” with British royalty in France just before the outbreak of WWII that had the most remarkable wines on the planet and all manner of quail, duck, truffles and a dessert called “ La Mousse Glaceé Singapour” that sounds terribly exotic.








 
Life Magazine August 15 1938

 

After all these travels, or maybe because of them, one of his favorite meals was a 1959 meal at his old school, Trinity College, Oxford.  Everything from the oysters to the trout, hams and chickens were divinely English and of the best quality… washed down by good solid wines from a well-tended cellar.

Menu 1959 Domus Dinner, Trinity College, Oxford

White Burgundy
Corton Charlemagne
1951                                        Huitres Naturel

                                                Tortue Claire

Moselle:
Zeltinger Himmelreich
1949                                        Truite Saumoneé a la Colbert
(Breaded and fried with Maitre d’Hotel butter)

Claret
Ch. Cheval Blanc
1947                                        Poulet Sauté Hongroise
                                                (Chicken with a paprika cream sauce)
                                                Petits Pois au Beurre
Pommes de Terre Duchess
(purée of potato with egg, piped and baked)

Champagne
Pommery & Greno    
1949                                        Jambon de York Braisé

                                                Ananas Georgette

                                                Copeaux Favorite

Port
Warre 1920
Madeira                                   Dessert
Bual 1849
Cognac                                   
Fine Old Demelle’s 
                                

High Table Trinity College, Oxford

Although there are recipes in the book for everything from erdapfelschmarn to fezanjan, I decided to make 2 things from that Oxford dinner… Copeaux Favorite (gorgonzola with bacon in puff pastry sticks)… which is just an indecent idea… and Ananas Georgette (pineapple and Bavarian cream with cherry/maraschino jelly) I did attempt to add pineapple purée to the Bavoroise but did not like the result and it would not set... best to keep them separate (I found out afterward an enzyme in the pineapple is the culprit... stops the gelatin from setting unless the pineapple has been cooked).  It was traditionally served with the Bavaroise spooned into a hollowed out pineapple shell, maraschino jelly on the top and the crown of the pineapple replaced... I chose to do it this way.  To get the mold to hold I had to freeze it... which was quite good actually, but not the way it was done.

I may add that the paprika sauce Hongroise is brilliant and delicious… made it for a veal chop HERE and was mad for it… would be fabulous with chicken… I can see why he loved this dinner.



Because of my wonderful samples of old Madeiras from Rare Wine Company, I had a few swallows of a D'Oliveira Malvesia from 1900... about the same relative age as Luke's 1849 would have been at his dinner... I wanted to see what it would have been like with the Copeaux Favorite.  Fabulous... since the samples are given to me use to experiment with food are small (they are valuable wines, after all) I rarely drink them... it was a great pleasure to do so!!  The pastries were excellent with one of Rare Wine's well-priced blends from the Historic Series as well. Savories and madeiras  are a great combination coming back into fashion these days.

Oh yes, Luke also had a very interesting drink section in the book…  with things like Mosul Mist (brandy and crème de menthe) or a regimental punch of the Royal Irish Fusiliers called a Barrosa Cup (brandy, peach brandy, cherry whiskey, kimmel, rind of lemon and peel of cucumber, brown curacao, maraschino, sherry, bitter almond, sugar and champagne that he swears doesn’t give you a hangover).  What caught my eye was a fairly simple 18th-century drink served in Barbados… a Sangaree that I will share with you.  It's kind of like a madeira scented lime drink... very lovely.



Copeaux Favorite, makes 8

1/3 pound of gorgonzola or Stilton
8 pieces of bacon, sliced in half length-wise
8 pieces of puff pastry, 2 1/2" x 6-8” (make it wider if you want more cheese!)
1 egg, beaten

Cook the bacon in the microwave in paper towel for 2 minutes or until crisp.  Remove and lay on fresh towels… cool.

Put out your pastry on a piece of parchment on a sheet pan.  Paint the pastry lightly with the egg.   and Lay the bacon down and press into the dough,  crumble cheese on ½ the dough then fold the pastry over to make a long cigar shape.  Use a fork to press the edges together firmly to create a seal.  Brush the pastries with egg and put in the fridge.

Heat the oven to 425º.  Remove the pastries and put into the oven for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 375ºfor 7 to 10 minutes or until they are nicely browned and remove.






Ananas Georgette


1 recipe for maraschino jelly
1 recipe for Creme Bavoraise
1 c sliced fresh pineapple

Pour gelatin into a mold and chill for an hour.  Pour crème bavarois into a mold and chill them both.
Unmold and serve with slices of pineapple


Maraschino Cherry Jelly

2/3 to 3/4 c Sour Cherry Juice
3 to 4 T Maraschino liqueur
2 oz sugar
juice of ½ lemon
1 ½ t gelatin (add a little more if you want it very stiff)

Make the jelly as strongly flavored with maraschino as you would like.  Combine all the ingredients and soak the gelatin in them for 1/2 an hour.  Gently bring to a boil and pour into you molds.  This makes a stiff jelly that will be firm in a mold and  not spread everywhere.  If you want a looser jelly, use a little less gelatin.


Crème Bavoroise (based on Michael Symon's recipe)

1 c cream + 2 T
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
3 egg yolks
2 T sugar
gelatin
1 c plus 2 T cream, whipped

Dissolve the gelatin in 2 T milk.  Boil the cream and set aside.  Whip the yolks and sugar till golden.  Add the hot cream and whip.  Put back in the pot and stir until it reaches 170º.   Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and the gelatin.  Stir well to blend and strain.  Put the mixture in a container
over a bowl of ice and chill.  When cooled, add the whipped cream –– folding it in gently. It takes 4 hours to set (if you don't try to put pineapple in it!... you can see the delicious if creamy result).



Sangaree

1 sherry glass of Madeira ( I used Rare Wine Co.'s NY Malmsey)
½ pint water
juice of 1 lime (reserve slice for garnish)
pinch of nutmeg
sugar to taste (I used 1 1/2 t.)
ice.

Mix it all up and serve in a long glass over ice.


Thanks again to my friend Linda at Statewide Marble in Jersey City for the gorgeous piece of stone!


Thanks to Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday!