Monday, April 23, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
TRULY open-minded guests will appreciate snacking to a new complete re-mix of John Vanderslice's entire CD, Pixel Revolt. Banished are the trademark searing vocals, but studio alchemist Scott Stolter breathes strange new electronic life to the folk troubadour's songs, and best of all, the remixes are completely FREE at www.spinner.com. Run don't walk to this valuable website/resource.
A TRIO OF INTERNATIONAL RECIPES
MIXED VEGETABLE SALAD WITH HORSERADISH
Hailing from Lithuania this versatile salad is nice alongside assorted sausages or baked ham.
2 medium waxy potatoes (white), peeled and cut into cubes / Salt and Black Pepper / 2 carrots, finely chopped / 2 apples (Granny Smith is best here), peeled, cored and chopped / 1 small rutabaga (peeld and diced) / 2 T. prepared horseradish / 1/3 cup sour cream /1 T. caraway seeds
- Boil potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Place all remaining vegetables and apples in a large bowl with caraway seeds and salt and pepper.
- Mix together separately the horseradish and sour cream. Add to large bowl of veggies and apples. Toss thoroughly.
- CAREFULLY fold in potatoes to avoid breaking up too much.
Caribbean in origin - Cuban specifically - this is a soup loved by most, including small children. Serve as a first course to be followed with Havana Roasted Pork Shoulder. Consume with multiple Mojitos.
1 cup peanut butter / 1 onion, quartered / 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock (preferably homemade) / 1 cup half-and-half / Salt to taste / Cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce
- Add peanut butter and onions to blender or processor.
- Blend, adding stock for easier processing as the machine is running.
- Transfer to a large stockpot and place over medium heat.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Slowly stir in half-and-half, then season with salt and cayenne.
- Serve with toasted Cuban bread
MACKEREL FILLETS IN MISO SAUCE
Shop for mackeral fillets at your local fishmonger's shop or in any Asian seafood market. On a rare day you may find them frozen at your local Trader Joe's; these are quite good but should be dethawed carefully following package instructions, i.e. outside of the plastic wrap and slowly within the refrigerator. Be aware that mackerel is a STRONG-flavored fish, deliciously rich and oily with healthy Omega-3 antioxidants galore but not the best choice for anyone seeking a milder flavor. Good with rice (natch) or wasabi potato salad for a real taste of Tokyo. Cafe Drake often drapes these fillets over soba noodles.
1 T. salt (don't use less) / 1 1/2 lbs. mackerel fillets / 1 cup miso (red is best here but any kind will work we've discovered) / 1/4 cup sake / 1 T. fresh ginger, grated
- Sprinkle the salt over fish and let sit in refrigerator for 45-90 minutes. DO NOT leave longer or the texture will turn, um, unpleasant.
- Rinse and dry the fish.
- Combine 3/4 cup of the miso with about 3 T. of the sake (and a sprinkle of sugar if desired). Spread this over fillets and return to refrigerator (again, for 45-90 minutes).
- Rinse and dry once more.
- Combine remaining miso and sake and smear again over fish.
- Place on a baking sheet under hot broiler until cooked through. Check often for potential burning.
- Serve hot.
3 oz. package cream cheese with chives/ wedge of bleu cheese (to taste)/ chopped parsley (as topping)
- Cut and saute mushrooms in butter until tender.
- Add the spices, mustard and wine/vermouth to taste. Keeping on low heat, add the cream cheese and blend until soft.
- Crumble in the bleu cheese, a little at a time, taste as you stir. Add more seasonings or wine to personal taste.
- Pour mixture into serving bowl, top with parsley, chill.
- Remove from refrigerator about 1 hour before serving.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
- Add a generous amount of olive oil to a deep and hot skillet. Brown pork on all sides thoroughly. We've said it a million times before but DO NOT SKIMP OUT on this all-important step. It should take 10 minutes or so.
- Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, chile, rosemary, wine and salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 50 minutes while you do whatever you fancy.
- Now add the apples, water if the liquid is very low and continue to cook over low heat (uncovered) for about 30 minutes longer.
- Season again to taste with salt and pepper and if desired, add 1 orange sliced. Heat for 5 more minutes then serve piping hot with any broth accumulated.
- Receive unanimous praise from guests or yourself if dining alone.
BOMBAS ALLA SARDA
These Sardinian meatballs are addictively good, perfect with spaghetti or mashed potatoes for a sophisticated rustica touch.
1 lb. ground pork / 1/4 cup bread crumbs / 2 eggs / 6 T. pecorino or parmesan cheese / 2 cloves garlic, minced / 1/4 cup chopped parsley Sauce: 3 T. olive oil / 1 onion, chopped / 2 cups canned tomatoes, chopped and seeded / 1/2 cup water / Salt and black pepper
- In a large bowl combine pork, bread crumbs, eggs, cheese, garlic, parsley and some salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with well washed hands.
- Form into balls (about 1 inch in size).
- In a large skillet or saucepan, heat oil and fry onions for about 8 minutes until softened but not brown. Add tomatoes and water, mix well, then add meatballs.
- Bring to a low boil, reduce to gentle heat and simmer uncovered about 45 minutes.
- Season sauce with salt and pepper and serve hot.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Cafe Drake recently visited our Mother in Atlanta, GA for a belated birthday celebratory weekend. The photos above bear witness to our own creative origins and fount of inspiration. We had a lovely time both out on the town (lunches, dinner, a Behind-the-Scenes tour of the new aquarium) and relaxing in the cozy splendor of Cafe Sondra. Saturday was Mother's birthday dinner: we prepared Sweet Potato Pakoras with Brown Mustard Seed Cabbage Slaw and Cilantro Chutney as a starter, followed by a curried Chicken with mangoes entree, sided by dhal, cardamom rice and onion relish. Happy to report all was washed down with glasses of crisp bubbly. Cafe Sondra took kitchen duty the previous night, beginning with creamy mushrooms in vermouth and bleu cheese and Manhattans on the terrace, followed by a green salad accented with cheese and dried cranberries, followed even further by a casserole of Chicken Divan and mashed fingerling potatoes. Dessert was a scrumptious Frozen Key Lime Pie with Whipped Cream. A few recipes and reviews of Atlanta restaurants coming soon to Cafe Drake.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
GRANITA AL CAFFE
3 cups hot brewed espresso (if you use regular American-style coffee, brew double strength or the recipe will not work out) / 1/3 cup plus 1/2 TB. sugar / 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Put hot espresso in a bowl.
- Add 1/3 cup sugar and stir to dissolve.Cool to room temperature.
- Transfer to a shallow pan and place in the freezer.
- Every 30 minutes, using a fork, stir the granita, scraping it off the bottom and sides of the pan so that it freezes evenly.
- Continue to freeze and break up ice crystals until completely frozen, about 3 hours.
- When ready to serve, whip heavy cream and 1/2 TB. sugar until thickened.
- Spoon granita into chilled glasses and top with whipped cream.
Note: Only full-flavored espresso will really make a tasty granita. Cafe Bustello is a reliable and inexpensive brand available at all supermarkets. For heaven's sake DO NOT use any bland (and empty of antioxidants) decaffeinated hideousity.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Sunday, April 08, 2007
The Madness of King George (1993)
- Lightly poach 4 servings of salmon filets in vegetable broth. You may add a slice or two of lemon to the broth if desired. Covered in shallow pan, the fish should take no more than 10 minutes to cook completely. DO NOT allow the liquid to ever to a boil, and remove after 5 minutes if a medium-rare fish is to your taste.
- Remove salmon to a covered dish and keep warm.
- Beat one whole egg and one yolk; gradually beat in 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Set the dish over hot water, add the grated rind of an orange, one-third a cup of orange juice and one tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Continue beating while the sauce thickens.
- When thick as a boiled custard, remove to a dish of cold water, to stop the cooking. Season very sparsely with salt.
- Place warmed fish on a warmed plate and nestle a dollop of the sauce beside it.
From the days of King George III, serve with a Yorkshire Pudding made from the drippings, or roasted new potatoes and sauteed stringbeans.
1 4-5 lb. beef round tip roast /2 cloves garlic, crushed / 1 teaspoon salt /1 teaspoon cracked black pepper / 1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
- Preheat oven to 325°. Combine Seasoning ingredients and press evenly into the beef tip roast.
- Place beef tip roast on a rack in shallow roasting pan. Do not add water and do not cover.
- Roast for 25 to 35 minutes for medium rare to medium.
- A meat thermometer (if you don't have one, this is a valuable kitchen tool worth purchasing) inserted in thickest part should read 140° for medium rare, 155° for medium. Let roast stand 15 minutes. (Temperature will rise about 5°.) Slice and serve with vegetables of choice.
Follow with a dessert of simply strong black coffee and plenty of good single malt Scotch in honor of hard-drinking and hard-working Chief Detective Inspector Jane Tennyson.
- For 6 people clean 3 small Roman artichokes and cut into long pieces.
- Cook them in a pan with half tablespoon of bacon fat or the equivalent of oil, moisten with a few tablespoon of dry white wine to keep them tender and season with a finely-chopped sprig of parsley, some salt and pepper.
- In the meanwhile, beat 6 eggs in a bowl with some salt, rise the flame under the pan containing the artichokes and when the latter appear to be tender enough, pour over the egg.
- Allow to cook for a few minutes, then turn over and cook the other side for another few minutes on a high flame so that the outside gets nicely cooked and the inside remains soft.
BAKED SOLE ROMA
One of the most exciting culinary trends of recent years is the discovery - and translation - of ancient recipes, as below adapted to modern kitchens. For the hell of it we present the original recipe in its original Latin incarnation, for history buffs and those brushing up on school lessons of many years ago.
Patina solearum (from Apicius' De Re Coquinaria)
Patina solearum: soleas battues et curatas compones in patina. adicies oleum, liquamen, vinum. dum coquitur, teres piper, ligusticum, origanum, fricabis, suffundes ius, ova cruda et unum corpus facies. super soleas refundes, lento igni coques. cum duxerit, piper aspargis et inferes.
4 fillets of sole (or other delicate white fish) /1 onion /1 tbsp olive oil /1/2 cup Feta cheese /2/3 cup dry white wine / 2 tbsp. seedless raisins /2 tbsp white wine vinegar /2 tsp coriander seeds /1 tsp cumin /4 sprigs of thyme /sea salt to taste
- Slice the onion into very thin rings and gently fry these in olive oil until they become clear.
- Arrange these on the bottom of a large oven-proof dish and palce the fish fillets on top.
- Place the coriander and cumin in a mortar and crush with a pestle. Add the raisins and sprinkle over the fish fillets. Cover with a sprig of thyme.
- Mix the wine and vinegar together, season with salt and pour over the fish.
- Next, slice the Feta cheese as thinly as possible and use to entirely cover each fillet.
- Cover the dish with a lid and bake in an oven pre-heated to 325° for an hour.