Posts from January 2014

Capers, Anchovies, Lemon Zest, German Style Goose Meatballs from Duck, Duck, Goose

Raise your Duck and Goose prepping technique and cooking chops with Duck, Duck, Goose Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Ducks and Geese, both Wild and Domesticated (Ten Speed Press, October 2013) by Hank Shaw.

Goose Meatballs, German Style

Königsberger Klopse is a classic German recipe that uses several ingredients Americans don’t normally associate with German food: capers, anchovies, and lemon zest. My version is an adaptation of a recipe in Mimi Sheraton’s classic, The German Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking. The dish originates in East Prussia, where Königsberg once stood. The Russians leveled the city during World War II and rebuilt it as Kaliningrad.

Historically, these meatballs (pronounced something like ker-nigs-burger klop-shuh) are made from veal or pork, but as both the Germans and the Russians eat a lot of goose, I made them with ground goose. Duck, of course, works as well.

Serve the meatballs with boiled or mashed potatoes or a good German bread and a dark, malty beer.


2 tablespoons duck fat or unsalted butter
1 cup minced yellow or white onion
Kosher salt
1½ pounds ground goose or duck (see opposite)
⅔ cup dried bread crumbs
2 teaspoons anchovy paste, or 5 anchovies, mashed
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cups Basic Duck Stock (page 222) or beef stock


3 tablespoons duck fat or unsalted butter
½ cup minced yellow or white onion
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 to 4 tablespoons sour cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Goose Meatballs

To make the meatballs, in a small frying pan, heat the duck fat over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Do not allow it to brown. Sprinkle a little salt over the onion as it cooks. When the onion is ready, remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

If you are not using meat that is already ground, you can make a better, smoother meatball by doing the
following: cut the meat and fat into 1-inch pieces, and put them in a large bowl. Add the cooked onion, bread crumbs, anchovy paste, lemon zest, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper to the bowl. Fit your meat grinder with the fine die, and pass the meat mixture through the grinder. Then add the eggs and Worcestershire sauce and mix in by hand. If using already-ground meat, in a bowl, combine the meat with all of the other ingredients and mix together with your hands.

Line a baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper. Form the meat mixture into small meatballs with a teaspoon, placing them on the prepared baking sheet

as they are shaped. You can make them bigger, but a heaping teaspoon makes a nice size.

Pour the stock into a pan large enough to accommodate all of the meatballs at the same time. A wide, deep sauté pan with a lid is a good choice. Place the stock over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. When the stock is simmering, carefully add the meatballs. When all of the meatballs are in the pan, turn down the heat as low as it will go. If all of the meatballs are not submerged in the stock, it will be okay. Cover the pan and let the meatballs cook gently for 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the meatballs and set them aside on a platter.

Pour the stock into a heatproof container and reserve it. To make the sauce, wipe the pan out with a paper towel, set it over medium-high heat, and add the duck fat. When the fat is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Do not allow the onion to brown. Add the flour, mix well, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, for a few minutes, until the mixture is the color of coffee with cream.

Add the reserved hot stock, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Continue to add the stock until you have a sauce the consistency of thin gravy—not as thick as Thanksgiving gravy and not thin like soup. You probably will not need all 4 cups of the stock.

Return the meatballs to the sauce and add the capers. Turn down the heat to low and heat until the meatballs are heated through. Add the parsley and remove from the heat.

Serve the meatballs at once. Pass the sour cream and pepper at the table, and invite diners to add as much as they like. This ensures the sour cream won’t curdle from overheating on the stove top and will allow diners to make their servings as creamy as they like.

(* Reprinted with permission from Duck, Duck, Goose by Hank Shaw, copyright (c) 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photography (c) 2013 by Holly A. Heyser)


Spread the Word, Kino/Film, Soviet Posters of Silent Era, GRAD London, January 17-March 29

2004 happens to be UK/Russia year of culture.

First salvo of events includes Kino/Film: Soviet Posters of the Silent Screen which opens January 17, 2014 at GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design in London.

What's on offer:

"The 1920s saw the advent of new and radical graphic design created to advertise silent films across the Soviet Union. Film posters of this era have become masterpieces in their own right, produced at a time when innovative on-screen techniques were being incorporated into the design of advertisements. Some 30 works by the brothers Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg, Yakov Ruklevsky, Aleksandr Naumov, Mikhail Dlugach and Nikolai Prusakov, will be on display. 

During the mid- to late-1920s cinema flourished in the Soviet Union. A relatively new art form, film matched the revolutionary ethos of an emerging generation of artists for whom fine art was deemed bourgeois. The advantages of using film as a propaganda tool for the largely illiterate masses were not lost on the government, who supported the burgeoning film industry. A state-controlled organisation, Sovkino, managed the distribution of foreign films, including those from the US which were very popular; profits were used to subsidise domestic film production. These Soviet films soon gained an international reputation through feature-length masterworks such as Battleship Potemkin. 
GARD poster_3
To accompany the exhibition GRAD will host screenings to showcase the innovative techniques employed by the poster artists and film-makers of this era. Excerpts of seminal films, among them October, The End of St Petersburg or Storm Over Asia, will highlight the symbiotic relationship between the pioneering vision of directors such as Sergei Eisenstein and Vsevolod Pudovkin and the output of the poster artists engaged to promote them. Techniques such as cinematic montage, repetition, asymmetric viewpoints and dramatic foreshortenings were used in the creation of both the films and the posters, leading to the appearance of a distinctive and highly influential body of design. Mass produced during the 1920s, the posters were made for one use only and few originals survive. The exhibition at GRAD is a rare opportunity to see these seminal works, many of which have not been exhibited in the UK before."

The exhibit is co-curated by Elena Sudakova, director of GRAD, and film critic and art historian Lutz Becker.

It runs until March 29, 2014.

(* Illustration above from GRAD exhibit pages)

No Moratorium on Alcohol Consumption in Tokyo after Holidays writes William Bradbury

In No refuge from booze in Tokyo, paradise for alcoholics in denial (Foreign Agenda, Japan Times, January 15), William Bradbury, a freelance writer and musician based in Tokyo, describes how there is no moratorium on alcohol consumption once end of the year holidays are over.

He describes Tokyo as a place where you can consume alcohol 24/7 as there is always a place opened selling it.

According to his piece, no one will voice their opinion or intervene if faced with a drunk disorderly conduct except the police.


William Bradbury is also involved in some form with music outfit The Zeppo who released Moratorium (free download).

He's the box man in photo above (from his Twitter profile).

Hard task in Tokyo: Staying off the Wagon for Tokyo Thursdays # 275

Previously: Took 65 Years for 'Osamu Tezuka: The Mysterious Underground Men' English Version to Exist

No Moonshine Cake, Grappa, Currant and Pine Nut Torte from 'Seriously Bitter Sweet'

Let your cake imbibe with this third excerpt from Seriously Bitter Sweet The Ultimate Dessert Maker's Guide to Chocolate (Artisan Books, October 2013) by Alice Medrich... 

Grappa, Currant, and Pine Nut Torte

Serves 16 to 18

Grappa is an unaged Italian brandy. Traditionally distilled from the leftover (and not necessarily fresh or first-quality) juice left on the skins after pressing grapes to make wine, grappa bore some resemblance to our moonshine. Today, fine sipping-quality grappas are made from fresh grape skins reserved for the purpose. Some producers even make varietal grappas.

For the most chocolate flavor, make the cake one day ahead. At passover, substitute matzoh cake meal for the semolina flour and margarine for the butter. Voilà!  


¼ cup grappa

⅓ cup (1⅔ ounces/50 grams) dried currants

¼ cup (1 ounce/35 grams) blanched or unblanched whole almonds

¼ cup (40 grams) semolina flour

9 ounces (255 grams) 70% to 72% chocolate, coarsely chopped
(see Chocolate Notes)

14 tablespoons (200 grams/1¾ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

6 large eggs, separated

1 cup (200 grams) sugar

⅛ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

3 tablespoons (20 grams) pine nuts

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

89_Grappa, Currant, and Pine Nut Torte


1.  Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Unless you are planning to serve the cake on the pan bottom, line the bottom of the cake pan with a circle of parchment paper. 

2.  In a small bowl, combine the grappa and currants. Set aside. 

3.  In a food processor, pulse the almonds and semolina flour until the almonds are very finely ground. Set aside. 

4.  Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water and stir occasionally until nearly melted. Remove from the heat and stir until melted and smooth. Or microwave on Medium (50%) power for 2½ to 3 minutes. Stir until completely melted and smooth. 

5.  In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with ⅔ cup (133 grams) of the sugar and the salt until pale and thick. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and the grappa and currants. Set aside. 

6.  In a large clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer at medium speed until white and foamy. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining ⅓ cup (67 grams) sugar, beating at high speed until almost stiff. Scrape about one-quarter of the egg whites onto the chocolate mixture, sprinkle all of the almond mixture over the top, and fold together. Fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. 

7.  Sprinkle the top with the pine nuts.

8.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake about 1½ inches from the edge comes out clean. The center of the cake should still jiggle slightly when the pan is jostled and still be gooey if tested. Set the cake on a rack to cool completely; the surface of the cake will crack and fall as it cools. (The cooled cake can be covered tightly, or removed from the pan and wrapped well, and stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature before serving.) 

9.  To serve, slide a slim knife around the sides of the cake to loosen the cake. Remove the pan sides and transfer the cake, on the pan bottom, to a platter, or invert the cake onto a rack or tray, remove the bottom and the paper liner, and invert onto a platter. Using a fine-mesh strainer, sift a little powdered sugar over the top of the cake before serving, if desired. 

Chocolate Notes

You can use any chocolate from 54% to 72% here, but the higher end of the range balances the grappa. If you serve the torte warm—which is an especially voluptuous experience—be prepared for it to
be very boozy. As the torte cools and ages overnight, the chocolate flavor becomes richer and more intense—and the booze recedes. 

 If you use a chocolate at the low end of the cacao range, bake a day ahead of serving so the chocolate is not overwhelmed by the grappa, or use less grappa. Note that the torte made with chocolate at the low end of the range may require up to 10 minutes longer in the oven before it tests done. 

(*Recipe excerpted from Seriously Bitter Sweet by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Deborah Jones)

Insectivize Dessert, Quieijo De Coalho, Ants and Pineapple from D.O.M by Alex Atala

As wild couterpoint to Oyster with Cupuacu recipe from D.O.M, Rediscovering Brazilian ingredients (Phaidon Press, September 2013) by chef Alex Atala of D.O.M restaurant in Sao Paulo, here's one bound to intrigue or repel some.

Quieijo De Coalho, Ants and Pineapple

Serves 4

• 1 pineapple

Ants and pineapple

• Peel the pineapple and cut into 4 equal cubes.

Finish and Presentation
• 4 saûva ants

• Place a piece of pineapple on top of a serving dish and top with ant. Serve Immediately.

(*Reproduced with permission from D.O.M, Rediscovering Brazilian ingredients by Alex Atala -Phaidon Press, September 2013- Photography by Sergio Coimbra)

Your Old Kitchen Cabinets Become Someone's New Design via Habitat for Humanity 'ReStores'

Giving your kitchen a makeover often means that your old cabinets and appliances will either end in a landfill or wait for pickup on your sidewalk on bulk day.

Alternative is to give them to someone you know who could use them or to ask Habitat for Humanity to take it off your hands for one of their ReStores outlets.


I did not know until today that there is one in my New Jersey county.

Your old kitchen cabinets become someone's new design.

Remake-remodel-recycle for Green Day # 265

Girls are Culinary Pleasures in Brussels

Girls are Culinary Pleasures in Brussels.

They are waiting for you 7 days a weeks.

You will find the Girls 'Les Filles' at  46 rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains - 1000 Brussels


Let's end the tease.

Les Filles-Plaisirs Culinaires, is a culinary space with many facets.

It combines eating out with its communal table, cooking school, fine foods shop, take out, all with an accent on creativity and organic products.

They are one of the food spots recommended by Slow Food Brussels...


Play Novocaine Rhapsody with Porcini Dusted Seared Gulf Grouper from Pickles, Pigs and Whisky

Following Kentucky bourbon, apple cider and spices recipe for a cold day from Pickles, Pigs and Whisky (Andrews McMeel, October 203) by John Currence how about some fish from the Gulf?

Porcini-Dusted Seared Gulf Grouper with Cayenne–Sweet Corn Puree

Grouper is prolific on the Gulf Coast. Still somewhat exotic 25 years ago, it was relegated to fine dining restaurants and was a little more obscure in its usage. Today this beast is the toast of the town everywhere. Gulf Coast seafood shacks all sport a fried, grilled, or broiled grouper sandwich. That said, it is still an outstanding choice whenever you find it. Its thick fillets flake into giant, sweet, thumb-size chunks as delicious as any cold-water white fish I have ever had. The porcini dust adds a perfume that fills the room, and the spicy-sweet corn puree provides a creamy, balanced base. This goes very nicely with a simple salad of bitter greens.

4 (6-ounce) fillets fresh grouper
3 tablespoons pure olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
5 teaspoons porcini powder (available at specialty food stores)
½ cup clarified unsalted butter (see page xxiii)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs

Serves 4

168Porcini-DustedSearedGulfGrouperwithCayenne-SweetCorn Puree

To cook the grouper: Drizzle the fish with the olive oil to coat thoroughly and sprinkle evenly with the salt, pepper, and porcini powder.

Heat the butter in a medium skillet. Gently place the grouper in the hot pan and brown lightly on the first side. Flip the fillets over and tilt the pan slightly so the butter accumulates on the side closest to you. Using a large spoon, baste the fish with the hot butter as the second side browns. Spoon 6 or 8 spoonfuls of the hot butter over each of the pieces, and then flip them again, spooning the butter over the other side.

Spoon the sweet corn puree (recipe follows) onto serving plates and top with the grouper fillets. Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs.

Cayenne–Sweet Corn Puree

2 tablespoons clarified unsalted butter (see page xxiii)
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 cups roasted sweet corn kernels
½ teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 saffron threads (a small pinch)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cream cheese

In a small saute pan, heat the butter over medium heat and saute. The shallots and garlic until transparent. Add the corn kernels, cayenne, and cream and bring just to a simmer. Transfer this mixture to a blender and puree. Blend in the saffron, salt, pepper, and cream cheese. Set aside.

Chef suggested music pairing: Novocaine Rhapsody by Dean Gray

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Pickles, Pigs and Whiskey' by John Currence -October 2013- published byAndrews McMeel- all rights reserved, Photography by Angie Mosier)

Cartellate Calls for Vino Cotto, Fried Pastry Rosettes Bathed in Mosto Cotto

It's not because recipe below is 'traditional Christmas dessert in Puglia and Basilicata' that it's too late to share this first excerpt from Southern Italian Desserts, Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily (Ten Speed Press, 2013) by Rosetta Costantino with Jennie Schacht.

Cartellate, Fried pastry rosettes bathed in mosto cotto

Makes about 20 Cartellate

Cartellate or carteddate is the traditional Christmas dessert in Puglia and Basilicata, made by rolling dough until it is very thin and forming it into fluted rings with small pockets, then frying and coating them in mosto cotto or honey. I could find no consistent story about the name, but some believe the shape is meant to represent the halo around the baby Jesus or the swaddling cloth used to wrap him, while others contend that it mimics the crown of thorns placed atop his head at his crucifixion.

There are as many variations of the dough as there are families in Puglia, with some adding only wine and oil to the flour, others incorporating water or an egg, and some including a bit of sugar. One thing on which all in Puglia agree: The fried dough must be thin and crispy.

Traditionally, the fried sweets were bathed in warm vino cotto or mosto cotto (page 197) or with cotto di fichi (fig syrup, similar to miele di fichi, page 198). Nowadays, honey often takes their place, as many have abandoned making these syrups at home. Some people will sprinkle cinnamon or confectioners’ sugar over the cookies, or top them with chopped toasted walnuts, almonds, or multicolor sprinkles. My preference: a simple coating of mosto cotto.

2 cups (264 g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) white wine
1 large egg
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying
11/2 to 2 cups (360 to 480 ml) mosto cotto (page 197) or honey, for coating
Chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
Rainbow diavoletti (sprinkles) (optional)


Stir the flour and sugar with a fork in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the wine, egg, and oil. Mix the wet ingredients with the fork, then begin incorporating the flour mixture until it is completely incorporated. Finish the mixing using your hands.

Transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead for several minutes to form a smooth, elastic dough that springs back when you poke it with your finger. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for
30 minutes.

To form the cartellate, line a baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel. Divide the dough into six pieces. Working with one piece at a time and leaving the others covered to avoid drying the dough, roll the dough with a pasta machine. Flatten the piece of dough and run it through the machine at the widest setting, then fold it in half and run it through again at the same setting. Continue to run the dough through the machine (without folding) twice at each setting until you reach the setting before last (#6 on my Atlas pasta machine). Roll the dough only once at the second-to-last setting. It should be about 1/16 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a flat surface and trim it with a fluted cutter into a 12-inch by 4-inch rectangle. (Alternatively, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12-inch by 4-inch rectangle about 1/16 inch thick.) Cut the dough the long way with the fluted cutter into three strips, each 11/4 inches wide. (Collect and cover scraps as you go to make additional cartellate.)

Pick up one of the strips and, starting about an inch from one end, pull up the two sides as if you were folding the dough in half the long way and pinch them tightly together. Continue to pull up and tightly pinch the dough at about 1-inch intervals to form about six little pockets along the length of the dough, leaving the ends open. To form the rosette, starting at one end, pick up the dough and wrap it around to meet the strip between the first and second pockets; pinch to attach. This will form the center of the rosette. Now, working from the opposite end, bring the strip all the way around to encircle the first fold; pinch to attach, then continue to wrap and pinch to form a spiral, or rosette, taking care to leave the pockets open. Some leave the end open while others pinch it closed; either will work. Move the rosette to one end of the baking sheet. Continue to form the rosettes until you have used all of the dough, including the last piece made up of scraps. (If you need additional work space, lay a kitchen towel on a flat surface as a work area.) Let the rosettes dry, uncovered, for at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.

To fry the cartellate, have ready a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Heat 2 inches of oil in a large, wide (4- to 6-quart) saucepan over medium-high heat to 375°F (190°C). When it is ready, use a metal skimmer or large slotted spoon to carefully transfer the rosettes to the oil, three or four at a time to avoid crowding them. Use the skimmer to keep turning and pushing the rosettes down into the oil until they are golden all over, 2 to 3 minutes. As they are ready, transfer the rosettes to the baking sheet, inverting them over the pot of oil before transferring them to allow the oil to drain from the pockets. Continue until you have fried all of the rosettes.

To coat the cartellate, pour 1/2 inch of mosto cotto or honey into a large skillet and warm it over medium heat just until it flows. Remove from the heat and place three to five rosettes into the syrup, or as many as can easily fit in a single layer. Use a spoon to baste the rosettes with the syrup, turning them over to generously cover all sides. The pockets will fill as you baste, but before removing them from the pan, invert the cartellate to let most of the syrup drain from the pockets. Transfer the cartellate right side up to a serving platter as you finish them. Continue to coat the remaining pastries. Sprinkle the tops with chopped nuts or diavoletti if you wish, then let cool completely.

Serve the cartellate at room temperature, storing leftovers, uncovered, for up to 24 hours. 

Mosto Cotto or Vino Cotto, Grape must or Wine syrup

Makes about 3 cups (720 ml) | Gluten Free

Before sugar was widely available in Southern Italy, most families made their own sweetener by cooking grape must—the freshly pressed juice of wine grapes—into a thick syrup that added complex flavor as well as sweetness to their desserts. Because it is time consuming and expensive to produce, it is now difficult to find, even in Italy. Mosto cotto is sometimes incorrectly labeled as vino cotto, a similar syrup made from wine. In some regions of Italy, mosto cotto is known as sapa.

Whether made from grape must or wine, the syrup is thick and pourable, with flavors of fig, raisin, caramel, and spice, depending on the grapes used. It is perfect for drizzling over ice cream, fruit, or cheese, or for using in desserts, as is common throughout Southern Italy. Before the days of commercial ice cream, when fresh snow fell, Calabrians would pack it into a cup and drizzle it with the syrup for a treat known as scirobetta.

I make mosto cotto once a year, when we press grapes for making wine, and use it all year round. This recipe should leave you with enough for your own use, as well as some to package in small bottles to give as holiday gifts.

If you don’t have access to fresh grape must from ripe, super-sweet wine grapes, or to juice bottled by a winery with no additives, make vino cotto instead: Mix a (750-ml) bottle of a fruity red wine, such as zinfandel, with 1 cup granulated sugar and follow the method below to cook and reduce the syrup to about 1 cup.

91/2 cups (2.25 L) grape must

Strain the juice through a fine-mesh strainer into a large (6- to 8-quart) soup pot. Bring the juice to a boil over medium heat, skimming away any foam with a metal skimmer or spoon. Reduce to a lively simmer and cook, occasionally skimming off the foam, until dark amber and syrupy, about 21/2 hours, reducing the heat and watching carefully toward the end to avoid scorching. Cool the syrup completely.
Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer, then use a funnel to decant it into sterile bottles and seal. Store the mosto cotto in a cool, dark pantry, or refrigerate, for up to 1 year. 

(* Reprinted with permission from Southern Italian Desserts ' Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily' by Rosetta Costantino with Jennie Schacht -Ten Speed Press, © 2013- Photo Credit: Sara Remington.)