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Dean & DeLuca: The Food and Wine Cookbook

Overview

In the alphabet of gourmets, D stands for Dean & DeLuca, long considered one of the finest food emporiums in the world. Now they bring their vast culinary expertise to this stunning new cookbook with over 80 inspired recipes, each complemented by carefully chosen wines. Chapters take us from aperitifs and appetizers, salads, and entrees, right through to desserts and melt-in-the-mouth friandises to enjoy with coffee or after-dinner drinks. Balsamic-Glazed Mushrooms whet the appetite, accompanied by a glass of...

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Overview

In the alphabet of gourmets, D stands for Dean & DeLuca, long considered one of the finest food emporiums in the world. Now they bring their vast culinary expertise to this stunning new cookbook with over 80 inspired recipes, each complemented by carefully chosen wines. Chapters take us from aperitifs and appetizers, salads, and entrees, right through to desserts and melt-in-the-mouth friandises to enjoy with coffee or after-dinner drinks. Balsamic-Glazed Mushrooms whet the appetite, accompanied by a glass of Zinfandel. Duck Breasts with Caramelized Pears delight the palate with a tangy Riesling. Chocolate Truffle Tartlets satisfy the sweet tooth when daringly paired with Cabernet port. But this is more than a delectable cookbook. It includes a primer on wine (with particular advice on California wines and why certain varietals bring out the flavors of various dishes), a handy food and wine matching chart, and a glossary of unusual terms and ingredients. Rich color photography highlights both the painterly landscapes of fertile vineyards and a host of exquisite dishes. A glorious celebration of the many pleasures of the table.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
California varietal wines takes center stage in this stylish cookbook from Dean & DeLuca, the renowned food emporium. Inspired by D&D's own wine country store in St. Helena, author Jeff Morgan celebrates the perfect pairing of food and wine on every page, from several chapters on wine education to 80 simple but sophisticated recipes.

Morgan, the company's wine director, provides a nice little essay on the history of California wine, from its rugged post-Prohibition beginnings to the golden moment in 1976 when fine California wines beat out the French in a blind tasting. He reviews the different viticultural areas (Napa Valley, Mendocino, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey County, and the Central Coast), helpfully mentioning the names of consistently reliable producers. He offers wine advice, a wine varietal glossary, and a wine/food pairing chart to guide you. It's all sparkled up with glossy color photos of California's beautiful Wine Country landscapes.

Typical of California cuisine, the Dean & DeLuca recipes show influences from the French, Italians, the rest of the Mediterranean, and South Asia. They range from appetizers (Marinated Bocconcini Coconut Shrimp) to Herb-Roasted Leg of Lamb and other entrées to desserts (Pear and Apple Tart with Late-Harvest Moscato). For each recipe there are recommendations for the right kind of wine to enhance the dish: with the Big Island Barbecued Beef Short Ribs, a Zinfandel or Petite Sirah; with the versatile Grilled Tuna with Diced Vegetables and Gazpacho, a Sauvignon Blanc, a Chardonnay, or even a Pinot Noir or Syrah. (Ginger Curwen)

From the Publisher
The Food and Wine Cookbook, a guide to pairing California wines with food, is the latest effort from Dean & DeLuca, the New York-based chain of gourmet shops that has an outlet in Napa Valley's St. Helena. Author Jeff Morgan, wine director for the chain and a frequent contributor to Wine Country Living, packs a lot of information into the early chapters, providing a thumbnail sketch of the history and geography of California wine country and a primer on serving, cellaring and drinking wine. None of the information is new, but it is presented here in a well-organized, accessible format.

The 80 recipes, developed by Dean & DeLuca's chefs with Morgan, are an eclectic and well-chosen selection. The accent is on Mediterranean flavors, but Asian and Middle Eastern ingredients appear as well. Each dish gets several wine recommendations based on Morgan's sensible and flexible guidelines.

The book is also a useful reference work. It contains guides to salad greens, mushrooms, olives and cheeses, and there is a section on standard techniques how to cook dried beans, shuck oysters and trim artichokes and recipes for basics like mayonnaise and veal demiglace.

Recipes cover everything from appetizers to sweets. Imaginative main courses include a slow-cooked beef brisket rubbed with Indian spices and skate wings dredged in porcini dust. Side dishes, such as zucchini-blossom tempura with goat cheese and roasted figs, are equally creative. Morgan's broad knowledge and passion come across in his engaging prose, and Steven Rothfeld's photographs are mouthwatering.

Throughout the book, Morgan promotes enjoying wine as part of a leisurely meal created with fresh, healthful ingredients. But not too healthful he also recommends putting a dollop of St. Andre butter, a blend of butter and super-rich French cheese, on your steak. -Wine Country Living

For anyone who lives in New York, many who have visited New York and perhaps a few who've barely heard of New York, two words are synonymous with gourmet food: Dean & DeLuca.

In a new cookbook, the food shop adds California wine to its list of favorite things. The store's wine director, Jeff Morgan, pairs more than 80 dishes with California varietal wines in 'Dean & DeLuca: The Food and Wine Cookbook" (Chronicle, $35). And even though Morgan is happy to suggest a wine with each and every recipe, he's also happy to encourage home cooks and diners to follow their own taste buds to pairings still undiscovered.

Leading off the book is an indepth discussion of California wine, its history and geography. Morgan also explores the marriage between food and wine, explaining how the latter has enhanced enjoyment fo the former throughout history.

The book also includes many color photographs, evoking the hillside vineyards and giving a vivid sense of California's wine country. There is a useful glossary of important terms and exotic ingredients. -Chicago Tribune

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811832137
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,457,832
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Morgan is the wine director for Dean & DeLuca. Formerly West Coast editor for Wine Spectator magazine, he lives in California's Napa Valley.

Steve Rothfeld's photographs have appeared in numerous books and the magazines Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Travel & Leisure. He makes his home in the Napa Valley.

Leslie Rudd is the chairman of Dean & Deluca and owner of Rudd Vineyards and Winery in Napa Valley.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


The warm late-afternoon sun bathes California wine country, leaving both vineyards and wineries awash in a golden brilliance. On the western horizon, wisps of fog float in from the Pacific Ocean. This is nature's majestic and magical cooling ritual, a hallmark of California's unique coastal weather pattern.


In this mecca of New World wine making, heat and sunshine ripen grapes while bracing Pacific air preserves their precious natural acidity. These elements translate to intense, juicy, and complex wine flavors that hold firm on the palate and show great finesse.

California's nearly nine hundred wineries produce 90 percent of all the wine made in America, and it's no surprise that many of the nation's best wines are made here. In this land of diversity, where lofty mountain ranges give way to picturesque hillside and valley vineyards, each region has its own distinct character—both geographically as well as stylistically.

Napa Valley is somewhat inland. Its naturally warm growing season favors robust red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah. Neighboring Sonoma County is really a collection of very distinct areas that stretch west from the border of Napa to the Pacific Ocean.

Among them is the Russian River Valley, home to fine Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. East of the Russian River lies Alexander Valley, where growing conditions resemble those of Napa Valley. Then there is Carneros, a cooler, marine-influenced zone that straddles both Sonoma and Napa Counties—a place where not only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir shine, but also Merlot and Syrah.

Generally speaking, California'sfinest wine-growing regions have a coastal proximity, although the distance to the sea can vary drastically, and several jagged, twisty mountain ranges may effectively block much of the ocean's cooling effect. North of Napa and Sonoma sits Mendocino County, which sports some of the state's most temperate growing conditions. East of Mendocino are the Sierra foothills, and Contra Costa and Livermore Counties, where the growing season can be very hot.

South of sparkling San Francisco rise the rugged Santa Cruz Mountains, which eventually give way to Monterey and the Central Coast appellations. Here, vintners are taking advantage of a large, fertile, and extremely multifaceted topography to produce a wide range of excellent varietals. They include white wines such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, and reds like Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Grenache.


Early History


Diversity is also evident in California's relatively short but rich wine-making past. The first wine makers in the state were Spanish Jesuit missionaries who planted Mission grapes near San Diego toward the end of the eighteenth century. Quality was probably marginal, for it's no accident that Mission grapes are not among today's pantheon of high-end varietals. To make matters worse, these early wines were often fermented in animal skins, a technique that gave new meaning to the occasionally used wine descriptor, gamy.

As more wine-loving immigrants settled the West, their combined wine-making acumen grew. Recent historical findings indicate that early-nineteenth-century Russian fur traders who settled the Sonoma coast planted vines as early as 1812 near what is now aptly called the Russian River. They must have been inspired by their Black Sea Crimean cousins, whose wine tradition predates that of the French and Italians.

The 1849 Gold Rush brought a new influx of wine drinkers. French, Italian, German, and Hungarian pioneers, among others, brought their vinous desires and considerable energy to California, which achieved statehood on September 9, 1850.

Some twenty years earlier, however, California had belonged to Mexico. And in northern California, Mexico's General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo is considered to be the father of commercial wine growing. The industrious general began his formidable career as a young lieutenant assigned to the then-troublesome Sonoma Mission, which still stands at the center of the town of Sonoma.

For his success at subduing local Native Americans and other nonconformists, Vallejo was awarded extensive acreage on which he planted his first vineyards circa 1830. A small remnant of his effort remains today as a straggly vineyard that sits directly in front of the famous general's Sonoma home, now a museum.

Was General Vallejo's wine any good? Supposedly it was, but alas, no dusty bottles of Villa Vallejo have surfaced lately for tasting. Nonetheless, Vallejo's enthusiasm was clearly infectious, for he inspired a succeeding generation of vintners who built the foundation of what has become the New World's most renowned wine-growing community.

Best known among Vallejo's disciples was Hungarian immigrant Agostin Haraszthy, who not only founded Sonoma's Buena Vista Winery in 1856, but also married off his two sons to the general's two daughters seven years later. Haraszthy and Vallejo thus cemented a bond that created California's first wine dynasty.

Haraszthy's journey to California was circuitous. The young entrepreneur sailed to America when he was in his late twenties, settling in Wisconsin as a businessman. The Gold Rush probably provoked his westward voyage, for in 1849 he brought his family to San Diego, albeit far from the strike lode at Sutter's Creek.

A brief political career eventually sent Haraszthy north to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he ultimately entered the gold business, first as a smelter and later as an assayer for the U.S. government. Unfortunately, he was accused—and later acquitted—of stealing gold, after which time he devoted himself to his budding Sonoma winery.

Haraszthy's hot and cold relations with government were not over, however. In 1861, he managed to convince the state to appoint him to the position of agricultural commissioner and to sponsor a European trip to bring back Old World vine cuttings. Ever the entrepreneur, the vintner returned with $12,000 worth of young vines but failed to receive payment for them from his sponsor. As a result, the vines were planted at Buena Vista and provided bud wood for many other local vintners.

By the mid-1860s, Haraszthy's finances were faltering, and the struggling vintner departed for Nicaragua to seek a new fortune in the rum business. He is rumored to have been devoured by an alligator while crossing a river in the rain forest.

Despite Haraszthy's reverses, late-nineteenth-century Californians had been bitten by the wine bug, and significant plantings occurred throughout the state. Napa Valley pioneers included such visionaries as Gustav Niebaum, the Finnish sea captain who founded Inglenook (now Francis Ford Coppola's Niebaum-Coppola Winery) in the town of Rutherford. The original Inglenook wines should not be confused with the jug wine that later adopted the illustrious winery's name. For nearly a century, the vines planted at Inglenook produced some of the greatest wines in Napa Valley.

Ten miles north of Inglenook, in Calistoga, a German barber named Jacob Schram created a hillside winery where Robert Louis Stevenson passed at least one memorable evening during his short tenure in the valley. Today, Schram's resuscitated winery is called Schramsberg and is famous for its sparkling wines.

The viticultural revolution overtaking California in the mid-to-late 1800s was by no means limited to Napa and Sonoma. The Sierra foothills gold country witnessed a plethora of new vineyards, as it became apparent that hard-working miners were thirsty for a good bottle of wine. In fact, some of the early vineyards planted there more than a century ago are still producing top-notch Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.

Farther south, on the slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains, a Frenchman named Paul Masson transported his wine-making dreams from Burgundy in 1878 and planted what may have been the first Chardonnay grapes grown in America. And it was actually in southern California where the state's most prolific wine-growing community was centered. The German settlers of Anaheim—better known today as the home of Disneyland—were producing more than a half million gallons of wine annually in 1868.

Sadly, California's burgeoning wine industry was destined to fall on hard times. By 1893, Anaheim's vineyards had terminally succumbed to Pierce's disease, an incurable grape malady that continues to strike terror in the hearts of vintners today.

Anaheim's fatal experience with Pierce's disease was nearly overshadowed by phylloxera, a native American root-eating louse that almost wiped out both California's and France's wine industry in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The grape scourge was stemmed after it was discovered that valuable European vinifera wine grapes could flourish when they were grafted onto hearty phylloxera-resistant American rootstock.

Unlike the French, though, America's wine makers were dealt a second, nearly fatal blow with the adoption of Prohibition in 1920. California's formerly robust wine culture, which harbored hundreds of bustling wineries, literally dried up. A few wineries survived by making (legal) sacramental wines, while others sold their grapes across the nation to a thirsty (and law-abiding) group of home wine makers. Many others, like the Martinelli and Foppiano families of Sonoma County, found ways to sell their wine by less than legal means. This was not without hazard; the late Louisa Martinelli, whose grandchildren and great-grandchildren are now "legitimate" wine makers, spent several months in jail for selling illegal wine during Prohibition.

During these hard times, the best profits came from "running" sugar to local liquor stills that transformed sucrose and water into "jackass" brandy. It was a difficult period for vintners and required a tenacious adherence to their belief in the culture of wine. We are fortunate that their way of life has not only survived, but also blossomed, as visitors to California wine country can witness for themselves.

The effects of the United States' thirteen-year experiment in temperance were long lasting, however. By the time Robert Mondavi opened his eponymous Napa Valley winery in 1966, only a handful of wineries remained in an area where 150 had once flourished. It was a sad commentary on the state of American wine.

Fortunately, New World vintners found a leader in Mondavi, whose innovative wine-making and marketing techniques helped to revive California wine. And as California's reputation for quality grew, a new generation of wine makers was drawn to the West Coast. This group built on a modern wealth of knowledge, one that blended contemporary science with traditional Old World methods that had been forgotten during Prohibition.

The newcomers included such wine makers as Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards, Helen Turley of Marcassin, and David Ramey, whose credentials include Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill, Dominus, Rudd, and his own Ramey Cellars. These modern-day pioneers rekindled the flame for natural yeast fermentations and minimal filtration, techniques than can enhance flavor complexity. Their efforts have now been widely adopted by many of their colleagues, all of whom make wines that continue to impress the world.

The gates to international acclaim were first rattled in 1976, long before the current trends in wine making and viticulture had found widespread acceptance among California's vintners. At the time, California was still perceived as a backwater by wine cognoscenti on both sides of the Atlantic. But a marvelous thing occurred when Paris-based British wine merchant Steven Spurrier hatched a publicity stunt that would send shock waves around the globe.

The cocky wine seller invited a group of French experts to compare well-known French wines with a number of California upstart producers of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The wines were tasted "blind," which means that the tasters were unaware of the wines' identities.

Unexpectedly, California did quite well, besting many of the French classics. Even better (for the Americans), Napa Valley wineries walked away with first place in both the red and white categories. Stag's Leap Wine Cellars won for Cabernet, and Chateau Montelena won for Chardonnay.

The French tasters were mortified and demanded a rematch, while the chauvinistic French press downplayed the whole thing. In fact, the Paris tasting might have gone unnoticed were it not for the fact that a reporter from Time magazine had decided to attend the event. He filed a widely read story that blew the lid off the tasting, gave Steven Spurrier considerably more than fifteen minutes of fame, and catapulted California into the public eye as a serious contender for the fine-wine throne.

And yet the succeeding years have not unfolded without a hitch. Phylloxera reared its ugly head again in the 1980s and 1990s, thanks to a nonresistant rootstock that had been widely planted throughout the state. The situation provoked extensive and expensive replanting. During this time, growers were forced to examine their viticultural practices in an unprecedented manner. Their new, rejuvenated vineyards are clearly an improvement on the previous ones, featuring well-tended, well-exposed grape clusters that are positioned to collect the most energy possible from the sun.

As a result, California wine quality continues to improve, forging a destiny for New World wine that was unanticipated only thirty years ago. And it's not only cult wines like Harlan, Colgin, Kistler, Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, and Grace that are making a difference. The landscape is teeming with hundreds of noteworthy producers, all of whom have set their sights on excellence and are currently achieving their dream.


Napa Valley


Travelers to Napa Valley are struck by the sheer physical drama of the place. The five-mile-wide valley floor is carpeted by seemingly unending waves of grapevines, their green leaves and curly tendrils pointing skyward towards the life-giving sunshine. Bordering this sea of grapes are the two mountain ranges that define the valley. Jutting up from the west are the Mayacamas Mountains, a range that includes such well-known landmarks as Mount Veeder, Spring Mountain, and Diamond Mountain. Their steep slopes face eastward and catch the morning sun, and many well-known wineries have carved out a niche for their highly praised wines among the mountain evergreens.

On the eastern flank rise the golden-hued Vaca Mountains, which face the warm late-afternoon sunshine head-on. Howell Mountain is best known among the craggy peaks that top the crest of the range. Red-orange volcanic soils and blue-green perched vineyards add color to the landscape.

Nestled within the Vaca range is surreal Glass Mountain, where the fiery breath of a long-dead volcano once spewed a rain of molten black obsidian. Now transformed to glassy rock, the shiny sharp shards are littered among the vineyard soils, causing a shimmering effect in the mid-afternoon sunshine. It's no mirage, though; this is dream country.

From the valley floor to the tops of its highest slopes, Napa Valley is California's capital of Cabernet Sauvignon. The robust, complex varietal expresses itself in a bold, rich, and sensual manner when grown in the picturesque valley's seemingly endless hot, dry summer days.

Mountain vineyards are often hidden from the view of casual tourists, but those visitors driving north on Route 29 from Yountville to Calistoga will be astonished at the highly visible concentration of renowned wineries that hug the valley's main road: Trefethen, Domaine Chandon, Dominus, Cosentino, Cardinale, Far Niente, Mondavi, St. Supery, Beaulieu Vineyards, Niebaum-Coppola, Whitehall Lane, Heitz, Martini, Sutter Home, Beringer, Charles Krug, Christian Brothers (now the Culinary Institute of America), Markham, Folie à Deux, St. Clement, Grace Family, Freemark Abbey, Sterling, and Clos Pegase—to name just a fraction of the region's 250-plus wineries. It's like traveling a historic highway, punctuated by many of the names that have made this stretch of dirt one of the wine world's most noteworthy and valuable.

Cabernet Sauvignon is not the only grape that thrives in Napa Valley. Zinfandel, the most widely planted grape in California, also finds a happy home here, where it has grown for more than a century. You can still see gnarled one-hundred-year-old Zinfandel vineyards that produce some of the best and most concentrated wines of this variety. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Petite Sirah, and Syrah have also found favorable microclimates throughout the thirty-five-mile-long valley.

(Continues...)


Excerpted from THE FOOD AND WINE COOKBOOK by Jeff Morgan. Copyright © 2002 by Dean & DeLuca, Inc.. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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Recipe

ROASTED-BEET SALAD WITH MÂCHE AND YELLOW TOMATO-TARRAGON VINAGRETTE
Serves 4 as a first course

Roasting beets gives them a firm texture and enhances their sweetness. This firmness is balanced by soft, delicate mâche, a tender, small-leafed lettuce commonly enjoyed in France and now readily available commercially in the United States. (Mâche is also known as lamb's lettuce.) If you can't find mâche, use baby spinach or mixed baby greens.

Try this with a bright, snappy Sauvignon Blanc. The grassy, herbal qualities of this varietal team up nicely with the mâhe and the tangy, colorful tomato vinaigrette. Gewürztraminer would also be a fine choice.

4 to 6 beets (golden, red, Chiogga, or a combination), greens trimmed to 1/2 inch
3 to 4 yellow tomatoes, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup walnut oil
30 leaves fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 ounces mâche

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Put the beets in a roasting pan and bake until tender when pierced, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to the touch. Trim and peel. Put the beets in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes until smooth. Add the tarragon vinegar and lemon juice, blending again. With the machine running, gradually add the walnut oil in a thin stream to make an emulsified vinaigrette. Add half of the tarragon. Pulse to slightly blend. Add salt and pepper.

Remove the beets from the refrigerator and cut them into thin crosswise slices. Place a bed of mâche on each salad plate. Arrange the beets in a circular pattern on top of the mâche. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top and around the edges of the salad. Garnish with the remaining tarragon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

WILD MUSHROOM RAGOUT
Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a side dish

Mushroom foraging has long been a favorite pastime in both Europe and California. A successful hunt yields many different kinds of fanciful fungi, which can be added to this fragrant stew.

Those who are not expert foragers can buy wild mushrooms or use commercially grown ones. Try to use at least two or three different types, because a blend serve up a heady range of flavors and textures that royally complement each other. For example, chanterelles are buttery and chewy, king trumpets are meaty, and lobster mushrooms are almost crunchy.

Serve this ragout as a main course, accompanied with brown rice or polenta. As a white choice, drink a full-bodied, barrel-fermented Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Almost any rich red wine will also fit the bill. Think Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet, Petite Sirah, Mourvêdre, Carignane, or Zinfandel.

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon), cut into 1/4-inch-cubes
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/4 pounds wild and/or commercial mushrooms, cut into thick slices or bite-sized pieces
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cups dry red or white wine
1 cup [homemade] chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, plus freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour

In a large flameproof casserole, Dutch oven, or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the pancetta until it begins to brown. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and thyme. Sauté for another minute or two. Add the mushrooms and toss gently. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up their liquid and reduce in size. Stir in the celery and carrots.

Add the wine, stock or broth, bay leaf, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir this mixture into the ragout and cook until slightly thickened. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

TAGINE OF LAMB WITH DRIED FRUITS, NUTS, GREEN OLIVES, CORIANDER, AND LEMON ZEST

A tagine is a hearty Moroccan stew, perfectly suited to cool evenings, warm friendships, and red wine. In this fruit-driven dish, rich, earthy lamb finds harmony with the honeyed notes of the dates and figs. Fresh cilantro and lemon zest offer a vivid high note at the end.

An effusive Zinfandel, Mourvêdre, Petite Sirah, or old vine Carignane will enhance this extraordinary lamb stew.

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon star anise pods, coarsely crushed
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 pounds lamb shoulder or stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-cubes

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup dried figs, halved
1/2 cup green olives, with or without pits
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Couscous
Honey for drizzling
1 teaspoon minced lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a dry small sauté pan or skillet, combine the cayenne, ginger, coriander, star anise, and pepper. Toast over medium-high heat, stirring, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool. Grind the spices in a spice mill or crush to a fine powder in a mortar. In a large bowl, combine the spices and salt. Add the lamb and massage the seasonings thoroughly into the meat with your hands.

In a Dutch oven or ovenproof sauté pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and brown on all sides. Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 5 minutes; do not brown. Add the water and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a simmer, cover, and bake until tender, about 2 hours, adding more water as necessary to keep the meat from drying out.

Add the dried fruits and olives, mixing them in thoroughly. Bake, uncovered, until browned on top, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the cilantro. Serve over couscous, drizzled with honey, and sprinkled with lemon zest.

Copyright © 2002 by Dean & DeLuca, Inc.

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