Trellis Cookbook

Overview

The Trellis Restaurant, located in Colonial Williamsburg, is one of the finest and most innovative restaurants in the country today. Now, award-winning chef Marcel Desaulniers shares his original, yet traditionally inspired, recipes in a cookbook that truly captures the informal elegance of the restaurant itself.

With Desaulniers's simple, easy-to-follow directions, anyone can re-create the Trellis hallmarks -- Curried Apple and Onion Soup, Shiitake Mushroom Pâté, Chesapeake Bay...

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Overview

The Trellis Restaurant, located in Colonial Williamsburg, is one of the finest and most innovative restaurants in the country today. Now, award-winning chef Marcel Desaulniers shares his original, yet traditionally inspired, recipes in a cookbook that truly captures the informal elegance of the restaurant itself.

With Desaulniers's simple, easy-to-follow directions, anyone can re-create the Trellis hallmarks -- Curried Apple and Onion Soup, Shiitake Mushroom Pâté, Chesapeake Bay Clam Chowder -- that will start off any meal with panache. Go on to enticing entrées such as Smoked Catfish with Country Ham, Grilled Duck Breast with Raspberries and Macadamia Nuts, and Loin of Lamb with Fennel and Curry. Pumpkin and Currant Bread and Black Pepper Brioche are the perfect accompaniments to any meal, and delectable desserts -- Strawberry Papaya Sorbet and Death by Chocolate -- provide luscious finales.

A new chapter -- twenty of the restaurant's most requested dishes -- and a unique feature, "the Chef's Touch," in which Desaulniers offers his secrets and advice, make The Trellis Cookbook the culinary chef d'oeuvre of new American fare -- and the ideal addition to every cook's home library.

Featuring 20 never-before-published recipes, this original yet traditionally inspired approach to cooking reflects the informal elegance of the acclaimed Trellis Restaurant. Step by step, season by season, executive chef Desaulniers shares his secrets for wonderful dishes such as Smoked Catfish with Country Ham and Strawberry and Papaya Sorbet.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Mimi Sheraton Time Unlike most recipes from restaurant chefs, these can be managed by mere mortals with only two hands. A treasury of new American fare.

Giuliano Bugialli Marcel's delicious cuisine is beautifully presented....A fine example of creativity built on a solid basis.

Joyce Goldstein Chef/Owner, Square One Restaurant Marcel Desaulniers makes it seem easy because of his clear directions and explanations...he makes us want to cook the food just so we can taste it.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671748425
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 1/15/1992
  • Edition description: Expanded Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,005,971
  • Product dimensions: 7.45 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcel Desaulniers is the executive chef and co-owner of The Trellis Restaurant. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, and now a member of their board of trustees, Desaulniers has received many awards in his lifetime, including the 1983 Food & Wine Magazine's Honor Roll of American Chefs, and COOK'S Magazine first Who's Who of Cooking in America in 1984.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

APPETIZERS

SPRING

Grilled Skewers of Snails and Chicken on Red Pepper Capellini

Serves 8

5 large red bell peppers, halved and seeded

1 cup water

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cornmeal

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

6 tablespoons minced shallots Salt and pepper to season

12 tablespoons dry white wine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

48 snails (two 4 1/2 -ounce cans of 24/26 count), thoroughly washed

3 tablespoons brandy

2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into 48 pieces (each piece about 1 inch square)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

EQUIPMENT: Paring knife, film wrap, 2 1/2 -quart saucepan, measuring cup, food processor, rubber spatula, measuring spoons, cutting board, fork, pasta machine, two baking sheets, parchment paper, French knife, two non-stick sauté pans, stainless-steel bowl, wooden spoon, eight 9-inch bamboo or metal skewers, charcoal grill, tongs, 5-quart saucepan, colander, pastry brush

Cut 3 of the peppers into 32 strips the length of the pepper and 1/2 inch wide. Cover with film wrap and refrigerate until needed. Cut the remaining peppers into 1-inch pieces. Place in a 2 1/2 -quart saucepan with 1 cup lightly salted water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat and simmer until all the water has evaporated, about 45 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes, then purée in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Prepare the pasta dough by placing 3 cups flour on a clean, dry cutting board or similar work surface. Make a well in the center, add the eggs, cooled pepper purée, olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt. Using a fork, combine the eggs, pepper purée, olive oil, and salt. When thoroughly mixed, begin to work the flour into the center, a small amount at a time. When enough flour has been added so that you can handle the dough, begin kneading by hand. Knead the dough by hand until all the flour has been incorporated, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with film wrap and allow to relax at room temperature for 1 hour.

Cut the pasta dough into 8 equal portions. Roll and knead each portion of dough through a pasta machine, using the extra 1/4 cup flour as necessary to prevent the dough from becoming tacky. Cut the sheets of dough into capellini (see page 359). To prevent sticking, toss the cut pasta with cornmeal, then place the cut pasta portions on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the sheet tightly with film wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Prepare a garlic butter by heating 2 tablespoons butter in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter is hot, add 2 tablespoons minced shallots, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 1 minute. Add 6 tablespoons wine and continue to heat until the wine has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Allow the reduced wine and shallot mixture to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes; then combine with 6 tablespoons butter, the chopped parsley, and 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and keep at room temperature.

dHeat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat. When the butter is hot, add the remaining 4 tablespoons minced shallots and 2 tablespoons minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the snails, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until hot, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons wine and the brandy. Reduce the heat and cook slowly for 15 minutes. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Combine the chicken pieces with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Skewer the snails and chicken pieces, alternating 6 pieces of each item per skewer. The skewers may be prepared up to this point and refrigerated until needed.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Grill the skewers and red pepper strips over a low charcoal or wood fire, turning regularly, for 4 to 5 minutes. While the skewers are cooking, baste with a small amount of garlic butter. Transfer the skewers and pepper strips to a baking sheet and once again baste with a small amount of garlic butter. Hold warm in the preheated oven.

Cook the pasta (see page 359) in 3 quarts boiling salted water until tender but firm to the bite, about 20 seconds. Drain the cooked pasta in a colander, return to the pan, and toss with the remaining garlic butter.

Portion the pasta onto 8 warm soup/pasta plates. Place 1 skewer and 4 grilled pepper strips on each portion of pasta and serve immediately.

The Chef's Touch

The preparation of fresh snails is an arduous task, but fortunately one that a cook on this side of the Atlantic need not worry about, since fresh snails are rarely, if ever, available in the United States. The snails available are canned and usually come from France or Taiwan, although recently a delicious canned tiny snail from California has come on the market. For this recipe, I recommend that a 24-count (2 dozen per can) snail from France or Taiwan be used; the California snail is too tiny for skewering and grilling.

Smaller skewers of chicken and snails, basted with garlic butter, would make an excellent hot hors d'oeuvres.

A sauvignon blanc with just the right balance of fruit and acidity would be my wine selection. Try a Matanzas Creek.

SPRING

Grilled Smoked Duck Breast with Country Ham, Melon, and Pistachio Dressing

Serves 4

1 whole duck

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup kosher salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 cup cool water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3/4 cup peanut oil

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 ounces pistachios, shelled, skinned, and crushed

Salt and pepper to season

1 small cantaloupe, peeled, halved, and seeded

2 ounces country ham, sliced thin (about 6 slices) (see page 368)

1 medium head Bibb lettuce, washed and dried

EQUIPMENT: Cutting board, boning knife, measuring spoons, measuring cup, two stainless-steel bowls, baking sheet, paper towels, "Little Chief" smoker, charcoal grill, tongs, French knife, whisk, film wrap, serrated slicer

Remove the breasts from the duck (see page 360). Trim all fat and membrane from them.

Prepare the brine by combining the warm water, kosher salt, and sugar in a stainless-steel bowl. Add the cool water and stir to combine. Submerge the breasts in the brine for 2 minutes. Remove and pat dry with paper towels.

Lightly coat the bottom rack of a smoker (see page 364) with the vegetable oil. Place the duck breasts on the rack. Smoke for 2 1/2 hours.

Remove the breasts from the smoker and grill over a low charcoal or wood fire for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side. (If grilling is not practical, roast the smoked duck breasts in a preheated 350-degree oven for 5 minutes.) Cool the breasts to room temperature, then refrigerate, uncovered, until thoroughly cool, about 1 hour.

Prepare the dressing by whisking together, in a stainless-steel bowl, the peanut oil and cider vinegar. Add the crushed pistachios, season with salt and pepper, and combine thoroughly. Cover with film wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Slice the breasts on an angle by tilting the cutting edge of a serrated slicer away from your hand and making the slices as thin (front to back) and as wide (top to bottom) as possible.

Cut the halved cantaloupe into 1/4-inch slices.

Cut the slices of ham in half, to yield 12 semicircular slices.

Arrange equal portions of lettuce leaves on 4 chilled plates. Place 3 half slices of ham on top of the lettuce. Portion melon slices over the ham. Arrange the duck slices over the melon. Dress each plate with 1/4 cup of the chilled dressing and serve.

The Chef's Touch

In this recipe, our variation on an old theme, we have the subtle smoke-flavored duck riding on the sweetness of the melon, countered by the saltiness of the country ham, which, in turn, is set off by the elegance of the pistachio dressing.

Although we have used pistachios in this recipe, other nuts, such as cashews or macadamia nuts, would also work well with the flavors of the duck, melon, and country ham.

The country ham used at The Trellis is a salt-cured and hickory-smoked product. The assertive flavor of this ham requires that it be used in judicious amounts. In this particular recipe, it is essential that the ham be sliced very thin. As you will only need a small amount (2 ounces), it will probably be more practical for you to purchase fully cooked salt-cured ham already sliced thin from your local delicatessen or fancy food store.

What to do with the duck legs, you are asking yourself? Marinate them in red wine for three days and grill. Or, if you have doubled or tripled the recipe and have several pairs on hand, you might want to cure them (see page 105).

We first served this appetizer at The Trellis in May 1981, for our premier Virginia vintners' barrel tasting. That evening, we paired the duck, melon, and ham with an openly fruity 1980 Ingelside Vineyards seyval blanc. It proved an agreeable match.

SPRING

Asparagus with Brown Butter and Parmesan Cheese on Pistachio Fettuccine

Serves 4

3/4 pound pistachios, shelled and skinned

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cornmeal

3/4 pound fresh asparagus

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon water salt and pepper to season

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

EQUIPMENT: Cutting board, French knife, food processor, measuring cup, rubber spatula, fork, film wrap, pasta machine, baking sheet, parchment paper, vegetable peeler, two 5-quart saucepans, measuring spoons, two stainless-steel bowls, two non-stick sauté pans, colander, tongs

Lightly crush and reserve a third of the pistachios. Process the remaining pistachios in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, adding 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Pulse until all the pistachios are ground and incorporated into the flour, about 4 minutes.

Prepare the pasta dough by placing the pistachio flour on a clean, dry cutting board or similar work surface. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, egg yolk, olive oil, and salt. Using a fork, combine the eggs, olive oil, and salt. When thoroughly mixed, begin to work the flour into the center, a small amount at a time. When enough flour has been added so that you can handle the dough, begin kneading by hand. Knead the dough by hand until all the flour has been incorporated, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with film wrap and allow to relax at room temperature for 1 hour.

Cut the pasta dough into 4 equal portions. Roll and knead each portion of dough through a pasta machine, using the extra 1/4 cup flour as necessary to prevent the dough from becoming tacky. Cut the sheets of dough into fettuccine (see page 359). To prevent sticking, toss the cut pasta with the cornmeal, then place the pasta portions on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the sheet tightly with film wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Snap the woody stem off each stalk of asparagus and peel the asparagus. Blanch the asparagus in 3 quarts boiling salted water until it is tender but still crisp, about 45 seconds. Transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water. When the asparagus is cool, drain and cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces. Cover with film wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon water in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter is hot, add the asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes.

While the asparagus is cooking, place a non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat. When the pan is very hot, add 8 tablespoons butter and allow the butter to brown evenly.

While the butter is browning and the asparagus is heating, cook the pasta (see page 359) in 3 quarts boiling salted water for 30 to 45 seconds, depending on the thickness and the preferred degree of doneness. Drain the pasta in a colander, return to the pan, and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Place equal portions of the pasta on 4 warm plates. Divide the hot asparagus over the pasta. Add the lemon juice to the brown butter, shaking the pan vigorously so that the butter does not foam over the sides of the pan. Carefully pour equal amounts of the brown butter over each portion of pasta. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and the reserved crushed pistachios over the top of each portion and serve immediately.

The Chef's Touch

The pistachios in this recipe can be replaced by a number of other nuts. Pecans, almonds, skinned hazelnuts, or walnuts would make excellent substitutes. Use 1 1/2 cups of the type of nut you choose; crush and reserve one third for the topping and process the remainder in the food processor with the flour as described.

Although asparagus frustrates many food and wine pairing experts, I have no inhibitions about suggesting a Trefethen white riesling to enhance the specific flavors in this dish.

SPRING

Marinated Soft-shell Crabs with Zucchini and Sweet Peppers

Serves 8

8 live jumbo soft-shell crabs

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to season

3 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into thin, 1 1/4-inch-long strips

1 cup olive oil

6 tablespoons white vinegar

6 tablespoons dry white wine

1 scallion, trimmed and minced

1 small jalapeño pepper, roasted, seeded, and minced (see page 358)

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 pounds zucchini, lightly peeled

EQUIPMENT: Paring knife, cutting board, measuring spoons, baking sheet with sides, film wrap, tongs, French knife, two stainless-steel bowls, measuring cup, whisk, charcoal grill, flat plastic container

Dress the crabs (see page 360). Sprinkle the lemon juice over the crabs and season with salt and pepper. Place the crabs on a sided baking sheet lined with film wrap. Cover the sheet tightly with film wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Mince enough of the red pepper strips to yield 1 tablespoon. Cover the remaining red pepper strips with film wrap and refrigerate until needed. Prepare the dressing by whisking together, in a stainless-steel bowl, the olive oil, vinegar, wine, minced red pepper, scallion, jalapeño, herbs, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and combine thoroughly. Cover with film wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Season the crabs with salt and pepper. Grill the crabs over a medium hot charcoal or wood fire for 1 1/2 minutes on each side, shell side first. Transfer the crabs to a flat plastic, ceramic, or stainless-steel container (do not use aluminum). Pour 1 cup of the dressing over the still-warm crabs. Cover with film wrap and marinate the crabs in the refrigerator for 3 hours.

Cut the zucchini into 2 1/2-inch-long sections. Cut each section into 1/4-inch-thick planks, cutting only the smooth-textured part of the squash and not the seeded center section (discard the center). Cut each plank into long, thin strips.

Combine the zucchini and red pepper strips in a stainless-steel bowl. Season with salt and pepper and combine thoroughly with the remaining dressing. Place equal portions of the dressed zucchini and pepper strips on 8 chilled luncheon plates. Place a crab in the center of each plate and serve immediately.

The Chef's Touch

The availability of fresh soft-shell crabs in early spring is very unpredictable. For that reason, we never list them on our printed spring menu, choosing instead to feature them as specials.

We purchase only live soft-shell crabs for use at The Trellis, as this ensures a high-quality product. Various agencies are heralding the virtues and availability of frozen soft-shell crabs, trying to overcome the handicap of the relatively short season in which soft-shell crabs are available. Blue crabs become soft-shell crabs periodically when they shed their hard shell. Since this only happens when the temperature of the water reaches about 70 degrees or more, their season is usually from May through August.

For this recipe any size soft-shell crab may be used. We prefer the larger, meatier "jumbos," which measure out at about 5 inches from point to point, rather than the smaller "mediums," "hotels," or "primes," which measure from 3 1/2 to 5 inches.

This recipe is derived from escabeche, the Spanish method of cooking fish (sometimes poultry), then marinating it in wine or vinegar. This is not to be confused with seviche, which is the marination of raw foods to "cook" them. In both cases the foods are served chilled or at room temperature.

One small jalapeño pepper may not give the heat intensity some people yearn for; so if you dare, you can add one more pepper to the dressing.

The optimum marination time for the crabs is between three and five hours. Longer marination will over-"cook" them, resulting in a less than desirable texture as well as an overly "twangy" flavor.

A sleek, dry Shenandoah Vineyards vidal blanc paired with this dish works wonders in controlling the slightly sharp flavor of the marinated crabs.

SUMMER

Chilled Lump Backfin Crabmeat on Sun-dried Tomato Fettuccine and Chive Fettuccine

Serves 8

12 pieces sun-dried tomato, packed in olive oil

4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/8-inch pieces (see page 360)

2 tablespoons water

2 cups Trellis Vinaigrette (see page 355)

Salt and pepper to season

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 eggs

I teaspoon salt

1 egg yolk

4 tablespons chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 pound lump backfin crabmeat, well picked of shell

EQUIPMENT: Paper towels, cutting board, paring knife, French knife, 5-quart saucepan, tongs, 2 1/2 quart saucepan, measuring cup, measuring spoons, food processor, medium-gauge strainer, rubber spatula, film wrap, two stainless-steel bowls, whisk, fork, pasta machine, two baking sheets, parchment paper, colander

Drain 4 pieces sun-dried tomato on paper towels. Mince, cover with film wrap, and refrigerate until needed.

Heat the remaining sun-dried tomatoes with 3/4 cup of the chopped tomatoes and 2 tablespoons water in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook slowly for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Purée the cooled mixture in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Using a rubber spatula, force the purée through a medium strainer (this should yield 6 tablespoons purée). Set aside.

In a stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the Trellis Vinaigrette and 2 tablespoons of the pureed tomato mixture. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and combine thoroughly. Cover with film wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Place 1 1/4 cups of the flour on a clean, dry cutting board or similar work surface. Make a well in the center and add 1 egg, the remaining tomato purée, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using a fork, combine the egg, tomato, and salt. When thoroughly mixed, begin to work the flour into the center, a small amount at a time. When enough flour has been added that you can handle the dough, begin kneading by hand. Knead the dough by hand until all the flour has been incorporated, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with film wrap and allow to relax at room temperature for 1 hour.

0 Using the above method, prepare the chive fettuccine. Make a well in the center of 1 1/4 cups flour. Add 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 2 tablespoons chopped chives, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Proceed as above. Cover the dough with film wrap and allow to relax for 1 hour.

Cut each flavored pasta dough into 8 equal portions. Roll and knead each portion of dough through the pasta machine, using the extra 1/4 cup flour as necessary to prevent the dough from becoming tacky. Be certain to roll the sheets of dough into equal thickness as they will be cooked together. Cut the sheets of dough into fettuccine (see page 359). To prevent sticking, toss the cut pasta with the cornmeal, then place the cut pasta portions on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the sheet tightly with film wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Cook the pasta (see page 359) in 3 quarts boiling salted water for 30 to 45 seconds, depending on the thickness of the pasta and the desired degree of doneness. Drain the cooked pasta in a colander. Submerge the drained pasta in a large bowl of ice water for 30 to 45 seconds. When the pasta has cooled, drain thoroughly. Place in a large stainless-steel bowl and toss with 1 cup of the dressing. Cover the bowl with film wrap and refrigerate (up to 24 hours) until ready to serve.

Portion the dressed pasta onto 8 chilled 9- or 10-inch soup/pasta plates. Divide the remaining chopped tomatoes over the top and in the center of the pasta. Portion the crabmeat over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the minced sun-dried tomatoes and remaining chives over the crabmeat. Dress each portion with 2 tablespoons dressing and serve.

The Chef's Touch

Sun-dried tomatoes can be purchased in specialty food stores. They are usually packed in olive oil, and sold either by weight or by the piece. The intensity of their flavor, without acidity, makes them a special component of this recipe.

Cooked lump backfin crabmeat is available in the fresh seafood department of most good supermarkets on the Eastern seaboard. Although available year-round, the best quality crabmeat is found from April through late October.

As an accompaniment, a cool glass of Cakebread Cellars chardonnay would be difficult to surpass.

AUTUMN

Blue Moon Gorgonzola with Walnuts and Cream on Roasted Corn Fettuccine

Serves 8

2 ears fresh corn, husks on

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup masa harina (yellow corn flour)

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cornmeal

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup walnut halves

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 pound Blue Moon Gorgonzola, broken into 1/2-inch pieces

EQUIPMENT: Two baking sheets (one with sides), measuring cup, cutting board, paring knife, French knife, food processor, measuring spoon, fork, pasta machine, parchment paper, film wrap, 2 1/2-quart saucepan, ladle, medium-gauge strainer, double boiler, 5-quart saucepan, tongs, colander

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Pull away the corn husks without removing them from the cob. Remove the silk and discard. Rinse the corn and husks to dampen, then replace the husks. Place on a sided baking sheet with 1/4 cup water. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the husks. Cut the kernels from the cob with a paring knife and finely chop by hand or in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

Place 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and the masa harina on a clean, dry cutting board or similar work surface. Make a well in the center, add the eggs, egg yolk, chopped corn, olive oil, and salt. Using a fork, combine the eggs, corn, olive oil, and salt. When thoroughly mixed, begin to work the flour into the center, a small amount at a time. When enough flour has been added that you can handle the dough, begin kneading by hand. Knead the dough by hand until all the flour has been incorporated, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with film wrap and allow to relax at room temperature for 1 hour.

Cut the pasta dough into 8 equal portions. Roll and knead each portion of dough through a pasta machine, using the extra 1/4 cup flour as necessary to prevent the dough from becoming tacky. Cut the sheets of dough into fettuccine (see page 359). To prevent sticking, toss the cut pasta with the cornmeal, then place the pasta portions on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the sheet tightly with film wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Heat the cream in a 2 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. When the cream begins to simmer, lower the heat so the cream will simmer slowly but not boil. Place a stainless-steel ladle in the saucepan and stir occasionally to keep the cream from foaming out of the pot. Simmer the cream until it is reduced by half, 45 to 50 minutes. Strain and keep warm in a double boiler.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

While the cream is reducing, toast the walnut halves on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Set aside.

Cook the pasta (see page 359) in 3 quarts boiling salted water until tender but firm to the bite, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour the cooked pasta into a colander. Drain, return to the pan, and toss with the softened butter.

Place equal portions of pasta in eight 9- to 10-inch warm soup/pasta plates; divide the Gorgonzola over the pasta. Drizzle 2 tablespoons reduced cream over each portion and garnish with the toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.

The Chef's Touch

I do not use corn if fresh corn is not available. As a point of reference, however, the yield from 2 ears of fresh corn would be equivalent to 1/2 cup drained canned corn. The masa harina alone will give excellent corn flavor to the pasta.

The cheese is most easily broken into pieces when it is cold, but it should be at room temperature when it is placed on the pasta.

A crisp, dry Clos du Bols sauvignon blanc would go well with this style of pasta and cheese.

AUTUMN

Smoked Catfish with Country Ham, Cucumbers, and Szechwan Peppercorn Vinaigrette

Serves 8

2 cups warm water

1 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 cups cool water

8 skinless catfish fillets (4 ounces each)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup peanut oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon brown Szechwan peppercorns, crushed

Salt and pepper to season

2 pounds cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded

2 medium heads Bibb lettuce, washed and dried

1/2 pound country ham, cut into thin strips 1 1/4 inches by 1/8 inch

EQUIPMENT: Two stainless-steel bowls, measuring spoons, measuring cup, baking sheet with sides, paper towels, "Little Chief" smoker, whisk, cutting board, vegetable peeler, French knife

Prepare the brine for the catfish by placing 2 cups warm water in a stainless-steel bowl. Stir in the kosher salt and sugar until dissolved. Add 2 cups cool water and stir to combine. Submerge the fish fillets in the brine for 2 minutes. Remove from the brine and place on paper towels to drain.

Using a paper towel dipped in the vegetable oil, thoroughly wipe the smoker racks. Place the fish fillets on the racks and place the racks in the smoker. Smoke the fish for 3 hours, rotating the racks after 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Transfer the fish fillets from the smoker to a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

In a stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the peanut oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and peppercorns. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and combine thoroughly.

Slice each fish fillet at an angle, to obtain 4 to 6 slices.

Also at an angle, slice the cucumbers 1/8 inch thick.

Place 2 leaves of Bibb lettuce on each of 8 chilled plates. Divide the cucumber slices over the lettuce and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Place a catfish fillet in the center of each plate, fanning out the slices. Sprinkle the ham strips over the catfish and serve.

The Chef's Touch

If catfish is not available, use another lean, delicate white fish, such as cod, flounder, or lake whitefish.

The smoking time may vary slightly from that stated in the recipe. In any case, the fish should be removed from the smoker when it has an attractive and uniform golden color. The fish will become unattractively brown if oversmoked.

The country ham of choice at The Trellis is purchased from the Edwards family in Surry, Virginia (see page 368). It is an excellent quality salt-cured ham which rivals the best of the so-called Smithfield-type hams. If desired, you may wish to use a cured ham local to your region or omit it entirely.

Brown Szechwan peppercorns may be purchased in gourmet food stores or Oriental markets. They have a wonderfully mild, spicy, and peppery flavor.

Consider an additional garnish of sliced scallions or whole chives placed directly over the sliced smoked fish.

The snappy finish of a Carneros Creek chardonnay would be the perfect foil for the smoky-flavored catfish and the spicy vinaigrette.

AUTUMN

Shiitake Mushroom Pâté

Serves 8

2 pounds shiitake mushrooms

2 tablespoons clarified butter (see page 356)

1 medium onion, diced fine

Salt and pepper to season

3 tablespoons brandy

1 cup dry white wine

1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach, washed, stemmed, and chopped (about 2 1/2 cups, tightly packed, after chopping)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 pound cream cheese, softened

3 eggs

1/4 cup chopped walnuts Toasted Walnut Bread (See page 239)

EQUIPMENT: Cutting board, paring knife, French knife, food processor, measuring spoons, measuring cup, 5-quart saucepan, wooden spoon, stainless-steel bowl, rubber spatula, colander, pastry brush, 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pan, parchment paper, aluminum foil, 2 1/2-inch-deep roasting pan, instant-read test thermometer, baking sheet with sides, film wrap, serrated slicer

Trim the dry, tough areas from the base of the mushroom stems. Remove the stems from the caps. Finely chop the caps and stems (this may be done in a food processor).

Heat 1 tablespoon clarified butter in a 5-quart saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is hot, add the diced onion. Season lightly with salt and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the brandy and simmer for 2 minutes. Then add the white wine and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the spinach, tarragon, and garlic to the mushroom mixture and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a stainless-steel bowl. Cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, then refrigerate until the mixture is cold, about 30 to 40 minutes.

When the mixture is cold, transfer to a colander to drain off any excess liquid. Return the drained mushrooms to the stainless-steel bowl.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the cream cheese and eggs to a smooth paste.

Fold the cream cheese paste and chopped walnuts into the cold mushroom mixture. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly coat a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with clarified butter, line the pan with parchment paper, and coat the parchment paper with clarified butter.

Add the mushroom mixture to the loaf pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil. Place the loaf pan in a roasting pan half filled with hot water. Place in the preheated oven and bake until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the loaf pan from the roasting pan. Allow the pâté to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes before removing the aluminum foil. Invert the pâté onto a baking sheet covered with film wrap. Remove the loaf pan and parchment paper. Cover the pâté with film wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours before serving.

Slice the chilled pâté and serve 1 to 2 slices per person with slices of warm Toasted Walnut Bread.

The Chef's Touch

The growing of shiitake mushrooms has become a thriving enterprise in Virginia. We are fortunate to have several growers that come directly to us to sell their harvests. The size and the quality vary from month to month, but availability is year-round. Among the best of these growers are Steve and Hiromi Turnage of Weaving Run Mushrooms in Hague, Virginia.

Shiitake mushrooms are also now available year-round throughout the country. If you are not able to find shiitakes you may replace all or a portion of the required 2 pounds shiitakes with domestic mushrooms. If you use domestic mushrooms, be certain to thoroughly drain any excess liquid from the cooked mushrooms.

Dried shiitake mushrooms or any other variety of dried wild mushrooms may be used singly or in combination for this recipe. To rehydrate 8 ounces dried wild mushrooms, soak them in 16 cups warm water for one hour. Remove the mushrooms from the water and drain thoroughly. If dried wild mushrooms are used, be certain to thoroughly drain any excess liquid from the cooked mushrooms.

The pâté must be baked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. An instant-read test thermometer (see page 366) is a necessary piece of equipment to determine the proper temperature.

If you serve this appetizer in late November, I would suggest a slightly chilled beaujolais-nouveau. This wine, as both legend and fact state, must be consumed very soon after it is released in the middle of November. The Georges DuBoeuf nouveau is always good, and I usually enjoy several glasses when the wine is at its peak.

WINTER

Fresh Herb Tagliatelle with Oranges, Red Onions, and Black Pepper Butter

Serves 8

1 cup washed and dried fresh spinach leaves, tightly packed

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed

1/4 cup fresh dill, tightly packed

1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, tightly packed

1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves, tightly packed

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened

6 tablespoons minced shallots

Salt and pepper to season

3/4 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 cup pecan halves

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

12 navel oranges, peeled and cut into sections

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

EQUIPMENT: Cutting board, French knife, measuring cup, measuring spoons, fork, film wrap, pasta machine, two baking sheets with sides, parchment paper, non-stick sauté pan, stainless-steel bowl, serrated slicer, paring knife, 5-quart saucepan, tongs, colander

Finely chop the spinach and herbs by hand or in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

Place 3 cups flour on a clean, dry cutting board or similar work surface. Make a well in the center, add the eggs, olive oil, chopped spinach and herbs, and salt. Using a fork, combine the eggs, oil, spinach, herbs, and salt. When thoroughly mixed, begin to work the flour into the center, a small amount at a time. When enough flour has been added so that you can handle the dough, begin kneading by hand. Knead the dough by hand until all the flour has been incorporated, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with film wrap and allow to relax at room temperature for 1 hour.

While the pasta dough is relaxing, prepare the black pepper butter. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick saute pan over medium heat.

When the butter is hot, add the minced shallots, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, lower the heat, and simmer until the pan is almost dry, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the reduction to a stainless-steel bowl, and allow to cool. When the mixture is cool, combine with the remaining butter and cracked black peppercorns. Cover the black pepper butter with film wrap and hold at room temperature until ready to use.

Cut the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll and knead each portion of dough through the pasta machine, using the extra 1/4 cup flour as necessary to prevent the dough from becoming tacky. Cut the dough into tagliatelle (see page 359). To prevent sticking, toss the cut pasta with cornmeal, then place the pasta portions on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the sheet tightly with film wrap and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Toast the pecans on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep at room temperature until needed.

Melt 6 tablespoons black pepper butter in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter is hot, add the red onion and sauté for 30 to 45 seconds. Adjust the heat to low and add the orange sections and an additional 6 tablespoons black pepper butter. Heat the mixture until it is just warm and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Cook the pasta (see page 359) in 3 quarts boiling salted water until tender but firm to the bite, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain the cooked pasta in a colander, return to the pan, and toss with the remaining black pepper butter.

Place equal portions of the pasta on each of 8 warm plates. Divide the orange and red onion mixture over the pasta. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and toasted pecans. Serve immediately.

The Chef's Touch

A serrated slicer or a very sharp paring knife should be used to peel the oranges. Cut away the skin and the white membrane (pith) under the skin. Once the orange is peeled, use a paring knife to remove the sections by cutting along inside the membrane of each section down to the core.

As an excellent accompaniment to this pasta appetizer, I would choose a light-bodied and fruity zinfandel, such as a Joseph Phelps.

WINTER

Sautéed Duck Livers with Apples, Turnips, and Caramelized Onions

Serves 4

1 pound duck livers

1 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons clarified butter (see page 356)

2 medium onions, sliced thin

Salt and pepper to season

3/4 cup water

1 small turnip, cut into thin strips

1/2 tablepoon fresh lemon juice

1 Red Delicious apple 1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

EQUIPMENT: Stainless-steel bowl, film wrap, cutting board, paring knife, French knife, measuring spoons, measuring cup, two non-stick sauté pans, 2 1/2-quart saucepan, medium-gauge strainer, tongs, rubber spatula, 9-inch pie pan

Clean the duck livers, removing all fat and membrane. Place the livers in a stainless-steel bowl and cover with the milk. Cover the bowl with film wrap and refrigerate.

Heat 1 tablespoon clarified butter in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter is hot, add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the onions until they are evenly browned, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons water at a time to wash down the accumulated caramel. (This should be done 4 to 6 times during the cooking.) Stir frequently while the onions are browning. This process should take about 30 to 35 minutes. The caramelized onions may be cooled and refrigerated for later use, or kept warm while you complete the recipe.

Blanch the turnip strips in boiling salted water for 30 to 40 seconds. Transfer to ice water and let cool. Remove from the water and drain thoroughly.

Acidulate 2 cups water with 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice. Core, quarter, and slice the unpeeled apple, placing the slices in the acidulated water as you go along.

Heat the cream in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. When the cream begins to simmer, lower the heat so the cream continues to simmer (do not boil!) for 10 minutes.

While the cream is simmering, remove the duck livers from the milk and drain well. Season with salt and pepper and dredge in all-purpose flour. Shake off any excess flour.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of clarified butter in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the livers. Sauté until golden brown, 5 minutes. Drain the apple slices in a colander, rinse under cold running water, and shake dry. Add the apple slices and turnip strips to the livers and adjust the seasoning. Add the cream and heat until the mixture is warm.

Divide the caramelized onions onto 4 warm plates. Spoon the warm duck liver mixture over the onions and serve immediately.

The Chef's Touch

Do not hesitate to substitute chicken livers in this recipe. Duck livers certainly are more interesting in flavor but can be difficult to locate. Given the choice, I would opt for fresh chicken livers over frozen duck livers.

For a color variation consider using half a Red Delicious apple and half a Granny Smith apple.

The sweet flavor of the caramelized onions and the slightly tart apple work well with the slight bitterness of the turnip and the subtle-flavored, silky-textured reduced cream. I have also served this taste experience as an entree accompaniment, using grilled veal medallions or a grilled chicken paillard.

Consider serving the duck liver mixture in warm puff pastry rectangles. It could also be served in warm brioche (see page 229) or with Toasted Walnut Bread (see page 239).

A soft and mature California merlot complements the complexity of flavors in this recipe. I suggest a Clos Du Val.

WINTER

Crispy Potato Cakes with Irish Smoked Salmon, Leeks, and Cream

Serves 6

1 large leek, white part only, cleaned and cut into thin strips 1 1/4 inches long

3 cups heavy cream

Salt and pepper to season

6 5-ounce Crispy Potato Cakes (see page 233)

1 cup clarified butter (see page 356)>

1/4 pound smoked salmon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

EQUIPMENT: 5-quart saucepan, tongs or slotted spoon, two stainless-steel bowls, cutting board, French knife, two 2 1/2-quart saucepans, medium-gauge strainer, paring knife, mandolin, whisk, two baking sheets with sides, film wrap, stainless-steel ladle, two non-stick sauté pans (one large), rubber spatula, metal spatula

Blanch the leek strips in boiling salted water until tender but still slightly crunchy, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Pour the leeks into a strainer and place the strainer in ice water. When the leeks are cold, drain thoroughly, cover with film wrap, and refrigerate until needed.

Heat the cream in a 2 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. When the cream begins to simmer, lower the heat so the cream will continue to simmer slowly, but not boil. Place a stainless-steel ladle in the saucepan with the cream and occasionally stir the cream to keep it from foaming out of the saucepan. Simmer until it has reduced by half, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When the cream is almost ready, begin to fry the potato cakes. Heat 1/2 cup clarified butter in a large non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat. When the butter is hot, fry 3 potato cakes until evenly golden brown, 3 1/2 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the fried cakes to a baking sheet and hold at room temperature. Discard any butter remaining in the pan, wipe dry, and repeat the cooking procedure with the remaining 3 cakes. When all the cakes have been fried, place the baking sheet in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Strain the reduced cream into a separate non-stick sauté pan. Add the leeks and smoked salmon and bring to a simmer. When the potato cakes are hot, ladle equal portions of the cream mixture onto each of 6 warm plates. Place a hot cake in the center of each and serve immediately.

The Chef's Touch

To clean the leek properly, split the trimmed leek in half lengthwise, from end to end. Hold each half of the leek under cold running water, spreading the sections apart and allowing the water to run through, thoroughly removing any dirt particles.

By themselves, the potato cakes are, quite simply, delicious. They are also excellent when served with sour cream and golden caviar; with apples, country ham, and Tillamook Cheddar; or with sautéed wild mushrooms and cream.

Serve with a Sonoma-Cutrer, Russian River, chardonnay.

Copyright © 1988, 1992 by Square Meals. Inc.

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

I. APPETIZERS

II. SOUPS

III. SALADS

IV. ENTRÉES

V. ACCOMPANIMENTS

VI. DESSERTS

VII. MORE, PLEASE: THE 20 MOST REQUESTED RECIPES

VIII. BASICS, TECHNIQUES, EQUIPMENT, AND SOURCES

INDEX

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