DIY Slow Foods

Recipes from the chefs featured in our April/May 2007 issue

A web exclusive!

When we first read Amy Zavatto’s “Slow Food Nation,” (in our April/May 2007 issue—on newsstands now!) we were dying to sample some of the sustainable chow that great eco-chefs have built their reputation on. It will probably take us a while to get out to each and every one of their restaurants, but in the meantime, we’ve gotten our hands on some of their most mouthwatering recipes. To the kitchen!

Hugo Matheson

The Kitchen, Boulder, Colorado

Spring Vegetable Pappardelle

“This is one of the dishes that customers ask for out of season, and we sadly cannot fulfill their requests. I really think that it benefits from fresh rather than frozen produce, and the vegetables that I use here, English peas, fava beans, and asparagus, really do not travel very well. It can be done with other vegetables such as edamame (we are very luck to have a farm that grows them near by) and broccoli, but make sure that the broccoli is well cooked so it breaks down a little through the sauce. I usually put the broccoli in with the water at the same time as the pasta. Pasta and broccoli is one of the best ways of getting my kids to eat green, and they usually lap up this dish with whatever vegetables I put in it. However, if I am doing this for the children then I leave out the chili, and just add it to mine.”

Serves 6 - 8

1 lb good quality pappardelle

1 cup of English peas, shelled

1 cup of fava beans shelled

1 cup of tender asparagus chopped into half-inch sticks

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves fresh garlic, sliced

pinch of dried chili

1 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

10 mint leaves, freshly chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a strong boil. Add a generous amount of salt and taste (it should taste a little like sea water). Add the pappardelle and return to a boil. Add all the vegetables, return to a boil again, and cook until the pasta is al dente.

While you are cooking the pasta and vegetables, heat up a sauté pan to medium high heat and add the olive oil, garlic, and the chili. Just as the garlic starts to brown add the cream and 3/4 of the Parmesan cheese. Strain your cooked pasta and vegetables, keeping a little of the water to thin the sauce if needed. Tip the pasta and the vegetables into the sauce. Add the chopped mint and half the cheese. Add a glug of olive oil, mix, and taste for salt and pepper. Serve with the rest of the cheese sprinkled over the top.

Kathy Cary

Lilly’s, Louisville, Kentucky

Chicken Renaudiere

“This recipe is a adaptation of one by my mentor, Barton Connett. She taught Cordon Bleu classes in Washington, D.C. and later founded Mrs. Connett’s Chateau Country Cooking School in Chinon, France. I wanted to go through her Cordon Bleu course in Washington, but couldn’t afford it; so she arranged a sort of scholarship for me by making me her assistant and offering me the course for half price. Voila! We worked so well together that she later became not only my mentor, but my champion as well.  Barton was very expressive, having been a Broadway actress. She and her husband, who like Paul Child [husband of Julia] had been in the diplomatic corps, were surrounded by many international friends. She had a great sense of humor, and was also an incredibly generous person, giving her time and resources to the International Eye Bank among other good causes. Her cooking style was a combination of classical French infused with her own incredibly welcoming ways. Such a wonderful woman.”

Serves 4

For the chicken base:

3 oz. Niman Ranch applewood smoked bacon, chopped

2 tsp. olive oil

6 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced

3 leeks, white part only, sliced in 1/4 inch half circles

2 Tbsp. butter

2 lemon slices, seeds removed

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup chicken stock

2 Tbsp. of a mixture of chopped fresh parsley, rosemary, and thyme

For the chicken:

4 8-oz. chicken breasts, boned, skinned, and pounded thin

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

2 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese

For the sauce:

1 cup heavy cream

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

8 oz. tagliatelle pasta

1 Tbsp. snipped chives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the bacon over moderate heat until done. Drain, set aside. Combine the bacon drippings with the 2 tsp. olive oil in a skillet, and sauté the mushrooms. Add the leeks, butter, and lemon slices. When the leeks have wilted, add the garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs. Then add the wine and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock, and reduce by half again. Remove the lemon slices and put the mushroom/leek mixture into an oiled shallow baking dish. Set aside.

Dredge the chicken breasts in the Panko bread crumbs. Add 2 Tbsp. butter and 3 Tbsp. olive oil to the skillet and sauté the chicken. Season with salt and pepper, turning once.  Place the chicken breasts on top of the leek mixture. Deglaze the pan you sautéed the chicken in with white wine, reduce by half, and pour over the chicken. Top with Asiago and bacon bits. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium sauce pan, reduce the heavy cream with the mustard, salt, and pepper over medium heat until thickened. In a large pot, boil water and cook the tagliatelle until just tender. Drain and toss with the cream mixture and chives. Serve with the chicken on top.

David Tallent

Restaurant Tallent, Bloomington, Indiana

Caramelized Winter Squash Salad

“Use an assortment of winter squashes, such as two butternut squash, two acorn squash, one kabocha and one cheese pumpkin.”

Serves 7-8

6 assorted squash, peeled and cut into a large dice

2 cups fresh cranberries, washed

2 shallots, minced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 stems sage, leaves chopped, stems reserved

4 stems thyme, leaves chopped, stems reserved

4 stems rosemary, leaves chopped, stems reserved

(chop leaves, reserving stems on all herbs)

4-5 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup olive oil

Heat a large sauté pan and put in 1 Tbsp. olive oil and about 1/2 Tbsp. butter. Sauté the squash in small batches on as many sides as possible on medium-high heat until it caramelizes (use more oil and butter as necessary). Add salt and pepper. Preheat a large roasting pan in a 350 degree oven. Add the squash, garlic, shallots, and herb stems to the pan and roast in the oven until the tip of a knife slides in and out of the vegetables easily, about 25 minutes. Remove the herb stems. Remove the roasting pan from the stove and place atop a burner. Add the cranberries and the chopped herbs and mix them into the squash mixture. Turn burner to medium-high heat. The cranberries should cook in 2-3 minutes, giving up all their juices. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. The squash will be very soft and maybe falling apart a bit. Serve on a platter or in a large bowl.

Duskie Estes

Zazu, Santa Rosa, California

“At Zazu, we grow our own strawberries and rose geranium. There is nothing better than a strawberry picked from the patch and eaten right then! If someone cannot get the rose geranium, they could make a ginger gelato substituting raw, sliced ginger in the recipe. Also delicious!”

Zazu's Strawberry Rhubarb Crostata with Rose Geranium Gelato

Serves 4

For the crostata dough:
6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
3 - 4 Tbsp. ice water

For the crostata filling:
1 pint ripe strawberries, rinsed and quartered
2 cups rhubarb, diced
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
Zest of 1 orange
1 egg, beaten
To make the crostata dough, cut the butter into small chunks and place in a food processor. Add the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. With the processor running, gradually add the water, using only enough water to bring the dough together. Wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. After it has chilled, roll out the dough on lightly floured surface into 4 circles, 7 inches in diameter each, and about 1/8 inch thick. In a bowl, toss the strawberries and rhubarb with the sugar, cornstarch, and orange zest. Mound the fruit in the center of each of the dough circles. Gently fold the dough up toward the center of the fruit, creating an edge about 1 1/2 inches wide, pleating dough evenly as you fold around each circle. Brush the edges with the egg. Bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

For the gelato:
3 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups sugar
1 sprig of rose geranium or 1 cup picked leaves, packed

In a pot over medium-high heat, bring ingredients to a simmer. Cool in an ice bath and let steep 1 hour. Strain off the leaves and turn in ice cream maker according to its instructions. Scoop and serve on top of warmed crostata.


George Wilkes

The Angry Trout Café, Grand Marais, Minnesota

“Though the exact recipe has changed over time, the idea of deep-fried gobs of fish-flavored dough was given to me by Mark Brown, who makes something like this when he goes on camping trips in the nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness—the variations on this recipe are endless. The important thing is to use a good piece of fish.”

Makes 36 fritters

For the fritters:

10 oz. finely chopped fish, such as lake trout or herring, bone and skin removed, chopped

1 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder

1/4 cup minced onion

2 Tbsp. finely chopped red bell pepper

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp celery seed

2 tsp. dried thyme

Cayenne pepper to taste

For the tartar sauce:

1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise

6 Tbsp. pickle relish

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. dried dill weed

In a bowl, mix flour and baking powder, set aside. In a larger bowl, mix all other ingredients. Add flour mixture a little at a time while continuing to mix. Drop spoon-sized gobs of the fish-dough mixture into canola oil (if you’ve got bear fat, all the better!) that has been heated to 350 degrees. Fry for 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Serve with tartar sauce.

Tony Maws

Craigie Street Bistrot, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Rhubarb and Prune Compote                           

“Here is a delicious springtime recipe (when rhubarb is in season), which makes a lovely accompaniment to boar, pork, and duck. The compote is best when prepared a day in advance, although it does not need to be.”

Serves 4-6

4 stalks rhubarb, diced
1/2 pound prunes, diced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 cup good quality honey
1 cup sugar
juice from 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean
1 star anise
1 Indonesian long pepper

Put the honey, sugar, spices, and vanilla in a heavy-bottom sauté pan on medium heat.  When the mixture lightly caramelizes, add the rhubarb, prunes, and ginger. Stir with a heavy duty spoon (caramel is VERY hot), and season as needed with salt. Remove from heat when the rhubarb begins to soften just beyond al dente -- you do not want to cook until the compote turns to mush. Remove from pan and spread onto a clean baking dish and place immediately in the refrigerator to cool as quickly as possible.

Marc Meyer

Cookshop, New York, New York

New York State is home to some fantastic garlic farmers. This bright, creamy version from Marc Meyer is even better if made with a local, award-winning Riesling from upstate New York.

Green Garlic Soup with Fried Garlic Scapes

Serves 2

5 pieces green garlic with scapes

2 cloves regular garlic sliced thinly

2 1/2 cups olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 cup Riesling wine

1 cup crème fraiche

1 quart vegetable stock

1 cup flour

3/4 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the thin, slender, curling scape from the top of the green garlic. Cut the green garlic into thin rounds. Using 1/2 cup of the olive oil, sweat the onion, regular garlic, green garlic, and crushed red pepper over medium-low flame. After 8 minutes, add white wine and reduce by half. Add crème fraiche and cook an additional 8-10 minutes. Add vegetable stock and simmer gently for 35 minutes. Puree in food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. Gently blend the milk into the flour to the consistency of slightly thickened heavy cream. Cut the scapes into 2 inch lengths. Dredge in the milk and flour mixture. Fry in the remaining 2 cups of olive oil. Place the fried scapes on top of the soup and serve.


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