Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sunday Supper 01

I'm sure I've mentioned that Lyle is taking a cooking class. If I haven't mentioned it, well, he is. There. Now I've mentioned it. Since he is working diligently each Wednesday night to master new ways to get butter into our diet, he thought that it would be nice to add one day on the weekend to utilize his fresh mad skillz and cook a meal. He told me to pick a cookbook for him and he would work his magical journey through it.

I knew immediately which book to grab. Sunday Suppers at Lucques, Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table. I chose this book because I was the one who suggested it as a gift for Lyle about two years ago. It is authored by a local chef, Suzanne Goin. It has amazing food photos (which Lyle greatly appreciates) and the book is organized into seasons - cooking with the freshest ingredients, and menus - so the combinations are already in place for you.

I'm going to skip the review of the book. The food speaks for itself. I can add that Lyle usually only cooks half of a suggested menu as we find that 8 courses is too much to take in. And we often spend most of Saturday trying to locate one or two difficult to locate ingredients. But it has been fun.

I will also add that Lyle is an amazing cook, but even with his capabilities some of these recipes get very involved. Give yourself plenty of time.

Verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author, so I will not be typing in or posting the recipes out of the book. That being said, If I can find a link to somewhere else I will do that or paste what already exists online and paste it here. If you are feeling brave, go buy the book. If you are afraid to cook but very hungry, make a reservation next Sunday at the restaurant.

Heirloom tomato salad with burrata, torn croutons and basil

(found here, scroll down near the end of the page). You just know its going to be dreamy with that Burrata cheese...

(paraphrased from pg. 135)

1/3 lb country white bread
1/2 cup olive oil
1 T oregano leaves
1/2 clove garlic
1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
3 lbs assorted heirloom tomatoes
1 t fleur de sel (a grey light sea salt, can substitute kosher salt)
2 T sliced opal basil
2 T sliced green basil
1 lb burrata cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the crust off the bread and tear the loaf into 1 inch pieces. Toss with 2 T olive oil and toast for 12-15 minutes so that the croutons are brown and crispy on the outside but soft on the inside.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the oregano, garlic and 1/4+ t of salt until it is a paste. Transfer the paste into a bowl and stir in both vinegars. Whisk in remaining 6 T olive oil.
  3. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Core the heirloom tomatoes. Cut half the heirlooms into wedges and set aside. Cut the remaining heirlooms into 1/4 inch slices. Season the slices with the salt and some pepper. Place the slices so they overlap each other and arrange on a platter. Spoon a bit of the vinaigrette over them and scatter the basil on top.
  4. Cut the burrata into 12 slices and tuck in with the slabs of tomatoes.
  5. Toss the wedges and cherry tomatoes with the sliced shallots, 1/2 t kosher salt, pepper, and 3 T of the vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning and add more vinaigrette to taste. Toss in the croutons.
  6. Arrange the salad on a platter, piled high in the center so the sliced tomatoes and cheese peek through. Toss the parsley and remaining basil on top.

Wild Salmon a la Lutece in a brown butter vinaigrette served over sweet corn, green cabbage and bacon.

WOW. Here's how the recipe starts: In a small saucepan, bring the milk and bacon to a boil... That is what you will use to create the batter that surrounds the salmon. Just when you think it can't get better, you are adding bacon to the vegetable and browned butter. unbelievable...

Almond financier with berries and creme fraiche/whipped cream

This recipe called for a cup of almond meal. Lyle couldn't find it anywhere so he made his own by blanching almonds, then peeling them and coarsely chopping them in the food processor. A lot of work it seemed at the time. However he made enough that we have had this dessert a second time and still have enough for a third go at it. My friend Tony who doesn't do desserts made a comment two weeks later about how good this cake was and he didn't have any of the cream!

Now just for the record I do help. Lyle gets the cook's jacket, I get the apron. I am the great locator (I mean let's be fair, if it's shopping I know where it is). We try to find fresh locally produced ingredients when we can and we try to find them local enough that we can ride our bikes to get the supplies, that helps because almost every recipe calls for butter, butter and bacon. And while I try not to get caught in the kitchen, I always get roped in. For this meal I assisted with the chopping of the almonds for the cake, the cutting of the bacon for the salmon and I made the vegetable dish that went under the salmon. I also arranged the plate element's for the tomato salad. My forte is making sure nothing goes to waste. I enjoy the leftovers the following day!


Michael Guy said...

What beautiful meals as befitting a beautiful couple.

Lewis said...

man oh man, i can almost taste that salad right through the world wide web! yummy!

Rachel said...

I did taste it. It was yummy!

Okay you guys, time to make a trip out to LA to visit Chez Bamboo!

"Just David!" said...

I hope my next husband (the Baron) cooks, oh wait, I meant has cooks!
That sounds like a wonderful meal!

jason said...

Financier? I like the idea of eating that.

Looks pretty good too.

landis smithers said...

ok, i freakin ADORE lucques. though tim will have to cook from the book. i am only adept at ordering.

tyler said...

suzanne goin is a genius and when i am in los angeles i often go to "lucques" (the uncs pays of course): which is among the few top restaurants in california. goin's "aoc" is also terrific.
what's eeven more amazing about goin is that she started at "ma maison" as pastry chef while she was in high school!