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Havin' a Heat Wave
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La Belle Cuisine
Pour It On
By Jonathan Reynolds
New York Times August 4, 2002
slowly. Prolong the vowels. It's hot out. Words will salve. Repeating
single mantra three or four times can soothe, depending on which om you
choose. Close your eyes and exhale. Picture and think ''liiiiiiiiqwwiiiiiiiid.''
Not ''lik-wid,'' ''liiiiiiiiqwwiiiiiiiid.''
Hold the visual icon against your retina, then, after three or four seconds,
it. August will now be bearable.
The word and the substance can not only save your summer; they can also
change the way your tongue relates to your palate, bring balm to your
scratchy irritation, even affect how you move through life. ''Liquid''
doesn't refer only to tall, frosty drinks or to the sweat on the outside of
an iced glass -- so pleasurable against forehead, temple or wrist when New
York's damp sun threatens to enrage you -- though both can certainly be
sedative. It should also become your worldview.
Resolve that your motions and gestures as well as your reflections will
be liquid. The rudimentary crossing and uncrossing of your legs,
standing up from
a chair, calling for a loved one, gently rolling over in
your chaise -- all will benefit from your being liquid. Your dreams can be
liquid, too, and you will be mollified.
When time becomes viscous, you can live forever. Visualize elegant
sustenance for friends or that special boy or girl in your life. Rather than
the clenching in the pit
of the stomach that usually accompanies the
endorphins released at the prospect of entertaining, your pulse will be
slowed by this demulcent menu. It is without urgency or pressure . . . just
a volume of time with no parameters, prepared hours, days, weeks in advance,
and you moving liquidly from a small preparation on Monday to an even
smaller, calmer one on Tuesday, a third on Wednesday (or skip Wednesday and
prepare two steps in slow motion on Thursday), so languorously
that you find wonder turning your hand from back to palm.
The recipes here are all cool, physically and metaphysically, all
all meant to be prepped well ahead of time (one as much as
six days) at your own speed, at your own time of day or night. All of them
will upgrade your life and that
of your friends, if you still have any after
resigning from the rat race, and if you choose to have them over. These
dishes can be eaten alone at 2 a.m. too. Because there is no rush to
complete them by a certain time, their creation will relieve
turmoil, not add to it, and the subtle mixture of flavors will bring
friends, even if you're dining alone.
These are smart recipes, invented by three of New York's most thoughtful
who bring sophistication and disciplined creativity to the
construction of a dish.
The principal ingredients shine like the plot line
of a play, with many brilliant subplots complementing, not upstaging, the
The iced gazpacho pictured here in the guise of a martini is the subtle,
snappy invention of Christian Delouvrier of Lespinasse, a visual and
l'oeil indicative of the intricate thinking that results in
a deceptively simple gem.
It is served miraculously clear at the restaurant,
a result of not squeezing the vegetables but letting the water drain slowly.
The more the vegetables are
squeezed, the redder the result. In any case, it
requires time -- a day or so in
At Craftbar, the less arduous of the Colicchio restaurants, Marco Canora's
clever adaptation of vitello tonnato to sandwich status brings a pleasing
summer casualness to a classic. It, too, takes time to marinate.
Over at Ilo, the endlessly inventive pastry chef Patrick Coston combines
sorbets with a seasonal peach sauce, then surprises with a cherry and
pistachio mixture -- at the restaurant, it's a small pancake underneath --
that gives a
pleasing and ingenious crunch.
Whom would you invite to such a light feast? Witty, substantial chatters
like William F. Buckley, Blythe Danner, Sir Ian McKellen, the late Fred
who epitomized effortless, liquid grace. I can't imagine the peach
also appeal to Mike Tyson and Artie Lang, if they'd promise
not to eat the bowls.
However dreamy a state this conjures, you will still have to get out of your
chaise, pour yourself down to the market and shop."
(Adapted from Lespinasse)
Yield: 4 to 6
For the gazpacho:
4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 seedless cucumbers, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 medium red onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium red pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 medium green pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coarse salt, plus additional to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
8 sheets gelatin
For the garnish:
2 tablespoons finely diced cucumber
1 tablespoon finely diced red pepper
1 tablespoon finely diced green pepper
1 teaspoon finely diced chives
4 pieces baby cilantro.
Process vegetables in three batches, each with a third of the cumin, salt,
cayenne and vinegar, until finely chopped, placing each batch in a sieve
colander lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth over a bowl.
the cheesecloth edges together and tie with string. Gently press
squeeze) to extract the gazpacho water. Refrigerate overnight and
water to release, weighing down the vegetables with cans or
2. Taste the gazpacho water and adjust seasoning. Soften the gelatin in a
bowl of cold water. Warm 1 cup of the gazpacho water over medium
add the softened gelatin sheets. Cook slowly until melted and
then stir into
the remaining gazpacho liquid. Place in a shallow pan
and refrigerate until
firm, about 30 minutes.
3. To serve, finely chop the gelée and spoon into martini glasses. Garnish
with finely diced vegetables and a sprig of the cilantro.
Ruby Peach Soup
(Adapted from Ilo)
Yield: 8 servings.
For the soup:
1/2 bottle sweet Riesling
8 red peaches, very ripe, pitted
and cut in quarters
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2to 4 tablespoons sugar
For the accompaniments:
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and
1/2 cup toasted pistachios, chopped
1 red peach, pitted and diced
1 pint cherry sorbet
2 pints peach sorbet (see recipe)
1/4 cup toasted whole pistachios
15 mint leaves, chiffonade
Place the first 4 ingredients of the soup in a nonreactive pot and gently
simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. The peaches should be very tender. Place
a blender and puree until smooth, strain and add sugar to desired
might not need all of it depending on the sweetness of the
down until chilled and reserve.
2. Mix the cherries, chopped pistachios and peach well in a small bowl.
Portion out the mixture into the centers of eight serving bowls,
forming flat rectangles about 3 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide.
Pour 2 to 3 ounces
of cold soup around the mix in each bowl, then
top each rectangle with 1
quenelle of cherry sorbet and 2 quenelles
of peach sorbet. Sprinkle with
whole pistachios, garnish with mint.
Yield: 1 quart.
to 12 ripe peaches, cut in
half and pitted
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt.
In a saucepan over medium heat, poach the peaches in 1 cup of the
the water until they are just tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove peaches from
the liquid and allow to cool. Place them in a
blender and add the lemon
juice, corn syrup, salt and the remaining
quarter cup of sugar. Blend until
smooth. If necessary, pass the
peach mixture through a fine sieve.
2. Place the mixture in an ice cream machine and process according
Veal, Tuna and Caper Sandwich
(Adapted from CraftBar)
Yield: 8 to 10
For the veal:
12-pound boneless veal loin roast,
tied at 1/4-inch intervals
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the tuna mayonnaise sauce:
2 egg yolks [Egg Safety Information]
2 cups olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
16-ounce can tuna packed in olive oil, drained
3 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons drained capers
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the sandwich:
16 to 20 slices good soft white sandwich
bread (like Pepperidge Farm)
2 ripe tomatoes, very thinly sliced
and drained on paper towels.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees [F]. Rub veal with oil and sprinkle with
and pepper. Sear loin on all sides over medium heat until browned,
minutes in all. Roast until medium well, about 1 hour, or until
temperature registers 140 degrees [F]. Let sit at room temper-
cool, then cover and refrigerate until cold and firm, about 6
into 1/8-inch slices, removing strings as you slice.
2. In a food processor, pulse the yolks to blend. With the machine running
add 1/2 cup of oil in a steady, slow stream and add 2 tablespoons of
juice. Keep processing while pouring in 1 cup more oil, then
the tuna, in
chunks, then anchovies, capers and remaining lemon
juice, and then the
remaining oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
3. Spread just enough of the tuna sauce over the bottom of a nonreactive
loaf pan to cover. Top with a layer of veal and cover with a thin layer
tuna sauce. Repeat until all the veal and sauce are used. Cover and
to 48 hours.
4. To assemble: Spread sauce on one side of all the bread slices. Cover
the slices with the veal, scraping off most of the sauce from the
with tomatoes and remaining bread, spread sides down.
Cut off crusts and cut
sandwiches in half.
Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company
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