Something fishy. Nowadays, not many dishes require you to keep live animals in your bathtub, but that’s how most traditional recipes for this Jewish delicacy begin. The live animal was usually a carp, and you kept it flapping in the tub to ensure freshness. Once the fish was killed and gutted, you removed the flesh, chopped and seasoned it, and stuffed it back into the skin to poach. (Gefilte is Yiddish for “stuffed.”) Served chilled with a little horseradish, gefilte fish was thus an appropriate dish for the Sabbath, when heating food is proscribed by Jewish law. These days, most cooks who make gefilte fish purchase already ground carp, pike, whitefish, or a combination, season it, and shape it into balls. There are two principal styles, peppery and sweet, which are said to roughly correspond to different regions of eastern European heritage—Polish Jews make their gefilte fish with extra sugar; Russian Jews use more ground pepper. Perhaps because of
While the rest of foodie nation eagerly awaits the next helping of Top Chef
, we're getting a between-seasons taste of the show's latest and greatest hitters. Tonight the Beard House is welcoming Top Chef
host Tom Colicchio and the chefs who help keep his acclaimed empire humming, including Damon Wise of Craft and the folks at the just-launched Colicchio & Sons. Here's a peek at the menu:
Ricotta and Black Truffle Ravioli with Puntarelle and Slow-Cooked Egg
Halibut with Spring Onions, Black Garlic–Braised Mushrooms, and English Pea Purée
Stuffed Squid with Cavalo Nero, Black Risotto, Spicy Tomatoes and Cocoa Nibs
Suckling Pig with Fava Beans
Roasted and Braised Elysian Fields Lamb with Morels and Stinging Nettles
Meyer Lemon Napoleon
Milk Chocolate–Passion Fruit Panna Cotta with Salty Caramel and Sweet Milk Sorbet
Here's what's happening at the Beard House next week:
Monday, March 8, 7:00 P.M.
The Art of Craft
Though he became a household name as a Top Chef judge, Tom Colicchio has long been a celebrity in foodie circles. The winner of four JBF Awards, Colicchio began his culinary ascent at Gramercy Tavern and has since made an indelible mark on the industry with his empire of Craft restaurants. For this special dinner, he and the chefs of his NYC restaurants will create a menu of their signature straightforward yet nuanced cuisine.
Tuesday, March 9, 7:00 P.M.
Top Chef Sibling Rivalry
Superstar siblings Bryan Voltaggio and Michael Voltaggio kept Top Chef viewers riveted last season with their cutthroat kitchen rivalry. At this exciting event, Bryan
Two servers exchange a tray of palate-cleansing chillers made with Ciroc vodka, frozen fruit, and verjus, a highly acidic juice that's pressed from unripe grapes. For more photos of the dinner, which was prepared by Scott Mickelson of Paragon at Foxwoods Resort, click here
Haute boil-in-bag cooking. Conceptually the opposite of pressure cooking, sous-vide is a technique whereby foods are vacuum sealed in plastic bags and cooked in a temperature-controlled water bath. It was developed by Georges Pralus in 1974, while he was working at Troisgros. Sous-vide spread throughout the Michelin three-star set, but it didn't make a large impact in the United States until now, when it seems to be filling a vacuum. Because most sous-vide dishes are prepared individually, it aids in portion control and increases efficiency on the hot line. Cooking in a sealed environment also minimizes product shrinkage. And rather than evaporating into the air, the juices and flavors remain trapped inside the bag. The sous-vide technique also proves helpful as chefs increasingly travel to cook guest dinners; they can literally just boil in the bag, slit it open, and serve.
After apprenticing with renowned JBF Award winner Georges Perrier (Le Bec-Fin), Carlo deMarco set out on his own in the Main Line area of Philadelphia. After opening 333 Belrose and Firecreek Restaurant & Bar, he quickly attracted his own fans and accolades (including a coveted “Chef to Watch” designation from Esquire
). We’ll get a taste of his contemporary American cuisine to the Beard House on Friday, March 5:
Apple Trio > Apple Cider Bisque with Crisp Apple Chips; Green Apple, Bibb Lettuce, and Maytag Blue Cheese Salad with Candied Walnuts; and Chicken Livers with Spiced Apple Compote
Pan-Seared Copper River Salmon with Warm Black Lentil Salad, Lobster–Tarragon Sauce, and Micro-Arugula
Coffee and Macadamia–Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Slow-Roasted Yams and Mango, Lime, and Ginger Salsa
Candied Bacon–Crusted Squab Breast with Anson Mills Grits, Molasses-Spiked Collard Greens, and Jus
Mike Davis of Terra in West Columbia, South Carolina, served this classic New Orleans shrimp rémoulade at the Beard House last month; he made the dish extra special by adding fried green tomatoes and Benton's country ham. See more photos of his Southern menu here
Japanese potstickers. Like many Japanese culinary traditions—chopsticks, noodles, and soy sauce, to name a few—gyoza, or pan-fried pork dumplings, were borrowed from the Chinese. Even the Japanese name is derived from the Mandarin jiaozi
. A relative newcomer, it's believed gyoza arrived in Japan sometime in the 1930s, after the Japanese invasion of China, and were popularized around the country during the 1940s. Today, the Japanese dumplings have a more heavily seasoned filling and thinner dough than their Chinese cousins. Fried on one side until crisp then steamed until tender, gyoza are one of the few non-noodle dishes found on menus in ramen shops in Japan, where they are served with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame or chili oil. There are also gyoza restaurants. True gyoza lovers should find their way to Ikebukuro's Sunshine City complex where part of the Namco Namjatown amusement