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spenser personalizing food & drink.


mushroom foraging in Mendocino

CASSOULET: a feast for the soul

barrel-aged sour ales in PORTLAND squirreling away WINTER'S citrus jan.feb 2012 |  ISSUE TWO

features: 95|GOING COASTAL : A San Fran-


cisco food blogger on her first ever foray in search of wild mushrooms.

Koslow, owner of Sqirl Preserves, shows us how to create a uniquely expressive taste of winter.

by denise woodward

by mike dundas

60|A POT IN EVERY PANTRY: The French dish

cassoulet is the ultimate slow food. We just never thought we’d find one 22 years in the making.

by elissa altman

78|A WORLD AWAY: A group of

friends gather around the table to celebrate food in the small Armenian village of Aghtsk.

by lucie davidian


Brewmaster Ron Gansberg is barrel-aging and blending some of the best and most complex sours beers in the United States.

by camille grigsby-rocca

departments: BUTLER'S CHOICE: going Greene at Gamble


STOCKING THE PANTRY: Happy Goat & Red Boat


STOCKING THE BAR: Taylor’s Tonics refreshment


MEREDITH'S PAGE: linens & hurricanes


PANTRY STAPLES: the Moroccan larder


SEASON'S HARVEST: riveting Romanesco


BUTCHER'S BLOCK: chef Mark Ladner’s whipped lardo







recipe index: bread Jingalov Hats (Armenian Herbed Flatbread) | 83

cured meat Whipped Lardo (Mark Ladner) | 41

entrées Cassoulet | 64 Lemon & Butter Trout | 93 Mrs. Gevorkyan’s Lamb Stew | 92

hot drink Lavender Hot Chocolate | 115

mushrooms Braised Beef Cheeks with Lobster Mushrooms (Sam Mogannam) | 109 Grilled & Roasted Wild Mushrooms with Radicchio, Polenta & an Egg (Russell Moore) | 106 Semolina Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom Ragout (Mitchell Rosenthal) | 110

preserved citrus Preserved Meyer Lemons (Paula Wolfert) | 36 Rangpur Lime & Yuzu Marmalade (Jessica Koslow) | 54 Yuzu Syrup (Jessica Koslow) | 57

sauces & condiments Fish Sauce Vinaigrette (David Chang) | 27 Harissa (Paula Wolfert) | 37

sides Roasted Romanesco with Anchovy, Garlic & Cilantro (Josef Centeno) | 39 “Snow Salad” | 93

winter puddings Baked Scotch Caramel Pudding | 25 Candy Cap Mushroom Bread Pudding (Todd Humphries) | 112 Creamy Rice Pudding with Sake & Marmalade | 58

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letter from the editor:


can’t thank you enough for the overwhelming support that everyone has given the first issue of the magazine. The positive reaction is a testament to the talents of our contributors and our design team. Without them, spenser would still just be an idea and not what you see here.

For a kid who was born and raised in California, I just love the winter. This time of year is filled with warmth and comfort in the kitchen. But the hearty braises and roasts that are so common during this season seem almost overindulgent unless you have spent time in the cold outdoors.

preserve something, cure something and forage for something in the coming months. Find a personal story about the food and drink that goes on your table and tell it to one and all. Happy New Year,

mike dundas editor-in-chief

So, for this first issue of the New Year, we wanted to challenge you to venture outside and embrace the magnificence of the season. To that end, we trekked along with Denise Woodward as she headed into the woods to forage for wild mushrooms on the rugged California coast. And we followed Jessica Koslow, who makes meticulously hand crafted jams and preserves, on a trip to a family farm that specializes in growing unusual varieties of winter citrus. We also traveled with Lucie Davidian to a small Armenian village in search of original family recipes and visited a barrel house in Oregon with Camille GrigsbyRocca to learn about aged sour ales. And just when it started to get a little too cold outside, we asked James Beard-nominated writer Elissa Altman to take us into her kitchen to warm us up with a comforting story on cassoulet. Throughout the issue, we also made a concerted effort to include recipes intended to inspire a renewed commitment to handmade food in 2012. These include recipes for preserving lemons, curing lardo, utilizing foraged ingredients and making your own harissa from experts like Russell Moore, Mark Ladner, Paula Wolfert, and David Chang. spenser is intended to help you personalize the food & drink you share with friends and family. It’s a simple sentiment really, but one with a broader goal that seems suited to this time of resolution and renewal. If you have never before considered it, venture to

jan.feb 2012 | | 11

spenser magazine MIKE DUNDAS

co-founder & editor-in-chief LEIGH FLORES

co-founder & executive editor JEN WHITE

design director COREY ABSHER

interactive producer MAX FOLLMER

lead copy editor HILARY KLINE

lead photo editor contributing writers


contributing photographers


staff dogs

BUCK, JACKSON, KAUFMAN & SCOUT welcome: OLIVER! (rescued: Nov. 23, 2011)

editorial inquiries:

advertising, business, media & reprint inquires:

general questions & comments:

cover photo:

ELISSA ALTMAN's cassoulet photograph by RON DERHACOPIAN

spenser’s commitment: spenser magazine commits to donating 1% of profits to charitable causes in support of ending hunger in America and abroad this commitment supports spenser magazine’s desire to help promote the need to end hunger everywhere

spenser disclaimer: Spenser Magazine is published on a bi-monthly basis by Spenser, LLC. All rights are reserved. Neither the publication, nor any portion thereof, may be reproduced in any manner or in any form without the prior written authorization and permission of Spenser, LLC. Spenser Magazine and Spenser, LLC are not responsible for the accuracy of advertiser claims or advertiser content. Notwithstanding, every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the content contained in the publication and on the Web site.



meet the team: "it’s the new year, what’s your favorite sparking beverage?"




co-founder & editor-in-chief current hometown: los angeles

co-founder & executive editor current hometown: los angeles

design director current hometown: los angeles

"Bitter sodas from Italy like Chinoto or Crodino"

"Lambrusco - preferrably enjoyed in Parma"

"French Berry Lemonade from Trader Joe’s"




interactive producer current hometown: los angeles

lead copy editor current hometown: los angeles

lead photo editor current hometown: DC



"Dublin Dr. Pepper" [R.I.P.]

jan.feb 2012 | | 15









Rent or Food? In San Francisco and Marin, 1 in 5 people are forced to choose daily.

Give them another choice.



Delivering calm - and iconic American photography in downtown Portland. Discover Hotel Lucia, where style and comfort converge. Explore a unique collection of photography by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Hume Kennerly. And, exclusively for Spenser readers, enjoy 15% off when you book your stay at

Reservations 866.986.8086 | Local 503.225.1717 4 0 0 S W B r o a d w ay, Po r t l a n d , O r e g o n , 9 7 2 0 5 | w w w. h o t e l l u c i a . c o m

contributors: ELISSA ALTMAN | WRITER Elissa Altman writes the James Beard Award-nominated blog, "Poor Man's Feast". A longtime editor, author, and contributor to Saveur, The Huffington Post, the Tribune Syndicate, and NPR, Altman cooks and writes in Connecticut. Her book, Poor Man's Feast: A Love Story, will be published by Chronicle Books in 2013. Favorite sparkling beverage: Farmer Fizz — a.k.a. grower champagnes — especially Pierre Gimmonet & Fils "Cuvee Gastronome" Brut 2004

LUCIE DAVIDIAN | WRITER Born in Iran and raised in Los Angeles, Lucie Davidian’s love affair with food started in her mother’s kitchen. After getting a degree in History, she got hungry and moved to San Francisco to attend culinary school. After several years of working in restaurants and hotels between San Francisco and Los Angeles, she moved to the Middle East in August 2010 in search of her culinary heritage. Spice and heat are always abundant in her cooking. She’s convinced she gets high from Indian food, and she always leaves a note for airport security inside her luggage warning them about her sharp Japanese knives. Lucie blogs at "Honey…The Sweeter Life". Favorite sparkling beverage: Prosecco

JUN BELEN | PHOTOGRAPHER Jun Belen is a Philippines born, San Francisco-based food photographer and writer. His photographs have appeared in Gobba Gobba Hey: A Gob Cookbook, Culinary Trends magazine, Florida Saltwater Recreational Fishing Regulations magazine, 7 x 7 magazine, SF Weekly magazine, and the San Francisco Professional Travel Planner’s Guide. He is the author of the Saveur-nominated Filipino food blog, “Jun-blog”. He lives in Oakland, Calif. with his partner, calamansi tree, and corgi. Favorite sparkling beverage: Segura Viudas Aria Brut

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SARA ANJARGOLIAN| PHOTOGRAPHER Sara Anjargolian is a documentary photographer focused on visual storytelling projects that seek to inspire social change. She is a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship and a United Nations award for her photography. Sara has partnered with numerous non-profits to raise awareness on humanitarian causes around the world. Her work has been exhibited widely and most recently includes: the story of AIDS/TB among the Zulu people in South Africa; a photography installation/book/film documenting poverty in Armenia; a project about labor migration from Armenia to Los Angeles; and, a feature film in Istanbul for which she served as the still photographer. Favorite sparkling beverage: Prosecco

DYLAN HO | PHOTOGRAPHER Dylan James Ho was born and raised in Los Angeles but he spends a great deal of his time traveling beyond. What first began as a hobby has become a way of life documenting the food he eats and the people he meets wherever he travels. His photography has appeared in Los Angeles Times Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Afar Magazine and Blackbook Mag. Favorite sparkling beverage: My favorite sparkling beverage has no carbonation at all. It is simply an Old Fashioned usually with Bourbon, sometimes with Rye. And it tastes great all year round.

CAMILLE GRIGSBY-ROCCA | WRITER Camille was raised in Napa, California, the first child of winemaking, food-loving parents. She moved to Portland, Oregon in 2010, and has been reveling in the bountiful beer, wine, and food offerings ever since. Currently finishing her degree at PSU, the delicious and plentiful options available to a girl on a student budget continue to amaze her. When not eating, drinking, cooking, or getting ready to do any of the above, Camille can usually be found with her nose deep in a book. Favorite sparkling beverage: Cascade Brewing’s Glueh Kriek, their hot, spiced, mulled sour cherry ale. Mulled wine has long been a favorite drink of mine — since the days I snuck sips of my parent’s sweet Christmas wine at much too young of an age — and this lightly fizzed, honeyed, but tart and deliciously spiced hot beer reminded me of my childhood (when you’re from Napa, it’s okay if wine reminds you of your childhood), in an entirely new and exciting way.

jan.feb 2012 | | 19

DENISE WOODWARD | WRITER Denise Woodward is a photographer/writer who ed Northern Nevada at the tender age of 18. She has been calling the San Francisco Bay Area home for the past 20 years. She develops recipes and writes for the home-grown food site Eat Boutique, as well as the Mushroom Channel, and Key Ingredient. Her recipes have been published in the book Foodies of the World and her photography has been featured in Saveur, as well as online at, and She lives in the up-andcoming neighborhood of West Oakland with her partner, Lenny Ferreira, with whom she shares the popular food site Chez Us. They believe anything can be made at home, from scratch, as long as you have a little patience, and fresh ingredients. Favorite sparkling beverage: Champagne with blood orange bitters and Aperol

RON DERHACOPIAN | PHOTOGRAPHER Ron's love affair with photography started at the age of 7 when his father came home from a business trip with a gift of a Kodak camera. Ron came to the United States with an engineering degree but dreamt of becoming a professional photographer. After working as an engineer for an aerospace company, he decided he was bored. He went back to school to study professional photography and started assisting many famous photographers. He opened his first studio in 1980 and never looked back. His career has given him the opportunity to shoot many celebrities like Halle Berry, Kobe Bryant, as well as shoot advertising campaigns for large corporate clients. Ron's portfolio can be viewed at Favorite sparkling beverage: VOSS Sparkling Water

MELISSA TOMEONI | PHOTOGRAPHER Melissa is a Los Angeles transplant who now lives with her husband, and puppy in Portland, Oregon. Whether working internationally or just around the block, this photographer is well versed in life, love and the passion of image making. Someone once said "... perfection ... is not in making a perfect picture but in creating the perfect balance between what you see and what it triggers in you." Find her online at and Favorite sparkling beverage: A mimosa (with pulp). A little bit sweet, little bit fun, and there is always reason to celebrate.

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butler’s choice: Historic Gamble photography by hilary kline

Designed by architects Greene & Greene in 1908, the Gamble House, in Pasadena, Calif. is considered a jewel of the American Arts and Crafts movement. While the main rooms were built with the more costly mahogany and ebony, the spaces designed for food storage and preparation, including the kitchen, cold room and butler’s pantry, were outfitted primarily with birdseye maple. The maple floors and cabinetry, along with the sugar pine counter tops, made these three rooms the brightest in the house. Each material in the butler’s pantry, like dual under-mounted sinks that are nickel silver over copper, or the walls lined with white subway tile, was selected by Charles and Henry Greene for its practicality and durability while still balancing form and function.

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The Gambles were never expected to set foot in the kitchen or pantry and, for that reason, the design is very austere when compared to the rest of the house. Yet that did not stop the Greene brothers from applying their trademark attention to craftsmanship and functionality to every single design detail. The inspiration here is that even if you cannot afford expensive materials when remodeling your home, you can, nevertheless, focus attention on even the most minor details of the remodel to improve the livability of the design.

The door to the pantry from the ornate dining room is offset from the door to the kitchen to reduce noise and interruption and a small pass-through allowed for the ease of transfer of dishes from the kitchen to the pantry. Windows were added both for natural light and for ventilation and the cabinetry is quite modern, even by today’s standards, featuring handcrafted wooden drawer pulls. The pantry isn’t large by any means, but the Greenes maximized every bit of the room’s available space. A pocket cabinet, installed just inside the door to the dining room, holds extra leaves for the dining table. And the long counter top, built to ensure sufficient workspace even for large dinner parties, is pinched in at the corner so workers did not bump into it while quickly moving between rooms.

stocking the pantry:

THIS CARAMEL ISN’T KIDDING photography by hilary kline

We recently fell in love with all things goat in the kitchen, so when we got a chance to taste Michael Winnike’s Happy Goat Scotch Caramel Sauce, we had to grab a few extra bottles for the pantry. San Francisco-based Happy Goat is a small “friend-owned” business that focuses on hand crafted caramel confections made with quality ingredients. The milk for the caramel comes from freerange goats raised at Meyenberg Farms in Turlock, Calif. Fed a steady diet of grass, clover, alfalfa, and hay, the goats are raised without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. Happy Goat makes their caramel sauce by hand in small batches, and mixes in Aberlour 12-YearOld Single Malt Scotch to create a uniquely delicious product that deserves a place in your pantry. We love it drizzled over butterscotch pudding, rice pudding, ice cream, and banana cream pie. This time of year, however, we serve it on warm gingerbread or baked into this deliciously moist sponge cake, which is loosely based on a traditional English pudding.

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Baked Scotch Caramel Pudding Serves 4 1 stick unsalted, room temperature butter, wrapper reserved ½ cup superfine sugar 2 large eggs ¾ cup self-rising flour ¼ tsp. kosher salt 4 tbsp. Happy Goat Scotch Caramel Sauce, warmed 1 pinch fleur de sel (or other similar finishing salt) 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and heat a teakettle full of water on the stove. Using the butter wrapper, grease four individual sized, ovenproof ramekins. Add the butter and sugar to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix the sugar and butter on a low speed. Once the sugar has been incorporated into the butter, increase the speed to medium-high and mix for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. 2. Add one of the eggs to the bowl and mix until completely incorporated. Repeat with the remaining egg. Once

the butter, sugar and eggs have come together, reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour to the bowl, ¼ cup at a time. Add the kosher salt and mix until incorporated.

stocking the pantry:

3. Spoon one tablespoon of the caramel sauce into each of the buttered ramekins. Divide the sponge cake mixture evenly between the four ramekins, spooning it on top of the caramel sauce. Cover each ramekin with a dome-shaped piece of aluminum foil to allow room for the pudding to expand. Place the four ramekins in a small roasting pan and add enough of the hot water from the teakettle to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a wood skewer inserted into the pudding comes out clean. 4. Run a knife around the inside edge of each ramekin. Turn out the warm puddings onto individual serving dishes, allowing the caramel sauce to pour out around the pudding. Top each with a few flakes of the fleur de sel. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. NOTE: The ramekins we used for this recipe are 3" in diameter x 1 1/2" high with a 3 oz. capacity.

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stocking the pantry:

"THERE'S NOTHING THAT DOESN'T GO WITH FISH SAUCE" photography by hilary kline

The Vietnamese name for fish sauce, nước mắm, translates as “salted fish water.” A quick read of the labels of the most common brands of fish sauce sold here in the States, however, shows a number of ingredients that go well beyond just salt and fresh fish. They contain anchovy extract, fructose, water, MSG, and other hydrolyzed proteins. Red Boat, a new small-batch, first press Vietnamese fish sauce on sale in the US is made with only sea salt and the freshest wild black anchovies, sourced exclusively from the waters off the Phu Quoc Island archipelago. Cuong Pham, Red Boat’s owner, says his company’s process for making fish sauce follows a centuries-old method of slow fermentation in large tropical wood barrels to achieve the smoothest, richest, and sweetest flavor. We absolutely love it is as the main ingredient in a salty-sweet vinaigrette that we picked up at Momofuku Ssäm Bar in NYC. We pour the vinaigrette over rice bowls, grilled meats, fresh salads, and even roasted vegetables, like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Try it today and judge the difference for yourself.

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stocking the pantry:

Fish Sauce Vinaigrette Recipe by David Chang Makes about 1 cup This stuff is totally Tien Ho - the former head chef at Momofuku Ssäm Bar - who says, “fish sauce vinaigrette is like the ketchup and mustard and mayonnaise of Vietnam all in one. If you go into a Vietnamese family’s house and there’s not a jar of it in the fridge or out on the table, there’s something wrong. There is nothing it doesn’t go with, there is no possibility of overusing it, and there’s no chance anyone ever gets tired of it. Growing up, when we were dirt poor, I’d get a bowl of rice and a tiny piece of meat for dinner and then just add enough fish sauce vinaigrette on it to make every last grain of rice taste good.” Our fish sauce vinaigrette is lighter and sweeter than whatever Tien’s ma would have made, so feel free to adjust it to your taste.

½ cup fish sauce ¼ cup water 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar Juice of 1 lime ¼ cup sugar 1 garlic clove, minced 1 to 3 bird’s-eye chiles, thinly sliced, seeds intact Combine the fish sauce, water, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, garlic and chiles in a jar. This vinaigrette will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. Reprinted with permission from Momofuku by David Chang, Copyright © 2009. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

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stocking the bar:

THE MOTHER OF INVENTION photography by hilary kline

We love folks who flout convention when creating quality food and drink, and if there is one word that everybody can agree upon when describing Taylor Peck and the rest of the Taylor’s Tonics crew, it’s unconventional. Their “underdog” buyers go out of their way to work with small importers, even eschewing suppliers who grow too large, so that they know exactly where each of their fair trade teas and organic botanicals come from before going in the bottle. “Creating products for people that are beneficial has been my pursuit ever since first starting to brew chai,” says Taylor Peck, Brewmaster and Ringmaster for Taylor’s Tonics. What was, until now, a company secret is the fact that Taylor’s Chai Cola was a single purchase order away from never having ever existed. Back in the mid-1990’s, Taylor started his career brewing bulk teas and organic chai tea concentrates for sale to the public. After finding early success with his brewed teas, he worked a verbal deal with a large food wholesaler to create and market a chai “super-concentrate” for national distribution. While waiting for the first order to come in, a trade magazine landed on his desk announcing his main competitor’s own super-concentrate to be distributed by the same wholesaler. All of Taylor’s capital was locked up in the inventory of super concentrate that no longer had a buyer or a market. “Finally it dawned on us that it made a really fierce sparkling drink,” Taylor says. “The first ten production runs of our soda involved us decanting these bottles [of concentrate] one at a time into the manufacturing kettle. It was the best thing that ever could have happened to us.” Us too.

Year-round Product Line Café Azteca: If you ever thought you wanted to try a fizzy Mexican-flavored mocha here’s your chance. Coffee, cinnamon, cocoa, and cayenne are steeped and then carbonated to make a truly unique soda. [Available in California and Texas only - just for fun.] Chai Cola: Chai tea spices are steeped and mixed with a more traditional cola flavor. The combined mixture has a complex flavor that combines cinnamon, clove, vanilla, ginger and cardamon that’s wonderfully satisfying. Maté Mojito: Yerba maté, nettle leaf, spearmint and peppermint are steeped and mixed with real lime juice and evaporated cane juice to give a refreshingly clean, herbal soda that tastes of its namesake cocktail, without the rum, of course. Maté Colada: Yerba maté makes its second appearance in the Taylor’s line, this time mixed with coconut water, aloe vera, passion flower, orange extract and pineapple juice to make what Taylor calls a “soft version of the beloved tropical classic.” Thai Tea [coming soon]: It took time to find a supplier who didn’t spray its Thai tea with artificial food coloring, but now that they have, Taylor’s is launching this sparkling Thai Tea soda made from coconut water infused with orange blossoms, star anise and vanilla. The trademark orange color comes from natural annatto seed extract.

stocking the bar:

photo credit: patrick roddie

meredith's page: Shades of Winter Around the New Year, I always search out the classics — the winter whites & practical new additions. So, with a look back at a trailblazer, a new use for an everyday item and some new entertaining items, I wish you all a serene, joyful 2012.

– Meredith

Beaumont is in th e Kitch en:

Beaumont Newhall seems to be the original food blogger (well, columnist back then)/ photographer, cook extraordinaire & lover of good food whose friends just happened to be Edward Weston and Ansel Adams. Radius Books, $55

What's In Th e Honey Jar?

Well, now you can see. The beautiful wood design is a bonus. Merchant No.4; $38

Worth Ironing:

I’m constantly on the search for basic, but also quality, affordable, linen napkins. Mateo fits the bill. Matteo, various colors, set of 4; $45

Hurricane Hospitality:

The Hospicio lantern creates a welcoming light by the front door (I do live in Los Angeles, after all) on chilly winter nights. Available in various leather strap colors. ColchA, starting at $265

Ch eesy Mat:

Practical in the kitchen, but also beautiful as a mat for framed menus & photos of all those wonderful meals and best of all, cheap and available –um, everywhere.


in print.






spenser personalizing food & drink.


mushroom foraging in Mendocino

CASSOULET: a feast for the soul - david chang

barrel-aged sour ales in PORTLAND squirreling away WINTER'S citrus jan.feb 2012 | ISSUE TWO


buy your printed copy of spenser on MagCloud

pantry staples:

THE NORTH AFRICAN LARDER photography by hilary kline

Preserved lemons and harissa paste are two classics of the North African pantry. Easy additions to meat, fish, poultry and vegetables, they both liven up a dish with minimal effort. Increasingly, grocery stores here in the States are stocking commercial versions of these two ingredients that work just fine in a pinch. But with a little planning and some free time, you can easily produce a homemade version whose freshness can’t be beat. When we make preserved lemons and harissa paste at home, we turn to renowned food writer and expert on all things Mediterranean, Paula Wolfert, for guidance. Wolfert points out that most items in a North African larder are not difficult to make, and since they are preserved, benefit from the passage of time. “Preparing special foods for another day will teach you something new about slow cooking,” Wolfert says. “Think of stocking your larder as a gift to yourself.”

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pantry staples:

Preserved Lemons Recipe by Paula Wolfert

Preserved lemons are an indispensable ingredient in North African food. When you preserve lemons in salt, you can enjoy their tangy zest all year long. They only get better as they mature. The bitterness of the pith changes and mellows, while the flavor acquires a piquancy unlike any other condiment I know.

10 ripe organic lemons ½ cup coarse salt Extra virgin olive oil 1. Scrub six of the lemons and dry well. Quarter the six lemons, cutting from the top to within ½ inch of the bottom. Sprinkle salt on the exposed flesh, then reshape the fruit. Toss with the remaining salt and pack the lemons into a large, dry, sterile glass jar with a glass or plasticcoated lid. 2. With a wood spoon, gently push down on the lemons. Squeeze the juice from the remaining four lemons and pour into the jar. Close the jar tightly and let the lemons ripen at room temperature for 30 days, shaking the jar each day to redistribute the salt and juice. (Within a few days the salt will draw out enough juice to completely cover the lemons). 3. For longer storage, add olive oil to cover and refrigerate for up to 1 year. Rinse the lemons before using. Editor’s Note: We like to use organic Meyer lemons in this recipe since they are readily available in the winter. Their fragrant, thin skins make them perfect for both cooked and raw preparations.

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pantry staples:


Adapted from a recipe by Paula Wolfert Harissa, Tunisia’s signature hot red pepper paste, is the perfect first ingredient for any larder. It’s easy to make and equally useful for embellishing couscous, kebabs, and olives. It brightens and enriches all kinds of fish dishes, meat stews, and vegetable ragouts. And when you don’t feel like cooking but need something to serve right away, simply blend some harissa with a little water and olive oil, and use it as a dip for bread.

Makes about 1 cup 6 garlic cloves 12 dried New Mexican chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into 2-inch pieces, softened in warm water and squeezed dry 6 sun-dried tomato halves, softened in water and squeezed dry 2 tbsp. salt 4 tsp. Tunisian le tabil spice mix (see Note) Extra virgin olive oil Lemon juice, optional In food processor, combine the garlic, chiles, sun-dried tomato, and le tabil spice mix and pulse until a paste forms. Still using the pulse button, slowly add the oil, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture becomes thick and spreadable. Add a few drops of lemon juice to round out the flavor, if desired. Pack into a 1-cup dry jar, cover with oil, and tightly close. Keep refrigerated. Note: Tunisian le tabil spice mix is made by combining 1 tbsp. ground coriander seed, ½ tsp. ground caraway, ¹⁄8 tsp. cayenne, ¹⁄8 tsp. ground fennel seed, ¹⁄8 tsp. ground cumin, ¹⁄8 tsp. ground black pepper, ¹⁄8 tsp. ground turmeric, and ¹⁄8 tsp. ground cloves. Both recipes excerpted from The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert (John Wiley & Son Inc.) Copyright © 2003.

jan.feb 2012 | | 37

season’s harvest: Romanesco

photography by hilary kline

Romanesco is the stunningly beautiful relative of the cauliflower. A prized ingredient in Italian cooking, Romans have been growing it in the area around their city for centuries. Like cauliflower, Romanesco forms a stalk that grows into a compacted head except that Romanesco florets grow in small, self-similar spirals, which, in turn, form larger repeating spirals. And it’s this unique fractal pattern that typically entices first-time buyers to take a chance on the unusual vegetable. Unfortunately, Romanesco is also much more delicate than cauliflower and broccoli, and damages easily in transit, so you’re best bet for getting your hands on some is to head to your favorite local farmer’s market. Eva Worden and her husband Chris grow more than 50 different varieties of certified organic vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers at their Worden Farm in Southwest Florida. We spoke with Eva, who sells at the Sarasota and St. Petersburg farmers markets in Florida, to find out why she plants Romanesco. “I love growing Romanesco,” says Eva. “It is a stunning chartreuse cauliflower with spiral florets, and a mellow, buttery flavor. It is healthy, delicious and beautiful. Our CSA farm members and customers look forward to the Romanesco season every year.” Eva suggests choosing heads that are firm and vibrant, with tight florets. “Like most vegetables,” she says, “Romanesco is best eaten right after harvesting, but it can be refrigerated for up to a week, wrapped in a cloth towel.” Romanesco florets are incredibly versatile, and can be substituted for cauliflower or broccoli in almost any recipe. The nutty flavor of the vegetable shines brightest, however, in simple recipes. Eva Worden’s current favorite preparation: lightly coat the florets in olive oil and oven-roast it until just browned. We’re partial to the version being prepared by Chef Josef Centeno at his brand new Los Angeles restaurant, Baco Mercat. Chef Centeno cooks the Romanesco with anchovy, garlic and cilantro, roasting it until caramelized. He was kind enough to give us the recipe so you can taste his dish even if you can’t make it to LA. And you better hurry: Romanesco season is fleeting. Once the weather warms, you’ll be out of luck.

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Romanesco with Anchovy, Garlic and Coriander

season's harvest:

Adapted from a recipe by Josef Centeno Serves 3 as a side dish

½ head Romanesco, separated into same-size florets, cutting the larger pieces to match 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. anchovy, garlic & coriander oil (recipe at right) Juice from ½ a lime 6 roughly chopped whole anchovies 1 tbsp. olive oil (not a finishing oil, a blend or canola will do) 10 leaves of Italian parsley 1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp. of anchovy, garlic & coriander oil, lime juice and a pinch of salt, if needed. Reserve for plating. 2. Add olive oil to an ovenproof sauté pan over medium high heat and when it starts to lightly smoke add Romanesco. Stir once to coat in the oil, then allow to caramelize, undisturbed, for 1 minute. 3. Put the pan in oven for 2 minutes until Romanesco is tender but it still has a little crunch. 4. Remove the pan from the oven, add 1 tsp. of anchovy-garlic-coriander oil and toss to coat Romanesco well. Remove Romanesco from the pan and place on an absorbent paper towel. 5. Arrange Romanesco on a serving plate. Scatter parsley on top and drizzle reserved sauce, distributing anchovy pieces evenly.

Anchovy-Garlic-Coriander Oil Recipe by Josef Centeno Makes about 1 cup 1/2 bunch cilantro 1 tbsp. olive oil (not a finishing oil, a blend or canola will do) 1 tbsp. whole coriander seeds 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced Pinch of red chile flakes 6 whole anchovies, roughly chopped ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil 1. Fill a mixing bowl with ice water. Blanch the cilantro in a large pot of boiling water for 15 seconds. Immediately shock the blanched cilantro in the ice water. Dry cilantro thoroughly and mince. 2. Add olive oil to sauté pan set over medium heat. Add coriander, toasting lightly for about 30 seconds. Add garlic, chile flakes, and anchovy and cook for 30 seconds or until garlic is aromatic. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 3. When mixture is cool, add to blender with minced cilantro and extra-virgin olive oil. Puree until very smooth.

jan.feb 2012 | | 39

butcher's block: Whipped Lardo photography by hilary kline

Many people aren’t sure what to do when presented with slices of lardo, that traditional Italian cold cut that looks deceptively like shavings of raw pork fat. Often, they’ll politely decline the dish, missing out on the rich, herbal saltiness that entices connoisseurs from Tuscany to Tokyo. Which got us thinking: given the right makeover, could we turn the naysayers into lardo lovers? Whipped until light and airy and then spread onto warm, crusty bread, lardo becomes something more familiar. A cousin to the normal complement of butter that is served with bread, but one with less saturated fat, less cholesterol and more protein. In Italy, lardo is a traditional winter delicacy. Large basins made from white marble pulled from the hills near Carrara are washed with garlic and vinegar. Spices are blended into large quantities of sea salt and then layered in the basins with thick slabs of fat back. More salt is added to cover the pork and the mixture is covered with a brine and left to cure. Our favorite whipped lardo is served at Del Posto in New York City. Cured and whipped together by Executive Chef Mark Ladner and spread onto freshfrom-the-oven focaccia from Head Baker Ernesto Gonzalez, it is just about the perfect way to start a winter meal. One bite and you are instantly enveloped by the comforting warmth of the melting pork fat as you slowly start to forget about the cold weather that lurks just outside the door.

butcher's block: 3. Once cured, remove the fat back from the salt mixture. Using a coarse brush, remove any excess salt that may be clinging to the fat back. Cut off skin taking care not to remove too much fat. The cured fat back is now lardo. 4. Cut the prepared lardo into 1-inch cubes, and freeze. Place the dye and blades from your meat grinder in the freezer to ensure that they are well chilled. Grind the frozen cubes of lardo through a fine dye that is 1⁄8-inch thick. Place ground lardo into the chilled bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and whip on medium speed until light and airy.

Whipped Lardo

Adapted from a recipe by Mark Ladner For the cure: 3 ¾ lbs. kosher salt 1 ½ tbsp. fresh chopped garlic 2 tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary ½ tbsp. Insta Cure #2 1 ½ tbsp. fresh ground black pepper 1 tbsp. ground ginger 1 tbsp. ground allspice 5 lbs. highest quality pork fat back (you want pieces to be at least 1 ½ inches thick)

5. Add the rosemary, black pepper, and red wine vinegar to the mixer and whip until incorporated. If using the same day, transfer the finished, whipped lardo to your desired sealable glass containers and store in the refrigerator. For longer storage, place the containers in the freezer. Before serving, allow the whipped lardo to return to room temperature. Serve with warm, crusty bread or focaccia. Note: We suggest a 5 lb. batch because the pork fat loses weigh as it cures. Whipped lardo packed into glass jars makes a great homemade gift for friends and family. In a pinch, you may buy good quality cured lardo from a specialty foods store and start the recipe at Step 4.

To finish (for each lb. of cured lardo): 2 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely minced 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper 1 tbsp. good quality red wine vinegar 1. Place one pound of salt, the garlic, and the rosemary in a food processor, and pulse till garlic and rosemary are evenly dispersed and chopped into the salt. Combine remaining salt, Insta Cure #2, pepper, ginger, and allspice in a large bowl and mix until all of the spices are evenly dispersed within the salt. Combine the two salt mixtures and stir together until well blended. 2. Place ½-inch layer of the seasoned salt mixture on the bottom of a large clean, non-reactive, sealable plastic or glass container. Layer the piece(s) of fat back evenly on top of existing salt, and then cover with the remaining salt mixture. Seal the container with a tight fitting lid, and place it in the back of your refrigerator to cure for 90 days.

jan.feb 2012 | | 41

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(Clockwise on the plate from top) Cara Cara orange; Moro blood orange; Black Mission fig; Limequat; Rangpur lime; Cocktail grapefruit; Cara Cara orange; Kaffir lime.


CONTENT: A Trip to a Citrus Farm with Jessica Koslow


BY: Mike Dundas PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Dylan Ho

few months ago, Sqirl Preserves owner Jessica Koslow took a road trip from Los Angeles to the scenic Sonoma County town of Sebastapol, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, to meet with Lee Walker, the third-generation apple farmer who owns Walker’s Apples. Walker is one of only a handful of farmers who still grow Gravenstein apples for commercial sale in Sonoma County and Jessica had made the journey to pick up 500 pounds of his crop to bring back to her L.A. shop to turn into heirloom apple butter. The Gravenstein’s unique sweet and tart flavor are, in the words of Slow Food USA, “symbols of Sonoma County’s historical agricultural traditions.” Gravenstein trees were first planted in Sonoma County in the early 1800s by Russian fur traders. At the peak of their production, in the early to mid 1900s, they covered approximately 8000 acres in and around Sebastapol. Recently, Sonoma County’s Gravenstein orchards have all but disappeared. Chinese apple juice imports are undercutting the price per ton, and much of the orchard land is being plowed over to make room for vastly more profitable wine grapes. Only about 960 acres of Gravenstein orchards remain. So Jessica, hemmed in by a hectic schedule that included both the opening of her new L.A. storefront and a fruit preserving class she was scheduled to teach, had only 24 hours to make the 860-mile round trip journey. But even if she had to drive all night, she was determined to make the drive.

Long Beach, Calif. native Jessica, 30, spent much of her youth as a practicing figure skater. After earning degrees at Brandeis and Georgetown, she took a job in New York as a producer for American Idol, and was eventually transferred back to Los Angeles. Tired of the television industry, she started moonlighting the night shift at Village Bakery in Los Angeles, baking all night before heading back to her production job in the morning. After leaving Idol, Jessica dove headfirst into the art of preserving foods while working for Atlanta chef Anne Quatrano. Jessica had worked at Quatrano’s flagship restaurant Bacchanalia fresh out of college and Anne recruited her back to help her team with Abbatoir, a relatively new restaurant with a menu based around whole animal cooking and cured meats. The Abbatoir kitchen needed pickles and preserves to accompany the charcuterie plates, so Jessica started working with local fruits and vegetables to make items like green tomato chutney or Muscadine grape jelly. “It was the foyer into working with extremely local produce and doing it at a very high level of craft,” she says. “I came back to LA knowing that’s what I wanted to do.” At Sqirl, Jessica adheres to strict traditionalism when it comes to the technique of preserving fruit. She makes her jams, jellies and marmalades using only produce from family-owned California farms that practice sustainable, certified organic methods. The fruit, harvested at its absolute peak, is preserved simply, with a minimal amount of organic cane sugar and naturally occurring pectin, in small-batch copper jam pans that were “handspun" by a Marin County, Calif. coppersmith. Always experimenting in the kitchen, she routinely pairs the local fruit with aromatic herbs to great success. Recent offerings include her Elberta peach preserves with lemon verbena, wild raspberry jam with lavender, and Seascape strawberry jam with marjoram.

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(Clockwise from left) The view south from Rancho Del Sol toward the Otay Mountain wilderness; Harvesting a Kishu mandarin; An old Rancho Del Sol farm truck.

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Particularly fond of stone fruit, Jessica relishes the summer when she can work with dry-farmed Blenheim apricots from Forcefield Farm, Santa Rosa plums from Flora Bella Farm and Snow Queen nectarines from Summer Harvest Farm. Even during the summer, she is always looking for what comes next. “The great thing about seasons is that you never get bored with what you are doing,” she says. “You are always excited by what is at its best. Just as soon as you’re tired, the next season comes along to excite you.” One of Jessica's proudest supporters to date has been her former mentor, Chef Quatrano, who sells Sqirl preserves at Star Provisions, her gourmet market in Atlanta. “Jessica is a talented and determined woman with an excellent palate and a passion for the integrity of the process. Her small batch artisan preserves are the finest I have tasted," Anne says.

Sqirl first made its name with preserves featuring uncommon varieties of winter citrus. She takes handpicked Morro blood oranges, Sorrento lemons, yuzus, and mandarinquats and combines them to create unique expressions of the flavor of the Southern California winter. Her very first product offering was a Morro blood orange marmalade made with Sorrento lemons and Tonga vanilla bean. The blood oranges and lemons were sourced from Rancho Del Sol citrus farm, in Jamul, Calif., about 30 minutes east of downtown San Diego and within view of Mexico’s Baja border. Rancho Del Sol — the first farm she visited as the owner of Sqirl — was exactly where she wanted to celebrate the end of her first year in business. And we tagged along on a return trip to check in on the farm that helped start it all. This certified organic family farm is owned and operated by Bill and Linda Zaiser. Together the Zaisers grow their citrus on 40 acres of rocky, hillside terrain with sweeping views of the Otay Mountain Wilderness and the Pacific Ocean. “I have a special relationship with Linda and Bill just from the fact they were the first farmers that I contacted,” says Jessica. “I will always cherish that connection.” More the 30 years ago, Bill left behind a career as a homebuilder to move out to the country with Linda, a practicing artist. They wanted to find a place to get away from it all, to be able to raise their two young children, and they settled on a hilltop piece of property in central San Diego County in the early 1980’s.

(From left) Bill Zaiser at the entrance to Rancho Del Sol; Linda Zaiser in the orchard; Linda showing a Kaffir lime. Opposite Page: Weighing the yuzu in preparation for making the marmalade.

(Clockwise from top left) Peeling the yuzu; Julienning the yuzu peel; Jessica squeezing out the rendered pectin; Prepared Rangpur lime segments. Opposite Page: The finished Rangpur lime and yuzu marmalade.

“You are always excited by what is at its best. Just as soon as you’re tired, the next season comes along to excite you.”

At purchase, the Zaisers were told that their new home had the perfect soil and was situated in the perfect climate for growing citrus, but they didn’t know which varietal to plant. On a whim one morning, Bill just picked up the phone and called Frieda Caplan, who ran a specialty produce stand at the Los Angeles Produce Market. He asked, quite simply, what it was that he could grow for her.

Rancho Del Sol, she arrived too late in the season for yuzu or Rangpur. Certainly, she could do a marmalade, she thought. Yuzu and Rangpur, perhaps? But also a cocktail syrup as well, something with Bhudda's hand? It's all just part of the creative process. Ultimately, Jessica says that she plans to take Sqirl beyond the current jams, marmalades, and pickles to explore other preservation techniques, including glacéed fruit, pastilles or even different ciders.

“Her response,” says Bill, “Blood oranges.” When Bill’s father, who had worked for years as an accountant for Sunkist, found out that Bill and Linda were intending to buy blood orange trees, he implored his son to plant Valencia oranges instead. “Bill’s father told us, ‘Don’t do that. Blood oranges are just a nuisance. Nobody knows what they are.’” Linda says. “But when he saw our first check from Frieda, he said, ‘Oh my gosh! Can you plant more? Can you get more?’” she added. Today, they grow more than twenty different varieties of specialty citrus, including Sorrento lemons, Kishu mandarins, Gold Nugget mandarins, LimaDulces, Kaffir limes, finger limes, yuzus, mandarinquats, limequats, and Oro Blanco grapefruit. Their land is so verdant that cucumber, mustard, fennel, agave, and nettles can all be found growing wild all over the property. Ever curious, Bill and Linda are always experimenting with any new trees that they are able to source — most recently a planting of a Lavender Gem, which is a cross between a white grapefruit and a tangelo. The fastest way to move around the farm is on Linda's golf cart, which has a sticker that reads "Girl Gone Wild" on the rear bumper. With Jessica in tow, Linda whisks the golf cart by rows of Cara Cara pink navel orange and Meyer lemon trees, stopping every 100 yards or so to pluck something and slice it open for everyone to taste. Half way down the south side of the property, she stops at the top of a steep incline that leads down to a small grove of trees overflowing with the vibrantly yellow fingers of Buddha’s Hand citron. And around another corner are trees filled with golden-colored yuzu. Later on, after passing the Zaisers' peacocks, llamas and horses, Linda stops again to pull a ripe Rangpur lime from a small tree. It's the shape and size of a Satsuma with a vivid orange color both inside and out. One taste, however, and the lime’s bracing acidity quickly reminds you of its provenance. Jessica's mind is working overtime. On that first visit to the

Each new fruit and each new process brings with it new experimentation in the pursuit of perfection. Her seeming unending curiosity, ultimately, only serves to benefit her dedicated customers. "People like Linda and Bill or Lee Walker, they are the reason why the product is what it is," Jessica says. "For me, it’s more about how I can be hands off and how I can let their product reveal itself naturally then me doing much of anything.” She peppers Linda with questions about acidity, ripeness, quantities and availability. Linda suggests something sweet to replace the Rangpur and balance the Yuzu and they are back in the cart again, off to another part of the farm. It isn’t long before they disappear from view.

Jessica Koslow is passionate about reducing waste and creative reuse. Even natural food processes have their byproducts. For example, Proof Bakery, where Jessica used to work, saves the rinds left over from their fresh pressed orange juice. Jessica takes their orange rinds and candies them in wild fennel syrup. When candying rinds, the sugar syrup mix requires a bit of 'acid' in order to invert the sucrose into its two major components — fructose and glucose. Typically, people candying fruit use the additive Cream of Tartar in their production. Instead of using processed Cream of Tartar, Jessica uses natural Potassium Bitartrate from the barrels of a 2010 Syrah from Hank Beckmeyer's La Clarine Farm. Potassium Bitartrate, in its true form, is a byproduct of wine making and is typically found at the bottom and sides of wine fermentation vessels. The candied rinds are left to set and finally tossed in a sugar fennel mixture before being jarred. Of course, the process doesn’t end there. The orange and wild fennel syrup that was used to candy the rinds is also bottled and provided to different bars in Los Angeles to be used in original cocktails. Nothing is left to go to waste.

(Clockwise on the table from top) Blackberry & Meyer lemon preserves, Quince & rose water jelly; Elberta peach jam with lemon verbena; Raspberry & fresh lavender preserves; Santa Rosa plum & flowering thyme jam. Opposite Page: Jessica Koslow preparing the citrus for the marmalade.

Rangpur Lime and Yuzu Marmalade Adapted from a recipe by Jessica Koslow

Editor’s Note: If you do not already own a digital kitchen scale you should get one, immediately. More and more recipes from professional chefs and master food producers feature ingredient lists measured in grams and kilograms because of the precision they afford. We have included approximations of the traditional weights and measures, but if you want the recipe to turn out exactly like Jessica’s does, we suggest using a scale.

1.5 kg. (approx. 3 ¹⁄³ lbs.) Rangpur limes 4 yuzus 500 g. (appox. 2 cups) satsuma tangerine juice (squeezed fresh on Day 2) 1.4 kg. (approx. 7 cups) organic cane sugar TOOLS: 8 oz. Ball jars w/ 2-piece lids Water bath canner w/ jar funnel, jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter Ladle Heat resistant pitcher (8-cup pitchers that are TALL are my favorite. It must have a spout for easy pouring!) Digital thermometer Small and medium bowl Paper towels Spoons Wide stock pot, or preferably a copper jam pan Fine mesh skimmer Cheesecloth, 90 mesh (super fine!) Citrus juicer DAY 1: 1. Wash and dry the Rangpur limes very well. Slice off the ends of the limes and reserve in a small bowl. Slice each lime lengthwise and then cut each of those halves lengthwise again. Slice the resulting wedges into ¼-inch pieces. You should have really nice triangles of fruit. (There will be seeds and they should fall out naturally. If they do not you can wait until you skim them while the preserve is cooking.) Place any seeds in the bowl with the end pieces. Cut until you have 1.1 kg. (approx 4 ½ cups) worth of prepared Rangpur fruit. 2. Place the ends and seeds into the center of a square of cheesecloth. Bring the opposite ends together and tie in a knot, doing the same to the other side, creating a sack. Place in the refrigerator.

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3. Place the prepared Rangpur pieces into a large stockpot. Fill the stockpot with enough water to just cover the fruit. Place the pot over high heat, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. After the water has

come to a full boil, remove the pot from the heat and strain the rinds, discarding the water. 4. Return the rinds to the pot and cover, again, with cold water. Replace the pot over high heat, cover with a lid and bring to a boil again. Once boiling, remove the pot from the heat and strain the rinds, discarding the water. (This will help draw out the bitterness from the rind. The syrup will be quite bitter if these steps are not taken.) 5. Refill the pot with cold water for a third time. Return the pot to high heat. On this third round of cooking, place of round of parchment paper over the Rangpur pieces and press down to help keep them submerged under the water. (This helps extract as much pectin from the fruit as possible.) Bring to a boil and cook, in the boiling water, until the rinds become very tender, about 25 minutes. (They could break with little to no give.) 6. Transfer the cooking liquid and the rinds to a heatproof bowl and allow to cool. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours. DAY 2: 7. Prepare jars in water bath canner per the instruction book. (A great guide can be found online at the National Center For Home Food Preservation.) The sealing, flat part of the 2-piece lid should be placed in hot water and set aside. Additionally, set up a workstation next to your stove that has the following: towels on the counter and two in your apron, a pitcher, a Ladle, a digital thermometer, a long-handled spatula, a bowl filled with water and a skimmer placed in it. On the table where you will be canning, place a towel down and on top place a bowl with wet paper towels, regular spoons, jar funnel, jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter and the rings to the lids. 8. In the morning, strain the cooked Rangpur through a chinois. You want to retain both the cooking liquid — it's full of pectin — and the fruit pieces. 9. Measure out 500 g. of the strained cooking liquid. Zest the yuzus with a microplane, then juice them. Strain the fresh squeezed yuzu juice through a chinois. (You should have around 50 g. of juice.) 10. Place the cooked Rangpur pieces — which will now weigh around 1 kg. — and place into a heavybottomed stockpot with the yuzu zest, yuzu juice, satsuma juice and sugar. Add the sack of fresh Rangpur ends and seeds from the previous day. 11. Place the pot over medium high heat and stir often until the sugar dissolves. Allow the preserve to come to a boil. Skim any foam that rises to the top of the bubbling liquid and remove any remaining seeds. At this point you want to occasionally stir

the preserve to ensure that the sugar on the bottom does not burn. You want to cook the preserve until it reaches a temperature of 221°F, about 20-25 minutes. (Check the temperature often with your digital thermometer — the best reading will occur when you turn off the heat for a few moments and allow the bubbling to subside.) 12. Once the preserve has reached 221°F, turn off the heat and let sit for a minute. During that minute, skim off any remaining impurities. Remove the jars from the water bath canner. 13. Using the ladle, stir the mixture and spoon it into the pitcher. You want to ensure that you are getting an equal amount of rind and liquid in each spoonful. Pour the marmalade into the jars, leaving a ¼-inch of headspace. Skim the jars, and clean the rims using the wet paper towel. Retrieve the lids that have been sterilizing in water and use the lid lifter to take them out of the water and onto the tops of each finished jar. Place the ring on top of the jar, fingertip tight, and process per USDA guidelines.

Fresh yuzu citrus.

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Yuzu Syrup

Adapted from a recipe by Jessica Koslow Makes approx. 5 cups Editor’s Note: This delicious syrup features yuzu citrus, the flavor of which tastes like a distinctive blend of lemon, lime and grapefruit. By taking the extra time to make your own pectin, as called for in this recipe, you will create a resulting syrup with a thicker, more viscous consistency, making it perfect for mixing into cocktails or with sparkling water. Fresh yuzu is typically only available in the winter. It can be found at some farmers markets around the country but is most often sold at Japanese grocery stores. If you are unable to find fresh yuzu, Rangpur limes, Sudachi citrus, Seville oranges or bergamot oranges are good substitutes.

10 yuzus 1 kg. (4 ½ cups) organic cane sugar 1. Halve and juice the yuzus, reserving the rinds. Strain the juice through a chinois (or other fine mesh strainer) to remove any seeds and pulp. Refrigerate the juice until needed. 2. Place the rinds in a stockpot and cover them with cold water. Place the pot over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and strain the rinds, discarding the water. 3. Return the rinds to the pot and cover, again, with cold water. Replace the pot over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil again. Once boiling, remove the pot from the heat and strain the rinds, discarding the water. (This will help draw out the bitterness from the rind. The syrup will be quite bitter if these steps are not taken.) 4. Refill the pot with cold water for a third time. Return the pot to high heat. On this third round of cooking, place of round of parchment paper over the rinds and press down to help keep them submerged under the water. (This helps extract as much pectin from the rinds as possible.) Bring to a boil and cook, in the boiling water, until the rinds become very tender, about 25 minutes. (They could break with little to no give.) 5. Transfer the cooking liquid and the rinds to a heatproof bowl and allow to cool. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours. 6. Strain the cooking liquid through a chinois or other fine mesh strainer, discarding the rinds. Set a medium saucepan over high heat. Add 1 kg. (approx. 4 ½ cups) of the reserved cooking liquid and the sugar and bring to a roaring boil. Stir continually until the sugar has completely dissolved. After 3 minutes at a boil, remove from heat, pour in the yuzu juice and stir to combine. Let syrup cool and then store in a sealed bottle in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Creamy Rice Pudding with Sake & Marmalade Serves 6 This is a rich, creamy rice pudding that balances the sweetness of the sake and Turbinado sugar with the bright kick of acidity and slight bitterness of the yuzu marmalade.

½ cup Carnaroli rice 1 tbsp. butter 2 cups + 3 tbsp. nigori sake Pinch of kosher salt 1 quart half and half 1 cup heavy cream ½ cup condensed milk ½ cup turbinado sugar 6 tbsp. yuzu marmalade (recipe on pg. 54) 1. Place the rice in a large mesh strainer and rinse under running water for 30 to 45 seconds. Allow the excess water to drain through the rice. 2. Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pan and then add the rice. Stir the rice to coat the individual grains in the melted butter. Allow the rice to cook in the butter, stirring often, for 1 minute. 3. Add the sake and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed all of the sake, about five minutes. Add the half and half and allow the rice mixture to come to a boil. Reduce the heat until the liquid reaches a gentle simmer and then cook, stirring occasionally for 20 to 25 minutes. (This may seem like a lot of liquid for only ½-cup of rice, but it will be mostly absorbed.) 4. After the half and half has cooked with the rice, stir in the cream, condensed milk, and Turbinado sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 20 to 25 minutes until the mixture becomes very creamy and the rice is completely soft. 5. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 3 tbsp. of sake. Transfer the rice to a mixing bowl and cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. (Can be made the day before and refrigerated overnight.) 6. Evenly divide the chilled rice pudding between six small serving bowls. Top each with a heaping spoonful of marmalade. NOTE: We also love this rice pudding served with Sqirl’s Moro Blood Orange and Tonga Vanilla Bean Marmalade [pictured here] and Sqirl’s Blackberry and Meyer Lemon Preserves.


$150 is a lot of money to spend on a pot when you’re making $18,000 a year. This is what I told myself on a freezing night in 1988, while standing in front of a mountain of Le Creusets on the second floor of Zabar’s. I was early for my therapy appointment — a few blocks away on West 86th Street in an area known as shrink alley — so I stopped in to what was then New York’s best-kept cookware secret. The upstairs department, which attracted every tool whore in the city, amounted to a veritable car crash of pots and pans and implements of gastronomical nonsense — an unlikely, Seussian hodgepodge of dusty, tin-lined French copper straight off the boat from Villedieu and stacked precariously in heaps next to towers of bamboo steamers in every size. There were hardcore Sabatier carbon steel knives guaranteed to rust at a glance, thick-bottomed Paderno aluminum and stainless sauteuses that would only ever see the inside of professional kitchens, Chemex drip coffee makers, Italian truffle slicers, wire deep fry baskets, and sticky, oil-slicked cast iron Chinese pows. You had to know exactly what you were looking for, and looking at; the salespeople were utterly clueless, and prices were embarrassingly low. But not so low that that evening I wasn’t pitched headlong into quick computations in order to rationalize the extraordinary purchase of a single, white Le Creuset pot in which I swore to myself I would only ever prepare one dish, and one dish only: cassoulet. Fetishized to a fare thee well, cassoulet is one of those French peasant dishes that serious American home cooks notoriously turn themselves inside out over, taking something mildly complicated but not actually difficult to produce and forcing it through a hideously and unnecessarily byzantine culinary wringer. The truth? Just ask any Gallic grandma, and she’ll p’shaw in your face and say “it’s just beans and meats and time. You idiot.” But that night at Zabar’s, I was young and foolish, and in the throes of a raging crush on a circumspect sort of man who rolled his own pasta, aged his own vinegar, and made his own confit. So minutes later, I found myself standing at the cashier with the box, handing over my credit card. I ran up Broadway to 86th Street, and hung the doubled shopping bag on the coat rack in my therapist’s waiting room. I put my parka over it as the door to her office creaked open and I walked in, the smug keeper of a dark secret: I had just spent half of that week’s take home pay on a piece of covered, enameled cast iron cookware without which, according to Kevin — my new boss and the subject of this instant and stupefying crush that rendered me moronic when I opened my mouth to speak — I would never, ever be able to properly make the ancient, region-specific amalgam of preserved meat and beans.


hat Friday morning, I had begun a job working for the original Dean & Deluca, then located at 121 Prince Street in Soho. During a lull, Kevin, a tall, rail-thin, laconic Midwesterner sat at his desk at the back of the store, head down, pouring over Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The book was flopped open to a page somewhere near the middle, and as Kevin read, he pushed his square, rimless glasses up on his nose, and scribbled copious notes on a legal pad. When he was done, he closed the book, grabbed a shopping basket and walked up one aisle and down the other, pulling items off the gleaming Metro shelving: Bags of imported dried white beans. A round metal tin of allspice berries. Bay leaves. Store-made bouquet garni. At the charcuterie counter, Peter, a member of the Nikolai/Lewis dance company who moonlighted as a meat slicer, handed Kevin a few wrapped packages of pork, pork bones, some mild garlic sausage, and a quart container of thick, waxy duck fat. Kevin walked to the front of the store, grabbed a loaf of crusty bread, paid for his purchases, and came to the back with his shopping bags. “Cooking?” I asked, presciently. “All weekend,” he said, putting his coat on. He was adorable. And he lived around the corner from me. “All weekend?” I replied, coyly. “Cassoulet,” he answered. “Julia’s. Have you ever made it?” I looked at my feet when he asked, so he knew the answer. I considered lying, but it would have been too obvious. “Me neither,” he said. “I have Monday off, so there’s enough time. Plus, I just got the pot. You have to have the pot. Creuset. Round.” “You need three days? And a special pot?” Kevin handed me the book. “Take a look,” he said, putting his earmuffs on. “Make it and we’ll compare notes. Have a good weekend.” And then he turned around and left. I wistfully watched him carrying his purchases out onto

Prince Street, and I sat down on a stool and opened up the book. That the recipe was six pages long was disconcerting enough; more troubling was that Julia, on page 400, felt compelled to include a paragraph called A Note on the Order of Battle. The recipe included boned shoulder or breast of mutton or almost mature lamb; fresh pork roast drippings, goose fat, or cooking oil; cracked mutton or lamb bones; a meat grinder; heavy shears; an 8-quart kettle containing 5 quarts of rapidly boiling water; Armagnac; and, optionally, 1 chopped truffle and the juice from the can. All this for a pot of layered baked beans smothering a variety of meats and sausages and fats and bones that changed depending upon what part of France you were cooking in? The recipe was engaging, mystifying, impenetrable, abstruse, and editorially exasperating, thanks in part to the famous line in its ingredient list that would make any modern day cookbook editor’s head explode: No salt until later if you have used salt pork; otherwise, 1 TB salt. Later. What was later? When was later? If I was going to spend three days cooking a traditional dish just to impress my boss, I needed specifics. But this was like giving directions to someone and saying turn left five miles before you get to the barn. “Stop complaining,” my father said that night when I called to check in. “If your boss is making it, it must be worth the trouble. Just do it — it’ll increase your chances for advancement with the firm.” It wasn’t advancement with the firm that I was after. “Whatever, Daddy. It’s all just very French,” I sighed dramatically, neglecting to mention the pot, or its cost. “Kevin says that if you’re in Castelnaudry, you apparently have to use pork, pork bones, and bacon rinds. In Toulouse, you add confit, sausage, and mutton. In Carcassone, you also add mutton, and sometimes tiny game birds. Julia seems to

add everything —” “She must be covering her bases,” he said, matter-of-factly. “The French piss off easily.” “I suppose,” I said. “But I just want to do this right—” For Kevin, I thought to myself. “If you ask me, it sounds exactly like the cholent that your bubbe used to make on Shabbes when I was a kid. Stewed beans and meats that cooked for hours, straight through the night, and required days of assembly. A way to use everything up. Sometimes it had chicken. Sometimes it had beef. Sometimes it had both. I think your aunt still has the pot. Bubbe carried it over from the old country.” So the pot was the one constant, whether you were French, and making your particular region’s cassoulet, or a small Jewish woman escaping from the Cossacks. Either way, I had the pot, but, I discovered, not enough money left over to actually buy the ingredients to make the dish over the weekend. I skulked back into the store on Tuesday, defeated. Kevin went on and on about it: the recipe was fraught, he said. His apartment stank of duck fat and the cat drooled for days, but the result was tender, meaty, crusty, juicy, and worth the days of labor. And while he was certain there were likely more authentic versions out there than Julia’s, it was perfect. His wife especially liked it. The rest of that winter, my gleaming white Creuset — the pot that Kevin had instructed me to buy and for which I’d dutifully broken the bank — stood like a glimmering beacon on the back burner of my tiny 24-inch apartment stove, an icon of gastro-libidinous disappointment. It was so clean, so fresh, so redolent of hopeful flavor and ardor and promise that I didn’t want to sully it. And so it sat idle, like a prop in a magazine shoot, for months. When my vegetarian roommate eventually burned my one stew pot while making an utterly vile concoction called lentil peanut soup, I had no choice but to throw in the towel and start using my virginal Creuset for daily cooking, which I did for more than two decades in a variety of apartment kitchens and then, once I married, in my

Connecticut home. But never — not once — for cassoulet, the dish I had so obsessed over years before that the thought of making it paralyzed me. Last winter, a full twenty-two years after I bought the pot that broke the bank, I relented; it was time for catharsis. And so, after a dumping of eighteen inches of snow left me stranded in my kitchen for days on end, I made the dish — but not Julia’s version, which, after consulting at least two dozen cookbooks and a small city of French friends, I learned was about as inauthentic as a Tofu Pup is to a Nathan’s hotdog. For my version, I used homemade, heavily spiced duck confit; the meat from slow-braised ham hocks; fresh garlic sausage; and well-browned pork shoulder. Not including the confit, which I made from scratch in duck fat that I’d rendered, clarified, and frozen over the course of a year’s worth of cooking boneless duck breasts, the whole production took exactly one day. It was succulent and dense, flavorful and earthy, and there was so much of it that it barely fit in my beloved Creuset. Still, I reported to the friends I had consulted: it was magnificent. Even my wife said so. That night, I received an email from a friend in Paris, commenting on my success. “Since you went to the trouble,” she haughtily proclaimed, “I hope you at least used the right pot. It must never be round, and always made of clay.”

(From left, across both pages) The white Le Creuset Dutch oven; Fresh ham hock, pork shoulder, garlic sausage and duck confit; The duck confit crisped in the frying pan.

2. Remove the garlic, onion and herbs, and discard. Set aside the ham hocks to cool; once you can handle them, peel away the fat and gristle and remove the meat, chop it coarsely, and set aside. Drain the beans, and reserve the carrots and cooking liquor.

Cassoulet de Castelnaudary Recipe by Elissa Altman

The number of ways to make cassoulet is exceeded only by the number of conflicting recipes for the dish, which vary by region. After years of copious research, I uncovered three truths: it must always involve a repeated breaking of the crust with the back of a spoon, to facilitate the combination of textures and flavors that make cassoulet what it is; second, it must always be layered, as opposed to stirred together and then dumped into the pot; and third, that pot must correctly be conical, made of earthenware, and never used for anything else. Modern truths: cassoulet is better the next day, and removed to smaller cold-proof serving dishes, it freezes beautifully for up to four months.

Serves 8 2 lbs. white navy beans (cannellini or flageolet will do), soaked overnight in cold water 1 head garlic 2 large ham hocks 2 large carrots, roughly chopped 1 medium onion, stuck with 6 cloves Sprigs of parsley, thyme, and rosemary, tied together with 2 bay leaves ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper 2 prepared duck confit legs * 1 lb. pork shoulder, cubed as for stew 4 garlic cloves, smashed 1 medium onion, diced 1 lb. canned, crushed tomatoes 1 lb. garlic sausage (kielbasa is ideal), sliced in half inch rounds 6 tbsp. duck fat, divided salt and pepper, to taste ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs 1. Place the soaked, drained beans in a large pot along with the garlic, ham hocks, carrots, onion, herbs, and pepper. Cover generously with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat for 8 minutes, repeatedly skimming the surface of foam. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook uncovered for about an hour, until the beans are tender but not mushy.

3. While the ham hocks are cooling, lightly brown the duck legs in a dry skillet over medium heat, until they render their fat. Remove the legs to a plate and add the cubed pork and smashed garlic cloves to the rendered fat in the pan, cooking until lightly browned. Remove the duck legs to a plate, and set aside. Add the diced onion to the pan, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Once the duck legs are cool enough to handle, remove their meat. 4. Preheat oven to 300°F. Place the ham hock meat in a large casserole. Layer with half of the beans, the carrots, the duck meat, the browned pork, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and sausage. Top with the balance of the beans and enough of the reserved bean liquid to cover all. Cover the pot, and slide it into the oven for 2 hours, checking repeatedly to make sure that the beans aren’t getting too dry (if they are, judiciously add half cupfuls of boiling water). 5. After 2 hours, remove the cassoulet from the oven and dot with half of the duck fat. Raise the heat of the oven to 325°F. Return the pot to the oven uncovered and continue to cook for another 20 minutes. Once a golden crust begins to form on the surface, break it with the back of a large spoon, and fold it back into the beans. 6. Cover the surface with the breadcrumbs, and dot with the remainder of the duck fat. Return the pot to the oven and continue to cook for another 20 minutes; break the crust again with the back of a large spoon, and fold it into the beans. 7. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes until the crust is a dark golden russet. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving with a dry, fruity red wine. * Prepared duck confit can be purchased from D’Artaganan.

Twenty years into his beer brewing career, Ron Gansberg, brewmaster of Portland, Oregon’s Cascade Brewing, had a choice: continue producing the standard offerings of Pale Ales, Reds, and IPAs, join the rest of the craft beer world in their “Hops Arms Race,” or find a new way to provide his customers and fellow beer drinkers with the “intense sensory experience” that he himself was looking for.


The barrelhouse at Cascade Brewing.

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t was this search for a new and challenging frontier of beer brewing that led to the creation of Cascade Brewing’s sour beer program in 2005.

Determined to set themselves apart from the pack, Gansberg and his colleagues set out to create a truly one-of-a-kind operation. In September of 2010, they opened the Cascade Brewing Barrel House in Southeast Portland, the neighborhood home to many of the bars, taprooms, distilleries and restaurants that make up the city’s renowned food and drink scene. Lines often stretch out the door for a spot inside, and during the short but oh-so-sweet Portland summers, the Barrel House patio is crowded with sun-starved locals anxious for a taste of the “next big thing” in beer brewing. Visitors to the Barrel House choose from up to 24 beers on tap at a time, most of them limited Brewers Blends and small-batch seasonal offerings that will never make it to the bottling line. The most exciting part of the Barrel House, though, lies behind closed doors. In the warehouse behind the pub, hundreds of barrels at different points in the aging process reside, up to 350 inside the cooler and 150 outside of the cooler at a time. Cascade Brewing’s sour beer program is growing at a rapid rate, doubling its production almost every year. At the helm of this operation is Ron, former winemaker and long-time institution in Portland’s local beer brewing industry. With the liquid version of a photographic memory at his disposal, a dynamic personality, and a clear passion for his work, he has steered this creative and complex project since its inception.

Cascade Brewing produces their base beers at the Raccoon Lodge, their first and larger facility on Portland’s west side. The very best beers from here are selected for the Barrel House, where they will be inoculated with the bacteria Lactobacillus, and aged in carefully selected wine, bourbon, or rum barrels with a variety of fruits and spices. Ron’s background in winemaking (he made the switch from barrel to brewery in 1986) made heading “back to the barrel” a natural fit. In the maze-like barrel room at the Barrel House, Ron nimbly weaves through the dark and densely packed area, picking his way through the dimly lit rows and scrambling up the odd barrel stack for a sample.

Stainless steel fermenting tanks in the back of the Barrel House. Opposite Page (Clockwise from top) Ron Gansberg pouring a sample from one of the brewery’s beer filled barrels; Ron cutting a bung hole in a old whiskey barrel that will soon be filled with sour beer; An old, hand-held steel auger.

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(Clockwise from top left across both pages) An Abbeon hygrometer hangs on the back wall of the barrel house; Cascade beers are infused with meticulously sourced aromatics like vanilla beans, dried figs and lemon peels; Glasses laid out for a barrel sample.

Within each barrel is a different story — and Ron knows them all. The first stop is a barrel of his young and still very tart Apricot Ale, aging in white port barrels on fruit sourced from the Yakima Valley of Washington. To make this beer, over 5,000 pounds of apricots are brought into the Barrel House directly from the orchard. Because apricots continue to ripen after they have been picked, Ron and the Cascade crew pick out only the ripest of the bunch to be pitted and added to the barrels each day. The pits of the fruit don’t go to waste, either. The meat within the pit is toasted and added to a Blonde Beer, which is eventually blended with another Blonde aged on raspberries, to produce what Ron believes is one of Cascade’s “truly world class projects,” the Noyeaux. Aromas of Amaretto (also made with the meat of the apricot pit) and a hint of rose petal are complemented by strong, bright fruit notes on the palate, and a long, smooth, caramel finish. Ron’s enthusiasm for the beer and the barrels is infectious. He likens the process of sour beer making to a 19th century expeditionary voyage. “We send it on this journey not really knowing where it’s going,” he says. “We imbue it with certain attributes, and invest in it certain characteristics, and we launch it on this voyage in oak, through time, and through this process.” Throughout this wild adventure, Ron is an attentive steward. On a given day, he might taste as many as 50 beers (he does admit to the occasional afternoon nap), carefully monitoring each one as it matures. Next in line for “monitoring” is a Scottish Ale, made with a smoked malt and aged in a neutral Pinot Noir barrel. Like every other beer in the Barrel House, this one is vastly different from the next. It is a rich, smoky delight, with much less of the fruit-driven tartness than the previous beers of the day. “For us, that’s really important, you know — we want each one to be distinct. We don’t want all of these to end up tasting the same,” Ron says. “And with a sour medium as the base, it takes some doing to make sure that each product is distinct and has its own personality.” As Ron continues through the room, he pulls tastes from various barrels, narrating the unique history of each one as he goes along. Inside one of the bourbon barrels lining the wall is a blend of strong, dark porters. Vanilla beans, cinnamon, and of course bourbon contribute flavors to what will one day be the Bourbonic Plague, one of Cascade Brewing’s most popular barrel-aged beers. At 12% alcohol, this smooth, rich and intense beer is the perfect sipping beer for a cool night in the Pacific Northwest. Waiting in the next row over was a taste from a 20 year-old bourbon barrel, sourced from Maker’s Mark, inside of which is a quadruple ale — essentially a very strong Blonde — about 1.5 years into the aging process. This will eventually be blended into batches of Vlad the Imp-Aler, another wildly popular Cascade creation that, from the barrel, is smooth, sweet, and a little sticky. In every step of the production process, the materials used and ingredients added to the sour beers are chosen with the utmost care. [continued on page 74]

“We imbue it with certain attributes, and invest in it certain characteristics, and we launch it on this voyage in oak, through time, and through this process.�

Sour Beer 101 Intentionally soured beer — it does happen, sometimes, by accident — is beer that has been fermented to produce a unique tart and sour effect. Sour beer hails from Belgium, but has been steadily gaining traction in the United States. After making its first Stateside appearance in 1996 at Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Company, breweries from coast to coast have been inspired to add sour beers to their lineups. Some breweries, like Jolly Pumpkin of Dexter, Mich., make only sour beers, while others, like Cascade Brewing, have invested significant portions of their time and resources to the brewing of this unique beer. Most sour beers are put through a primary fermentation in a larger vessel — a large stainless steel vat, for instance — and then aged in oak, often with fruit or spices. It is in these oak barrels that a secondary fermentation will occur, usually after the inoculation of the beer by a bacterium like Lactobacillus (used by Cascade Brewing) or acetobacter, or with the yeast Brettanomyces. Brettanomyces is a yeast loathed by many wine and beer producers for its tendency to run rampant around a facility, imparting its pungent and distinct “barnyard” effect to all the beverages it encounters. There are some breweries, including The Russian River Brewing Co. of California, that attempt to harness this yeast and use it in controlled doses. Although these are the basic steps taken in the crafting of a sour beer, there are exceptions to every rule. For some, an acidulated mash is used in the primary fermentation, imparting a sour effect to the beer before it reaches the barrel. This technique is used in only one of Cascade Brewing’s sour beers, the Razberry Wheat. Some sour beers are allowed to spontaneously ferment in a barrel, either as a result of the naturally occurring yeasts on fruit, or leftover yeasts within an old wine barrel. Any variety of beer can be soured, and the combinations of fruits and spices that may be added during the aging process are limitless. Some sour beers are light — along the lines of a tart, carbonated, refreshing lemonade or cider — while others can be heavy, spicy, earthy, salty — or any combination of the above. While the market for these brews is growing, and some are in quite high demand among craft beer enthusiasts, the production numbers still don’t hold a candle to the heavily hopped IPAs that dominate today’s beer market. While some brewers and beer lovers hope to see sour beer displace these popular IPAs, Ron Gansberg sees it as a specialty beverage not intended to take the place of any other style, but to be offered to the public in addition to other, more traditional approaches. The fruit, tannins (imparted from the barrels), potentially higher alcohol levels, and overall complexity of sour beers make these brews a natural next-step for wine lovers looking to explore the world of craft beers.

[continued from page 71] “Sourcing the fruits and raw materials carefully is very important — because a lot of fruits come out of the orchards not necessarily at their peak ripeness but for travel,” Ron says. In keeping with Cascade Brewing’s devotion to obtaining their raw materials and tools from the Pacific Northwest whenever possible, Ron is continually working to develop relationships with each individual grower and producer. “We celebrate not only what we do, but where we get our products from,” Ron explains. “We have done that for years with the family we get our hops from, but also where our cherries come from, where our blueberries come from. These relationships are very important.” Many of the barrels that house the aging beer and fruit are also sourced locally. The wine barrels used to age many of Cascade’s sour beers come from Lang vineyards, who have been producing Pinot Noir out of the Willamette Valley for more than two decades. Of course, not every ingredient used is available from the Pacific Northwest. The powerful vanilla and cinnamon

used in some of the beers are brought in by Ron’s personal “spice mule,” all the way from Grenada. Along with these are dates, figs, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, elderberries, orange peel, cloves, and nutmeg, to name a few. With an ingredient list like this, there is no shortage of options for an imaginative brew master. Ron even uses wine grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon for his Sang Royale, and Muscat for The Vine. It is in projects like these that the line between beer brewing and wine making is blurred, crossed, and in turn inspires the creation of something else entirely. The formula for a great sour beer is neither straightforward nor simple. The endless possibilities and uncertainty would intimidate most, but to Ron, provide an exciting opportunity for creative expression. The crafting of these beers provides the perfect outlet for his passion for local goods, his youthful creativity, and devotion to creating a delicious final product of the highest quality. Cascade Brewing’s Barrel House is located at 939 SE Belmont St., Portland, OR. Visit for more information.

(Clockwise from top left) The Filbert beer, poured live from the barrel, is a sour ale that was aged on pressed filbert nuts for three months; Cosmo, a jovial bartender at the Barrel House, enjoys a beer; Kegs of Cascade Scotch IPA. Opposite Page: Ron sits at the Barrel House bar.


socializing. @spensermag



A woman bakes lavash flatbread in a clay oven called a tonir in Aghtsk, a village in the Ashtarak region of Armenia


hat do you mean you have no lamb,” asked Tsolvard Gevorkyan. “I can’t make this dish with beef. Go find me some lamb,” she demanded, her words echoing loudly through the Ashtarak marketplace on a cold, cloud covered morning in central Armenia. Mrs. Gevorkyan, as I insisted on calling her, was ready to explain to any market-goer willing to listen that her favorite childhood dish had to be made with lamb and nothing else. I certainly wasn’t in any position to disagree. Only recently, I packed as much as two suitcases would hold and moved to Armenia in search of my culinary heritage. Food plays an inherent role in defining any culture, especially for someone like me who was raised in the United States and happens to be a chef. It was food that brought me here to Armenia and it is food that connects me to its people. Many of those people who I have met in my time here either tilt their heads in curiosity or belt out bursts of laughter when they learn that I travelled to the opposite side of the world for food. Ultimately, stories of my journey often lead to discussions — and sometimes arguments — about what can and should be considered Armenian cuisine. Centuries of invasions, displacement and foreign rule have bled deep into the soil, and greatly influenced the Armenian kitchen. The Armenian Diaspora is large and geographically vast, and over time Armenian cuisine has become equally complex. As a child in Los Angeles, my mother adorned our dinner table with dishes like ghormeh sabzi, abghousht and vindaloo based on Persian and Indian cuisine. My Armenian friends, however, grew up eating the cuisine that was indigenous to their respective communities, be it Lebanese, Bulgarian, Syrian, Ethiopian or Greek. Thanks to all of these outside influences, I’m not sure any of us who grew up here in the States could truly define Armenian cuisine. Most of the food here is rooted in the abundant use of root vegetables, a wide array of herbs, and fresh and dried fruits. Beets, carrots, radishes and potatoes are often combined with green beans, bell peppers and plenty of cilantro, sorrel, parsley and dill. Yogurt is also plays a fundamental role. It can be eaten alone or incorporated into dishes, and is even used for medicinal purposes. Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, has developed a distinct food culture of its own. Italian, Chinese, Georgian and Lebanese restaurants have helped expand the local palate. I had never eaten Khinkali before I moved to Armenia, but this Georgian dumpling almost satisfied my cravings for Chinese Dim Sum, which I can’t find in Yerevan. [continued on page 84]

(Clockwise from top left) A young market shopper in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Armenia; A woman prepares the greens for the Jingalov Hats, Hand picked red currants; White potatoes from the garden; Fresh pulled carrots. Opposite Page (From top): The vintage scale still in use at a small butcher shop in Aghtsk; A butcher in the village of Aghtsk wields his bone-splitting ax.

One of the most delectable things I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating is a dish specific to the Nagorno-Karabakh region called Jingalov Hats. Every time I eat it, I feel like I’m eating a warm, herbaceous pillow of bread. It is best described as flatbread stuffed with an average of 12 different fresh herbs that are indigenous to the nearby mountains. The dough is rolled out, covered with chopped herbs then sealed, brushed with oil and cooked on a flat top griddle. The combination of herbs in the filling varies depending on the season.

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Jingalov Hats

(Armenian Herbed Flatbread) Serves 4 For the dough: ¼ tsp. active dry yeast ¾ cup lukewarm water 1 ½ tsp. honey 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted ½ tsp. salt 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil For the filling: 3-4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 leeks, thoroughly cleaned and finely chopped 2 green onions, finely chopped (green and whites) 4 cups fresh herbs, finely chopped (parsley, basil, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram) 1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, water and honey. Let it rest, at room temperature, for 10 minutes. 2. Add a heaping ½ cup of the flour to the yeast mixture and mix by hand. Add the salt and the rest of the flour in increments and kneed until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 8 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place back into the mixing bowl. 3. Brush the dough with the oil, cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and set in a warm place in your kitchen for 1-2 hours. (You’ll know the dough is ready when two fingers pressed into the ball leave an indentation). 4. Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add the leeks and green onions to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the herb mixture and cook for an additional 2 minutes, until the herbs have wilted. Remove the greens from the pan and allow to cool. 5. Flour a flat work surface and kneed the dough for 2 minutes. Divide dough into 4 equal parts and using a rolling pin, roll each quarter out into 10- to 12-inch circles. 6. Add ¼ of the herb mixture to the center of each dough circle. Be sure to leave the outer edges of the dough clear. Bring two sides of the dough together and with your thumb, index and middle finger sew the dough shut in the center by pinching it. Once the dough is completely sealed, gently flatten it with the palm of your hand and generously brush both sides with the remaining olive oil. 7. Heat a flat griddle or a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Once the pan is hot, gently place the herbed flatbread in the pan and cook on each side, turning carefully, until dough is nicely browned on each side. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. Note: You can also use leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard or mustard greens.

[continued from page 80] Growing up in the U.S. my palate has been spoiled with bold flavors. My senses are addicted to the constant stimulation that comes from eating global cuisine that can be found on every street corner of every major city. But here in Armenia the culinary tides are changing. I had met Mrs. Gevorkyan a month prior to that morning in Ashtarak. She lives in a village called Aghtsk about thirty minutes northwest of the capital. Mrs. Gevorkyan is a force to be reckoned with, and the epitome of cool. The white roots on her head give her an apprehensive appearance, while her raspy voice is indicative of years of chain smoking. She wears socks and slippers that match perfectly with her long flower dress. Her character embodies that old Soviet astringent strength that one desperately needs to survive in the harsh reality that is the Armenian economy in the twenty years since achieving independence. Our first priority that day was to secure bread. An Armenian table without bread is like an Indian table without chutney. Mrs. Gevorkyan escorted us to a home that had a tonir, which is a cylindrical clay oven where fresh bread is made daily. The smell and smoke from the tonir made me salivate, as I knew the soft and crunchy bites of freshly baked Lavash bread were impossible to resist. Our next stop was at Mrs. Gevorkyan’s house, which sits atop a hill surrounded by a majestic landscape blanketed with the colors of the changing season. Her daughter was busy preparing a traditional regional salad and fish entrée. The salad has no name, but it’s typically referred to as a “snow salad” thanks to its white color. A multi-layered

(Clockwise from top left across both pages) Preparing the lavash dough; The blistered lavash flatbread being removed from the oven; Mrs. Gevorkyan’s daughter grates cheese over the snow salad; Mrs. Abrahamyan, prepares kufte, a traditional dish made with finely ground sirloin; Layering sautÊed mushrooms on top of the kufte; Fresh baked lavash from the tonir; The craft of baking bread.

“Food here is still a product of nature and sustenance. And the gastronomical trends are a reflection of the immense changes Armenian culture has experienced throughout the centuries.�

Farmland in the Gegharkunik region of Armenia near Lake Sevan

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(Clockwise from Top Left) A fresh pomegranate; Cover of a vintage Armenian cookbook; Preserved peaches in syrup. Opposite Page: Preparing for the feast at Mrs. Gevorkyan’s table.

Manoukyan’s home, where she had been given the challenge of preparing Mrs. Gevorkyan’s childhood favorite, a hearty lamb stew prepared with green beans, onions, green peppers and tomatoes. It was the love for this particular dish that caused Mrs. Gevorkyan’s voice to rise in the marketplace earlier that morning.

dish, this salad combines pickled onions with soft, shredded chicken breast in a creamy sauce made with sour cream and cheese. The fish, a local variety of trout, is called Ishkhan, and is found in Lake Sevan, about 90 minutes to the east. The wonderfully fresh fish is prepared simply, with just salt, pepper, butter and lemon. From there, we made our way to the home of Mrs. Abrahamyan, who was preparing a traditional dish called Kufte. Mrs. Abrahamyan’s hands-on preparation is unique to the region. The meat is so finely ground that it takes on a smooth, pureed consistency. It’s then spiced with onions, cognac, salt, pepper and cumin. Mrs. Abrahamyan had just finished adding the cognac when we arrived. She put her hands deep into the bowl and began vigorously whisking the meat with her right hand. This whisking and kneading went on for a good ten minutes, ensuring that the ingredients were perfectly incorporated. From there, the meat was divided, shaped into logs, dropped in boiling water, and then finished off in the oven. As the Kufte made its way into the oven, we made our way to Mrs.

With all of the dishes prepared, the women made their way to Mrs. Gevorkyan’s house. The dinner table was set and shots of Oghi were poured. Oghi, which is basically Armenian Moonshine, is ubiquitous. I can’t recall too many instances in the past year when a piece of food found it’s way to my mouth prior to a shot or two of apricot or mulberry oghi. Just beware, toasts in Armenia can traditionally last ten minutes or more and its blasphemous to lower your glass until the toast is over. From the first bite, I could tell why Mrs. Gevorkyan loved her stew. The recipe requires only basic technique, but the finished dish produces a wealth of flavor. The deep vegetal notes of the long cooked green beans balance the slight gaminess of the tender lamb. The evening ended with a few more toasts, a few more shots of oghi, local pomegranate wine, greater insight into the fact that Armenia does

have differing regional cuisine. Armenian gastronomy can’t be viewed through a narrow nationalistic lens. I’ve spent this past year doing research. I’ve read through archives, I’ve spoken to various chefs and restaurateurs and eaten my way through the capital, Yerevan. And the conclusion to be drawn is that localism, sustainability and seasonality are the real ingredients to cooking in Armenia. These are not just catchwords, as they sometimes are in the States, but a way of life. Food here is still a product of nature and sustenance. And the gastronomical trends are a reflection of the immense changes Armenian culture has experienced throughout the centuries. The truth is that Armenians, whether in the homeland or abroad, have made food that they’ve interpreted as their own. If I’ve learned anything in the past year, it has been that it doesn’t matter where we come from or where we live. In our minds and on our dinner tables, the true definition of Armenian food comes from our souls. We would like to thank Norayr Kasper for his contribution to this story.

Mrs. Tsolvard Gevorkyan, seated at the head of the table, enjoys the meal with friends and family.

Mrs. Gevorkyan’s Lamb Stew Serves 6 2 pounds lamb fillet shoulder or leg, fat trimmed, cut into 1 inch cubes Kosher salt Fresh ground black pepper 2 tbsp. + ½ tsp. olive oil 3 small red onions, diced small 1 jalapeño, diced small 2 pounds fresh green beans, stem end trimmed and cut in half lengthwise ½ cup carrots, chopped 1 cup fresh tomato, diced small 3 cups beef stock, preferably homemade ½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped 1. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Preheat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp. of the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the seasoned lamb and cook stirring occasionally until the meat is browned on all sides, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the lamb with a slotted spoon and set aside.

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2. Add the remaining 1 tsp. of olive oil back to the pan and sauté the onions, until translucent. While the onions are cooking, use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the jalapeño, carrots and green beans and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. 3. Add the browned lamb, tomatoes and beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the lamb is tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. 4. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning to taste. Add the chopped parsley and stir to incorporate. Serve with warm crusty bread.

Lemon and Butter Trout Serves 4 1 head on 3-pound Rainbow, Golden or Brown trout, cleaned and scaled Sea salt Fresh ground white pepper 2 lemons, thinly sliced crosswise ½ stick of unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch slices ½ tsp. olive oil 1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Cover the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 2. Make 3-4 large crosswise slashes down to the bone on one side of the fish. Generously season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper. 3. Place lemon and butter slices inside the cavity of the fish, as well as in each slash. Brush ½ tsp. of olive oil on the bottom side of the fish. 4. Place the fish in the pan with the slashes facing up, cover with foil and cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until the flesh flakes easily when lightly pressed. 5. Transfer the fish to a platter. Spoon the pan juices over the fish and serve. Note: This recipe is emphasized for it’s simple ingredients, so the freshness of the fish is paramount. Ask your fishmonger to allow you to smell the fish he or she selects. It should not smell fishy all. If the fishmonger won’t let you smell the fish before purchasing it, you should shop somewhere else. To add additional flavor, you can also add a bulb of thinly sliced fennel to the bottom of roasting pan to compliment the fish.

“Snow Salad” Serves 6 2 medium red onions, finely julienned ½ cup water 1 cup apple cider vinegar 13 ounces sour cream 4-5 tbsp. mayonnaise 3-4 boiled, grated medium Russet or Yukon potatoes Kosher salt White pepper 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped (set aside 2 tbsp. for garnish) 1 ½ lbs. boiled, shredded chicken breast 1 large dill pickle, grated 7 ounces mild, white Cheddar cheese, grated 1. Soak the julienned onions in the water and apple cider vinegar for 2 hours, then rinse. Mix sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl, set aside. 2. On a large round plate or shallow glass dish, assemble the salad in layers. 3. First, spread 1 cup of grated potato on the plate and season with salt and pepper. Next, using a knife, spread sour cream mixture in a thin layer on top of the potato. Add 2 tsp. of the chopped cilantro and 2 tsp of the onions and season with salt and pepper. 4. Add 1 cup of the shredded chicken, season lightly with salt and pepper and top with another thin layer of the sour cream mixture. Add a layer of grated pickle. 5. Repeat the same process until all the layers ingredients have been used. 6. Top the salad with the grated cheese, garnish with the reserved cilantro and serve.

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have had this romantic notion of the experience for years now: Me, kicking it in my urban wear, basket in hand and field guide in my back pocket, traipsing through a mystical forest, plunking my bounty. Sounds peaceful, doesn’t it?

In Northern California, mushroom season begins with the first rains — which usually come around Thanksgiving — and continues until midApril. Our foray was scheduled for December, which should have been peak rainy season. On this particular day, however, the sun was soaking the Northern California coast, and the picturesque town of Mendocino had not seen the rain in weeks. We were left wondering whether our mission into the forest would be successful with the beautiful sun peeking its fingers through the tall trees. We were meeting with Ryane Snow, one of Mendocino’s most notable foragers, at the Stanford Inn, a charming hotel located on a bluff above the Mendocino Coast. Ryane’s boyish mannerisms and contagious smile belie his age. He arrived armed with an old, white plastic market basket full of fungi species. We made ourselves comfortable around the morning fire and he began a brief discussion about the mystical allure of mushrooms, and what we should expect to find out in the forest on this sunny day. Ryane opened each brown paper bag, tenderly exposing his finds: Cantharellus Cibarius, Cantharellus Infundibuliformis, Lactarius Fragilis, Clavariaceae, Leccinum Manzanitae, Hydnum Repandum, and the Matsutake. He gently lifted each specimen from the crumpled bag and began to explain to us what a mushroom is — and isn’t. Mushrooms, also called fungi, are not a plant. They don’t have any chlorophyll and they can’t produce their own food. Instead, mushrooms feed on organic matter found in their surroundings and reproduce with their spores. A mushroom has a cap, gills and a stem, and each is completely unique.

(Clockwise from top left across both pages) A view of Mendocino Bay from the coastline; The southern entrance to the town of Mendocino; Winter chanterelles delicately poking through the forest floor (These are more delicate than their golden cousin, and have a tubular stem that you could almost use as a straw.); Ryane Snowe holds a few candy cap mushrooms (These have a cap that feels like a cat’s tongue. If you slightly cut the area near the gills, this amazing mushroom will produce a milky mixture that smells like maple syrup.); The woods just east of Mendocino.

I found the mushrooms to be a bit of a mystery — much like our new expert friend Ryane. I had a ton of questions: how we would find the mushrooms? How would we tell the difference between the edible and non-edible ones? How would we pick them? And what would we do with them afterwards? “Is this your first time in the forest, your first time foraging?” Ryane asked. Was it that obvious? Reassuringly, he promised that once we ventured into the forest, into his backyard, I would learn everything. Ryane is originally from New York, but after a brief interlude surfing and living in Hawaii, has been living on the Mendocino coast for about 30 years. His interest in mushrooms was piqued some 40 years ago, when he began his search for mushrooms of the magic variety. This curiosity led him to get his doctorate in organic synthetic chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Before he began foraging and supplying the local restaurants with his edible finds, he had taught botany, chemistry, biology, and environmental sciences at the high school in Mendocino. A reliable source told me Ryane could throw an eraser with laser-like accuracy at those who did not pay attention in class, but these days, he’s more likely to be practicing Classical Chinese Medicine and leading foraging workshops than standing in a classroom.

We all piled into a car for the short drive to an area where Ryane likes to spend his days foraging for edibles. The forest in and around Mendocino is the perfect breeding ground for wild mushrooms because it is covered in mycelia, a web of fungus that digests nutrients from the forest floor and spawns mushrooms. We were walking through groves of cypress, pines and redwoods, scouring the forest floor in search of mushrooms hiding underneath the ferns, mosses and fallen leaves. It doesn’t take long for Ryane to spot the first candy caps of the day. If you weren’t paying attention, you wouldn’t have noticed them, but these small, brownish-orange mushrooms were literally popping up everywhere around us. As I reached down to gather what I could find, I was completely overjoyed by the candy caps’ wonderful fragrance. The mushrooms had the faintest smell of pure maple syrup, which, I am told, only grows stronger as the mushrooms dry out. I was instantly hooked.

Sticking close to Ryane, I walked gingerly through the trees with my eyes glued to the forest floor as we journeyed farther into the wilderness. Suddenly, I was spotting mushrooms of all sorts, everywhere around us. Unfortunately, the most common of all mushrooms are the first I seem to spot. Part of the Russula family and tasteless at best, these imposters are easy to identify by the sound they make when you break their stalk: It’s the same sound as chalk being broken in half. “They are not worth picking,” Ryane says. There more than 3000 species of mushrooms — of which Ryane knows approximately 1000. He still stumbles upon new species from time to time, in which case he’ll take a small sample to get a spore print. He also carries a small point-andshoot camera with him so he can photograph their habitat.

(Clockwise from right) Ryane Snow stops to photograph an unidentified mushroom variety; The unidentified variety growing from the trunk of a fallen tree; golden chanterelles; Ryane showing a wild mushroom to Denise Woodward. Opposite Page (Clockwise from top left): White chanterelles; Ever so small winter chanterelles; The bright red, acrid tasting rosy russula mushroom; Ryane finds a banana slug in the forest.

Cantareullus Cibarius, known to foodies as the Golden Chanterelles, are a brilliant golden color. They have a firm stem, and penetrating gills, with a somewhat meaty texture. Their growing time is a bit longer than most mushrooms. It will take 3 - 4 weeks for them to peek out from the forest floor. Look for small sized mushrooms, as they will have less moisture in them.

Clavariaceae, the Coral mushroom, was completely new to our group. It looked as if it had just been plucked from the sea: bright red, and very spiny, but firm when touched. The coral mushroom can have a laxative effect on some people. You will want to avoid them if they taste bitter, are bruised or have gelatinous bases. The tips are delicious when lightly sautéed.

Leccinum Manzanitae is also called the Manzanita Boletes mushroom. Their caps are broad and round, and they are a reddish brown in color. They carry a lot of moisture and tend to be somewhat “slippery”. These can be found throughout the forest, most often near Manzanita or Madrone trees. They are edible, but usually very bland in taste.

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Hydnum Repandum, the Hedgehog mushroom (white mushroom in the middle), is pale in color and resembles a faded chanterelle. That is until you peek under the cap, and you see it’s teeth, which is the jagged gills. Aside from the appearance, it tastes and smells very similar to the chanterelle.

Matsutake is also known as the pine mushroom. It is highly sought after, and is prized in Japan for it’s distinct “piney” aroma. They are often given as gifts, as they tend to be very expensive.

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(From the left across both pages) Redbelted conks, typically used as an herbal supplement; A wooly chanterelle; An unidentified coral mushroom varietal.

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He hands one of our foragers, Lenny, a Russula Rosacea and tells him to take a bite, and to chew it only on the tip of his tongue. A warming sensation takes over Lenny’s taste buds, similar to a redhot candy. Ryane instructs him to spit it out. This mushroom is inedible, and not worth the effort of removing it from the ground. We continue to trail along, now under giant oaks, and finally see what we have been hoping to find: Golden Chanterelles. As with the candy caps, we didn’t notice the chanterelles until mushrooms were all around us. We had hit the jackpot and quickly began to fill Ryane’s basket with the bounty. There are the golden and winter chanterelles, more candy caps, and a couple “pigs ears,” which look like a purple-tinged chanterelle. As the sun starts to set, we begin our walk back to civilization, listening to the birds and enjoying a peaceful calm. With a basket full of mushrooms, our conversation rightfully turns to eating. “Mushrooms shouldn’t really be eaten raw — not in a salad or alone.” Ryane says. “All mushrooms have some level of toxins in them, and that is usually what makes people sick. They eat them raw, or they eat too many of them, and become ill.” He explains that cooking the mushrooms eliminates the toxins and breaks down the chitin, a naturally occurring substance that is also found in lobster shells and squid beaks, which makes them more digestible for human consumption. He also instructs us to clean our mushrooms lightly with a bristle brush. Don’t wash them, as they will absorb the water, and this will only dilute the flavor. Back on the paved road, we see Ryane’s old red truck up ahead. Ryane offers his basket and shares his bounty with each of us. We hug, with promises of staying in touch and plans to do it all again soon. We are now members of the unofficial fraternity of foragers.

Please, note: unless you are a mycology expert who can identify mushrooms with 100% certainty, do not eat any mushrooms that you collect until you have them properly identified by an expert. Eating unidentified mushrooms can lead to serve illness and/or death. A must have guide to mushroom picking was written by David Arora, with whom Ryane forages quite often. The book is called Mushrooms Demystified. If you are interested in taking a workshop with Ryane Snow, PH.D, he can be reached via email at The Stanford Inn can be reached at (707) 937-5615.

Roasted and Grilled Wild Mushrooms with Radicchio, Polenta and an Egg Cooked by the Fire Recipe by Russell Moore Serves 4 At Camino we have three main courses a night: meat, fish and vegetarian. We never want the vegetarian dish to seem like the poor cousin, in fact it is usually the dish that requires the most finesse and labor. The success of this particular dish lies in seasoning and cooking everything just right. When you cut into the egg the yolk should run into all the other ingredients and tie everything together. I’m using chanterelles and hedgehog mushrooms for this recipe because that’s what is available here right now. Porcini, morels and black trumpet mushrooms would work well as well as cultivated mushrooms like king trumpets. Anything cooked in our wood oven can be replicated in a hot home oven, and anything grilled could be done in a medium hot cast iron pan. At Camino we use Anson Mills White Rustica polenta or Anson Mills grits but you could use whatever you have — just cook with water and salt and add butter at the end. If you want to make it more flavorful, soak the polenta overnight at room temperature to ferment it a bit.

2 lbs. chanterelles and hedgehog mushrooms ½ bunch oregano ½ bunch mint ½ bunch Italian parsley 3 cloves of garlic, peeled 1 ½ cups olive oil 2 or 3 heads of radicchio (Chioggia, Treviso, Castelfranco, Pan di Zucchero or any other tasty variety) Sea salt Fresh ground pepper 4 really good eggs 3 cups hot cooked polenta 1. Prepare a medium hot wood or charcoal grill. Preheat oven to 450°F. (If you are lucky enough, throw a few logs in your wood-burning oven, but be sure that you are able to use it for another recipe for your same dinner or you are really wasting wood!) 2. Clean the chanterelles and hedgehogs with a small paring knife, taking care to get rid of any visible dirt you. Toss the hedgehogs whole with olive oil and salt and set aside. Slice the chanterelles about 1/3-inch thick, and set aside. 3. Make a marinade by picking the leaves of all the herbs and pounding in a mortar with 2 of the cloves of garlic and mixing in some olive oil (it should be a bit runny). Mix the chanterelle slices with some of the marinade and a pinch of salt.

4. Put the leftover herb stems in a small pot. Smash the leftover garlic clove with the side of a knife and add it to the pot. Cover with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce and then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the herb and garlic mixture and reserve the liquid. This is the egg cooking liquid. 5. Cut the radicchio into wedges and toss with a little bit of marinade, along with some salt and pepper. 6. Arrange the hedgehogs in a single layer in a baking dish and place in the preheated oven. After a few minutes, the mushrooms will release some liquid. Gently stir the mushrooms and cook them until the liquid is almost gone, about 10-15 minutes. 7. Cook the chanterelle slices and radicchio on the grill for a couple of minutes, flipping once after dark grill marks appear. Once the other side is marked by the grill, turn every few minutes until the radicchio is just cooked through and the chanterelles are tender (you have to eat one to know what’s going on). 8. While everything is cooking, heat the egg-cooking liquid in a 10-inch sauté pan or baking dish. Once the liquid is almost boiling splash in a little olive oil and crack the eggs into the pot. The water should just cover the egg whites. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and slide into the oven. Cook until the whites are set and the yolk is still runny, about 6-8 minutes depending on size. 9. Scoop a serving of polenta on each plate, then carefully place the egg next to the polenta. It can be tricky to scoop the eggs out of the pan; a large, flexible spatula is helpful. Place the radicchio, hedgehogs and chanterelles wherever you want. Finish the plate by spooning some marinade over the egg and wherever the plate looks dry.

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Photo Credit: France Ruffenach

Photo Credit: by France Ruffenach

Braised Beef Cheeks with Lobster Mushrooms Recipe by Sam Mogannam Serves 4 to 6 For the Beef Cheeks: 4 cups beef stock (or low-sodium broth) 3 ½ to 4 lbs. beef cheeks, trimmed of glands and silver skin and cut into 3-inch chunks (see Note) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed 2 medium onions, coarsely diced 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 2 small or 1 large celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 8 bushy sprigs fresh thyme 2 bay leaves 16 small cloves garlic, peeled (or 8 large —
cut them in half or thirds lengthwise and 
remove any green germ) 1 (750 ml.) bottle dry red wine (one that is hearty
 but not too tannic, such as Côtes du Rhône) For the Mushrooms: ½ to ¾ lb. lobster mushrooms
(or any other variety) 2 tbsp. unsalted butter 1 tbsp. chopped shallot ¼ tsp. chopped garlic 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1. To cook the cheeks: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 250°F. Heat the beef stock in a medium pan over low heat and keep warm. Season the beef cheeks with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper, and sprinkle the flour evenly all over. 2. Put a large Dutch oven or wide-bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and enough of the beef chunks to make a roomy single layer in the pan. Cook, turning the beef as needed, until browned all over, about 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with the remaining beef, working in batches as necessary and adding another tablespoon or so of oil if the pot seems too dry. 3. Add 2 tablespoons more olive oil to the pan, then add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan, until they start to soften and are barely brown on the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery root, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the celery root starts to soften, about 6 minutes.

4. Return the beef and any accumulated juices back to the pot. Stir well for another minute or so to combine. Add the wine and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the warm stock; once the liquid has returned to a simmer, cover the pot and transfer to the oven. 5. Bake for 4 hours, checking every hour to make sure the liquid is at a bare simmer. (The key to tenderness is to cook at the lowest temperature possible. If the broth is simmering rapidly, reduce the oven temperature.) 6. After 4 hours, remove the lid and stir. The stew should be very wet; if not, add a cup or so of water to reliquify. Return the uncovered pot to the oven. Continue to bake until the beef is completely tender and offers no resistance when you pull it apart with two forks, 1 to 2 more hours. If the beef is tender but the liquid has not reduced much, continue to bake until the liquid is ¾ to 1 inch lower than the original level. Taste the liquid and season with more salt as needed. 7. When the beef is done, set aside while you cook the mushrooms. (If you make this a day ahead, let cool to room 
temperature before you cover and refrigerate the cheeks. When ready to serve, reheat gently over low heat, stirring frequently until heated through, 30 to 45 minutes.) 8. To cook the mushrooms: Using a small knife, scrape any dirt off of the mushrooms. If they are particularly large, cut them into 
¾- to 1-inch pieces. Put 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet (it should be large enough to hold the mushrooms in a single layer) and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and bubbling, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms’ juices have released and evaporated. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the shallot and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and continue sautéing for an additional minute. Add the vinegar and stir until the liquid evaporates. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. 9. To serve: Arrange the beef in shallow bowls and ladle some
of the braising liquid over it. Top with the sautéed mushrooms. Note: You may need to special order beef cheeks (a specialty butcher is your best bet), but you can substitute with brisket if you can’t find cheeks. The glands are marble-size organs that are attached to the cheeks (they may already have been removed from the ones you have). Reprinted with permission from Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking, and Creating Community Through Food by Sam Mogannam and Dabney Gough. Copyright © 2011 by Bi-Rite Market, Inc. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

Photo Credit: Paige Green

Semolina Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom Ragout Recipe by Mitchell Rosenthal Serves 6 For the Gnocchi: 4 cups whole milk 1½ cups semolina flour 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese 2 large egg yolks 4 tbsp. unsalted butter 1 tsp. salt Freshly ground pepper For the Mushroom Ragout: ½ cup unsalted butter ½ yellow onion, finely diced 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced 1 celery stalk, finely diced 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves 1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves 1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes 1½ lbs. wild mushrooms or crimini mushrooms, sliced 1 cup chicken stock ½ cup heavy cream ¾ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 to 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces for finishing 1. To make the gnocchi, in a heavy-bottomed pot, bring the milk to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat so the milk simmers, then slowly whisk in the semolina flour. Then, switching to a wooden spoon, continue to stir for 8 to 10 minutes. The mixture will get pretty thick. If it gets too thick, and starts sticking to the spoon, add a little more milk. Stir in the Parmesan, egg yolks, and butter, mixing well, and season with the salt and a few grinds of pepper. Remove from the heat.

2. Dampen a sheet pan with water and shake off any excess. Pour the gnocchi mixture onto the pan and, using the spoon, spread it out evenly about ½-inch thick. Let cool completely for 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm. (At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the gnocchi mixture for up to 2 days before continuing.) 3. To make the ragout, in a saucepan with a lid, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, stir well, cover, and cook for about 
10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Uncover, add the chopped herbs and tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium, add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and the mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to take on some color. Add the stock and cream, stir well, and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to the consistency of a cream sauce. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. 4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or 6 individual gratin dishes. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out the gnocchi. (I like to cut them into three-quarter moons because it creates less waste, so if you can find a cutter in that shape, use it.) Place the gnocchi in a single layer in the prepared dish (or dishes), slightly overlapping each row. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the top, reserving a few spoonfuls for garnish, and dot with the butter. 5. Bake the gnocchi for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly. Reheat the ragout gently just before the gnocchi are ready. 6. To serve, divide the gnocchi among individual plates if baked in a large dish. Spoon the ragout over the top and sprinkle with the reserved Parmesan. Serve immediately. Reprinted with permission from Cooking My Way Back Home: Recipes from San Francisco’s Town Hall, Anchor & Hope, and Salt House. Copyright © 2011 by Mitchell Rosenthal with Jon Pult. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

Photo Credit: Paige Green

Candy Cap Mushroom Bread Pudding Recipe by Todd Humphries Serves up to 12 6 cups heavy cream ½ cup dried candy cap mushrooms 2 whole eggs 4 egg yolks ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup granulated sugar 1 tsp. salt 2 tsp. vanilla 1 ¼ loaves brioche ¼ cup dried currants ¼ cup dried golden raisins Maple Anglaise sauce (recipe at right) 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Set a saucepot over medium heat and add the cream and dried mushrooms. Heat until the cream just simmers. Remove pot from the heat and let infuse for 1 hour. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, both types of sugar, and the salt. Add the cream infusion and vanilla to the bowl. Strain the custard mixture through a very fine strainer. Set aside. 3. Remove all crust from brioche and slice into medium-sized cubes. Layer half of the brioche in a 13”x 9” ovenproof pan. Sprinkle half of the currants and half of the raisins over the first brioche layer. Add the rest of the brioche on top, and then sprinkle the remaining currants and raisins. 4. Pour the custard mixture over the brioche. Gently press down on the top to ensure that the custard has soaked into the brioche well. Cover the pan with foil. Place in a larger pan and pour warm water half way up the side of the pan with the bread pudding. 5. Bake for 1 hour, rotating half way through. Remove the foil and return the pan to the oven for 10 minutes to allow the top of bread pudding to brown. Cool bread pudding completely, preferably overnight, and slice into 12 portions. Reheat individual portions in 350°F oven. Serve with maple anglaise sauce spooned over the bread pudding.

Maple Anglaise Sauce Recipe by Todd Humphries Makes 1 pint 1 ¼ cup heavy cream ½ cup whole milk 1 tbsp. dried candy cap mushrooms 4 egg yolks 6 tbsp. maple sugar ¼ tbsp. salt ¼ tsp. vanilla 1. Add cream, milk and dried mushrooms to a saucepot set over medium heat. Heat until the milk just simmers. Remove pot from heat and let infuse for 1 hour. 2. Combine the yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Reheat cream infusion to a simmer. Add ¼-cup of the cream mixture to the egg yolks to temper. Return everything to the pot and stir constantly over low heat with a rubber spatula until it has thickened enough to coat the spatula. Be careful with the heat or the eggs will curdle. 3. Strain sauce through a fine mesh strainer, add vanilla, cover surface with plastic and cool completely before use.

b.y.o.b. - à la mode*

Whether shooting in Hawaii, Istanbul or Vancouver, Los Angeles photographer Rick Poon’s incredible travel portfolio offers an elegant sense of time and place in quick bursts of images. His blog à la mode* is the perfect outlet for blending his obsessions with food, travel, and design. A man of few words, we were still able to convince him to let us in on a few of the delicious secrets he learned while on the road. SPENSER MAGAZINE: Do you have a favorite unexpected food from your many travels? RICK POON: In Istanbul we stumbled upon a place around the corner from our hotel just minutes after checking in. They were serving kokoreç, the small and large intestines of lamb, slowly spit-roasted, then chopped and grilled with tomatoes and red peppers, and dusted liberally with dried oregano. The resulting hash is served as-is on a plate, or scooped into bun, and served as a sandwich. It was absolutely delicious. SM: Ever find something delicious in an unexpected location? RP: One evening, during a trip to Costa Rica, after hours on traffic-snarled roads, we stopped off for a restroom break at a nondescript convenience store that just happened to have a take-out counter. I ordered the olla de carne, which is a stew made of slowly simmered beef and starchy tubers like yuca, tiquisque, malanga, chayote. It was amazingly comforting and satisfying. The starch from the tubers added a beautiful, silky luxuriousness to what could have been otherwise simple and everyday dish.

SM: Any ingredients or food items that you just had to bring back home with you? RP: A few to-go containers of poke from Ono Seafood whenever I'm in Oahu (though it never makes back to the mainland), a pound or two of Jacobs Wonderbar roast from Philz Coffee in San Francisco, artisan rice (grown only for the domestic market) and shichimi togarashi (so much more flavorful than anything available here) from Nishiki Ichiba Food Market in Kyoto, Japan. SM: Of course we love your travel-inspired food recipes. Do you have a favorite? What inspired the recipe? RP: I would have to say that the lavender hot chocolate has been one of my favorites. The drink was inspired by a sumptuous version I had at a bar after a long day of hitting the slopes. When I sought to create some of that indulgence at home, I added a touch of lavender, a nod to the lovely latte and waffles drizzled with chocolate lavender sauce I had at Cafe Medina in Vancouver, B.C. just a few months prior. SM: It’s the New Year. Favorite sparkling beverage? RP: Champagne with a splash of St Germain and Campari.

Lavender Hot Chocolate Recipe by Rick Poon

Since lavender is quite fragrant, you may adjust the amount according to your own taste preference. For a creamier hot chocolate, a 1-to-1 ratio of dark to milk chocolate can be used. Makes 2 servings 2 cups whole milk ¼ tsp. lavender buds 3 oz. dark chocolate (70% cacao) 1 oz. milk chocolate ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream ¼ of a fresh vanilla bean pod, split and seeds scraped out (or ¼ tsp. vanilla extract) ½ tbsp. granulated white sugar 1. Heat the milk and lavender in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the milk begins to simmer. Remove from heat, cover and let lavender steep for 5 minutes. Strain out lavender and return the milk to the saucepan. Turn heat to medium, add the chocolate and mix until melted and incorporated. 2. While the chocolate is melting, place the cold cream, vanilla, and sugar into a cold mixing bowl and beat the mixture with a whisk or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Whisk the chocolate milk mixture for an additional 1020 seconds until frothy. Pour hot chocolate into mugs and serve each with a dollop of the vanilla whipped cream.

jan.feb 2012 | | 115

s "If you're not trying to get better every day, what's the point?" - david chang

spenser magazine: issue two  

jan.feb 2012

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