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EPICUREAN THE YALE

FALL 2011

AN UNDERGRADUATE PUBLICATION


FROM THE EDITOR | JORDAN ZIMMERMAN

DEAR FELLOW EPICURES, Thank you for picking up The Yale Epicurean’s first issue of the 2011-2012 academic year. This is our third go at being Yale’s premiere resource for food and wine musings, information, and stories. This year, it is my goal to extend the reach of The Yale Epicurean to communities who may not otherwise reach for a magazine dedicated to extoling the virtues of food. For those who would much rather pick up the Wall Street Journal than the latest episode of Bon Appetit, this year’s run just might surprise you. Food, unlike what many people think, infiltrates so many other disciplines. With every FDA mandate, tax-funded farming subsidy, and construction of yet another McDonald’s, food becomes political. With every memory of cultural food traditions, and the gathering of family around a meal for the holidays, food becomes a story of human interest. With every debate over export and import laws, sustainable agriculture, and the carbon footprint of cherry tomatoes during winter months, food becomes a matter of finance, not to mention national security. Food may be an implied part of each of our days here at Yale, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give it a second thought. In the following pages, you will find articles written for and by Yale undergraduates. From the true meaning of “comfort food”; to a directory of New Haven’s popular and not-so-popular java joints; to a step-by-step explanation of a cheddar apple pie that is sure to keep you full and toasty in these cold fall and winter months, this issue explores the anomalies of autumn and the tastes the season evokes. Additionally, this year’s issues will feature column by a few of our campus’s most forward-thinking food minds. Check out how Josh Evans, food enthusiast and student intern at the Yale Sustainable Farm, redefines what it means to cook with “seasonal” foods. And be sure not to miss the tips of Brannack McLain, Yale’s resident wine and spirits enthusiast, if you want to impress at your next classy cocktail party or UCS mixer. Food is both fun and something more. While it may not be all things to all people, it is my hope that The Yale Epicurean can be many things to many people. May your fall and winter seasons be filled with hot cider. Or cinna-spice lattes. Perhaps a pumpkin tartlette or two? Maybe even all three, with a side of butternut squash soup. Whatever you eat, may your mouth, stomach, and mind be filled with warmth, satisfaction, and an epicurean spirit of adventure. Gastronomically yours, Jordan Zimmerman

THE YALE

EPICUREAN AN UNDERGRADUATE PUBLICATION Editor-in-Chief | Jordan Zimmerman Gastronomica | Kate Huh Reviews | TaoTao Holmes Recipes | Alison James Business | Winnie Huang Design | Earl Lee www.yaleepicurean.com The views and opinions expressed in articles in this publication are those of the authors of the articles and of the editorial board of The Yale Epicurean, and not of Yale College or Yale University. All references to The Yale Epicurean refer, in fact to the full name of the organization, The Yale Epicurean, an Undergraduate Publication.


THE YALE

EPICUREAN AN UNDERGRADUATE PUBLICATION

FALL 2011 | VOLUME III | ISSUE I GASTRONOMICA Pumpkin Pie | Marcus Moretti Comfort Food | Sophie Mendelson Tailgating Food | Maeve Ricaurte Cake is dead. Long live–pie? | Jackson McHenry Foods I’m Thankful For | Sophia Hua

REVIEWS Box 63 | Natalee Pei Chestnut Fine Foods | Ryan Healey Local coffee shops | Megan Phelan Sushi Mizu | Zack Reneau-Wedeen

RECIPES Dorm Room Butternut Squash Soup | Lucas Sin Apple-Cheddar Pie | Hallie Meyer Thanksgiving Sandwich | Ryan Arnold Pumpkin Pecan Buns | Erin Kelly

REFLECTIONS So This Season | Josh Evans Bottle Talk | Brannack McLain Dining Out | Earl Lee

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GASTRONOMICA | MARCUS MORETTI

FALL 2011

PUMPKIN PIE

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As the leaves begin their gradual descent from trees to turf, I think of Émile Zola’s line “Nothing is more painfully calm than dusk in autumn.” To the lover of pumpkin pie, however, there is a sight even more melancholy than this one. It is the dusk of dessert, when the last morsel of piecrust lies lonely on the plate among crumbs. Fortunately, when I step up to the counter at Claire’s Corner Copia one afternoon I glimpsesee a complete circle of pumpkin pie behind the glass. “One slice of pumpkin pie, please,” I say. It arrives before I finish paying, and I take a seat in the corner. It may be that no two people have the same idea of the perfect pumpkin pie. The crust of my ideal pie is a bit buttery and not at all friable, while its pumpkin base, in consistency ,has fcomplementary The pumpkin base of my own ideal slice has a relatively thick consistency—closer to pound cake than pudding—and gives only fleeting hints of complementary spices. The crust is a bit buttery but not at all flimsy. At first, the slice from Claire’s resembles my ideal pie. I use my spoon to cut off triangles of orange-brown custard, which hold together well on the trip up to my mouth. But after just a few spoonfuls

Photo by Julie Reiter (BK ‘14)

my taste buds fail to report the flavor of pumpkin, dwelling instead on the spices—cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg—that have usurped the fruit. It takes a few sips of milk to sensitize my palate and allow the pumpkin taste to return in all its autumnal nourishment.

Ever since first its voyage across the Atlantic, the pumpkin pie has been a staple at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. The history of pumpkin pie is almost as rich as its flavor. The oldest pumpkin seeds, discovered in Mexican caves, date back almost 9,000 years. Native Americans grew pumpkins along with corn and beans and collectively called thesethese crops the Three Sisters, which they considered gifts from their Sun God. Their mythology perhaps inspired the French to name pumpkin seedss pompions, a word that means


GASTRONOMICA | MARCUS MORETTI

pies; each pumpkin, as well as each preparation technique, is unique. Inspired by my experience at Claire’s, I promptly tried developing a recipe of my own. While I used standard amounts of pumpkin purée, evaporated milk, and eggs, things became complicated when it came time to add spices. Since I had been overwhelmed by the amounts of spices used by Claire’s chefs (a tablespoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of ginger, and half a teaspoon of cloves), I reduced each amount by 25 percent and added a pinch of nutmeg. While the pie’s custard turned out tasty and texturally sound, but I was left unimpressed by its parched-looking crust. After finishing up, I decided to consult Martha Stewart’s YouTube video on pumpkin pie preparation for some ex post facto instruction on crust making. She taught me a few

Marcus Moretti is a junior in Berkeley College. He doesn’t always eat pie, but when he does, it’s pumpkin.

FALL 2011

But for us small-timers, there are other figures to which we can look for inspiration.

Photo by Julie Reiter (BK ‘14)

importantt techniques that I wished I had known going into the kitchen. For example, pie makers commonly apply a light egg paste to the dough to give it a moist, classically brown surface. Additionally, they often give their piecrust a decorative touch by pinching the dough’s edge at even intervals around the rim of the bowl. Just these two flourishes would have done my pie well. I thought my pie was too big—the bowl I had used was slightly oversized—until I further browsed the history of pie-making and discovered the world record holder for the largest pumpkin pie ever made. It, which was presented at a fair in New Bremen, Ohio, and measured 20 feet in diameter. Weighing in at almost two tons, the mega-pie required 1,212 pounds of canned pumpkin and 2,796 eggs, among other enormous quantities. But for us small-timers, there are other figures to which we can look for inspiration. Consider that because the female blossom exposes itself to pollination on just only one day of its life, only a slim percentage of pumpkin seedlings in an entire field blossom into the orange spheres we recognize. We can take a cue from the Native Americans in recognizing the existence of any pumpkin as a blessing. So concoct your own recipes, chow down on restaurant slices, and cherish your pumpkin pies, because they may not grace local menus for long.

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“ripened by the sun.” The Europeans, who were the first to bake pumpkin mash into piecrust, brought their recipe back to New England in the 18th century. Ever since first its voyage across the Atlantic, the pumpkin pie has been a staple at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. According to Gail Gibbons, author of The Pumpkin Book, “no two pumpkins are alike. They all have their very own personalities.” This is doubly true with respect to pumpkin


GASTRONOMICA | SOPHIE MENDELSON

FALL 2011

COMFORT FOOD

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November in Maryland is grey and drab, and my mother has spent the afternoon preparing her classic chili so that we might fill our small house, as well as our bellies, with richness and warmth. This time of year calls for comfort food, and my mom is not one to disappoint. Now that the chili has simmered long enough for its flavors to meld and deepen, she stands at the stove, bowl in hand, and prepares to build her meal. This is a process as familiar to me as the creaks in our floorboards; in my mind I can trace the steps she will take, all the way from initial preparations to the final, all-important flourish. My mother begins with a heaping spoonful of brown rice, nutty from a quick toasting in olive oil before cooking. Over that hearty foundation she ladles still-steaming chili from the heavy pot that sends tomato-scented wafts up into the air above the stove. From over her shoulder, I peer at the auburncolored gravy pooling just below the bowl’s rim, its surface speckled with sweet, yellow corn and shiny, dark beans. At this point my mother’s bowl is nearly full, but her

work is far from done: my mother’s true culinary artistry is most evident in the manner in which she garnishes her meals. She is a wizard with condiments, capable of forming gravitydefying creations. She piles layer upon layer of toppings, seasonings, sauces—even entire side dishes—one on top of the other until her small bowl struggles to support a veritable mountain of food. She is an architect of flavor in the most literal sense, and the bowl of chili she now holds has not even begun to realize its full potential. First, she gives her bowl a douse of Tabasco sauce, and stirs to incorporate its bright, vinegary tang into the rest of the dish. Next, she sprinkles a handful of sharp cheddar cheese on top. After those two essentials, there is room for improvisation based on what is available in our kitchen on any particular day—maybe some cornbread to crumble over the cheese, or a few pieces of leftover roasted broccoli (my mother is the only person I know who considers broccoli a condiment). But the final topping, the coup de grace of condiments, is


GASTRONOMICA | SOPHIE MENDELSON had a terrible day or it just won’t stop raining, then it is comfort food. As fall rolls around, I begin to realize that I have now been on campus long enough for some of the novelty of dining-hall food to wear off. I am beginning to miss my city, my house, my cats, my family, and my mother’s comfort food. When I stand at the self-serve station in the dining hall, staring down at the bulk-produced hot offering of the day, I wish I were helping myself to one of her one-pot meals. I imagine following her lead, layering condiments until our bowls are heaped high and finishing each dish with a generous spoonful of Greek yogurt. I can picture us settling onto the couch in the living room, wrapped in blankets because of our stubborn refusal to turn the thermostat above 68 degrees, and digging into our mountainous portions. As always, the first bite is the best—the warm stew beneath melds with the just-melted yogurt, the combined taste at once rich and fresh. This is the taste of my mother’s cooking and the taste of home. This is my comfort food.

FALL 2011

Sophie Mendelson is a freshman in Berkeley College. She finds comfort in the power of food to forge connections between people and create a sense of home in even the strangest of places. On homesick days, she always reaches for the Fage.

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always the same: one hearty dollop of Greek yogurt. This is my mother’s favorite condiment of all time. Its rich and creamy texture; its tart, bright, slightly tannic flavor; its unique feel on the tongue, at once silken and matte; the way it melts over a hot dish of food, its edges sprouting liquid tendrils while its center remains thick, pliable, and cool—these are the qualities that cause her to wax poetic. She uses it to grace all of her favorite meals: garlicky black beans and rice; thick bean and sausage soup; Turkish green beans simmered with tomatoes until melting; sage-and-butternut-squash soup; lamb cooked slow and low, pot-roast style, on top of her favorite vegetable, okra. Comfort food means something different to each of us. Maybe it’s Kraft macaroni and cheese from the box, silken in texture and miraculously orange. Or it could be Aunt Ginnie’s hot apple crisp, a crunchy shell of sugared oats that cracks to reveal the molten, cinnamon-scented apples beneath. Maybe it’s a steaming bowl of pho, or spaghetti with meat sauce, or latkes with sour cream and applesauce, or fried eggEnglish muffin sandwiches, or chocolate pudding. Whether it involves a complicated, multi-step recipe or comes straight out of a box, however, it constitutes comfort food because a loved one makes it that way. If it is one of Mom’s go-to recipes, the dish she always whips up when the weather turns colder or you


GASTRONOMICA | MAEVE RICAURTE

FALL 2011

TAILGATING FOOD

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Few would disagree that the tailgate is a crucial part of the quintessential Yale experience. There is just something special about waking up at the crack of dawn (that’s 9 A.M. in college-speak) on a Saturday morning, downing a few with your friends on an overcrowded bus, and moseying from U-Haul to U-Haul on the practice fields before a game no one actually watches. Solo cup in hand, you merrily schmooze, dance, and carouse with everyone from the random girl in your Moralities section to the freshman-year suitemate you haven’t seen since 2009. The smoky aroma of grilled sausage permeates the air and; your mouth waters, your taste buds scream for relief, and you launch yourself, a ravenous human missile, to the nearest barbecue pit. At a time of day when you might usually hole up in the library, the demand for school spirit overwhelms the crushing pressures of the classroom. Bow-wow-wow! Running out of food at a tailgate is as tragic as losing the game to Harvard, and for good reason. As something to turn to when we start to get the spins, want to engage our taste buds, or find forced conversations are wearing thin, tailgating food provides us a practical creature comfort. A morning feast consisting of a full plate of brownies is just as sensible for the cautious drinker as it is enjoyable for both andthe sweettoothed foodie. First and foremost, tailgating makes us think of day drinking. As such, we tend to forget about the hand that remainsis sans-Solo cup, the essential but that es, guiding Lay’s potato chips from bowl to mouth between greedy gulps of whoknows-what. While we seldom fail to sing the praises of the free beverages provided at tailgates, we unfortunately neglect to recognizegive proper recognition to the grills that invade our lots and fields. Just think: what would a tailgate be without the delicious odor of patties wafting through the air and the salty snacks that complement our Natty Lites just so? Another frat party, that’s what. JA quick glance at the traditional, historical, and cultural features of the classic pre-game festivities makes itmakes it clear that food is the tailgate’s defining attraction. Picture this: after an almost intolerably long bus ride, you finally arrive at the fields. The sun is out, but there’s still that New Haven bite in the air that you love to hate. Beyond the clumps of frat boys, U-Hauls, awkwardly intermingling alums, kegs, and sprightly eight-year-olds, you glimpse, finally,lay eyes on the food. These tables and grills attract students without fail, like nectar to the honeybee. Zoom into the familiar sight of hot dogs, baked beans, coleslaw, and hamburgers accented by an array of brownies and cookies. God bless America. When it comes down to it, a tailgate without munchables is as downright disappointing as a stadium without the fans. Imagine how naked, even eerie, the scene of the

tailgate would seem without littered plates and plasticware, mouths full of processed meat, or leftovers peeking out from overfilled trashcans. The tailgate provides us a brief, childish, and utterly chaotic respite from the intense schedule we endure through the week. This is escapism at its most disheveled and delicious. Beyond its aesthetic and sensory byproducts, consider also the social function of tailgate food. Without chow, food fights, a trademark event athighlight at tailgates, would be impossible. And as anyone who has ever run the show behind the grill knows, cooks are in an optimal position to socialize. As a grill chef, you can bond with fellow cooks, flirt with that cute girl who wants extra cheese on her burger, and ingratiate yourself to that incredibly cool and hungry upperclassman, all in the span of one morning. Food truly is key to the relaxed, communal tailgating atmosphere. According to the rich annals of tailgating history, food has long played a crucial role in this heavily ingrained college celebration. How was it that the first hungry group of sports fans conjured up this miniature pre-game festival? Had they wearied of the impersonal process of buying from stadium concessions? Did they feel the need to energize themselves in order to cheer as boisterously as possible in the stands? One legend has it that this admittedly strange cultural activity, which dates back nearly a century, was spawned at a Yale football game in 1904. Fans arrived hours in advance to spread out an improvised picnic on the cleanest horizontal spaces available—to be provided in years to come mainly by the hinged doors, or tailgates, at the back of station wagons— and munched on potato salad, guacamole, nachos, and coleslaw as they nursed ice-cold beers. Over the years, the menus for these pre-game picnics grew increasingly sophisticated. Seasoned gamers brought appetizers and dips into fashion, home cooks showcased their personal favorite dishes, and the charcoal grill went from a luxury to a necessity. Soon enough, the tailgate eclipsed the game itself. Blaring music, flashy big-screen TVs, and teamcolored cocktails promoted the tailgate from opening act to headlining event. As tailgate cuisine grew more complexevolved, it also evolved across the nation tobegan to reflect regional culinary culture. Fans of different teams have long incorporated local favorites into their pre-game feasts. For instance, Louisiana State University is famous for its seasonal gumbo boils, while fans lucky enough to find themselves in the barbecue centers of the United States, such as North Carolina, Kansas City, and Tennessee, enjoy the aroma of wood smoke and the best pork ribs in the nation. In the Upper Midwest, bratwurst is a standard dish; meanwhile, a tailgate in the South’s SEC conference without a plate of deviled eggs is considered


FALL 2011

GASTRONOMICA | MAEVE RICAURTE

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GASTRONOMICA | MAEVE RICAURTE ludicrous. So what makes the Yale tailgate special? If Yale indeed started the tradition, shouldn’t we have our own special twist that sets us apart from the rest? After a series of weekend tailgating investigations, unfortunately, I would have to say no. While Yale most definitely has the social facet down, we are lacking in originality in the culinary department. We need to protect our original claims on the college tailgate. Something must be done. As cash-poor, perpetually distracted students, we usually rely on residential colleges and dining halls to supply food at campus tailgates. But surely we have the wherewithal and gung-ho to bring our own grills or hit the Stop N’ Shop for chili ingredients. Allotting more attention to creating unique dishes would supplement the community that is momentarily established during tailgate festivities. At the tailgate, social and culinary conditions are ideal for us to use our weekend freedom in inventive ways. Perhaps in time, we will begin to appreciate tailgate food as more than mere sustenance, instead recognizing its creation as a competitive sport in its own right and, most importantly, a powerful outlet for innovation.

FALL 2011

Maeve Ricaurte is a junior in Silliman College sure to be dougie-ing her way to the cookies at the next tailgate that you attend. Boola boola!

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GASTRONOMICA | JACKSON MCHENRY

But when fall arrived, along with the exhausting schedule of school, sports practice, and limited freedom, I always turned to pie for solace. Pumpkin is a Halloween tradition, raspberry and pecan are Thanksgiving institutions, and mincemeat often makes its way onto my family’s table at Christmas. There is something appealingly hearty about the no-nonsense recipe for every pie—base and filling are all I really need. Pie’s status as the ultimate comfort dessert is underpinned by its consistency. When I order a pie, unless it belongs to the category of “pies”—Boston cream, I’m looking at you—I know I will get crust with filling, simple as that. Cake, on the other hand, is fickle. It can be made of dough, ice cream, or fruit. Structurally, it can be rectangular, layered, or carved into a tableau for a lucky couple. Cake makers constantly force their products to fit fads, turning them vegan or adorning them

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Cake is Dead. Long Live—Pie? Recent articles in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times have argued that the era of the cupcake is over. The newest fad? Pie. In the words of Andrew Freeman, a restaurant consultant cited in the Los Angeles Times last January, “pie is hot.” But no matter how hard journalists may try to frame pie’s resurgent popularity as a good underdog story, pie is not a fad. Pie is not “back.” Pie has always been there for you—why didn’t you call earlier? Growing up in Los Angeles, I had extensive firsthand experience with fads. Pinkberry, Dot’s cupcakes, that one macaroon store that really needs to catch on—for me, these summer loves wielded all the seductive power of Odysseus’ lotus fruits, dissolving my thoughts of school and college applications in sucrose bliss.

FALL 2011

CAKE IS DEAD. LONG LIVE–PIE?


FALL 2011

GASTRONOMICA | JACKSTON MCHENRY

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with rococo ruffles; cake is inconstant and centerless. The dissimilarities between cake and pie figure prominently in the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck. For Fitzgerald, whose interest lay in investigating and revealing the superficiality of the rich, cake served as a suitable cultural metaphor for the Roaring Twenties. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy lives in a house with a “frosted wedding-cake ceiling,” while the settlements of the nouveau riche on Long Island are described as “a long white cake of apartment houses.” There is a direct association between cake and the mirage of success represented by Daisy’s superficially happy life. Cake is represented as insubstantial, artificial, and displaced from reality. Pie occupies the other side of the spectrum. In the diners and dives frequented by John Steinbeck’s heroes, pie provides hearty comfort for Depression-Era Americans. “Banana cream, pineapple cream, chocolate cream—an’ apple,” repeats Mae, a waitress in The Grapes of Wrath, her drawl almost as thick as the filling of the pies sitting behind the counter. While most characters cannot afford many slices, the pie represents nostalgia and hope in its latticework from behind the clear glass. It is not hard to see why the Dust Bowl’s iconic dessert has regained its prominence today. We are at our ends again—the stock market cannot get itself into gear, and the Arab Spring fizzes toward an uncertain future. The only good that came of an AA+ credit ranking was probably found in a sweet, flakey,

buttery crust. The going is rough, and what food blogs around the country have picked up on is that Americans want real comfort back in their life. What we have yet to realize, however, is that we cannot approach pie in the same way that we do other fads. Food blogs have recently chronicled the openings of haute pie shops, listed new experiments, like the mini-pie, and made wide references to the phrase “new takes on old classics.” But even as we create wonderful and tasty inventions, we must be careful not to become lost in the need for invention. Whatever changes affect pie must not counter its fundamental nature as a comfort food. There are many ways to innovate pie—lacing the crust with cheese and experimenting with new ingredients in filling are just two—but we cannot pretend that pie is something that it is not. There is a danger in proclaiming a new fad, in instituting a new regime and hailing a new king. We have had our fill of fads. We have lived our brief escape fantasy in buttercream. But America has woken up to the first snow—the shock that things may stay dark for a while to come—and pie, as it always has been, is there for us. Jackson McHenry is a freshman in Silliman College. He is currently cheating on his philosophy study group by also agreeing to make pie with his chemistry study group. Sorry guys.


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FOODS I’M THANKFUL FOR appears almost blood-like because of the beets, which tinge the potatoes a red hue. The natural, earthy sweetness of the beets and carrots, along with the heartiness of the potatoes, makes this warm soup comforting and homey. Then there is my mother’s sweet potato soup. On their own, sweet potatoes are amazing already—smooth, velvety, and sweet. But my mother takes the sweet potatoes and turns them into a traditional-style Chinese dessert soup. This soup, like many of its kind, is simple and requires only four ingredients. The sweetness from the sweet potato, highlighted by the addition of brown sugar, is cut by the spicy kick from ginger. The dessert works both as a great satisfy-my-sweet-tooth snack and as a light dessert after dinner.

I could go on and on about all the foods I am thankful for, about the foods I crave now, but I will refrain for space’s sake. The ones I listed above are merely the dishes that I grew up eating, not realizing that some people have never even heard of persimmons, or that ruby-colored beet-and-potato soup was not a household staple. With the upcoming break signaling not my typical return home but my first Thanksgiving in New Haven, I will miss all of the foods that represent home to me. I could make them myself, sure, but we all know it would not be the same. My only other solution is to work toward a new list, one I can write about years later: foods that remind me of Thanksgiving at Yale. Sophia Hua is a sophomore in Saybrook College. Festive foods she is not thankful for include stuffing, canned cranberries, and pumpkin pie.

FALL 2011

When I think about Thanksgiving turkey, I think not of the meat we eat on the actual holiday, but of the porridge the day after.

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I have never cared for the question “What’s your favorite food?”, simply because I can rarely bring myself to choose just one. I find it easier to answer, however, if the question is tailored to a specific season. While autumn represents a time to give thanks and honor traditions, I decided to bypass the roasted turkey thighs, apple crisps, and pumpkin ice cream and in narrowing down my list of foods I am thankful for to those that remind me of my home and heritage. Without further ado, are the foods I tend to crave when the leaves start changing colors. First are persimmons. No words will do this fruit justice. I can consume pounds of this crunchy, sweet, vibrantly orangecolored fruit. In describing its taste, many people draw comparisons to apples, but I beg to differ. The taste of a persimmon lies within in its own realm: earthy, brown-sugar sweet, somewhere between a sweet potato and a ripe banana. I want to cry when the persimmon’s short season ends in November; I am a four-season fruit fiend, and persimmons rank right up there with my beloved summer melons and tropical fruits. Unlike some people who like them in salads or in pies, I would never cross-contaminate the flavor of persimmons in that manner. For me, peeled and raw is the only way to go. Second is turkey jook. Jook in its most simple form is rice cooked with too much water, a Chinese dish that is similar in texture to cream of wheat. To infuse it with flavor, people like to add different ingredients to this base. The best combination I know of, however, is the one my mom makes with turkey. Just once a year at my house (the day after Thanksgiving), my mom uses the leftover turkey carcass and whatever meat that is left to create a turkey broth. She does something magical by cooking rice into that flavor-packed broth; the hot bowl of jook that comes out of her big pot fills me up and warms me from top to bottom. When I think about Thanksgiving turkey, I think not of the meat we eat on the actual holiday, but of the porridge the day after. This bowl of goodness has been a fixture on my family’s post-Thanksgiving breakfast and lunch table every year since I can remember. The next dish that makes me feel thankful for autumn is my mom’s potato-and-beet soup. When I was younger, I loved drinking this burgundy soup not for its taste but for the way a single bowl would turn my lips ruby red. My sister and I giggled at the “lipstick” we pretended to have on while our mom, hoping to foster our liking for nutritious vegetables, encouraged us to “eat the beets, too, because they’ll make your lips even redder!” Now I appreciate the soup for different reasons, including its unique taste and appearance. This soup


REVIEW | NATALEE PEI

MOVE OVER TOAD’S AND HAND ME A BURGER

FALL 2011

Box 63 May Be Your New Best Friend

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With casual red plaid picnic tablecloths and firehouse brick walls, the new Box 63 exudes a fresh young twenty-something vibe that has proved well suited to a Yale hangout. Its allAmerican character, savvy marketing, and dedicated service will undoubtedly make it a campus staple, if it hasn’t quickly established itself as one already. Its owners Carl and Tom Carbone are rumored to make appearances at Alpha Delta Phi parties, and we even invited the restaurant’s facebook persona to my suite’s kegger this past weekend (actual attendance unclear). Box 63, located on the corner of Elm and Park, is the new kid on campus for college eats (and drinks). While its name refers to its firehouse roots, this four-month-old American Bar & Grill has already begun going by its more affectionate moniker, “Box.” The number 63 is as impossible to remember and as irrelevant to its success as the building’s history. All that being said, its hip-and-happening strategy may have already turned Box into more of a bar with a grill on the side rather than the food-focused establishment its owners originally envisioned. The senior society scene dominates the bar on Thursdays, while the lines on weekend late nights have quickly come to rival those of the beloved Toad’s. During late night hours, the downstairs restaurant area is largely empty and “underutilized,” as one student commented. The grill’s comparatively lackluster performance is largely attributable to its middling quality. You’ll find its magnum opus and saving grace in an impressive selection of eight well-executed burgers. They come double-stacked with two patties—your choice: pink or not (you can forget the pretentious scale of rare to well-done)—and will run you roughly $10. Not cheap, but the burger won’t leave you disappointed. Unfortunately, everything is downhill from there as far as your stomach is concerned. In terms of fries, I’ve even seen the dining halls do better. The same could be said of their Mac n’ Cheese, a far cry from its similarly priced Caseus counterpart. For an establishment that prides itself on “good ole American Comfort Food,” these pitfalls are damning. Even its more original specialties, like

the Eggplant Stixx, leave much to be desired. The breading is bland and the paucity of flavor exacerbated by the oversized cuts. Where health is concerned, Box deftly serves up “farm-tofork” freshness. Besides the buns and the ice cream, everything is built from the ground up. Although this dedication to freshness infers commitment to a health conscious consumer base, the menu selection leaves vegetarians rather miffed. Bacon has managed to wile its way into all but a handful of their salads, and bits of it can even be found sprinkled on the donuts. That said, this unconventional combo is strangely satisfying in its soft balance of sweet and salty. This item is not listed on the menu though, so ask the waiter if you’re feeling curious. However, if your arteries are feeling clogged just by glancing at the menu, or your vegetarian friend has ditched you for Claire’s, you’ll be immediately uplifted by the restaurant’s service—hands down among the best in New Haven. A familial, bubbly, and accommodating wait staff embodies and reinforces Box’s all-American appeal. They appear happy to be at work and provide excellent recommendations if you’re having a case of decision fatigue. On the whole, Box is a must-try for any Yale student. The youth of the establishment leaves open ample room for improvement, but until the menu sees any future changes, you’re safe and sound just sticking to the tried-and-true burger. For a restaurant so overshadowed by its upstairs bar, it remains to be seen what the fledgling kitchen at Box 63 is really capable of.

Box 63 HHHHH 338 ELM STREET, NEW HAVEN, CT 06511 (203) 821-7772 ENTRÉES: $10 TOP PICKS: BIG APPLE PIZZA, BROOKLYN MEATBALL SALAD, EGGPLANT STIXX, COWBOY STEAK


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REVIEW | NATALEE PEI

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Photos by Earl Lee (TD ‘15)


REVIEW | RYAN HEALEY

FALL 2011

CHESTNUT FINE FOODS

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Freshly baked challah emerges from the oven, its delicate braids golden and eggy. Stalks of still-warm baguettes sprout in a thick thatch by the register while piles of delicate cookies fight for real estate with thick magic bars in a wooden glass case. The scent of simmering soup submerged my brain into a trance-like state as I stepped in from the cold on one recent morning. Was I still in New Haven? Indeed, I was. I found myself at Chestnut Fine Foods, a remarkable jewel of a cafe, one capable of the most awe-inspiring alchemy: transforming New Haven into a new experience, miraculously both outside the “Yale bubble” and a world away from the scorched-earth scariness of Chief Ronnell’s emails. One block from the rumble and roar of I-91, Chestnut (along with its famous-for-brunch next door neighbor, The

Photo by Ryan Healey (BK ‘14)

Pantry) stands incongruously prim at the foot of State Street. The petal-pink walls and feather-encrusted lamps clash with the garish red awning of the bodega across the street; the food, thankfully, bears no semblance to Subway, its other neighbor. Stepping into Chestnut, after a quick two-block walk from the Blue Line stop on Orange Street, the quick and comforting realization settles in: you’ve made the right decision to burst

Chestnut Fine Foods 1012 STATE STREET, NEW HAVEN, CT 06511 (203) 782-6767 ENTRÉES: $10


REVIEW | RYAN HEALEY

and cobbler, grab a free book from the whicker baskets along the floor and settle in. Warm bread, good cheese, and soft music, watching the cars whoosh through the falling leaves out front— this is the way life is supposed to be. And then you remember: you’re still in New Haven. The slew of midterms has somehow not yet ended, while the wafting fragrances of mounds of stuffing and tablefuls of pies are not quite in nostrils’ reach. And, inevitably, back into the maelstrom you trudge. But you’re comforted by one fact: Chestnut is wonderfully close, a mere mile from campus. You’ll be back soon, and often. Ryan Healey is a sophomore in Berkeley who transferred from Georgetown for Pepe’s.

FALL 2011

Such is the beauty of Chestnut: simple food, prepared extremely well.

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Photos by Ryan Healey (BK ‘14)

free of the bubble. At Chestnut all is order and beauty, luxury, peace, and pleasure. And what a pleasure it is, being at Chestnut. Bathed in the glow of early morning sunshine or the honey hues of late afternoon light as it pours in through the white-framed windows, there are no wrong decisions. To the left, a table of greying women from the neighborhood practice French. To the right a woman in chunky frames and carefree clogs discusses what she heard on “Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me.” It’s all very New Haven here. Time fades as your eyes dart around the low-slung vintage refrigeration case. Will it be a bowl of smoky and sweet Eggplant Caponata, studded with onions and melting tomatoes, undercut by the brisk tang of balsamic vinegar? Or perfect rounds of pumpkin ravioli, the silken filling oozing out at the first prick of a fork, combining with crunch of toasted pecans, dusted with spices— the taste of fall in a bite? The answer, of course: both. Under the intoxicating influence of the smells constantly wafting from Chestnut’s lively kitchen, normal “rationalizations” — Do I need the calories? Didn’t I just eat lunch? — fall to true rationality: you’d be crazy not to order something when it’s prepared with as much tenderness and care as the food receives at Chestnut. “We make everything here, everyday,” said Patty Walker, who along with her husband Fred has owned Chestnut for its 26-year history— the first 18 of which were spent in the Wooster Square neighborhood. This commitment to quality is what sets Chestnut apart from other cafes. Sandwiches— which at lesser establishments means slimy meat stuffed between wan slices of bread — give rise to revelation at Chestnut: how could something so simple be so good? The secret lies in the sliced-to-order meat and fresh bread. Whether on Anadama (a rich brown bread undergirded by whispers of molasses), Country Herb (soft and white, studded with caraway seeds, familiar yet foreign), or 14 grain (hearty and healthy), the sandwiches are imbued with a care and sophistication that seems far beyond what this five-table cafe would be capable of producing. And what of that other key sandwich ingredient, cheese? Chestnut — and by now, this should come as no surprise — has an impeccably well-curated selection, and

the pretension-free knowledge to make it worthwhile and accessible. A request for a cheese plate was met with a European tour of taste and texture. An Irish Cashel Blue, soft and veiny, stayed on the fun side of funky. A French Boucheron, tangy and creamy, spread smoothly over a French knot still warm on the fingertips — a case for Parisian study abroad in a bite. Finally, a slender, slightly salty slice of hard Italian Tremosine disappeared in sync with fleshy nubs of dried apricots. The cookies and bars rise to similar stratospheres. The pecan sandies, slicked with maple icing, are a miracle of butter and sugar. Feeling fruitier? Order a lemon dream bar and marvel at the creamy citrus filling, the way it trembles on the thick graham cracker base, how quickly it vanishes. Another, please! Even better are the generous scoops of cobbler that Chestnut doles out when fruit reaches the peak of ripeness. A month ago it was nectarine— tart and bright, the crunch of the topping giving way to the soft flesh of the filling, a comical contrast to the weapons-grade hardness of dining hall stone fruit. Such is the beauty of Chestnut: simple food, prepared extremely well. Order a sandwich and a sandie, or caponata


REVIEW | MEGAN PHELAN

FALL 2011

QUICK STOPS AT COFFEE SHOPS

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Over the last few weeks we’ve all started raking through our closets and dressers, pulling out those wrinkled cardigans and stuffed-away boots. Leaves are beginning to blush and that wispy breeze is growing ever more familiar. Yet while the temperature may be cooling down, our studies are just revving up and right about now, the pressing question is: Where should I go to get my extra jolt? Regardless of your drink of choice, regardless of how long you want the experience to last, I guarantee that there is an undiscovered haven to meet your specific needs and desires. No one can deny the fact that Yale provides us with amazing dining halls filled with ever-flowing taps of tea and coffee, or the fact that our fleet of lavish libraries provides ample study space for everyone. Yet, sometimes, we crave them both. So why should the two be mutually exclusive? After all, isn’t caffeine the perfect companion to a day of dogged studying? And after those long hours, isn’t a warm beverage exactly what we need to relax and ease the stress? The answers: yes and yes, which spurred me into a mission: to explore around New Haven track down the coffee shops that fulfill these at times desperate demands. So where would I go? That’s a tough question. Each shop definitely has its own special characteristics and qualities to offer. I would personally probably skip Willoughby’s or Blue, just because they are not particularly unique. One thing I do appreciate about Book Trader’s is the sort of thrift store setting, which I consider cozy. Atticus and Café Romeo are definitely the clear choice if you are looking for a meal or snack, as their food is truly gourmet. I think Koffee is a perfect place to go with a friend for its wonderfully comfortable and quirky environment, and nice to have company on the walk over. Yet, I would have to say that my all-time favorites, taking location, atmosphere and selection into account, would have to be Jojo’s and Woodland, whether for a chat, a bit of study, or just a cup of Joe. But everyone has her own criteria for the perfect coffee shop, and each shop really is unique to all the others. So you’ll have to figure out for yourself which scene is for you and which will quench that caffeine fix you can’t stop craving. Megan Phelan is a freshman in Berkeley. After wasting endless hours on p-sets, she finds comfort sipping a hot mug of tea or a warm chai latte.

Blue State Coffee (276 York St and 84 Wall St) Your typical college coffee shop The coffee: a rich and full flavor that really illustrates the quality of the blend What’s memorable: a foam heart on top of every latte you order Downsides: popular and well known by Yalies, it can get noticeably crowded and busy, especially on York - maybe not the best choice for studying or deep conversation Top Picks: Classic latte, Chai Latte Willoughby’s Coffee and Tea (194 York St and 258 Church St) A classic coffee shop The coffee: roasted by them every week, making for a decadent, fresh brew What’s memorable: a few rotating pastries? More places to sit Downsides: few specialty items on the menu. Top Picks: House Blend, French Vanilla Roasted Blend Café Romeo (534 Orange St) The coffee: a full drink selection with a variety of latte’s and blends to match the season, all with fun names and combinations What’s memorable: a full café, brick oven, and pleasant offcampus environment Downsides: a bit of a walk – though a nice one Top Picks: Dirty Chai, Iced white chocolate raspberry mocha, brick oven pizza Jojo’s Coffee and Tea (1177 Chapel St) Adorable The coffee: an endless and extremely affordable selection, with specialty varieties from around the world What’s memorable: the comfortable and cozy environment – the perfect place to study or catch up with a friend over a cup o’ Jo(jo). The presentation of drinks is darling: individual cast iron teapots with small glass mugs in a wooden, carved serving tray Downsides: None. Jojo’s is the ideal spot: a quiet and quaint scene away from the Yale hustle with an extremely friendly staff Top Picks: Anything. There are so many choices of coffee and tea; you will never run out new flavors to try. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous!


REVIEW | MEGAN PHELAN Woodland Coffee and Tea (1044 Chapel St and 97 Orange St) New Haven’s best kept secret The coffee: extensive selection with tantalizing specialty collection, such as pumpkin spice latte, and Mayan hot chocolate, which match seasonal ingredients and themes What’s memorable: hidden at first, thus evermore enchanting when you finally enter: spacious and elegantly decorated with colorful paintings and prints, a remarkably quiet environment perfect for deep conversation or studies Downsides: So much seating to choose from! couch, stool, table…? Top Picks: Seasonal lattes, Woodland mocha Koffee (104 Audubon St) The coffee: a combination of specialty hot and cold drinks, anywhere from espresso/latte combinations to freshly squeezed frozen lemonade and other fruity concoctions What’s memorable: a quirky, bohemian, and comfortable atmosphere with mismatched couches and tables with character and unique style – not your next door Starbucks. Also, every day after 5 PM, there is an “after dark” alternative scene with beer, wine and cheese, and occasional music. Downsides: a bit far, but worth it if you want to get in on the grad student and professional scene Top Picks: Viannese, Mochaccino

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YALE EPICUREAN

Atticus Bookstore/Café (1082 Chapel St) Homey

FALL 2011

The coffee: Anything will taste good with the bread and pastries What’s memorable: everything is baked fresh daily means for never a disappointed meal, surrounded by classic novels, cookbooks, pleasure reads, and nearly any other book you can think of Downsides: too hard to decide between a croissant and French bread sandwich, and no place to sit at peak hours Top Picks: Hot chocolate (made with whipped cream blended within), black bean soup, scones Book Trader Café (1140 Chapel St) Low-key

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The coffee: fairly affordable, and tastes better surrounded by all the second-hand books What’s memorable: the glass-windowed sitting area, a fantastic people watching vantage point, along with a great baked good section and full café menu with flexible wrap and sandwich options Downsides: can get a bit noisy, so studying is probably not your best bet. Top Picks: house blend coffee, signature café wraps, any of the scones and muffins

editor@yaleepicurean.com


REVIEW | ZACK RENEAU-WEDEEN

FALL 2011

SUSHI MIZU NOT QUITE PALATIAL

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Last spring may have seen the departure of the lovably troubled Samurai Sushi, but New Haven has built a new contender for the title of Yale-area portion king. Stepping into the ring is Sushi Mizu, which opened earlier this year at 47 Whalley Ave., just past Broadway. Now, diehard “Epicureaders” may remember my comparison piece last spring, which pitted New Haven’s two heavy-hitters of sushi head-to-head. No, it wasn’t a dainty contrast of the environmental and creative virtues of Miya’s vs. the consistent and classy Sushi on Chapel. Rather, it juxtaposed two giants of gluttony: the all-you-can-eateries Sushi Palace and Samurai Sushi. In conclusion, Sushi Palace triumphed, winning or tying all evaluative categories except location. Soon after the review, Samurai went out of business. Whether this was due to their little run-in with liquor law and resulting forfeiture of business from underage sake-bombers or because of my review is unknown. Either way, it appeared as though all-you-can-eat sushi in walking distance was a thing of the past. Then along came the opportunistic Sushi Mizu. Since its inception, all-you-can-eat aficionados (oxymoron?) have been salivating to get a taste of the new joint. Could it finally bridge the gap between taste and location? Could it appeal to both the extremely lazy and the taste conscious? I took it upon my own palate to find out. At the restaurant, I jumped to no conclusions when Sushi Mizu’s menu followed exactly the same, bland but reliable format used by Sushi Palace and (the late) Samurai. I remained neutral when I noticed their TV was gorily and unsettlingly taking all patrons through an FX murder mystery. I sat unbiased…and I continued to sit. And then, one hour into the wait, impartiality began to devolve into despair: Samurai 2.0 might be a reality. The food finally came, and it was relatively tasty despite bearing little resemblance to what our party of four had actually ordered. Rather than remember who ordered what and delivering accordingly, Sushi Mizu’s staff had taken to the unprecedented trial and error method of serving. The lone waitress intermittently emerged from the large, not-so-prolific kitchen with a large tray of sushi, and then attempted to bring it to each table until one accepted her offering. On occasions later in the night, when few were hungry at all and none were hungry for food they didn’t order, she would return to the kitchen, tray still in hand, looking puzzled. While gossipy anecdotes of botched service may entertain, Sushi Mizu is a real step up from Samurai in terms

of pure food quality. They still can’t cut sashimi, and they still think “crunch” is a necessary ingredient in almost every special roll, but their fish-to-rice ratio is far more on point, and the fish freshness takes a small step up as well. Really the most striking takeaway from my trip to Sushi Mizu had little to do with the restaurant in question. More pronounced than anything Mizu did to impress or disappoint was a feeling of wonder at how Samurai ever posed as an option for more than a little illicit consumption. In the end, my advice is simple: You still have to head north to Sushi Palace for quality all-you-can-eat sushi and reliable service. However, if you must stay local, and a more meager eatery won’t satisfy, either claim you’re reviewing for the Times (yeah, right), or choose company of whose presence you never tire. Zack Reneau-Wedeen is a sophomore in Trumbull and finds no sports drink preferable to beet juice and coconut water.

Sushi Mizu 47 WHALLEY AVE, NEW HAVEN, CT 06511 (203) 777-9888 ENTRÉES: $12

Photo by Earl Lee (TD ‘15)


RECIPE | LUCAS SIN

DORM ROOM BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

In this recipe, I used a Magic Bullet, which is always helpful to have in the dorm for smoothies and soups. Disposable bowls and spoons for serving can be found at your residential college dining hall or any take-out restaurant, such as Au Bon Pain. • 1 blender/food processor • 1 microwavable bowl/dish • 1 microwave Ingredients (Serves 3) All of the ingredients are available at the nearby Stop n Shop, or the farmer’s market which runs on Wednesdays (11am – 3pm) across the New Haven Green. • 1 pound butternut squash, cubed (get these pre-cut and prepeeled at Stop n’ Shop) • 1 yellow onion, chopped (you may elect to use red onions if you want a sweeter soup) • 1 tbsp butter • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetarian broth, at room temperature (you should try to get the best you can afford) • 1/3 cup heavy cream • 1 dash ground nutmeg

Directions 1. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine squash, onions and butter. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes. 2. Stir in your broth of choice and microwave on high for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. 3. Make sure the squash is soft and cooked through (check with a spoon). 4. Scoop the vegetables out of the soup into your blender or food processor. 5. Blend until you have a smooth puree (if your prefer, you may leave your soup chunky).* 6. Pour the mixture back into your bowl. Mix in the cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Return to the microwave for 4 minutes, until heated through. 7. Serve warm with a gentle swirl of cream on top. *Blending hot liquids is dangerous because of heat explosions. So let your mixture cool for a while before you blend hot liquids. Also, only fill the blender to 2/3 of the way. Lucas Sin is a freshman in Davenport college. Back at home, in Hong Kong, he serves as executive chef for his private kitchen Bo Zai that aims to promote Hong Kong food culture through re-imagined Asian cuisine. Here on campus, Lucas is eager to eat, cook and learn with fellow young chefs and foodies.

Photo by Ryan Healey (BK ‘14)

FALL 2011

Equipment

• 1 dash ground cinnamon (optional) • Salt and pepper to taste

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Perhaps it’s just too cold outside. Or perhaps you just don’t feel like having marinated tofu again. Maybe friends are coming over for a study break and you’d love to impress them. In any case, despite the abundance of food here at Yale, you may find yourself wanting to (or, rather, needing to) cook. And when such circumstances arise, the process of cooking in a kitchen may be tedious. Therefore, I’d like to present to you a series of dishes you can make without stepping outside your room. With these recipes, you should be able to make a handful of healthy, impressive and tasty dishes with commonplace appliances like your clothes iron, microwave, kettle and blender. So here’s the first of a series of recipes – Butternut Squash Soup. As the days gets chillier and we approach Thanksgiving, why not reward yourself with a little taste of fall and a little bowl of warmth?


RECIPE | HALLIE MEYER

FALL 2011

APPLE-CHEDDAR PIE

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My favorite part of Thanksgiving is that delicious slice of time in between dinner and dessert. Plates and silver wear clanking as a few good souls take on dishwashing duty; little cousins playing tag in the dining room; wrapping up sour cranberry sauce and turkey for sandwiches the next day; dinner’s done, it’s time for pie. The classics are always there – pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie, and whipped cream. And then there are usually some variations on the old favorites – maybe chocolate pecan, or apple crumb pie, or perhaps pumpkin with gingersnap crust. But last year when it came time to set out the dessert buffet, I decided to perform a little social experiment. Food network was playing in the background on Thanksgiving morning as we started prepping for the big dinner. Coffee brewing, me cubing cold butter, my dad sautéing sweet sausages for stuffing, my mom chopping celery and onions; this was always a good morning. The kitchen was alive. While rolling out my first batch of pie dough, I suddenly heard Emeril Lagasse’s booming voice say the words “apple cheddar hand pies.” Now, believe me, Emeril is not usually my guy. The whole “bam” thing kind of ruins it for me. But when I saw him folding some apple cheddar hand pies, I was intrigued. Why not? The two flavors make a lot of sense: a slab of sharp, salty cheddar cheese with a crisp fall apple is a classic American combination. So I grabbed a hunk of white cheddar from my fridge, fidgeted around with my crust recipe, and added it in to my next batch of pie dough. It turned out great. The savory sweet cheddar crust plays beautifully with a warm spiced apple filling in such a way that a scoop of vanilla ice cream just can’t contest. People smiled and threw out a few “oh, interesting” ‘s when I told them what was in apple pie number two. We are creatures of habit, and Thanksgiving is about tradition, nostalgia – old fashioned apple pie. So at first, everyone took a sliver just to be polite. But those slivers just didn’t cut it; the cheddar apple pie disappeared faster than its cheeseless predecessor. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to try this one. Sautéing the apples before baking helps get rid of some excess water, thus preventing a soggy crust. It also creates a delicious spiced caramel-y coating on the apples that works well with the salty cheddar crust. Apple Cheddar Pie Yields 1 large pie, enough for 8-10 servings Ingredients: Cheddar Pie Crust

• 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour • ½ tsp salt (up it?) • 2 tsp sugar • ½ tsp nutmeg • 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, cut into tiny cubes and frozen • 2 ½ cups of extra-sharp cheddar • 4 tablespoons of very cold milk • 1 egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash) Filling • 10 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼-inch-thick wedges. • ¼ tsp. salt • 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon • ¼ tsp. ground cloves • ¼ tsp. ground ginger • 2 tbsp. flour • Juice of one lemon • Splash of apple cider (2-3 tbsp.) • ¾ c. brown sugar • 3 tbsp. butter Directions Making the crust 1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, sugar, and nutmeg. 2. Add the cold butter and cheddar, and pulse until coarse crumbs form, but small pieces of butter still remain. 3. Starting with 2 tablespoons, add the cold milk and pulse just until the dough holds together. 4. Divide the dough into two disks and turn them out onto large pieces of saran wrap. Fold saran wrap over dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Making the filling and baking 1. Preheat oven to 450°F and put a foil-lined large baking sheet on the middle rack. 2. Peel and core apples, then slice to about 1/4 inch thick. Toss apples with sugar, flour, lemon juice, apple cider, spices, and salt until evenly coated. 3. Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add apple mixture and cook, stirring often with a spatula, until mixture thickens slightly (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat. 4. On a floured countertop, roll out 1 piece of dough (keep remaining disk chilled) large enough to fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Add apple filling to the pie shell, being sure to scrape in all the liquid from the pan. Roll out remaining piece of dough and top the pie. 5. Press edges together to seal, then fold them under. Lightly the brush top crust with the beaten egg then cut 5 vents in the center of the pie.


RECIPE | HALLIE MEYER 6. Bake on hot baking sheet for 20 minutes. Then reduce oven to 375°F and bake until crust is golden-brown and filling is bubbling inside about 40 minutes more. Lightly sprinkle the finished pie with white sugar and enjoy. Hallie Meyer is a freshman in Silliman College. She is a Manhattan native who enjoys long walks in the woods, on the beach, or on New York City concrete sidewalks. She loves baking, cooking, gardening, preserving, jarring, and sitting by fires on fall evenings; basically, she’s an old woman trapped in the body of a college freshman.

FALL 2011

Photos by Aily Zhang (SM ‘15)

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RECIPE | RYAN ARNOLD

THANKSGIVING SANDWICH It seems as though every other Sunday night, Yale dining serves up “rotisserie-style turkey”, complete with mashed potatoes and gravy. As excited as I get on actual turkey day, having this option pop up so often in the dining halls isn’t exactly thrilling. Still, that doesn’t mean you can just ignore the food and head immediately for the cereal bar. When these special dishes are available, you absolutely must capitalize on the situation, get creative, and make something Thanksgivingthemed. Since it’s getting awfully close to actually being Thanksgiving, I decided to indulge in one of my fall favorites – the leftover Thanksgiving sandwich. This sandwich is a tad more extravagant than what you’d find at home, mostly because you have so many other fantastic ingredients to work with in the dining hall. To complement the basic turkey and gravy combination, I added bacon slices (usually available in the deli section), dried cranberries (often available in the salad section), lettuce, and squeezed it all between two slices of toasted wheat bread. You’d be surprised at how well these simple toppings fuse together to make a scrumptious sandwich. Pair this with a side of potato chips – or mashed potatoes if they’re available – and you have a quick and easy Thanksgiving feast!

FALL 2011

Ingredients (Serves one)

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• two pieces of wheat toast • leaf of green lettuce • three slices of bacon • “rotisserie-style turkey” • handful of dried cranberries • gravy Directions 1. Start with the most pivotal step of this whole recipe – toasting your bread! Have your hand on the toaster knob to ensure you’ll end up with the desired doneness for the toast. 2. Next, spoon on gravy to each slice, covering the entire surface (but take care to not douse the whole bread. You don’t want to end up with soggy toast!) 3. To ensure your ingredients will stay together and not fall apart once you go for a bite, sprinkle your dried cranberries onto the gravy. Then carefully layer the bacon on top. 4. Next, find two particularly clean cuts of white turkey breast meat, and place them neatly on your bacon. Finish with lettuce. 5. Quickly and carefully transpose one of the slices onto

the other, and you’ll have created an amazing leftover Thanksgiving sandwich! Ryan Arnold is a junior economics major in Pierson College. He is an editor for the Bullblog, a publisher for Q Magazine, and a UCS Residential College Peer Advisor. When he’s not frantically running around campus, he’s long-distance running, somewhere in New Haven. Ryan’s other interests include spending 100% of his paycheck on clothing and/or Thai food. One day, he hopes to own his own Mexican restaurant, and name it “Tequila Mockingbird”.

PUMPKIN PECAN BUNS Every Thanksgiving, my aunt makes a big family dinner, with dozens of delicious dishes, from turkey to apple pie. I always love the basket of warm sticky buns that we devour during the main course. This recipe combines some of the best flavors of fall - pumpkin, cinnamon, and pecans - to make a truly mouthwatering cinnamon bun. Ingredients (Serves 24 buns) • 3 1/4 oz. packages active dry yeast • 1/2 cup warm water • 4 eggs • 1 cup vegetable oil • 1 cup canned pumpkin • 1 cup warm milk (110˚ to 115˚)


RECIPE | ERIN KELLY • 1/2 cup sugar • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar • 2/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix • 1 teaspoon salt • 7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour Filling • 1/4 cup butter, melted • 1 cup packed brown sugar • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice • 2/3 cup chopped pecans Icing • 3 tablespoons water • 2 tablespoons butter, softened • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract Directions

2. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. 3.Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle; brush with butter. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and pecans; sprinkle evenly over dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. 4.Roll up jellyroll style, starting with a long side; brush butter over seams to seal. Cut each roll into 12 slices. Place in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350˚. 5. Bake at 350˚ for 25-28 minutes or until golden brown. In a small bowl, whisk together water, butter, cinnamon, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. Spread over buns. Serve warm. Erin Kelly is a freshman in Berkeley College. Besides baking, she enjoys skiing, dancing in TAPS, and drinking lots of hot chocolate while playing cards.

FALL 2011

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the eggs, oil, pumpkin, milk, sugars, pudding mix, salt, and 6 cups of flour. Beat until smooth, adding the rest of the flour gradually to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.

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COLUMN | JOSH EVANS

SO THIS SEASON

Cooking of the moment and culinary minutae with Josh Evans

FALL 2011

Fall can get me down. It’s not what you think: I like the changing leaves, the scarves, the nostalgia, the smell of smoke, all very well. But fall cooking – man, it can get real tired, real fast. Don’t get me wrong, I love squash just as much (and probably more) than the next person. And I’m sure it is precisely because we have so many strong memories associated with this time of year that we aim to replicate these memories and flavours in the food we make. But I am also a firm believer that sage, for example, deserves a place at the table all year round, and not just at Thanksgiving. Because it does grow all year round, and pairs well with many more things than just stuffing and squash. Similarly, there are so many more things we can do with ‘fall flavours’ than simply pair them with each other. And so many flavours of the season not tasted nearly enough! So I’ve taken it upon myself to pay homage to a few underappreciated fall flavours that need a little love, and a few more familiar favourites that cry out to be used in lesser-known but by no means less delicious ways. And what’s more, we’ll indulge in a little bit of geeking out on history and etymology along the way. You know you love it.

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Rutabaga Swede, tumshie, neep, snagger: the many linguistic guises of a single humble root. Our common name for it here comes from the Old Swedish rotabagge, or ‘root bag’. “But what exactly is a rutabaga?”, you wonder. Fear not, for I have consulted the phylogeny oracle, and am told our dear root vegetable is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Glamourous, I know. But don’t underestimate the versatility of this misunderstood black sheep. Its slight sweetness and aromatic, almost nutty quality adds a surprising dimension to any dish. You can use it just as you would any other root vegetable: add it to mashed potatoes for a more complex flavour experience (that’s what the Swedes and Norwegians do); cube or slice it and roast it for a side dish or use in a salad the next day (if you somehow find yourself with leftovers), or subsitute it for squash or pumpkin in a cake or loaf recipe. When in doubt, it’s even delicious raw, with a dense pepperiness like a radish meeting a squash. One of my favourite things to do, though, is to use a mandoline to cut it into thin, even slices, toss them with oil, salt, and spices, and bake into chips. The somewhat bitter notes are replaced with a mellowness that holds up well to a host of aromatic spices. Try garam masala or any combination of chai spices (cardamom, ginger, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, or others) for a heady warmth that will fill the kitchen.

Radish These guys are so diverse, so delicious, and so very underappreciated. The common name ‘radish’ derives from the Latin radix, or ‘root’, which is saying something if they were good enough to be the prototypical root for a civilisation that conquered much of the ancient world. They also grow all year round, with different varieties making appearances at different times or year. And if that’s not enough, they are one of the fastest crops to germinate, often reaching maturity in three or four weeks – thus the name of their genus, Raphanus, or ‘quickly appearing’ in Greek. Radishes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colours, and degrees of hotness, from the dainty, pink French Breakfast variety that are long and slender with a white tip, to the Black Spanish, a hardy winter variety that can grow quite large and spicy, to the inimitable Daikon varieties that can grow as much as a zucchini. One of my favourite varieties, though, is the Watermelon Radish – green-skinned, with a white inner layer and a deep fuschia flesh. Thinly sliced with sea salt on buttered dark bread, there are few things simpler or more delicious. Try pan-frying any variety in butter for a revelatory side dish, or toss with the radish greens and fresh cheese like ricotta for a smart little salad. If you can get your hands on radish pods – the seed pods of the plant of which the radish is only the root – so much the better: sear them in a piping hot pan until blistered, toss with fried breadcrumbs and herbs, and you’ve got yourself some pretty addicting little morsels. Be sure to share. Pea Shoots Who knew you could grow peas in the fall? Certainly not me until just a couple weeks ago. Pea shoots are a beautiful icon of springtime – the twirling tendrils and tiny, tender leaves mark the beginning of the growing season with a sweetness that is matched only, in my opinion, by the first head of asparagus to push through the soil. Well, it turns out we can have these beauties more than once a year – peas can be used as a cover crop to keep competing plants out of beds as they lay fallow, and to return nutrients to the soil, which is made all the better by enjoying the shoots of the young pea plants this late in the season. Treat them gently: toss with tender greens, herbs, and a light dressing for an impressive and surprising salad. Bonus fact for all you linguistics buffs: the word ‘pea’ is actually a back-formation of ‘pease’ (as in pease pudding), the original English word, from the Greek pison via the Latin pisum. Originally a singular, ‘pease’ began to be interpreted as a plural noun by English speakers, from which they then inferred a new singular by dropping the plural-signifying ‘s’. So don’t be surprised the next time you ask your curmudgeonly


COLUMN | JOSH EVANS lexicographer uncle to pass the peas and he spoons you a single one; you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Photos by Josh Evans (CC ‘12)

27 EPICUREAN

Rosemary From the Latin Rosmarinus, a conjunction of ros (“dew”) and marinus (“sea”), purportedly from its ability to sustain itself solely on the humidity carried to it by the wine-dark Mediterranean. In other words, this herb ain’t messing around. So use it on more than just your potatoes, I implore you! What’s often overlooked is rosemary’s strong affinity for sweet and citrussy flavours. Pair it with dark chocolate and you can do wrong, or with any type of stone fruit, fresh or (as the autumnal case may be) dried. Apricots spring to mind. Or go for bold pairings with citrus, like orange and grapefruit, or, even better, sorrel and rhubarb – local, seasonal sources of citrus notes and puckering sourness. I’ve roasted some halved late figs with rosemary – the rosemary softens and imparts a woody, brambly quality that pairs divinely with the perfumed, pink flesh as it carmelises. Serve with anything – on quinoa or amaranth porridge for breakfast, on crostini for lunch, or over ice cream after dinner. And finally, if in doubt about how to explore an old fall flavour in a new way, I offer a simple rule of thumb: Fry some sage leaves in brown butter and pour it on top. You won’t be disappointed.

FALL 2011

Nutmeg Did you know that nutmeg and mace are actually parts of the same plant? I know. Crazy. The mace is the red, weblike structure, or aril (same as pomegranate seeds) that wraps around the nutmeg, which is the seed of the fruit of any tree in the genus Myristica. The red-hued mace is often used like saffron, to bring bright colour to a dish, while the more potently aromatic nutmeg itself can reveal a range of different flavours in a dish, from bright and floral to round, sweet, and earthy. What can you use nutmeg for? More than just eggnog, let me tell you. Aside from the obvious squash/root veg accomaniment, or the addition to pastries involving cinnamon, apple or pumpkin, try lacing it into some tomato sauce with these end-of-season tomatoes we’re getting for a refreshing take on a sauce usually more dominated by herbacious flavours (that’s how they roll in Morocco and Lebanon). Or bake some eggplant and serve with nutmeg, whipped goat cheese, and honey for a simple yet decadent appetizer or dessert (eggplant can get pretty sweet when cooked). All in all, it’s a really versatile little guy, able to round out the harshness of bitter greens, brassicas, and acidic fruits, as well as tempering the cloying sweetness of dishes rich with cream and eggs. Nutmeg is also documented as having been used as snuff in India for centuries, as well as a tested deliriant and psychoactive when ingested in very large quantities. It is banned in Saudi Arabia. It was even featured in a 1966 New York Times piece on “alternative highs” on college campuses. You did not hear this from me.


COLUMN | BRANNACK MCLAIN

BOTTLE TALK

FALL 2011

Tips and tricks for wine and spirits with Brannack McLain

peach.” For red, just think about how dark the wine is, and then pick some fruit that dark. Dark purple? “Blackberries, black cherries, and… is that black pepper?” Ruby red wine? “Raspberries and rich red cherries”. Now everyone is starting to respect you. You rock! Time to booze a little. Raise the glass slowly; don’t betray your true eagerness to get buzzed. Sip a bit of wine and hold it in your mouth. Pull a bit of air in as well. Swish the wine around, close your eyes, and pretend to be in deep thought. Now, prepare to wow your companions. If you like it, let a faint smile curl your lips. If you don’t, pretend to be deeply conflicted. Now, don’t even bother saying what it tastes like. Just tell people it reminds you of a childhood memory, or a past romance, or one of your favorite songs. Your esotericism will impress people. You must have a great palate and emotional depth to match. You’re gonna get laid tonight! Just remember: see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor. Then, spit or swallow. No one else knows what he or she is doing either, so no one will question you if you look very contemplative and concerned at all times. Of course, always be wary of the wine-tasting equivalent of the section asshole and avoid confrontation at all costs. And hey, who knows? Maybe if you get in the habit of thinking about the wine in front of you every time you’re served a glass, you might start to learn something. Adulthood, here we come!

Photo by Earl Lee (TD ‘15)

EPICUREAN

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I’ve heard rumors that life changes once you graduate college. In the real world, people don’t spend all their time in classrooms, residential colleges, frats, and bars. When (if) you leave Yale, your environment will radically change and you’ll be awash, hopelessly lost as you seek new ways to show how entertaining, knowledgeable, and cultured you are. Luckily for you, there’s one trick you can learn to channel all three of those qualities: wine-tasting. From the ancient Greek symposium to the dinner at Union League I mooched off my parents over family weekend, wine has always been a lynchpin of western culture. Wine has played a crucial role in the development of Western philosophy, art, religion, and more. If you’re really knowledgeable about wine, it’s like you know about all that stuff like culture, craft, history, geography, chemistry, politics, and psychology, too. In vino veritas and all that jazz. Sounds impressive, right? It’s too impressive, actually. That’s why pretty much no one is really knowledgeable about wine. Most of us fake it, and so could you! Can you see why wine is the perfect hobby for a restless Yale grad? If you know wine, you can channel your seminarinspired zest for learning and your tailgating-influenced love of daydrinking into the same socially acceptable adult activity: wine tasting. Wine tastings, like many things, can be overwhelming if it’s your first time. What should you do if you’re at a tasting and everyone expects you to say something? So many things could go wrong! Have you ever even thought about wine seriously? Do you just tend to choke in high-pressure situations? Do you have a sinus infection that’s killing your senses? Are you too hungover from yesterday’s “tasting” at Box (RIP, Toad’s) to process anything? Fear not, you can sound like a pro with no effort. Just bring those Yale BS-ing skills to bear and jump right in. Take it slow. Pick up your glass. Lean the top of the glass away from you and pretend to examine the wine very seriously. Really, just think about whether or not you’re drinking a red, white, or rosé. If it’s a red and it’s a bit brownish or has a watery-looking rim, or if it’s a white and it looks a bit dark or muddied, slowly say, “hmmm… this has got a bit of age on it, doesn’t it?” Knowledgeable people in the room will agree. Way to go, champ! Swirl the wine in the glass. Place your nose in the glass and inhale deeply. Don’t worry if you don’t smell anything. To buy time, swirl your wine again: “It needs to breathe a bit more.” If you’re sniffing a white: “Apples and pears. Oh, and a little bit of grassiness?” If you think it might be a dessert wine, cut out the grass and add some apricots. Rosé: “Mmm… Fresh strawberries and nectarine—no, wait—peach. Definitely


PHOTO ESSAY | EARL LEE

FALL 2011

DINING OUT

EPICUREAN

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NEW HAVEN HAPPY HOURS MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY BLACK BEAR: 3-9 PM- 2-FOR-1 MUGS (EXCEPT FRIDAY) KELLY’S: 4-7 PM- $3/4/5 BEERS, $4 HOUSE WINES, $/5 COCKTAILS KOJI: 5-8 PM- $2 DOMESTIC BEERS AND SLIDERS, $4 HOSUE WINES, $5 MARTINIS OWL SHOP: 5-7PM: CHECK RESTAURANT FOR DAILY SPECIALS PACIFICO: 4:30-6:30PM- CHECK RESTAURANT FOR DAILY SPECIALS STELLA BLUES: 3-8PM- $3 WELL DRINKS KITCHEN ZINC: 5-7PM- $3 DRAFTS, $5 WINES, $4 BEER AND COCKTAILS

DAILY DRINK SPECIALS SUNDAY 116 CROWN: 1/2 PRICE BOTTLE OF WINE BARCELONA: 1/2 PRICE BOTTLE OF WINE PACIFICO: 1/2 PRICE BOTTLE OF WINE KELLY’S: 1/2 PRICE BOTTLE OF WINE STELLA BLUES: $3 WELL DRINKS

TUESDAY BAR: 10-11PM- $2 DRINKS FIREHOUSE 12: 4-7PM- $1.50 PBR PRIME 16: 7PM-CLOSE- $2 PBR

THURSDAY BAR: 10-11:30PM- $2 DRINKS BLACK BEAR: 9-11PM- $3 WELL DRINKS AND DOMESIC DRAFTS; 11-MIDNIGHT- $1 MILLER HIGH LIFE, $2 PBR FIREHOUSE 12: $3 DRAUGHTS

MONDAY BAR: EVERY OTHER PINT = 1 PENNY KELLY’S: 1/2 PRICE BOTTLE OF WINE PACIFICO: 1/2 PRICE BOTTLE OF WINE PRIME 16: 7PM-CLOSE- $3 SEA HAG BEER

WEDNESDAY BAR: 5-11PM- $2 WELL DRINKS, BUD AND BUD LIGHT BOTTLES BESPOKE: 9PM-CLOSE- $5 DRINK SPECIALS BLACK BEAR: 4-7PM- $3 WINE FIREHOUSE 12: $3 WELL DRINKS KELLY’S” $10 BURGER AND BEAR SPECIAL PRIME 16: 7PM-CLOSE- FREE BEER TASTING FRIDAY BAR: 10-11PM- $2 DRINKS FIREHOUSE 12:4-7PM-$3 DRAFTS


Fall 2011