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Zuni Cafe Cookbook: Stocks/ Dishes to Start a Meal

January 2007 Cookbook of the Month: the Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers and Gerald Asher. Please post your full-length reviews of recipes from the sections on stocks and on dishes to start a meal here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Thanks for participating.

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  1. New Year's Eve Gourgeres with Arugula, Bacon, and Carol's Pickled Onions (pg. 116)

    I made these for NYE, I figured it was close enough to January ;-)

    These were awesome! The flavors all worked well together. And, five of us polished off about 25 of these mini sandwiches within a few minutes. I slightly undercooked some of the gougeres. I had some slight technical difficulties when I scooped them on to the paper. I thought some were too close together so I tried to move them over. When they baked, they spread v. puffing up. But, I didn't care because they were still tasty.

    Pictures of finished gougeres (pre-guest but not pre-me tasting)

    http://shim1.shutterfly.com/procgserv...

    http://shim1.shutterfly.com/procgserv...

    10 Replies
    1. re: beetlebug

      Wow. They look great! I might have to add these to the list to try this month.

      1. re: beetlebug

        I made this too - I thought it was very good. I made my gourgeres a teensy bit too big (they were more sandwiches than tasty bites) but will definitely do this combo again.

        1. re: beetlebug

          I haven't made these this month (though I did make the gougeres Christmas eve) but I should say that this is my go-to recipe for gougeres. I like how detailed the directions are (about the egg being difficult to incorporate) because it might seem impossible if you're making these for the first time, but it's important to soldier on! They take a lot of arm muscle, though.

          I also make the Carol's pickled onions and keep a jar in the fridge. They're great on sandwiches or with roasted or grilled meats.

          1. re: Amuse Bouches

            I agree with you on the directions. This was my first time at making gougeres and I was very happy with the details. If I hadn't known how difficult it would be to incorporate the eggs, I probably would have not mixed it enough. Instead, I could visualize what the finished dough would look like. Very little moments of doubt during the actual mixing. My shoulder did hurt though...

            I had the pickled onions with my leftover porchetta and it was great.

          2. re: beetlebug

            Don't gougeres freeze really well? I would like to make these for myself this weekend, but obviously I can't eat all of the little suckers by myself!

            1. re: Katie Nell

              Ha! Don't bet on it. I think they do freeze after baking -- Give them a few minutes in the oven to recrisp before eating.

              1. re: Amuse Bouches

                I was considering making them in advance and then reheating. Any guesses on how long they would keep in the fridge or whether I should instead freeze them? also, anyone try recrisping? i would hate to do all that work only to find that they are not nearly as good as they could be because i did not serve them fresh.

              2. re: Katie Nell

                The little suckers are strangely addicting. I think I had at least 4 little sandwiches and bits and numerous pieces of the reject bread shells (the ones that I mangled because they were too flat). They smelled great and they were so warm and comforting.

                Mind you, I'm not encouraging my gluttony on to anyone else. But strange things happen when warm cheesy bread comes out of the oven ;-)

                I would love to know how they freeze. I wonder if I can freeze raw little pieces of dough. That would be the safest for me.

              3. re: beetlebug

                What kind of dried chili did everyone use?

              4. I wasn't sure which thread the salsa verde should go on? Anyway, would it be too over the top to say that the salsa verde is life-changing? Well it changed my life.

                I keep a little crock of it in the fridge at all times and I use it in the following ways:

                --toasted bread, cheese (usually La Tur), salsa verde
                --toasted bread, boquerones, salsa verde
                --toasted buttered bread, fried egg, salsa verde

                You get the idea. It cuts through rich food like nobody's business and is outrageously delicious. The basic receipe that she gives is good and I like to do some of the additions like avocado or hard boiled egg. The basic herb mix that I use is parsley (of course) and basil.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Abbylovi

                  Thanks for that rec Abby and your serving suggestions! You've convinced me to move it up the recipe list for this month.

                  1. re: Rubee

                    Excellent Rubee! I hope you like it. I forgot to mention that it also goes well with some white fish. Good for post holiday eating.

                  2. re: Abbylovi

                    what up abby? the roasted pepper relish is also fantastic. goes well with fish, meat salad everything.

                  3. Yo Josh! I haven't even seen the roasted pepper relish and since I love a good relish I'm going to have to check that out.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Abbylovi

                      who doesn't enjoy a good relish now and again?

                    2. I made the Onion Marmalade that was intended to be eaten on crostini. It's delicious. I have actually forgotten what I made it initially to go with, but with the leftovers I topped seared medallions of venison. Nice.

                      1. Salami with Raw Favas, Mint and Manchego Cheese (pg. 87)

                        I wanted to make this before but never had really fresh favas. Well, some came in the CSA so I popped over to my local cheese store for the manchego and salami. Let's just say, I wish I hadn't waited so long to make this dish. It was delicious and there just wasn't enough for C and me.

                        Other than peeling the pods and skins, this was an extremely easy recipe to make. Unfortunately, I only had about a lb of favas so I made have the amount. Add some olive oil to the favas to coat, then add the mint leaves, salt and pepper, salami and cheese. You can also add in lemon juice but I forgot.

                        The raw favas (picked the day before) were wonderful with both the salami and mint. I could have added a bit more cheese but I was saving the cheese for a different purpose. We ate this with roasted beets, a huge salad and bread. Both of us were purposely avoiding this salad to try and make it last longer.

                         
                        7 Replies
                        1. re: beetlebug

                          It’s Spring! Well, actually, it’s still chilly and fairly nasty, but I just picked up the first favas of the season so it was spring on my plate at least. Since the recipe calls for so little salami and cheese (only about 2 ounces of each), I went all out and bought a Fra’ Mani salami and a pricey aged Tuscan pecorino, a recommended substitute for the Manchego. Used only one instead of the three tablespoons of olive oil called for and it was plenty. This might serve four as a starter, but I made the full recipe (may have been a bit short on the favas, but not much) for myself and called it dinner. And a damned fine dinner it was, too.

                           
                          1. re: JoanN

                            Beautiful. Were these favas you had to peel?

                            1. re: karykat

                              You betcha, baby. I never--ever--watch TV during the day. But peeling favas made me succumb. Not only do they need to be double peeled (without parboiling, mind you, which I think makes it a bit easier), the peeled favas then need to be split in half. Totally worth it.

                              Hey! I have an idea. Maybe I could hire myself out as a fava peeler. Two hour minimum @ $25/hr. Think I could sell that?

                              1. re: JoanN

                                I think you should advertise on craigslist. There must be a market among fava-lovers.

                                Knowing how much you put into them made your dinner so much more of a spring luxury.

                                1. re: karykat

                                  Ha. One of our local farmer's sells them peeled and yes, I think it translates to $25/hour for the work and you know what, totally worth it!

                            2. re: JoanN

                              Thanks to JoanN for mentioning this dish in our current Mario COTM thread. I knew if there was a way to have my husband enjoy fava beans, the recipe would include salami. We made this with manchego cheese. We grilled some bread and put this lovely mixture on top. Truly delicious.

                            3. re: beetlebug

                              Salami with Raw Favas, Mint and Manchego Cheese (pg. 87)

                              Dredging up this old thread to give another shout out to this dish. Double peeling the favas is a major pia. But, darn, it is so worth it. Peeling is less painful when you watch tv while doing it.

                              For the salami and cheese, I used a rosette do lyon and a pecorino caggiano. I think the pecorino goes better then the manchego. Unfortunately, no leftover fava bean salad, but I do have a little bit of salami and cheese. I served this with a fennel and romaine lettuce salad and we shared a steak. A lovely summer meal.

                              As I re-read my post, I saw that I forgot to add the lemon juice back in 2008. Guess what I forgot to do in 2012? I didn't miss the lemon juice at all.

                            4. (Copa and) Warm Parslied Potato Salad (with Roasted Peppers), Pg. 90

                              I do hope Ms. Rodgers will forgive me for dissecting this recipe and extracting the potatoes from it but just let me say that this was the best potato salad I've ever had - even without two of the main ingredients.

                              1. Couldn't find Coppa and forgot to buy prosciutto.
                              2. Used a roasted pepper recipe from New Way To Cook instead of the charred pepper strips called for.

                              All the usual ingredients are in this salad.... 1 lb of "peeled yellow fleshed potatoes" are cut into small chunks and boiled in "very liberally" salted water. When the potatoes are cooked and starting to soften they are drained. When they have stopped steaming, they are put into a wide bowl with 1 tbsp of chopped parsley and EVOO. The potatoes are carefully coated and the bwol is covered with plastic wrap for a few minutes. Next 5 tbsps of champagne vinegar (or white wine v.) and FGBpepper are folded in.

                              Now, at this point strips of copa and red pepper are supposed to be arranged on plates or platter and the salad mounded on the side with 12 "oil-cured meaty black olives". However, I add the pitted olives directly to the salad.

                              This was served as a side with freshly made Bratwurst from a local sausage maker which I braised in onions and sauerkraut along with the roasted stuffed peppers from the susan Schneider book. The olives were "in house made" from a local market. Life is Good!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Gio

                                Gio: Sounds like la dolce vita or is it like la vie en rose?

                                1. re: oakjoan

                                  More like dolce far niente, Joan....

                                  Oh BTW: just ignore my typos, would you. I'm getting worse not better.

                              2. Portobello Mushrooms with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Mint, Lemon and Mock Creme Fraiche (p 95/96)

                                Absolutely delicious. I subbed sour cream thinned slightly with just a tiny bit of water and lemon juice in place of the creme fraiche, and plated the salads individually, but aside from that followed the directions. Absolutely delightful. Aside from having to find my mandolin (under a pile of stuff in some drawer) this was also very easy to put together.

                                 
                                1. I was wondering if anyone has made one of the stock recipes? I'm thinking of making the Rick Pork Stock to go with the Rack of Pork for Christmas. I haven't read through all of the instructions thoroughly, but she has very detailed stock making directions.

                                  I was wondering--how many days in advance can I make the stock? I would like to make it tomorrow. I don't want to freeze it.

                                  Thanks!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: mrs lilo

                                    Since you only need 1/2 cup to deglaze the roasting pan, and since you have to make a chicken stock in order to make the pork stock, I didn't bother making the Rich Pork Stock when I made the Standing Rib Roast of Pork. She says you can also use chicken stock or wine for deglazing, and I used wine. I'd probably do so again.

                                    If you do decide to make the stock, I'm sure it will be fine for two days. Although I doubt it's necessary for that short a period of time, her idea of keeping on the fat cap until you're ready to use it sounds like a good one.

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      Hi Joan,

                                      Oh no, I didn't see that I would have to make two stocks, both Chicken and Pork. I was planning on making the pork stock and then reducing it to make a 'gravy'. I don't think that's going to happen if I need chicken and pork!

                                      I'll use your method with the wine instead! Thanks!

                                  2. New Year's Eve Gougeres with Arugula, Bacon, and Carol's Pickled Onions (pg. 116)

                                    They are sooo good! However, there was no way the recipe made 20-24 for me. I think I ended up with 15. in any case, make a double batch of the gougere batter, because these are delicious.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: jaykayen

                                      That's one I had my eye on - and those pickled onions sound fantastic. Thanks for the report. Looking forward to getting home and delving in.

                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                        Yep, they're really good, even just to have around as a condiment.

                                        Since the onions are vinegary, it takes the place of a dressing for the arugula.

                                      2. re: jaykayen

                                        And . . . the already baked gougeres freeze brilliantly. Just reheat in a 425F oven for 3 or 4 minutes directly from the freezer and they're as good as new. I try to keep some always on hand for "emergencies." Like, I need a snack.

                                      3. Charred Eggplant with Bottarga, p. 103

                                        This was a nice snack I made just for myself as E doesn't like eggplant. So simple, but as usual with Zuni, a nice blend of flavors.

                                        I cooked the two globe eggplants over a gas burner and then cooled, peeled, and chopped. They really got blackened so had a nice charred flavor. This was mixed in a garlic-rubbed bowl with evoo, sherry vinegar (I used Molino Real Reserva) and s&p to taste. To finish, it's topped with grated bottarga which, as Rodgers says, gives "a pungent, feral saltiness that is perfect with the fleshy-earthy mash". I enjoyed this simple dish for dinner last night with melba toast, and was quite content.

                                         
                                         
                                        1. Zuni Chicken stock p. 59

                                          I have been pleasantly surprised by the simplicity and taste of this recipe. The directions are simple, and the broth is flavourful. I was a bit dubious about using an entire chicken to make a stock, but I was mollified by the fact that you can use the breasts for some other purpose (Chicken Paillards! Yum!), and I have been using the leftover meat from the rest of the chicken to make some super yummy chicken salad (mayo, chopped sweet bread pickles, celery, chopped pecans and salt and pepper). I calculated the relative cost of making this broth vs. buying premade broth, and this is much better as far as I can tell. Having the chicken to make salad and a breast dish makes this a very economical process. And the broth tastes much better than the boxed garbage I buy. The only issue is getting organized every couple of weeks to make the stock. It is also key not to add too much water, or the broth tastes weak.

                                          I'm sold on the chicken broth. But I would love comments about the other broths. I guess I am a little stingy after all, because I look at the meat requirements for the other stocks and I think - wow, that is a lot of meat! For example, the beef broth calls for chicken stock and for 3 pounds of beef shank plus bones and lean chuck! This seems a little extreme to me. I mean, how much of this meat can you really salvage to eat for a primitive meal? And how much salad can you make with boiled beef? Now I can think of many ways to season the meat and use it up eventually, but we are only two, and I am trying to reduce our meat consumption.The recipe does note that you can reduce the amount of beef shank, and I guess I could try it that way. But does anyone feel this recipe is too extreme? Or does anyone feel it is worth the effort and amount of meat to get a rich beef stock? Comments?

                                          1. I too made the New Years Eve Gougeres with the stuffings for a couple occasions. I had looked at a few gougere recipes and this one seems a little leaner than some with a little less butter. Very good. I looked at her directions which are very clear and also the directions from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard, and kind of followed both. Yard has optional directions for using the Kitchenaid, so I did that. Also shredded the cheese instead of leaving it in cubes. I used a pastry bag with a star tip the first time. The second time I just used a scoop with a flipper which was easier and worked great. The smoky salty bacon, arugula and pickled onions played well off each other. This is a winner and will be doing it again.