Dinner in New York
New Yorkers who've never trusted their palates west of the Hudson River are in for a treat when executive chef Michael Gettier offers a taste of the Conservatory at Peabody Court at the James Beard House in Manhattan.
Mr. Gettier was invited to present a dinner at the house, part of the James Beard Foundation's "Best Hotel Chefs in America" series, at 7 p.m. Wednesday. (Reservations are still available: Call (212) 627-2308 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Cost is $60 for foundation members, $80 for nonmembers.)
Those who can't journey to New York to sample a menu that includes, among other things, smoked sea scallops with sturgeon caviar, oxtail consomme with Chincoteague oysters, spring vegetable mousseline, and Gorgonzola crusted veal chop with saute of apple and wild mushrooms might want to try their hand at the fish dish. Here is Mr. Gettier's recipe. At the Beard RTC dinner the sole with prawns will be served with Lobster Coral Beurre Blanc; he notes that at the restaurant sole is served on a bed of lightly sauteed spinach, garnished with wine poached oysters.
Fillet of Dover sole with cognac-laced shrimp
FOR THE SOLE:
3 whole Dover sole, skin off, each filleted into 4 pieces (fish seller will do this)
12 shrimp or prawns, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons shallot or onion, chopped
4 tablespoons cognac or brandy
1 tablespoon Pernod
1/2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
FOR THE SAUCE:
4 ounces dry white wine
1 cup whipping cream
salt and white pepper
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pan large enough to hold the shrimp. Add to the melted butter the minced garlic and 3 tablespoons of the shallot (or onion). Saute until translucent. Add the shrimp, cook for about 1 minute. Take the pan away from the heat, carefully add the cognac and Pernod. Return to the heat and cook for 30 seconds. At this point be very careful, as the cognac can flame if exposed to the heat. Add the parsley and put aside to cool.
The sauce can be made at this point by cooking the white wine and remaining 1 tablespoon of shallot down until almost all of the wine is gone. Add the cream and boil gently until thick enough to coat a spoon. Finish seasoning with salt, a touch of white pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. After the shrimp has cooled a bit, wrap a fillet around each shrimp with a single fold. Try to get a bit of the liquid on each piece of fillet. Lay on a buttered sheet pan and bake for about 8 minutes, or until the sole is just done (please don't overcook).
Note: If Dover sole is not available, yellowtail flounder fillets may be substituted. Lovers of Italian wine will have a chance to learn about Italian wine and to sample an enormous array of wines when the Italian Trade Commission of North America presents a seminar and tasting starting at 2:30 p.m. June 11 at the Baltimore Grand banqueting facility, 401 W. Fayette St.
The seminar, open to staff and management of hotels, restaurants, liquor stores and other food professionals, will provide information on matching wine and food, wine's role in health, and proper procedures for buying, storing and serving wine. The event is free; registration begins before the event at 2:15 p.m.
The seminar will be followed from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. by a tasting featuring more than 250 wines presented by 30 importers. The tasting is free and open to the trade and to interested consumers. Reservations are required for consumers: Call (212)
Cookbooks dish out the best in Thai
The hot, sweet and sour cuisine of Thailand continues to gain popularity in the United States; two new cookbooks take opposite but complementary paths toward bringing Thai dishes to home chefs. The glossier of the two -- in fact, absolutely gorgeous -- is "Thailand the Beautiful Cookbook," by Panurat Poladitmontri and Judy Lew (CollinsPublishers of San Francisco, $45). The large-format book includes spectacular photographs of Thailand and of the food, and there are recipes from every region of the country.
In a simpler format is "Real Thai," by former Peace Corps volunteer Nancie McDermott (Chronicle Books, 1992, $9.95) which makes up for a complete lack of photographs with a practical approach to cooking, including a glossary of terms and ingredients and extensive notes on the preparation of each recipe. Recipes run the gamut of five Thai regions and include such dishes as crab cakes with cilantro pesto and rice noodles with spicy minced pork sauce Thai-Yai style.
Truly wild cuisine