5 Course Dinner for a 5 Star Guy
N/A / December 2010
Michael Batterberry knew chefs in every corner of the world. Some of those he knew best put together a fantasy meal in his memory that would have had him talking about it for weeks. Of course, it also would have appeared in Food Arts. And now it does!
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Pocantico Hills, New York
Almond celtuce "New ideas were always culinary catnip for Michael. He asked me often about our farm infusions (knowing of our failed effort to create almond carrots several years ago) and how they were coming along. For many years, I had to say they weren't coming. Then this past summer hazelnut celtuce finally happened, the gentle genetic modification that I had wanted to serve him but didn't get the chance.
"Jack Algiere, the Stone Barns vegetable farmer, planted celtuce a few years ago as an experiment. Celtuce is an Asian variety of stem lettuce that smells like peanuts and popcorn. This summer, a nut oil supplier from California sent us a box of hazelnut dust--the material left over when hazelnuts are pressed for oil--and we planted it with the celtuce in the hope of getting a kind of osmosis. The celtuce didn't come out tasting like hazelnuts--actually, it tasted more like almonds, so we took that as inspiration. Cook the celtuce stalks sous-vide with a little almond oil, a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper. To make the almond sauce, pulverize toasted almonds; bring to a simmer with tomato water and sugar; blend; pass through a chinois; add a bit of butter with an immersion mixer. Quickly sauté the celtuce leaves; dress with a little almond oil; season. Plate the stalks with the sautéed leaves, agretti greens, and toasted almonds; spoon the almond sauce over the celtuce. For wine, pour S.A. Huët Vouvray Sec Clos du Bourg 2005."
Frascatelli carbonara "Michael had a thing for dishes that spoke volumes about their region of origin. This old version of a modern classic is just that, where the simple ingredients embody the recurring story of generations teaching new generations, just as Food Arts has been doing for chefs since 1988. Spread a large pile of durum flour about one to two inches thick on a table. Fill a container with cold water; use fingers to drip the water heavily over the flour until the flour is covered with small wet spots; gently toss the flour pile with a scraper; repeat two to three times, depending upon the size of the pile of flour. Using the scraper, scoop the dough into a perforated insert set inside a hotel pan; sift all of the flour and tiny bits out. What remains are the frascatelli. Scrape the frascatelli onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper; let rest 30 minutes. For each order, mix one large egg yolk, one tablespoon heavy cream, a pinch or two of freshly grated Parmesan, and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl; cook frascatelli in salted water until tender; drain, reserving the cooking water; heat one ounce extra-virgin olive oil in a sauté pan set over high heat; add speck; cook until it begins to crisp; add one-half teaspoon minced garlic; cook until it begins to turn golden brown; add onions and a splash of the pasta cooking water; add frascatelli; remove from heat; toss in egg mixture; spoon into pasta bowl; grate Parmesan over the top. And when in Rome do as the Romans do: drink a Frascati."
New York City
Crisp paupiette of sea bass in Barolo sauce "This dish dates from my early years at Le Cirque, when I first met Michael. Its roots are in classic French cooking, a tie to culinary history I feel Michael would appreciate. Yet it also celebrates American ingredients presented with contemporary appeal, honoring both tradition and innovation suited to Michael's spirit, which inspired us all. Toss eight thin russet potato slices in one tablespoon melted butter; season with salt. To assemble the paupiette, place a 10-inch-square piece of parchment paper on the counter; choose eight potato slices of approximately the same length; place a seasoned seven ounce sea bass fillet horizontally at the top of the parchment paper, so the length of the potato wrap matches the length of the fish. Place the first slice of potato perpendicular to the fish starting on the left side; continue overlapping each slice until you have covered an area equal to the length of the fish; center the fillet horizontally in the middle of the potato wrap; fold the edges of the potatoes over the fish to enclose it entirely. For the sauce, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a pot over high heat; add the reserved sea bass bones, a half cup chopped shallots, a half cup sliced mushroom caps, and one sprig of thyme; sauté for 10 minutes, stirring often; add one cup chicken stock; reduce by 90 percent; add one bottle Barolo; reduce by 50 percent; remove from heat; discard the bones. Set pot over medium-high heat; reduce to two tablespoons; add one tablespoon heavy cream; reduce heat to low; bring just to a boil; whisk in one stick unsalted butter, a pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper; strain through a fine chinois; reserve (keep warm). Heat two tablespoons butter in a large nonstick pan set over high heat; add the sea bass paupiette; sauté until golden brown on each side. To serve, place a bed of melted leeks in the middle of a warm plate; ladle the sauce around; top with the paupiette; garnish with thyme; sprinkle with minced chives. This dish lives at Café Boulud, whose sommelier, Emanuel Moosbrugger, suggests popping the cork of either a Corino Barolo Vigna Giachini 2001, or preferably, a Domaine Joseph Drouhin Nuits-St.-Georges 2005. Et, voilà."
Frank De Carlo
New York City
Suckling pig "Please let me start by saying how much it means to me to contribute to this particular menu honoring Michael. I first met Michael 20 years ago when I was the chef at Mazzei, and we remained good friends ever since. This particular dish was Michael's favorite whenever he ate at Peasant. He loved it for its simplicity--that is, pig/earth. The suckling pigs are three to four weeks old and have consumed only their mother's milk. The little pigs are lightly salted and stuffed with thyme, rosemary, sage, and fennel tops, then cooked on a rotisserie over an open wood fire. The usual cooking time is approximately one and a half hours over a medium flame. Separately, simmer local fingerling potatoes using half whole milk and half cream for approximately an hour. Remove the rib cage from the pig and cut into pieces, using two ribs per order. Pull the hind and front leg meat from the bones, also using as much meat from in and around the head as possible. Combine equal parts pulled meat with roughly smashed potatoes and plate. Drizzle with a few spoonfuls of the cooking milk; top with portioned ribs. Pop the cork on Argiolas Isola dei Nuraghi Korem 1997, a barrel-aged Sardinian blend of native Bovale Sardo, Carignano, and Cannonau."
François Payard Bakery
New York City
Cassis dome with sablé Breton, passion fruit emulsion & black currant sauce "Michael Batterberry was a neighbor and great supporter of the original Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. One of his favorite desserts at Payard was the cassis cake. This cake is composed of a cassis mousse; a frozen passion fruit emulsion coated with lightly gelled raspberry puree, refrozen, and cut into one-and-a-half-inch squares; a two-inch round sablé Breton that serves as the base; a black currant sauce; and a cassis glaze. To construct: fill three-inch silicone dome molds halfway with cassis mousse; using a spoon, brush the mousse up the sides of the molds to cover completely; push one raspberry/passion fruit square into the mousse; cover the square with a just a bit more mousse; push the sablé round into the dome so that it is flush with the base of the dome; freeze to set; unmold; pour the cassis glaze over twice to cover well; let the dessert defrost; place on plate; garnish with currant sauce. The cassis cake is best served with a beautiful Champagne such as Pommery Brut Champagne Louise."