The Gentleman Gourmand

sharing the best food around

Category: Cooking (Page 1 of 2)

Smoked Salmon Smørrebrød


Lovely way to start the weekend.

Adapted from Gourmet


The best damn lasagna in the world

This is the most outrageous and delicious lasagna you’ll ever make.

Does it take a few hours?


Do you make meatballs from scratch just to cut them and throw ’em back in the sauce?


Is it worth it?

Damn right.

I love this lasagna. It’s amazing for parties, family meals or even just to stash in the freezer for cold winter nights. It’s a hell of a lot of work but it’s always worth it.


If you shop at Whole Foods, this lasagna is going to be obscenely expensive.

Don’t expect to eat it for dinner if you start any later than 3PM.

Also don’t cheap out on the wine – buy two bottles and drink the rest.

Adapted from the NY Times Cookbook recipe as seen on the Peninsula Clarion.

cook it yourself:

olive oil
2 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes
3 Tbsps tomato paste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 medium red onions
finely diced
4 large cloves garlic
2 minced
2 whole
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
all washed & dried
1/2 cup chopped
10 springs, leaves only
½# ¼” sliced pancetta
diced ¼” cubes
¾# ground sirloin
1/2# hot Italian sausage
1/2# sweet Italian sausage
4 large eggs (or 2L & 2XL)
2C Pecorino Romano
freshly grated
15oz ricotta cheese
1# mozzarella, grated
1 1/2 cups dry red wine, preferably Italian

prep sauce starter

  • dice 2 red onions
  • mince 2 clove garlic
  • cube all pancetta into ¼” cubes

start cooking sauce in a heavy pot over medium low

  • add ½C olive oil
  • add onion, garlic, pancetta, s&p

cook 10m, stirring

  • add 1½C red wine

cook 20m, stirring occasionally

  • add 56oz canned tomatoes w/ juice, 3T tomato paste, 2C water

turn heat to low & simmer 1h [set timer for 40m to start frying meatballs] (stir and crush tomatoes as needed)

prep cheese in a large bowl

  • add 15oz ricotta
  • add 2 eggs
  • add 2C grated pecorino romano
  • add ½C minced parsley
  • add 1#-1C grated mozzerella (SAVE ONE CUP)
  • add season with s&p and mix thoroughly

cook sausages in a heavy skillet until browned

prep meatballs in a large bowl

  • add ¾# ground sirloin
  • add ¼C grated pecorino romano
  • add 2 eggs
  • add 2 cloves minced garlic
  • add 10 sprigs chopped parsley leaves
  • add s&p

shape meatballs

roll meatballs in ½C flour, dust off excess

cook meatballs the heavy skillet from the sausages over med-high heat

  • add ½C olive oil

fry meatballs just barely browned (don’t cook fully)

transfer cooked meatballs to sauce

brown sausages and transfer to sauce

simmer 90m (stirring occasionally)

heat oven to 350deg

remove the meatballs and sausage and coarsely chop

season sauce with s&p to taste and reduce further if needed

assemble lasagna in 9×12 pan or multiple small pans

  • add 1/7 sauce
  • add layer of pasta
  • add 1/7 sauce
  • add 1/3 chopped meat
  • add 1/3 cheese mixture, crumbled
  • add 1/7 sauce
  • add layer of pasta
  • add 1/7 sauce
  • add 1/3 chopped meat
  • add 1/3 cheese mixture, crumbled
  • add 1/7 sauce
  • add layer of pasta
  • add 1/3 chopped meat
  • add 1/3 cheese mixture, crumbled
  • add 1/7 sauce
  • add layer of pasta
  • add 1/7 sauce
  • add remaining 1C shredded mozzarella

bake @ 350F for 30-40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 hungry folks or could be split amongst 10 as part of a larger meal.

Reheat leftovers for 45-60m at 350F

who got to eat this one?

  • Andrew B.
  • Beth G.
  • Elena G.
  • Alex S.
  • Megan P.
  • Katie A.
  • Ned M.

Want some of the next one? Sign up here:

GGOR 2: Freakin Awesome Burger

Go to the store.

Standard Ingredients:
Buy some 85% ground beef.  (1-2 lbs…how hungry are you?)

Some onions, some tomatoes, some buns.  (And make sure you have salt, pepper, soy sauce, dried herbs {in my case, rosemary}, and some chipotle sauce)

Non-Standard Ingredients:
Humbolt Fog Goat Cheese
Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam

Now, heat up a pan for a few minutes so that when you add your olive oil it starts to smoke.

Take your ground beef and add a buncha salt, pepper, soy and your herbs.  Mix well and form half inch thick patties.  (It’s burgers people, you’ve done this before.)

Sear the burgers on both sides {DO NOT PRESS THEM DOWN, just let ’em cook by their lonesomes}.

Slice your tomatoes and saute your onions.

Toast your buns {I like to squish them down}.

Spread some of the garlic/onion jam on the bun bottoms, place rare burgers on said jam.

Top with goat cheese.  Layer onions and tomatoes.


GGOR {Gentleman Gourmand Original Recipe}: “Real Ultimate Power Fusion Roll”

Step one: buy deep fryer.

Step two: use it enough for normal purposes to get slightly bored.

Step three: come up with the craziest from-the-fridge leftover-utilizing americanized "sushi" inspired thing you’ve ever seen.

Ladies and gentleman, I not-so-proudly present the Real Ultimate Power Fusion Roll:


Behold, and be fearful!  What you have before you is mushroom-kissed risotto wrapped around the flavored edges of not just honey ham, but deli-sliced buffalo chicken and provolone cheese.  The nori-replacement consists of the rectangular-cut slices of said honey ham and buffalo chicken.  Simply roll like maki, and then tempura fry.

K.Walters will summarize: "Dear Baber, this is K.walters’ stomach… what did you just make her eat? i think it had some risotto in it… I hate you."

A quick, tasty treat.

Do you have tomato sauce? An egg? A small bowl?

You’ve got the fixins for a great snack. In fact, this was one of Sirio’s (of Le Cirque 2000) favorite snacks.

Crank yer oven up to 400. Take a small bowl (think, creme brulee sized), and put an ounce or two of tomato sauce in the bottom. Salt and pepper (I like some crushed red pepper too), and crack an egg right in the middle.

Toss it in the oven until the whites are set to your liking. You’ll want to eat it with it a spoon to get all the last little tasty bits out.


Grilled cheese, take 2

So today, I woke up hungry, which doesn’t usually happen. I usually down an espresso and slowly eat a croissant, enjoying the taste more than the hunger-sating effects.

Not today. Today I decidedly needed something more filling for my “breakfast” at 3 in the afternoon. Since I had figured out that some of the bread we keep here is actually decent for sandwiches, especially grilled cheese, I decided to have another go at it. Since there is no wood burning fire today, I also had to make it on the stovetop. Now, I’m sure this is good news to you, since you probably didn’t say to yourself during my last grilled cheese making episode, “hey, I’ve got a big wood fire going in my kitchen right now! I think I’ll go make grilled cheese!” Nor did it prompt you to light one. (If it did, you might be a pyro, and should stay away from the flame. -Surgeon General’s Warning)

So, there was a small crisis when I could not find the proscuitto cotto (aka, ham), and thought I would have to have a “plain” grilled cheese. No sir. I did find the ham, the cheese and some lovely looking Roma tomatoes. (As a side note, they are suprisingly not called Roma tomatoes here. They’re just….tomatoes. When I saw them I said, hey, pomodori di Roma, eh? Donatella looked at me, as always, like I was nuts.)

So I came up with a gameplan. Fry the tomatoes, and make a tomato/ham/cheese melty sandwich of goodness. I quickly wrote up a menu using Japansese calligraphy.

Allez cuisine!!

I began by slicing the tomatoes in 3/8ths of an inch slices. By hand. 3/8ths of an inch. You can vary this thickness, but it just wont be the same.

Next, I salted and peppered one side of the slices, and heated up some olive oil.


Make sure you get two pans out. You don’t wanna be caught searching for a pan while your tomatoes are burning, now, do ya?


While the oil was heating, I formed the sandwiches. Two slices of thinly sliced cheese on each piece of bread, and 1 slice of ham (again, thinly sliced. This isn’t a Hungry Man Frozen Melty Sandwich.) on each side of the bread.


The whole shebang:


Once the oil is decently hot, throw the slices in, seasoned side down. Then, season the other side!! (This a culinary trick, don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right the first time.)


After about a minute, get your other pan ready. Melt some butter, and when the tomatoes are done on the first side, flip them. They should look like this. It’s OK if the oil is smoking, you’re almost done. (Whats not OK is if your fire alarm goes off. But I don’t have to worry about that here. They dont even have an ANSEL system….which I do worry about…)


While the tomatoes are cooking on the other side, drop the first half of the sandwich onto the melted butter. The tomatoes should be finishing up, so transfer them onto the still-open-faced sandwich. Now, here comes the really cool tricky part. The reason I had you use two pans, is so that you would have a really hot pan ready when you needed it. Once the tomatoes are on the open first half, put the other half on top, and put a small pat of butter on top of it. Spread it around a bit, and then take the other pan, from the tomatoes, and put in on top of the sandwich! This not only browns the top, but also has the added bonus of cooking the sandwich quicker and more evenly. I know I’m not the only one who hates a grilled cheese with a burned crust and unmelted cheese.


After about 30 seconds (this is a fast process), take the top pan off, flip the bread over, and put the pan back on top. 15-20 seconds later, you should have a perfect grilled cheese!


The side view:


I like mine cut diagonally.


Plate it up, and then it’s time for the photoshoot.


Now, vogue!


A Serious Discussion

We need to have a talk. A serious one.

About… knives.

I don’t consider myself a knife expert. I know how to cut things and not cut myself. I know how to care for them, how to clean them, and how to keep them sharp.

I have sort of a mish mash of different types of knives. I have a Wusthof Santoku knife, a set of Henckels Professional “S” 5 Stars, and a Shun paring knife.


I used to use my Henckels 8″ chefs knife for everything, but recently, my Santoku have been taking over.

It’s so rediculously sharp, so incredibly light, and so damn awesome I just can’t justify using my thick, heavy chefs knife for much more than heavy chopping (like the left hand of thieves).

Lets discuss knife care:

1) Always keep your knives clean.
2) Never put a knife away wet.
3) Never put a knife in a dishwasher, and never leave it in the sink.

Actually, on second thought I have decided to refer you to the eGCI (the eGullet Culinary Institute) to get some professional advice.

While I know some of you will not try the sharpening, please heed the other advice. It’s really important.

I am a little kid.

So I had to come up with something to do with this fire that would directly benefit me. (Other than the fact that we had the lamb for dinner) {See below post for fire explanation}

So I thought, what would I have been doing right now, 9 years ago?

I would have been at the Capital City Club swimming pool, at the snack bar (the aspiring gourmet at heart, trying to shine through, I think), ordering a “Grilled Ham and Cheese.”

I promptly procured some white bread (a hard thing to do here, as most of the bread is baked rustic Italian bread, and kinda sucks for sandwiches. Sorry Donatella.). I sliced some of the mild cheese that we use for everything (the Italians call it “sweet” cheese.), and also sliced up some ham on our going-to-hell rotary slicer. (Parts keep popping off, and I keep re-attaching them with medical tape. This cannot be good.)

I slathered a bit of butter on the bread, smooshed it between the racks, and tossed some coals under it.

In the spirit of being 10, I also snuck off with the chocolate sauce (supposedly reserved for desserts), and made some chocolate milk. When Donatella tried to inquire how I had made the milk brown, I clutched it close and shouted “no yoohoo for yoohoo!” and ran away to eat my sandwich. Needless to say, Donatalla was pretty confused.

The sandwich turned out great.


Not sure if it would win the $10,000 Grilled Cheese Contest, though.

Lamb over coals

So today, I woke up at the early hour of…11pm. I was told 8 people were coming for lunch, and I had to get ready. I walked outside, blinking in the bright 85 degree sun, and meandered up to the kitchen, which is usually cool at this time in the day.

Not today, folks. Today, in July, we had a roaring fire going. All day. With lots and lots of wood. For tonight, we would be serving Lamb Grilled over Coals. I’m sure the guests were excited, but damn, it got hot in there.


Now, the lamb was basically just a bunch of bones with some little pieces of meat attached, but it ended up being mighty tasty. From what I could tell, Oscar (Donatella’s father, pictured), just put salt, pepper, some garlic oil, and rosemary on it.


Then he stuck the pieces in a great big metal cage, and raked a bunch of hot coals under it. Flip once, and serve.


So lets face it, some of us from time to time butcher a chefs name for 6 months, then hear somebody pronounce it correctly and feel really dumb. Don’t worry, it has happend to all of us. So, I decided I wanted to compile a list of all the hard to pronounce (or easy to mis-pronounce) names out there.

I’ve got a thread going on ovet at eGullet about it, so I’ll try to keep it updated from time to time. Once I deem it finished, I’ll post a link on the side.

Here it is as of late:
Grant Achatz – ACK-ETZ
Ferran Adriá – feh rahn ah dree AH
Lidia Bastianich – lid ee ya bahs-TYAHN-itch
Mario Batali – bot tal ee
Richard Blais – Blaze
Paul Bocuse – pole boh-KOOZ
Daniel Boulud – dan-YELL boo-LOO
Tony Bourdain – boor dain
Michael Chiarello – kee ah rell oh
Tom Colicchio – Ko lick e o
Gary Danko – DANG-ko
Marcel Desaulniers – mar cell di sol ni yay
Georges Auguste Escoffier – jorgz oh goost ess coff ee ay
Yutake Ishinabe – Yew-tah-keh Ee-she-nah-beh
Steve Klc – Kelch
Chen Kenichi – Chen is self explanatory, Kenichi is Keh-nee-chee (note that Chen is his family name, and Kenichi is his given name)
Masahiko Kobe – Mah-sah-hee-koh Koh-bay
Emeril Lagasse – la gass ee
Rokusaburo Michiba – Rouk-sah-boo-roh Mee-chee-bah
Masaharu Morimoto – Mah-sah-hah-roo Moh-ree-moh-toe
Koumei Nakamura – Koh-may Nah-kah-moo-rah
Jacques Pepin – pep anne
Paul Prudhomme – proo-DOHM
Ruth Reichl – RYE-shul
Dale Reitzer – RITE-zer
Eric Ripert – eh-REEK ree-PAIR
Michael Ruhlman – ROOL-munn
Guy Savoy – Ghee Sav-wah
Hiroyuki Sakai – He-ROH-yew-KEY SAH-kai
Joachim Splichal – joe ah keem splee kahl
Charlie Trotter – trah tur
Jean Georges Vongerichten – VON-gehr-ICK-ten

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