This weekend is the fourth annual New Yorker Festival — a true celebration of the arts hosted by The New Yorker magazine. And kicking off the event, is a delicious meal with recipes prepared by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers of The River Cafe in London, Dan Barber of Blue Hill and Peter Hoffman of Savoy. These chefs share some of their five-star secrets on “Today.” Sample some of their recipes below.
BAKED GOAT CHEESE WITH GARDEN LETTUCES By Alice Waters of Chez Panisse
1 Pound fresh goat cheese (one 2 by 5-inch log)
1 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 Sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 Small sprig rosemary, chopped
One sour baguette, preferably a day old
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Teaspoon sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 Cup extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil, or a combination
1 Pound garden lettuces, washed and dried
Carefully slice the goat cheese into 8 disks about one-inch thick. Pour the olive oil over the disks and sprinkle with the chopped herbs. Cover and store in a cool place for several hours or up to a week.
Preheat the oven to 300F. Cut the baguette in half lengthwise and dry out in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until dry and lightly colored. Grate into fine crumbs on a box grater or in a food processor. The crumbs can be made in advance and stored until needed.
Preheat the oven to 400F. (A toaster oven works well.) Remove the cheese disks from the marinade and roll them in the bread crumbs, coating them thoroughly.
Place the cheeses on a small baking sheet and bake for about 6 minutes, until the cheese is warm.
Measure the vinegars into a small bowl and add a big pinch of salt. Whisk in the oil and a little freshly ground pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
Toss the lettuces lightly with the vinaigrette and arrange on salad plates.
With a metal spatula, carefully place 2 disks of the baked cheese on each plate and serve.
RASPBERRIES WITH RICOTTA By Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers of The River Cafe in London
4 Raspberry punnets
4 Tbs. Caster sugar
Finely grate the lemon peel and mix with the sugar. Leave for a while to allow the flavors to combine and the sugar to be absorbed. Scatter the raspberries on a large plate. Turn the ricotta very carefully out of the tub, and then slice it as finely as possible. Place these ricotta slices carefully over the raspberries. Sprinkle with the lemon sugar.
(Supermarkets sell pasteurized cows’ milk ricotta in 250g tubs. Specialist cheese shops may have fresh sheep’s or goat’s milk ricotta; it is usually made in 1 pound baskets and sold by the slice, and should be eaten within a few days of being made).
SEARED WATERMELON WITH LATE SUMMER HEIRLOOM TOMATOES AND AGED BRITTON HILL FARM GOAT CHEESE By Dan Barber of Blue Hill
24 batons (1/2”x1&1/2”x2”) Watermelon
24 slices Britton Hill Farm (Unity, New Hampshire) aged goat cheese
1 Orange heirloom tomato
1 Green heirloom tomato
1 Red heirloom tomato
5 tablespoons fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped sun dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
Fleur de Sel
1. Over a high flame, heat a non-stick skillet. Once the pan is very hot, sear the watermelon batons for 45 seconds (on one side only). Remove the watermelon from the pan and cool.
2. Place the sliced aged goat cheese on a plate and drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with cracked pepper.
3. Slice the heirloom tomatoes and place them in a shallow bowl. Combine 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, and raspberry vinegar. Drizzle over the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Carefully assemble the hors d’oeuvre — first a piece of seared watermelon, then a slice of aged goat cheese, and finish with a piece of heirloom tomato. Sprinkle tomatoes with fleur de sel and serve.
SLOW COOKED PORK WITH GRENADA PEPPER SAUCE, ROMANO BEANS AND ROASTED BEETS By Peter Hoffman of Savoy
3 lb. Pork shoulder
1 lb. flat romano or other string bean
1 lb beets
6 Trinidad peppers or aji dulce or other mildly hot pepper
4 large yellow tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1/2 medium onion
For the Sauce:
Sauté in olive oil the minced garlic, the onion and the peppers that have been seeded and roughly chopped. When they are soft add the tomatoes that have been peeled and seeded previously. Add a touch of water to ease the breakdown of the tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes. Season with white wine vinegar and salt. Puree until smooth and check for consistency. If necessary add more water to make a smooth sauce.
Quickly blanch the beans in salted boiling water. Check for tenderness and when tender remove and shock in iced water. Hold until ready to use.
Roast the beets in a medium (375F) oven for 1-1 1/2 hours in a covered dish. When tender to a knife, remove and rub the skins off after the beets have cooled.
The night before: Salt the pork with a generous hand and allow the salt to be absorbed into the meat. Next day: Tie the boneless pork shoulder so that the meat holds together well. Rub the pork with black pepper, chopped garlic and a bit of olive oil. Set on a roasting rack and cook in a low oven for 3-4 hours. When a fork has no resistance as it is pulled out, the meat is ready. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.
Recipes provided by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers of The River Cafe in London, Dan Barber of Blue Hill and Peter Hoffman of Savoy. Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.