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"Zuni Cafe" Cookbook by Judy Rogers


Mottmott
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The Mock Porchetta is fab, and I make it for a meal, but more, for the leftovers in hash.  Sublime.

People are reporting good luck with the Mock Porchetta. I made it this Saturday and even though it turned out tasty enough, it did not go according to recipe or become carmelized like I wanted. Judy R mentions rolling the veggies in the rendered fat after an hour, well, I had none of that tasty stuff. In fact, I hardly had any fat. Is there a trick in buying the pork shoulder I should know? It certainly wasn't like roasting a chicken where there's always plenty of fat. Also, this was my first time cooking fennel and I thought it would be like celery and cook down - wrong! You could hardly chew the stuff. Now I wonder if that is because I should have peeled it? Any advice out there? :wacko:

Edited by sequim (log)
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The Mock Porchetta is fab, and I make it for a meal, but more, for the leftovers in hash.  Sublime.

People are reporting good luck with the Mock Porchetta. I made it this Saturday and even though it turned out tasty enough, it did not go according to recipe or become carmelized like I wanted. Judy R mentions rolling the veggies in the rendered fat after an hour, well, I had none of that tasty stuff. In fact, I hardly had any fat. Is there a trick in buying the pork shoulder I should know? It certainly wasn't like roasting a chicken where there's always plenty of fat. Also, this was my first time cooking fennel and I thought it would be like celery and cook down - wrong! You could hardly chew the stuff. Now I wonder if that is because I should have peeled it? Any advice out there? :wacko:

When buying a pork shoulder, buy the one with the biggest fat cap. Start with fat cap down, then after one hour, turn to fat cap up.

Fat is good. Fat is better than good; it is sublime. Pork fat rules. Bacon grease, rendered shoulder fat, whatever.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Has anyone tried the tart dough in there that doesn't use any liquid (it's just flour and salted butter)? I have a hard enough time as it is getting my tart dough to cohere into a ball. I just can't imagine this working. She says to knead it, which I guess you can do that as there isn't much risk of gluten forming here since the only water will come from any butter that starts melting. There's also a modified version where one :shock: tbs of water is used. This just seems so unorthodox to me, but I'm a very amateur baker. Maybe it works?

Edited by cjsadler (log)

Chris Sadler

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  • 1 month later...

My favorite thing out of the book was the pasta with preserved lemons, capers and tuna confit. It really tastes better than the sum of its parts. It's one of the things she suggest making with leftover or excess raw tuna and she provides a method for seasoning and then cooking the tuna submerged in olive oil over very low heat. I think she also gives a recipe for the preserved lemons, which I didn't use, because I use my own method. I even did the confit with a very lean tuna (albacore) unlike her suggestions, because that is what is abundant and cheaper here. It was great...really great. I also second (or third) the mashed potatoes with buttermilk. Another good one was the beans cooked in the style of sparrows.

Anybody done her salted cod?

regards,

trillium

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My favorite thing out of the book was the pasta with preserved lemons, capers and tuna confit. It really tastes better than the sum of its parts. It's one of the things she suggest making with leftover or excess raw tuna and she provides a method for seasoning and then cooking the tuna submerged in olive oil over very low heat. I think she also gives a recipe for the preserved lemons, which I didn't use, because I use my own method. I even did the confit with a very lean tuna (albacore) unlike her suggestions, because that is what is abundant and cheaper here. It was great...really great. I also second (or third) the mashed potatoes with buttermilk. Another good one was the beans cooked in the style of sparrows.

Anybody done her salted cod?

regards,

trillium

You hit it Trillium. Everything I've tried has been better than the sum of the parts. For us, the braised bacon never made it to the "dish." Nibbled from the pan.

As soon as I'm moved (6 days and counting and stressed), salt cod is on my docket.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 2 weeks later...

I checked it out of the library over the weekend and did the chicken and bread salad last night. I can't wait to try the braised bacon.

I haven't gone all the way through the book yet, but I am really hoping for recipes the perfect polenta and the caesar I had in the restaurant last year.

Edited to add - if so I'll be using that Amazon link ASAP.

Edited by bilrus (log)

Bill Russell

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The chicken with figs is great. You can do it without figs and it's still good.

I've tried the brining with pork chops and a turkey and a pork shoulder. The shoulder didn't really work, but it was probably my fault. The other stuff was really good, but tasted like ham - both the turkey and the chops. But it got me into the whole idea of brining, so now I'm working my own variations.

It's a tough cookbook if you don't live where you can get really fresh ingredients.

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I'm really glad this topic came up. Received this book for the holidays last year (year before last?) and, maybe due to the typography, it looked like every recipe was 6 pages long. Stuck it on the shelf, but some of the recipes mentioned here have got me wondering. Will look again when I get home. Thanks!

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  • 1 month later...

I have to admit being in the minority with a couple others here, but I bought the cookbook last year and loved the forward by Judy, then began reading the recipes and was put off by it. I found the ingredients too precious and the recipes too long and involved. :shock:

However, everyone is raving about it, so I feel I need to tackle it. I want to like it!

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  • 8 months later...

Question for the mock porchetta fans:

We did it last night, with a highly abbreviated sitting for the dry rub (6 hours instead of 3 days), and it was fantastic, but:

At the end of 2.5 hours, the internal temp was only 170. We let it cook for another half hour, which brought it almost up to Roger's 185, but it tasted a little bit dry to me. Do you cook it up to 185? It sounds a bit high to me, but this was my first experience cooking any form of pig other than bacon.

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  • 6 months later...

I just made a simple but delicious salad from the book: Butter lettuce with thin slices of bresaola and a toasted coriander vinagrette. (I subbed the very similar German bunderfleisch for the bresaola).

The mouthfeel of the salad is very nice with the tender leaves of butter lettuce and silky slices of meat. The vinagrette based on wine vinegar is mild making this salad more wine-friendly than some. The spicing is simple, using only freshly toasted and crushed coriander seeds and salt but the resulting flavor in combination with the olive oil and white wine vinegar is subtle and complex. I will definately be making this salad, and variations on it, again.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I got the book for like $8 at a used book store last winter. I think the only thing I've made from it was the asparagus, pancetta, and rice soup. It was very easy, and really good. I'm going to have to try some more recipes after reading this thread, I'd kind of forgot about the book.

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I'm glad this thread was revived because I also forgot about the book. I've made the mock porchetta, chicken and bread salad and there's also an espresso granita as I recall that's very good. Anyway, those are the ones that stand out for me. I also visited the restaurant 2 years ago and loved their cosmospolitans so my husband called the bar and they gratiously gave him the recipe.

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The day we sold our old house was the day I did the braised bacon.

At the closing, the buyers admitted that the wonderful aromas did probably have an influence.

This book has taken a back seat to Molly's All About Braising. Better put it on the nightstand for reading material.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I'm one of the few people it seems who has not had much luck with this book. I bought it on the strength of reviews and user raves but have been almost universally disappointed. It made for a great read, especially the forward, but once I tried the recipes I was either underwhelmed or found them unreliable. That happens to me only rarely, so it's still a puzzle. The restaurant is great, so I had high hopes.


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It's a tough cookbook if you don't live where you can get really fresh ingredients.

How true this statement is. Plus, reading the recipes is a chore the way they are written. I have to rewrite them and get rid of all the extraneous verbage.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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I'm one of the few people it seems who has not had much luck with this book. I bought it on the strength of reviews and user raves but have been almost universally disappointed.  It made for a great read, especially the forward, but once I tried the recipes I was either underwhelmed or found them unreliable.  That happens to me only rarely, so it's still a puzzle.  The restaurant is great, so I had high hopes.

Sorry to hear that, I've had good luck with it so far. Any recipes in particular that you remember were disappointing?

For certain recipes, it's true as joiei pointed out, that access to ingredients is key.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I have to agree with LindaK and some of the other negative feedback on this thread. I bought this when it first came out and remember trying a panade and an artichoke recipe and was very disappointed with the results. I recently took it down of the shelf again, flipped through it and couldn't find anyhting that grabbed me to bother making.

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