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"Zuni Cafe" Cookbook by Judy Rogers

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The bites of the perfectly cooked chicken that was moist and tasty and well seasoned mixed with the spice of the mustard greens and the juice soaked bread with currents and pine nuts.... amazing. I’m glad we went. 


Edited by MetsFan5 (log)
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On 3/16/2019 at 7:12 PM, blue_dolphin said:

Pasta with Preserved Tuna & Pine Nuts from The Zuni Café Cookbook p 211.  Here's a link to the canned tuna version of this recipe. 

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Much earlier in this thread, @trillium called this out as a favorite recipe and "more than the sum of its parts," and I agree.  I've made it before and loved it with oil-packed tuna belly but this was my first time making the tuna confit. I used the same seasonings that Judy calls for but packed the tuna into jars and used an immersion circulator to cook them for 90 min @ 45°C (113°F), following time/temp guidelines from Chef Steps.   Here are my jars, packed and ready to go:

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The tuna itself is decidedly more flavorful this way as it's had plenty of time to absorb all those flavors and I'm looking forward to using it in other ways. Also, you are rewarded for your earlier effort by not having to measure the seasonings out for the pasta as you can just scoop them out with the tuna.  Though I have to say that the canned tuna belly I used previously was absolutely silky in texture and nicer in that regard than the leaner cuts that I used.

Once the tuna is prepped, this pasta dish comes together quickly and for something so easy, the flavors are remarkably complex - I especially love the preserved lemon here! 

 

 

 

This looks like a wonderful thing to do with tuna. I don't have tuna, but I have salmon. How do you think it would work with boneless sockeye?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

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49 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

This looks like a wonderful thing to do with tuna. I don't have tuna, but I have salmon. How do you think it would work with boneless sockeye?

 

I do think salmon would be good this way.  I might consider bumping up the temp a few degrees for salmon, depending on what you'd like to do with it.  The tuna starts out pretty firm but 45°F salmon might be a little soft for some uses.

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Mandarins & Dates Stuffed with Mascarpone, Pomegranates and Pistachios from The Zuni Café Cookbook p 457

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This dessert follows the pattern of the simple Zuni starters or salads that consist of a few perfect ingredients layered together and allow you to experience every combination of them as you choose with your fork - delicious! 
A friend stopped by yesterday with a few Satsuma mandarins from her tree and I had some nice dates from the farmers market AND mascarpone leftover from the Zuni risotto so this was meant to be. I didn't want to waste any of their flesh or juice so instead of cutting off the peel with a knife, I peeled them and carefully scraped off as much of the pith as possible. I often find dates too sweet but they were perfect here. 
I think one could turn this into a starter by adding some salty prosciutto but it's pretty perfect as is.

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@blue_dolphin, that looks very appealing, and my first thought was also that I bet there is a way to make it in to a starter by including something savory...crisped prosciutto bits would be perfect!

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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@blue_dolphin it definitely looks like something I would see at a nice restaurant. thanks for the photos - really professional. Dinner guests would be really impressed I bet 

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On 3/20/2019 at 12:49 AM, MetsFan5 said:

The bites of the perfectly cooked chicken that was moist and tasty and well seasoned mixed with the spice of the mustard greens and the juice soaked bread with currents and pine nuts.... amazing. I’m glad we went. 

 

Jack Dorsey, CEO/founder of Twitter, in an interview said he used to go to Zuni everyday for lunch. That would be so cool if you saw him or another famous tech nerd from the money  start-up community there 

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1 hour ago, BeeZee said:

@blue_dolphin, that looks very appealing, and my first thought was also that I bet there is a way to make it in to a starter by including something savory...crisped prosciutto bits would be perfect!

I agree! I've got some crisped prosciutto already made and was tempted to sprinkle it on yesterday but decided to just enjoy it as written but I will try that variation while I've still got everything handy. 

 

13 minutes ago, eugenep said:

@blue_dolphin it definitely looks like something I would see at a nice restaurant. thanks for the photos - really professional. Dinner guests would be really impressed I bet 

Thanks!  The little mandarin slices are prone to falling apart so it's the kind of thing that's worth taking a few minutes to plate individually. 

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I was perusing The Zuni Café Cookbook towards lunch time when the phrase, "An easy, hearty soup that can be ready in half an hour," caught my eye.  It leads off the header notes for the Lentil-Sweet Red Pepper Soup with Cumin & Black Pepper on p 167. Thirty minutes was perhaps a stretch, mostly because I had vegetables that were not long for the crisper drawer and required some attentive butchery but also because even Rancho Gordo's Black Caviar Lentils don't quite cook through in 15 minutes flat.  But the timing was not off by a lot so I was shortly enjoying this bowl

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which is garnished with some of the braised bacon (p 205) that I made earlier for a pasta dish. I wouldn't say this was a revelation but it made for a nice quick lunch and I enjoyed it.  

 

An even quicker dessert from the book is this plate of Oranges with Rosemary Honey p 456.
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This is barely a recipe, just orange slices, drizzled with rosemary-infused honey but like the mandarin/stuffed date recipe I posted about yesterday, it's a simple, fresh fruit dessert that works well in the winter months. Since the orange slices are more sturdy, this one can easily be served on a big platter.
I strained the pounded rosemary leaves out of the honey before serving because they can be unpleasantly pointy and added an easily-removed rosemary sprig to garnish.

 
 

 

 

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That is one HEARTY soup!  Almost looks like a stew.  All that said it looks good.

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1 hour ago, Okanagancook said:

That is one HEARTY soup!  Almost looks like a stew.  All that said it looks good.

The way the recipe is written, most of the broth gets absorbed by the lentils, then you add back as much liquid as you want.  I decided to leave it pretty stew-y!

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15 hours ago, eugenep said:

Jack Dorsey, CEO/founder of Twitter, in an interview said he used to go to Zuni everyday for lunch. That would be so cool if you saw him or another famous tech nerd from the money  start-up community there 

 

  I’d never recognize them. My husband would— we were there for him to go to a national CISO meeting. 

   If I had that type of time or money when I worked I’d eat at Zuni daily too! 

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On 3/3/2019 at 1:46 PM, blue_dolphin said:

This is a 2-egg version of the 12-egg  😮 Madeline's Omelette with Mustard Croûtons & Beaufort Cheese from The Zuni Café Cookbook p 174.  

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It's kinda like having your toast INSIDE the omelette instead of on the side! I read all the instructions and they're a bit much with only 2 eggs in a little pan, but it still turned out fine. The recipe doesn't use a lot of cheese - only 1/3 oz for 2 eggs so I chose a tasty one - Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar - since a white Cheddar was one of the options. That amount was just perfect. I love cheese but omelettes that are full of heavy, molten cheese can be awfully stodgy. This made for a nice light meal.  
I had some dressing left over from the salad  that I made the other day so I repeated it here with Cara Caras instead of blood oranges.

 

wow. thanks for the post.  I read the recipe but it was super complicated and without picture in her book, it's like I'm not sure what the author was talking about. I googled images of her Madeline Omelette and your post showed up. That's super cool. 

 

Maybe I'll try it this weekend but a lot of technique involved it seems. 

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We love her for good reasons. 

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