Traditional recipes

Today's Special: Bucatini with Meyer Lemon Cream from Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant in Portland, Oregon

Today's Special: Bucatini with Meyer Lemon Cream from Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant in Portland, Oregon

Leave it to Portland’s queen of simple ­elegance to devise an early spring pasta dish that ­balances creamy comfort with clean, citrusy brightness—using just six ­ingredients. One of the many things we love about Jenn Louis’ food is her remarkable restraint and instinctive understanding of how to make a star ingredient shine.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Here she honors Meyer lemons, which are reaching the end of their season. “It’s always hard to say good-bye to them,” Louis says. “They’re delicate and less sour than regular lemons.” (Cooks without access to Meyers can add a little sweet fresh orange juice to regular lemon juice for a similar effect.)

In this pasta dish, Louis says she sought a balance between rich and light. “I’m health conscious. I thought ricotta would make for a creamy sauce that wasn’t heavy.” Louis blends ricotta cheese, a touch of cream, and Meyer lemon juice and its fragrant rind into a smooth, silken sauce with a luxurious mouthfeel and alluring tang that keeps taste buds standing at attention. She smartly uses the starchy pasta ­water to thin the sauce to the right consistency and help it emulsify and cling to the noodles. Chopped fresh chives add a bit of pungency. Then she gilds this spring lily with a touch of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for salty umami satisfaction. Try Louis’ original version this month at Lincoln Restaurant in Portland.

Bucatini with Meyer Lemon Cream and ChivesHands-on: 20 min. Total: 20 min.Meyer lemons--with their hint of orangey sweetness--make a bright and irresistible flavoring for this early spring pasta dish. For an extra-special touch, you can garnish with lemon rind strips and serve with lemon wedges.

8 ounces uncooked bucatini or linguine pasta2 teaspoons grated Meyer lemon rind1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (about 2 lemons)1/4 cup heavy whipping cream4 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese (about 1/2 cup)1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives1 teaspoon kosher salt1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta over a bowl; reserve 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cooking liquid.

2. Place 6 tablespoons cooking liquid, lemon rind, juice, cream, and ricotta in a blender; process until smooth.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ricotta mixture to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Add pasta, chives, salt, and pepper. Add remaining 1/2 cup cooking liquid as needed to make mixture creamy. Remove from heat; stir in grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

SERVES 4 (serving size: 1 cup)CALORIES 331; FAT 10.3g (sat 6g, mono 2.8g, poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 13g; CARB 46g; FIBER 2g; CHOL 35mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 605mg; CALC 167mg

How to Choose a Sharpening Stone

One indisputable fact about using a knife is that at some point, it will need to be sharpened. There are ways to prolong the life of your blade, like using the right knife for the job and avoiding hard cutting surfaces, but eventually all knives need to be sharpened.

We recommend only using water stones for this purpose. If you’re new to knife care, committing yourself to sharpening your knives is the first step, but how do you choose a sharpening stone? There are several things to keep in mind when selecting the right stones.

About Sharpening Stone Grit and Use

Generally speaking, the first step in sharpening a knife is to use a medium stone, with a grit of #800-#1500. This will take material off the edge in a controlled way and prepare the blade for the next step.

Next you want to use a fine stone for the purpose of refining the edge. Polishing stones have grits ranging from #2000-#6000. The higher the grit, the more super polished the edge will be. Natural stones, although impossible to grade can reach grits as high as #20,000.

How high do you need to go on the polishing stone? It’s really a matter of personal preferences and which knife you are sharpening and how it will be used. Knives used in butchery, like a honesuki, can benefit from a bit of toothy grip achieved with a lower grit. When cutting fish for crudo or sashimi, you will usually want a high polished edge to create thin slices with minimal cell damage to the ingredients.

Rough stones with grits around #400 are very useful if you have a high level of sharpening knowledge. Rough stones are essential for repairs and make quick work of sharpening very dull knives, but they can take a lot of metal off the knife and should be used with caution.

Now that you know how to choose a sharpening stone, learn more about the proper use and techniques involved in sharpening your knives.

Roy Choi

While most of the chefs on this list built their reputations on their brick-and-mortar establishments, Roy Choi is a unique case in that you don’t need to make reservations to feast on his creations if you’re lucky enough, they’ll come to you. His gourmet Korean taco truck Kogi took its first ride in 2008, first on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice before taking Los Angeles (and the U.S.) by storm.

Named one of the top 10 “Best New Chefs” by Food and Wine magazine in 2010 (the first food truck operator to earn a place on that list), Roy has capitalized on his success by bringing his unique take on Mexican and Korean cuisine to the masses.

When he’s not rolling around in his Kogi truck, Roy has served as the technical advisor to Jon Favreau on the movie “Chef” and volunteers at South Central’s A Place Called Home, where he teaches underprivileged students how to cook. Roy has also published a part-memoir, part-cookbook called “L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food,” blending his memories as a child growing up in Los Angeles in the 1970s with the dishes that have allowed him to give back so much to his community.

Top Dishes

Food's never been better. So proud of my crew.

A photo posted by R⚪YCH⚈I (@ridingshotgunla) on Sep 3, 2016 at 7:28pm PDT

Look what I cooked for lunch today :) #LASon

A photo posted by R⚪YCH⚈I (@ridingshotgunla) on Sep 4, 2016 at 3:25pm PDT

Specialties & Resources

The father of the food truck movement, Roy’s guiding principle has been to create “food that isn’t fancy,” but don’t let that motto fool you: his food is as much a delight as any of the more complex dishes created by the other chefs on this list.

Aside from Kogi, Roy also runs two Los Angeles-based restaurants: Chego!, which features Mexican-inspired rice bowls, and Sunny Spot, a Caribbean-inspired restaurant located in a former IHOP building that incorporates Hawaiian culture and tradition. Roy’s cooking style blends Mexican and Korean flavors and dishes, embracing two of Los Angeles’ biggest immigrant cultures and combining them into one well-rounded and delicious fusion. Evidence of this is best demonstrated by Kogi’s menu, which includes tofu tacos, spam sliders, kimchee quesadillas and short rib burritos.

At Chego!, Roy is able to expand his offerings beyond what you can eat standing up. Items include the piña krackalada (sweet coconut rice with caramelized pineapple and puffed rice), chicken adobo (wok-seared chicken with rice, vinegar, garlic soy sauce, grilled onions, chiles and pinoy-love), and the Pacman bowl (wok-seared chicken, double-caramelized short rib and spicy pork with rice, cheddar and jack cheeses, mayo, fresh herbs and chiles).

Research Editor

Mark Garcia

There are a lot of chefs who can be considered “rock stars” in their field, but only one has literally written the book on how to be a rock star chef: Mark Garcia. Not only is Mark an excellent chef in his own right (in fact, he graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America), but he is also one of the foremost authorities on branding and entrepreneurship in the culinary world.

Mark has traveled the country as a keynote speaker, and his talks focus largely on leadership, teamwork, social media use and branding innovation. Over the course of his 20-plus year career, Mark has worked at resort hotels, casual and fine dining establishments, food manufacturers, and grocery retailers, and his knowledge of the culinary industry extends end-to-end. Mark currently serves as the Director of Food Service for the Avocados from Mexico brand, and Avocados from Mexico recently secured a brand partnership deal with Reinhart’s Good Roots Produce.

When not cooking, Mark can be found delivering speeches on the importance of branding, entrepreneurial spirit and how chefs can set themselves apart from the competition in the fast-paced world of digital culinary marketing.

Top Dishes

Avocado Breakfast is ready at #freshsummit2016 #FreshSummit

A photo posted by Avocados from Mexico (@avocadosfrommexico) on Oct 15, 2016 at 4:58am PDT

Specialties & Resources

Because Mark’s focus is more on the business side of the culinary industry, he does not currently work in a particular kitchen. However, Mark has created dishes for multiple outlets such as Chef’s Roll, Avocados from Mexico, and others. Mark’s culinary style is designed to be visually appealing while adhering to traditional cooking styles, and he has trained in a variety of cuisines.

Mark’s specialties include carnita towers with avocado green marble roast pork tenderloin with red, yellow and green tomatoes a light whipped mousse parfait with peanuts, chocolate pretzels and caramel apple turnover biscuits served with a fruit compote traditional Mexican tamales wrapped in corn husks and served with egg, chorizo and salsa roja cored pomegranate with dark chocolate and mint roasted lamb shank with plantains and cinnamon fried egg with rosemary and sage over red salsa and grilled bread traditional chicken and waffles pork osso bucco with a carrot glaze and mashed potatoes and breaded flounder with sunflower seeds, peppers, tomatoes and broccoli.

Foodable Network

December 03, 2012

Best Wines of the Year!

2001 Domaine Roger Sabon, Le Secret des Sabon

Six years ago, I visited one of my favorite wine producers in the world, Domaine Roger Sabon, in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, in the southern Rhone.

The consulting winemaker to this property, Alain Benquet, who is a longtime friend, secured the tasting appointment for me with owner, Jean Jacques Sabon, who has since deceased.

Backgrounder about this wine

Robert Parker scored the 2001 vintage of Roger Sabon’s top cuvee, Le Secret des Sabon, a perfect 100 points on every occasion he has tasted it.

I have been fortunate to experience this wine on several occasions.

In 2004, at a business dinner, I ordered this wine at The French Laundry, in Yountville, and rated it 100 points. It was a perfect wine.

In 2006, I tasted it again, this time with Jean Jacques, the owner, and with Alain, who made it, at the winery and again, it was a perfect 100-point wine.

And now, six years later, last night, I opened my only cellared bottle (which I purchased at the winery) and it was as impressive, still easily a 100-point wine. Maybe more.

The wine exhibits a core of very ripe, black fruit, predominantly black cherry and blackberries. There is a backfill of grilled steak flavors, with a faint echo of white birch sap. (Trust me - it's there.)

There is more than wine in this bottle upon pouring, one senses an essence, a spirit of wine, which is more than just juice. Thrilling, complex, complete.

1990 Vieux Donjon

I enjoyed this bottle with Stefan Blicker, of BPWines, St. Helena, who brought the 22-year-old Chateauneuf-du-Pape to lunch at one of my favorite local restaurants, Market.

I’d had 12 bottles of the 1990 vintage from a case I’d bought as a pre-arrival and everyone of the bottles from that case was a perfect 100-point wine.

I asked Stefan to share his only bottle of the 1990 Donjon, acquired with the contents of a wine cellar purchased from a California collector, with me. It was, like the 12 bottles before it, a perfect 100-pointer. And one of my best wine experiences of the year.

We paired it with the immaculate pepper-crusted filet (served with truffled shoestring French fries), on the small plates list at Market.

The wine, upon being opened, exhibited scents of cedar, white truffles, anise seed, garrigue, licorice, herbes de provence, and kirsch.

Earlier in the year, I devoted an entire story to this one bottle of wine. Go to:

2003 Domaine Serene, Grace Vineyard

I have long been a fan of the sensational, fleshy but balanced, Pinot Noirs coming out of the Willamette Valley, in Oregon.

These are my Go To Pinots when I want freshness, balance, food friendliness, and no fear that I’m going to find over-zealous alcohol or wood (a failure of too many California Pinot Noirs) or hints of dirty barrels and tired winemaking (too many Burgundies).

Of all the Willamette houses producing Pinot Noir, the ones I treasure the most are Domaine Serene, and Arterberry Maresh.

In June, served at home with Carol’s perfectly broiled, center-cut filets of fresh Atlantic salmon, I opened an eight-year-old Domaine Serene classic, the 2003 Grace Vineyard Pinot Noir.

It was still young, gorgeously balanced, filled with fresh and candied versions of black cherry, gobs of sweet, ripe red cherry and the alcohol and wood elements were so integrated, they were unnoticeable.

Quite a wine. Easily a 98-point experience. Nice work, Serenistes!

2006 Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir, White Rose Vineyard.

This wine was one of my top wines of 2008, and I thought that was the end of the accolades.

Then, in July of this year, I opened my last bottle from a case I had bought and, as every bottle before, it was a perfect, unctuous, syrupy rich, delicious, wholly balanced, Willamette Pinot Noir.

I said the following about this wine four years ago, and every word I wrote about it then, is still true today:

“I could write a sonnet, a book, an encyclopedia about my love for this extravagant, balanced, elegant, mature, brilliant Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

I have now opened and shared many bottles from the case and every one gets a forehead-slapping, “I can’t believe how good this wine is!” comment from Napa Valley winemakers, and knowledgeable sommeliers for whom I have poured it.

The Dinner, Wine-tasting and Social Event of the Year,

featuring three of the year’s very best wines

Barry and Patricia Brown, my Toronto dinner hosts

 What they served with an exquisite home-cooked dinner:

1944 Marques de Murrieta, Ygay (white)

1935 Marques de Murrieta, Ygay, Carta Blanca (red)

Imperial Corrigedor (a Non-Vintage Sherry that is not less than 63-years-old, and partially 130 years old)

Served by very good, very close, and very dear friends Barry and Patricia Brown in their condominium overlooking the “Mink Mile” of Bloor Street, in Toronto.

1944 Marques de Murrieta, Ygay (white)

Barry Brown, who is president of the Spanish Wine Society of Canada, knows more about Spanish wines than any North American I have ever met. Name a vintage, a Spanish winemaker, a region – the guy knows them intimately.

Barry has a taste memory of every Spanish wine he’s ever had he could fill the shelves of a large LCBO (Ontario wine store) with the empty Spanish bottles he’s had in his lifetime. Got the picture?

A day after my birthday, in July, I visited Barry and Patricia in Toronto and they threw a birthday feast for me that eclipsed just about every wine I’ve experienced at any table the entire year -- in age, complexity, and sheer enthusiastic enjoyment.

The white 1944 Marques de Murrieta Ygay, made largely from the Viura grape (93% Viura, 7% Malvasia, aged in a succession of old oak tanks, then smaller oak barrels) was 68 years old. A 68-year-old white wine! Yet the wine still showed youth, vigor, complexity and verve!

The wine was the color of apricots initial tastes were of camphor, cedar, clover honey, almonds, and leather. Patricia described the wine as “pretty,” Barry said that it was the oldest dry white wine he’s ever had. Me too. And one of the best.

One hour after being opened, this wine still exhibited vibrancy, complexity, and crisp acidity on the finish. Patricia said that among long-lived Spanish whites, this was a “templar” (knight) of wine. I totally agree.

That’s me, Patricia Brown, and the two oldest wines tasted this year

1935 Marques de Murrieta, Ygay Carta Blanca (red)

As good – and astonishing -- as the 68-year-old white Ygay was, there was more magic to follow. Barry opened and decanted a 77-year-old, red Marques de Murrieta Ygay – from the 1935 vintage.

The wine, about half Tempranillo (the remainder being Garnacha, Mazuelo & Graciano – which sounds like the name of a Spanish law firm), was a gift, given to Barry by the cellar master of the winery in 1985. It was the oldest, and only, bottle in his cellar, and he chose to open it for my birthday. Which itself made this a special wine.

Barry Brown and the 1935 Marques de Murrieta Ygay, Carta Blanca

Upon opening the bottle, we found ourselves slapping our respective foreheads this 77-year-old wine was like the most intense Merlot-Cabernet Franc wine I’ve ever tasted dark plums, dark cherries, and red raspberries rushed from the glass there was a ton of bright acidity, a vibrancy suggesting a much younger wine – and yet this wine was made and bottled before the Spanish Civil War!

I have three pages of notes and a brace of exclamation marks describing this wine cherries, cinnamon and blackberries are noted multiple times in my notes. Patricia said that the wine was “like a sunset – filled with romance, warmth and the promise of a perfect tomorrow.”

Barry said that of all the 60- and 70-year-old Spanish reds he’s ever had, this bottle was the youngest tasting of any he’s had.

Imperial Corrigedor (a Non-Vintage Sherry that is not less than 63-years-old, and partially 130 years old)

Who’d a thunk you could top these two wine experiences the same evening? Barry went to his Spanish-stocked cellar and pulled out a wine, which the great cellar masters of Spain believe is one of the greatest sherries ever made.

Barry says that Sandeman, the producer, only ever made three barrels of the rare, Imperial Corrigedor Sherry. The young wines used to refresh the solera in which this Sherry was made, were Sandeman Very, Very Old Olorosso and Pedro Ximenes Viejo, themselves 30-years-old when added to the solera.

According to records, the solera, which produced this sherry, was started in 1882.

The Corrigedor Olorosso has dark chocolate colors and flavors, and also tastes of rum, mahogany, coffee, tangerine and treacle.

Patricia insisted that this sherry MUST be tried with tart Spanish clementines – to bring out the bright orange acidity in the wine. At first, I thought this would destroy the wine – pairing fresh fruit with such an old wine to supposedly enhance the wine’s flavor? But I followed Pat’s suggestion and SHE WAS 100 PERCENT RIGHT! I ate a few segments of clementine and then tasted the sherry – the fruit pulled out the blood-orange notes of the wine and accentuated them! Patricia was right – this was a perfect food and wine pairing experience!

In a lifetime, to have the occasional, perfect 100-point wine is something. But to be invited to someone’s home and to be served wines that are older than you – and to have each of them score a perfect 100 points – now, THAT’S the definition of a memorable wine evening!

Worst Wine Moment of the Year

We visited our favorite French wine region in July, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, to check out the 2010 vintage, which was just being bottled and to see dear winemaker friends.

We couldn’t believe the pathetic, offensive and unfriendly reception we received at Vieux Telegraphe.

I have been buying this wine for more than 20 years from Kermit Lynch, one of my most trusted wine merchants in California. Not only does Kermit sell the wine, but he’s also the importer of Vieux Telegraphe.

We did not book an appointment at VT (as it’s colloquially known in the trade) because the firm has a proper drop-in tasting room, much as you find in Napa Valley.

We pulled up to the winery at 11.59 am, having traveled 6,000 miles to visit one of our favorite wine houses the tall, young, rude and offensive clerk was just coming out he told us that he was going for lunch and was locking up the tasting room.

We pleaded, told him that we had just come 6,000 miles to just have a quick sip of the 2010 vintage and then we’d go. The tasting room staffer didn’t give a hoot and told us so. He then proceeded to lock up, walking off with a crusty French baguette for lunch. Les maudits visiteurs!

This kind of reception does NOT happen in Italy, it does NOT happen in Napa Valley, or other California wine regions hospitality is the name of the game and if someone walks into a tasting room at 4.59 pm, despite the official closing at 5 pm, no tasting room employee would throw out a potential future customer, someone who might spend $600 a case for 20 years (= $12,000), as I have for VT

Basically, we were told in a crude, rude and unfriendly fashion to piss off, “I’m going to lunch.”

Well, here’s my response: VT, I’ve bought the last bottle I’ll ever buy and I will do my utmost to convince friends and readers that there are far better Chateauneufs-du-Pape to drink, ones that are filled with flamboyant aromas, not flaming arrogance.

Best New Restaurant Discovery of the Year

Hands down, it goes to Frank’s Kitchen, a sensational artisanal effort in Toronto, where I had the good fortune to dine twice this year.

Frank Parhizgar and his wife Shawn Cooper run this sensational, small, restaurant where everything is made in house. And I mean everything. Including the ceramic platters on which the appetizers are served.

I enjoyed a sensational dish of Lamb Prepared Several Ways on my most recent visit the large rack of Ontario lamb was perfectly cooked, the Merguez sausage, made with lamb, was ethereal, a word I’ve never applied to sausage in 35 years of reviewing restaurants. The dish had great taste, great texture, and all the flavors were liaised with a delicious reduction.

Shawn, who looks after wine purchases, has done a masterful job of finding fairly priced wines that complement Frank’s dishes not easy to do in Ontario where the monopolistic LCBO unreasonably marks up wines and then makes restaurants buy them at virtual retail prices. As a result, Napa Valley’s modestly priced Cakebread Cabernet turns up on Toronto menus at $200.

On future visits to Toronto, I will book my first night of dining at Frank’s Kitchen as much to reacquaint myself with Frank’s sensational cuisine as to set the bar high for other restaurants I will visit on my trip.

Frank’s Kitchen, 588 College St. (at Clinton), Toronto. (416) 516-5861.

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