diets all ye who enter here!
This is a selection
of some of the culinary delights we usually serve at Fest.
As we come up with more dishes and see that no one keels over
after consuming them, we'll add their recipes to the site.
If you've brought homemade victuals to a past Fest,
and we've neglected to add it to the site, just send us an
with the recipe, and we'll squeeze it in.
Simply click on a dish below to jump to its recipe. This is
one document, so if you print it, make sure your printer is
stocked with paper!
Once tasted, never
This duck, also known as tea-smoked duck, got its name for reasons
that anyone who has tasted it can attest. You need to start three
to four days in advance. The first time I made this was a Friday,
and I thought, "Great, we'll have duck for dinner tonight."
We ended up eating it on Tuesday!
It's a four-part process involving marinating; steaming; air drying
and smoking the duck. The recipe is based on one for chicken published
in "The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking" by Barbara Tropp.
To make this duck you should have a strong desire to become very
(and I do mean very) intimate with your duck. Not only that
but you shouldn't be squeamish about leaving poultry lying around
for a day or two at room temperature.
I usually do three or four ducks for the party, increasing all the
ingredients accordingly, but one duck is just about enough for four
people as a main course. I have an electric combination steamer
and smoker, which greatly facilitates this entire process.
duck. Fresh is hard to find, but they are generally obtainable in
the frozen poultry section of the supermarket.
tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons Szechuan brown peppercorns
1/2 dried orange peel
scallions cut into three-inch lengths
5 quarter-sized slices of fresh ginger
cup dry black tea leaves
cup packed brown sugar, plus another 1/4 cup for smoking the second
side of the duck
1/4 cup raw white rice
1 tablespoon Szechuan brown peppercorns
3 whole star anise
2 two-inch cinnamon sticks broken into small pieces
Clean the duck thoroughly. This is where you get to know your duck
more intimately than you had ever dreamed. Pat it dry inside and
out. Dry roast the peppercorns and salt in a heavy frying pan until
the peppercorns begin smoking, but don't let them burn. The salt
should turn off white. Grind the salt and pepper mixture and orange
peel to a fine power. Thoroughly coat the duck inside and out making
sure you don't miss any spots. Place the duck on a plate, cover
airtight and marinate it at room temperature for 24 hours,
turning it once after 12 hours.
any liquids that have accumulated. Place the duck on a rack and
put scallion and ginger pieces in and on the duck. Place the rack
over boiling water and cover the steamer. In my large steamer, I
usually steam the duck 30 minutes on one side and another 30 on
Air Drying: Once
the steaming is complete, place the duck on a rack over a plate
to catch any juices and air dry it at room temperature for 3 to
12 hours, turning it once midway through to ensure even drying.
At this point, you can refrigerate the duck, tightly sealed for
a day or two. The duck should be at room temperature before smoking
Smoking: Mix together
and place the smoking ingredients in the bottom of the smoker. Fire
it up, and put the duck on a rack above the smoking materials. I
normally smoke the ducks for about three-four hours total, turning
them over halfway through and adding the additional sugar. Once
done, the duck should pretty much fall from the bones, and be so
good that people gnaw from the bones the morsels that remain.
These rather different
burgers came about as an experiment in duplicating sheek kebabs,
an Indian minced-lamb skewer made with tandoori spices in a clay
oven. Needless to say, the end result was a bit different. The amounts
of the various ingredients used are a bit fast and loose, as is
the case with most of our culinary exploits.
Tandoori and garam masala are available in Indo-Pak grocery stores,
which fortunately are pretty common in the U.S. these days. Note
that one remarkable property of tandoori spice is its colorfastness;
the rest I leave to your imagination.
Preparation: Mix all the ingredients together and make patties
as large or small as you like them, remembering that these burgers
will shrink a bit because of the turkey's high water content. Grill
them longer than you would regular burgers because they are poultry
Ultra Sauerkraut: Simply the best!
You've tried the
rest, now enjoy the best. Brian Whary makes THE best sauerkraut
in the world. It's so good on its own that adding it to hot dogs
is almost sacrilege. The recipe below is for a large crowd or an
extremely hungry small one. You will note that this dish is not
part of the cuisine minceure family.
1lb bags of sauerkraut (avoid cans)
3 large onions, thinly sliced
3 cans baby potatoes
1 lb bacon, diced
1 12 oz lager, preferably German, Brian tells me
Fresh black pepper to taste
brown the onions and sauerkraut. Fry the bacon. Mix together the
sauerkraut, onions, potatoes and bacon in a large pot and simmer
for a couple of hours, adding lager and stirring occasionally, taking
care not to break up the potatoes too much. Season with fresh black
pepper and olive oil. Keep warm over a low heat for the duration
of the party.
Cumin Potato Salad: An old favorite with a twist
Most delicious. The usual liberties with ingredient quantities
apply. We're not making souffles here!
lb potatoes, preferably red bliss which add a nice color contrast
14oz mayonnaise, only the good stuff please
1/2-2/3 cup milk, with whatever fat content your arteries can handle
4-6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3-5 teaspoons cumin powder
Salt and pepper to taste
the potatoes until cooked but DON'T over do it. Let them cool to
room temperature. Peel if desired into a big bowl. In a separate
container, add the milk to the mayonnaise until it becomes the consistency
of light cream. Add the vinegar, starting with 4 tablespoons and
adding more as needed. Now spice the mayo/milk/vinegar mixture with
the cumin, salt & pepper to taste. Pour the liquid over the
now-cooled potatoes and mix well taking care not to break the potatoes.
Serve well chilled.
Strawberry Spinach Salad: A tasty combo
A summer favorite, courtesy of Anita Edwards. This recipe serves
lb fresh spinach
1 pint strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
and tear spinach. Clean and slice strawberries. Just before serving,
mix spinach and strawberries. Mix the remaining ingredients well.
Toss spinach and strawberries lightly with dressing.
Baked Beans: Beyond beans from the can
Gail's variation on a traditional theme and dead easy to prepare.
It can even be microwaved.
11 oz cans of baked beans
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3-4 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
A splash of hot sauce
and heat all the ingredients thoroughly and serve. It doesn't get
LouAnn's Bourbon Slush: A brain freeze with booze
Aunt LouAnn passed this one along a few years ago. Funny how
it withstands the test of time.
cups of water
5 regular tea bags
2 cups of Bourbon
1 12 oz can frozen orange juice
1 6 oz can frozen lemonade
1 cup sugar
2 cups of water, steep tea bags until cool. Add bourbon, orange
juice, lemonade and sugar. Add 6 cups cold water and 1 cup hot water.
Freeze for two days before serving. To serve, scoop into a cup and
add either more tea, orange juice, or lemonade to taste. Some
add more Bourbon!
Vodka Caipirinhas: A variation on a Brazilian specialty
My buddy Roberto suggested we add these (pronounced kai'pirinyas)
to the slate. I've had the original in Sao Paulo, but Roberto says
these are a bit less strong (what about the vodka?!?) Roberto also
was kind enough to photograph
the process, but he says the caipirinha didn't survive for much
half lime per drink, sliced into small pieces
Sugar to taste (it offsets the lime)
Vodka (as much as you feel like drinking!)
Mash the sugar and lime pieces together in a mortar and pestle.
A blender is less authentic, but is probably a bit easier of you're
making quantity! Put the mash into a glass (#12) and add ice and
vodka. For the real thing, stir with a popsicle (trademark infringement?)
stick blending in only as much sugar from the bottom as you need
to counter the bitterness of the lime.
Return to Top.
Chicken: A savory delight
This is one the few inventos we've come up with that we actually
wrote down. Our traditional invento preparation involves looking
in the fridge and cupboard and saying, "Well, this is what
we've got. What the hell are we going to do with it?"
2 teaspoons dried tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon pineapple juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup, more or less
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Mix all the liquids and spices to make the marinade. Marinate the
chicken for an hour or two in the fridge. Cook on the grill.
Return to Top.
to Pour A Guinness: In Case You Didn't Know
Our friend Stephen
Ryan sent us this (we think) as a spoof. What the hell, there is
a technique to pouring a can of Guinness. This is not to be confused
with that nasty swill in a bottle that was all you could get outside
the pub before they invented the widget. Yes, there is a thing called
a widget, and they got a design award for it. It's a small plastic
unit containing nitrogen, and it's found at the bottom of cans of
draught Guinness. Nitrogen produces that fine head that you expect
from a good glass of Guinness.
can for at least 3 hours before opening. Do not freeze. Do not shake.
Pour the can in one smooth action into a cool, clean glass large
enough for the whole can. Pour at an angle of 45 degrees. Wait for
the surge of your Guinness Draught to settle. Enjoy.
Great Big Bowl of Pasta Salad
Stephen Ryan brings us this fine salad every year that he's in town.
Wash basil leaves and dry with paper towel. Stack and roll leaves
and slice into slivers. Reserve ½ cup for Basil Vinaigrette. - Make
Basil Vinaigrette (see below) - Cook pasta according to package
directions. Rinse, drain and cool. Add ½ cup of Basil Vinaigrette
and set aside. - Trim green beans and cut into halves. Steam until
just tender. Rinse, drain and cool. - Add tomatoes, olives, remaining
slivered basil, steamed green beans and parsley to pasta. Toss well.
Add remaining Basil Vinaigrette and toss again. - Shave fresh Parmesan
cheese over salad (if desired).
the above recipe for pasta salad.
Combine garlic, mustard, vinegar, pepper and salt in a small bowl.
Whisk well. - Add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly
until vinaigrette is slightly thickened. - Fold in slivered basil
leaves and parsley (if desired).
probably the best ribs you'll ever taste! The recipe is courtesy
of our neighbor Patty's brother Gerry.
Pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Combine beer, orange juice, barbeque sauce and pepper. Marinade
ribs overnight, turning once. Grill ribs on high heat to sear the
meat. Roast in oven for a couple of hours until tender. Enjoy!
This is a
recipe we're unlikely to activate for ClarkeFest, but it's one of
the most delcious fish dishes you'll ever have. Ian's sister, Suzanne,
was kind enough to reeal her recipe. The fish should be any white
fish, though you need to be careful that it doesn't desintegrate
too much during cooking.
Shellfish, including langostinos, clams and mussels
1 large onion, grated
4 very ripe tomatoes, grated
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt everything, including the shellfish. Fry grated union on oil
until lightly browned, add crushed garlic, making sure it doesn't
burn. Add the grated tomato and simmer for a few minutes. Lightly
brown the fish and shellfish in olive oil. Add to onion/tomato mixture,
cover with water. Simmer for 1 hour, partially covered. Serve immediately.