“Ladies of the Lights” Presentation by Michigan Maritime Expert Dianna Stampfler Showcases Female Keepers of Michigan’s Historic Beacons
“Ladies of the Lights” Presentation Showcases Female Keepers of Michigan’s Historic Beacons
Michigan lighthouse historian and author Dianna Stampfler has announced a series of presentations of her popular “Ladies of the Lights” in honor of Women’s History Month. This program, which includes readings from newspapers and autobiographies, as well as countless historic photos, sheds light on the dedicated women who served at lights around the state dating back as early as the 1830s.
These were women before their time, taking on the romantic yet dangerous and physically demanding job of tending to the lighthouses that protected the Great Lakes shoreline. Given this was also a government job, their involvement was even more unique. In all, nearly 50 women have been identified who excelled in this profession over the years.
One of the most notable was Elizabeth (Whitney) VanRiper Williams who took over the St. James Harbor Light on Beaver Island after her husband, Clement, died while attempting to rescue the crew of a ship sinking in the harbor. She later became the first keeper of the Little Traverse Lighthouse in Harbor Springs, retiring after a combined 44 years of service.
There is also Julia (Tobey) Braun Way who outlived two husband keepers at the Saginaw River Rear Range Lighthouse in Bay City, and some say who still haunts the place today. Anastasia Truckey served as the interim keeper at the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse in the 1860s while her husband, Nelson, was off serving in the Civil War. Mary Terry served 18 years before she died in a fire at the Sand Point Lighthouse in Escanaba in 1886 – her death still shrouded in mystery 137 years later.
As part of a weekend-long Walloon Lake Writer’s Retreat Weekend at Hotel Walloon, the public is invited to a FREE event – A Lakeside Chat with Author John Patrick Hemingway – on Friday, April 14 at the Talcott Event Venue in downtown Walloon Lake. Doors will open at 7pm with a cash bar featuring a Pilar’s Rum Hemingway Daiquiri (see recipe below), along with select wine and beer; the discussion will begin at 7:30pm and a book signing will follow.
Throughout the weekend, the Canadian/American writer and journalist will lead writers in a series of workshops, readings and other creative exercises meant to inspire personal storytelling. Last year’s inaugural Writer’s Retreat was led by Ernest’s great granddaughter (and John’s niece), Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, author of Ernest’s Way.
In addition to his memoir, John Hemingway has published a number of short stories in magazines and literary reviews such at The Saturday Evening Post and Provincetown Arts and has also written for many fishing and hunting magazines such as Showboats International and Ducks Unlimited. His first novel, Bacchanalia: A Pamplona Story(2019), takes place in Spain during the Fiesta de San Fermín, a nine-day event that was made famous in the1920s by the publication of his grandfather’s work The Sun Also Rises.
Ernest Hemingway was just three months old when he made his first trip from his hometown of Oak Park, IL to Walloon Lake where his parents – Clarence and Grace (Hall) – had purchased property along the North Shore. Ernest spent time every summer until 1921 at the family’s beloved Windemere cottage there, the simple cottage still owned by descendants today. The woods and waters in and around Walloon Lake shaped Hemingway’s life in many ways and it was a place he always held dear to his heart. It was here that his 1972 posthumously published book, The Nick Adams Stories, is primarily set.
To inquire about availability for the “Walloon Lake Writer’s Retreat ” please contact Hotel Walloon at 231-535-5000.
This November, the St. Louis County Library and the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival are hosting SLCL Authors @ the J – a joint event series for readers throughout the St. Louis metro area. Additional information about St. Louis County Library’s author series is available online. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public. All events are held at the J’s Staenberg Family Complex (2 Millstone Campus Drive).
The St. Louis Jewish Book Festival is an annual celebration of authors, books, and ideas during early November, with additional author events year-round. The range of author topics is vast: business, cooking, economics, family, fiction, history, music, religion, sports, and more.
Now in its 44th year, the Festival is nationally recognized for both its excellence and its size – it is one of the largest in the country with more than 10,000 audience members annually. People from all backgrounds and religions come to Festival events to hear premier speakers, share their thoughts, and ask questions.
St. Louis County Library and the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival are pleased to announce SLCL Authors @ the J – a joint event series for readers throughout the St. Louis metro area. Additional information about St. Louis County Library’s author series is available online. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public. All events are held at the J’s Staenberg Family Complex (2 Millstone Campus Drive).
The St. Louis Jewish Book Festival thanks the Novel Neighbor for providing books by our presenting authors. The festival receives a percentage of sales for every book sold. Please support the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival and the Novel Neighbor by purchasing your books at the festival.
How to Purchase Books at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival
In-person during the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival. Call 314-442-3299 for more info.
Michigan is home to more lighthouses than any other state and about 40 of those are rumored to be haunted by the spirits of former keepers, mariners and others with ties to these historic beacons.
Inside the pages of Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses, long-time researcher, writer and promoter of all things Michigan, Dianna Stampfler, shares stories of those who dedicated their lives — and afterlives — to protecting the Great Lakes’ shoreline. Her second book, Death & Lighthouse on the Great Lakes, Stampfler delves into the historic true crime cold case files that have baffled lighthouse lovers for as many as two centuries.
Throughout the fall season, Stampfler will be speaking at libraries around the state, sharing her lively and upbeat presentation about these lights. Copies of her books will be available for purchase and signing at every program.
For the complete schedule of upcoming events (including other topics beyond lighthouses), visit the Promote Michigan Speaker’s Bureau online.
About Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses
Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state, with more than 120 dotting its expansive Great Lakes shoreline. Many of these lighthouses lay claim to haunted happenings. Former keepers like the cigar-smoking Captain Townshend at Seul Choix Point and prankster John Herman at Waugoshance Shoal near Mackinaw City maintain their watch long after death ended their duties. At White River Light Station in Whitehall, Sarah Robinson still keeps a clean and tidy house, and a mysterious young girl at the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse seeks out other children and female companions. Countless spirits remain between Whitefish Point and Point Iroquois in an area well known for its many tragic shipwrecks.
About Death & Lighthouses on the Great Lakes
Losing one’s life while tending to a Great Lakes lighthouse — or any navigational beacon anywhere in the world for that matter — sadly wasn’t such an unusual occurrence. The likelihood of drowning while at sea or becoming injured while on the job ultimately leading to death were somewhat common back in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Death by murder, suicide or other unnatural and tragic causes, while rare, are not unheard of. In fact, more than dozen lighthouse keepers around the Great Lakes met their maker at the hands of others – by fire, poisoning, bludgeoning and other unknown means. A handful of these keepers, either because of depression or sheer loneliness, took their own lives. A few we may never know the true story, as the deaths now 100 or more years ago, weren’t subjected to the forensic scrutiny that such crimes are given today.
In the pages of Death & Lighthouses of the Great Lakes: A History of Misfortune & Murder, you’ll find an amalgamation of true crime details, media coverage and historical research which brings the stories to life…despite the deaths of those featured.
Short on time? Sarah Copeland has a recipe for you.
dinner that tastes like Saturday night when you’ve had all day to putter around
in the kitchen on a Wednesday? Don’t despair. Sarah Copeland, author Feast, has
a new cookbook out that’s just right for you.
recipes with prep time and total cooking time help you decide what fits in with
your busy day.
from Every Day Is Saturday by Sarah Copeland with permission by Chronicle
MIGHTY YOGURT BOWLS WITH CURRANTS AND PEACHES
PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 5 MINUTES or overnight
Quick-to-make chia pudding, with the right touch, can turn an everyday yogurt bowl into something beautiful and irresistibly creamy.
The secret is to keep the chia mixture loose, and treat it like a condiment, rather than the main event. (Chia thickens as it sets in liquid, so you’ll need to add fewer seeds if you plan to let it sit overnight.) Serve this creamy, coconut-milk goodness with loads of fresh fruit, as a quick morning breakfast bowl that’s nearly ready to go when you wake up.
¾ cup whole milk, or almond, coconut, or hazelnut milk
2 to 3 tsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 Tbsp chia seeds
Plain yogurt, for serving
Currants, peaches, berries, honey, or maple syrup, for
Combine the milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons chia seeds in a mason jar or any glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Give it a shake or a stir and refrigerate up to overnight, or stir in the remaining chia to thicken if you plan to use right away. Spoon the chia mixture over yogurt, and top with fresh fruit and honey or maple syrup.
Sarah Copeland will be in conversation with Jeanine Donofrio of Love & Lemons at Read It & Eat in Chicago on Saturday, June 29, 2019 from 2 to 4 p.m. (773) 661-6158. 2142 N Halsted Street Chicago, IL
Elizabeth Minchilli, who has lived in Italy for a quarter of a century, has created a way for all of us to experience certain special food events that comprise the country’s heritage in much the same way as their monuments (think The Colosseum, St. Peter’s and the Leaning Tower of Pisa) are must-sees for visitors.
She shows us how, in her latest cookbook, The Italian Table: Creating Festive Meals for Family and Friends, to completely replicate such Italian food culture in such chapters as a Sunday Lunch in Email-Romagna, Farm to Sicilian Table, Panini Party in Umbria and A Table by the Sea in Positano. Because Minchilli’s background and interests are not only culinary but also envelope style and architecture, she tells us not only what to drink and eat but also how to create the tablescape as well. As an example, her Pizza by the Slice in Rome meal calls for “for the authentic pizzeria al taglia vibe, use plastic or—more sustainable—paper.”
who is from St. Louis, Missouri but moved to Rome with her parents when she was
12, developed such a passion for the all things Italy (she even married an
Italian man) and in her words, had an Italian baby, an Italian house and an
after I returned as a graduate student to study Renaissance garden architecture
in Florence,” says Minchilli when I talk to her using Skype as she was at her
home in Rome.
I discover, as we talk, that I already have one of her books, a luscious tome titled Villas on the Lakes: Orta, Maggiore, Como, Garda that someone had given me years ago and which I still leaf through to marvel at all the wonderful photos. Minchilli is one of those people who seems to do it all, she’s written nine books including Restoring a Home in Italy, takes all her own photos, writes an award winning website, elizabethminchilli.com, developed her Eat Italy app and offers food tours to behind the scenes culinary destinations as well as posting on You Tube and other social media.
me that her love for food began when she was given one of those easy-bake ovens
when she was a kid.
the cook of the family,” she says, though she obviously she’s moved way beyond
a toy where the oven is heated by a light bulb.
Italian Table is her ninth book.
really happy about it,” says Minchilli. “This is really the book where I can
bring everything together—the food, the people who make the plates, what is
surrounding us, the whole experience.”
motivated to write the book after being questioned countless about how Italian
food and dining. To showcase that, she decided on highlight 12 different
dinners and photograph and write about them in real time—as they were being
planned, cooked and served.
people to know how Italians really eat and I decided to do that by meals in different
areas and then narrowed it down by going deeper into how it all comes
together,” she says. “I set it up so you can go through the cookbook and decide
what you like.”
also included a time table, what to do, depending upon the dinner, two days
before, one day before, two hours before, one hour before and when your guests
arrive. And there are ways to lessen the cooking load for the more intensive
and elaborate dinners.
about being social and sharing,” Minchilli tells me. “A lot of people are
scared to have people over and so I wanted to take fear out of the equation. That’s
why I give people a game plan by telling people when to shop, when they should
set the table and also how far ahead to do things so that there’s less to do at
the last minute. It reduces the stress and fear and makes it more
Elizabeth Minchilli will be at Ceres’ Table, 3124 N.
Broadway, Chicago, IL on Monday, April 22 at 8 pm (EST). The Book Cellar is handling the event. The price of the ticket includes a signed copy
of the book, five course dinner selected by Elizabeth from dishes in her book,
taxes and service. Tickets, which cost $82 per person, can be purchased by
visiting the event page at bookcellarinc.com or calling (773) 293-2665.
Zucchini con Ricotta
tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch of
fresh mint, leaves only
11/2 cups of
1/2 cup of
or basil leaves, for garnish
olive oil, for drizzling (preferably your best variety)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Using a sharp knife or mandoline, cut the zucchini
lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick ribbons. (You should end up with at least 12
full-length, unbroken ribbons.) Place the zucchini in one layer on one or two
baking sheets. Season them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, half of the
mint, and salt to taste and bake them for about 10 minutes, until just tender.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
In the meantime, place the ricotta in a medium bowl with the
remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the rest of the mint, roughly chopped. Using
a fork, whip it until smooth and creamy.
Place about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on each
strip of zucchini and roll it up. Place the poppy seeds in a shallow bowl. Dip
both flat ends of the rolls in the poppy seeds, coating the ricotta.
To serve, place two or three rolls on individual plates.
Garnish each roll by placing a sage or basil leaf on top and tucking the ends
in so that it follows the curve of the roll. Drizzle with your best
extra-virgin olive oil and serve.
Radicchio with Pancetta and Parmigiano
Makes 8 servings
4 heads of radicchio di Treviso, leaves separated
30 thin slices of pancetta (about ½ pound)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 shelled walnuts, roughly chopped
4 ounces of Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (1 cup)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the
radicchio leaves on top. If some of the inner leaves are very small, you can
put two together to make a larger base.
Fry half the pancetta in a nonstick skillet over medium heat
until it has released its fat a bit. Don’t let it burn. You won’t need any oil,
as the pancetta should be pretty fatty. This may need to be done in a few
batches. Each batch should take only a few minutes.
Season the radicchio with salt and pepper and drizzle with
olive oil. Distribute the cooked pancetta on top of each leaf, then add the
chopped nuts and sprinkle with the Parmigiano.
Wrap each stuffed leaf with a slice of uncooked pancetta.
Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes, until pancetta around the outside is
cooked and beginning to sizzle. Serve immediately, while warm.
pounds of spinach or other greens
1 cup fresh
1 large egg
1 large egg
½ cup of
4 ounces of
of fresh marjoram leaves for ½ teaspoon dried
A few grindings
of black pepper
greens in a pot with about an inch of water and cook over medium heat for about
10 minutes, until wilted. Drain and when cool enough to handle, squeeze the
greens into a ball, squeezing out every last drop of moisture. You should have
about 1 cup. Roughly chop the greens and set aside.
hour before you are going to bake the tart, place the ricotta in a fine sieve
and drain it over a bowl to remove the excess whey.
oven to 350°
F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
chopped greens in a clean bowl with the drained ricotta, whole egg and yolk,
milk, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, ¾ cup of the Parmigiano, the marjoram,
butter, salt and pepper. Mix well with a fork.
mixture into the pan, leveling off the top with the back of a spoon. Cover with
the remaining olive oil and Parmigiano.
Bake for 50
minutes, until the tart begins to brown and is well set. Remove from the oven
and let cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife and, using an offset
spatula, turn it out onto a serving platter.
Call it pizza love. In 2017, according to PMQ Pizza Magazine, Americans consumed 45.1 billion dollars’ worth of pies. But what’s the best place for pizza? Steve Dolinsky, a James Beard award winning food writer known as the “Hungry Hound,” podcaster and food tour operator, decided to prove there’s no better place for pizza than Chicago, its suburbs and five collar counties.
He shares his results in Pizza City, USA: 101 Reasons Why Chicago Is America’s Greatest Pizza Town(Northwestern University Press 2018; $24.95), a user-friendly guide to all things dough, sauce and toppings divided into chapters on pizza categories:: Tavern-Style (Chicago-Style Thin), Thin, Artisan, Neapolitan, By-the-Slice (New York-Style), Deep-Dish and Pan, Stuffed, Sicilian, Roman and Detroit-Style and last, but not least, Overrated. Dolinsky than includes photos and information about each of the 101 places in the book as well as the five best in each category. Maps included show where the top pizza places are located in case you want to hit the road.
It was a
tough assignment and Dolinsky often ate pizza at three different places in a
day. In all he visited 185 locations (not all made the cut), consumed massive
doses of anti-acids, and, to keep his weight gain at a minimum, practiced
portion control and doing yoga sculpting daily.
Dolinsky’s inquisitiveness about Chicago food isn’t limited to pizza. He’d already written “The 31 Essential Italian Beef Joints in Chicago(land): for his Website stevedolinsky.com and also visited every place in the city that served Vietnamese pho so he was used to massive samplings of the city’s favorite foods, but he had other reasons as well.
say Chicago has the best pizza, but I didn’t really think that anyone had done
any research on this scale, that there hadn’t been a deep dive into pizzas,” he
says, noting that he considered it an unparalleled lifetime quest in the city’s
illustration pizza history. “I didn’t realize how massive of an undertaking it
scientific study, there were rules. Dolinsky created what he called the Optimal
Bite Ratio (QBR) with points given for crust, sauce and the quality of the
sausage and pepperoni as well as the application and mouthfeel of the cheeses.
just a smattering of what Dolinsky learned. While most of the U.S. prefers
pepperoni as a topping, Chicago likes bulk sausage, which probably harkens back
to the days of the stockyards. Media outside of Chicago often confuses deep
crust pizza and stuffed pizza (the latter which Dolinsky mostly disdains). Deep
crust pizza, while one of Chicago’s wonderful inventions, is rarer than one
might think though outsiders think it’s the real Chicago thing. Notice how when
you travel, a Chicago-style pizza place means deep dish. but Dolinsky says it’s
the Tavern-Style or Chicago-Style Thin, square-cut pie that Chicagoans love—the
kind with middle pieces in the center with no crust handles that my brother and
I used to fight over when we were kids.
who want the full-Dolinsky treatment, he also runs pizza walking tours starting
in May. The tours meet at Lou Malnati’s (1235 W. Randolph St.), a 7-minute
drive from The Loop and showcases four different styles of pizza. Highlights
include a traditional Chicago deep-dish, an only-in-Chicago Roman al taglio, a
classic Neapolitan and a Sicilian slice. Included in the tour price is a custom
souvenir lanyard and badge good for discounts and deals. For more information,
can’t wait for a tour or to learn more, on Thursday, January 31 from 7:30-9:30
pm EST, Steve Dolinsky will be teaming up with the chefs from Pizzeria Bebu for
a pizza–making demonstrated, followed by a tasting. Steve then will give a
lively presentation on how he went about making the choices for the book.
Where: Read It & Eat, 2142 North Halsted St., Chicago, IL. For ticket prices and more information, (773) 661-6158; readitandeatstore.com
In the meantime, here’s a deep dish pizza recipe from Lou
Malnati’s Pizzeria, rated among the top by Dolinsky and a favorite in Chicago
for over 40 years.
The Malnati Classic
20 ounces pizza dough
Olive oil, for the pan
12 to 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
12 to 14 ounces 90-percent lean Italian sausage, casings removed
10 to 12 ounces seasoned Roma tomato sauce, maintaining chunks
2 to 3 ounces grated Parmesan
2 to 3 ounces grated Romano cheese
Special equipment: a round steel baking pan
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Allow about 20 ounces of your favorite yeast dough to rise. You may do
this if you have a proofer, or simply leave it at room temp for about 2 hours.
Oil a round steel baking pan with a few ounces of olive oil. Press the
dough on the bottom and to the sides of the pan, being careful not to tear it.
Holes in the dough will create a soggy crust. Pull the dough up the sides of
pan to 1 to 1 1/2 inches high.
Place the mozzarella evenly across the dough. Top with the sausage,
making sure to get the sausage all the way to the sides.
Cover with the seasoned tomato sauce, spreading evenly and maintaining
the chunks of tomatoes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and then the Romano.
Bake until the crust and the grated cheese turn golden brown, and the
crust is firm yet flaky, 30 to 40 minutes.
Only six or so when she started helping out in the kitchen, Tiffani Thiessen grew up in a family where dinners were a gathering time to enjoy great cooking and conversations. She upped her game from traditional American fare when she and other stars from “Saved by the Bell” toured in Europe.
“It definitely impacted me,” says Thiessen who played Kelly Kapowski on the hit TV show and was 16 at the time. “I learned all about wine, cheese and all types of different foods when we traveled in France, Italy and Holland.”
This love of food and conviviality was so intense that though Thiessen continued with her acting career (she was Valerie Malone on “Beverly Hills 90210” and currently stars in “Alexa & Katie”) she also segued into cooking, hosting the long running “Dinner at Tiffani’s” on the Cooking Channel. As if that wasn’t enough to keep any mom of two young children busy enough, Thiessen has spent the last three years writing Pull Up a Chair: Recipes from My Family to Yours(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $30), which will be released on October 2.
Describing cooking as therapeutic as well as artistic and creative, Thiessen’s recipes include new dishes, those she collected through the years and family favorites, some that she tweaked including her mom’s beef stroganoff which the family ate once a week when she was young.
“I wasn’t a big fan,” says Thiessen, adding that her mom’s stroganoff was very traditional and included stirring sour cream in at the end so that it took on the appearance of dog food—her words not ours, Mrs. Thiessen. Tiffani’s tweaked it into a beef and mushroom Stroganoff with creamy polenta, spinach and a touch of brandy. The sour cream is served on the side.
Did that hurt you mom’s feelings? I ask.
“No, I have one of the most supportive families,” she says.
There’s also a cowboy twang to some of her dishes such as the short rib beef enchiladas and three cheese queso, since husband Brady Smith is a meat-loving Texas boy. Her son Holt gobbles up her mac and cheese and Thiessen says Harper her eight-year-old daughter loves to decorate pizzas.
“I don’t think of myself as anything but a home cook and my recipes are easy but everything I cook is with love and passion and that’s what Pull Up a Chairis all about,” says Thiessen, who, during our phone interview, calls me sweetheart and dear.
That friendliness as well as the sumptuousness of her cookbook—125 recipes and lots of full page color photos of both luscious-looking food and family (and yes, her husband is handsome and her children adorable), makes me long to get an invitation to dine at her house.
Since that won’t be happening, I did a little pre-interview stalking watching videos of Thiessen cooking in her kitchen and then displaying part of her cookbook collection.
“I love cookbooks, I love the look, the aesthetics of them” she says when I mention my sleuthing. “Most people I’m close to would say I have a problem. I don’t use some of them that much, as my husband points out, but there’s just something I like about having them around.”
I can identify with that having heard similar comments from both my husband and daughter. Another reason to get that dinner invitation. But until then, I have the cookbook and can create the recipes in my own home.
Pickle & Potato Salad
1½ pounds tricolored small potatoes
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the potatoes
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup chopped sweet pickles
3 tablespoons pickle juice (from the jar)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Paprika, for garnish
Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover them by 1 inch and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them rest until they’re cool enough to handle. Cut each one in half.
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sweet pickles, pickle juice, mustard, salt, and pepper.
In a separate large bowl, combine the halved potatoes, eggs, and red onion and toss with the dressing. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and garnish with the parsley and paprika.
Honey-Ginger Chicken Wings
Serves 6 to 8
½ cup honey (preferably wildflower or mesquite)
¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
3 garlic cloves, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime, plus more zest for garnish
In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, tamari, sesame oil, ginger, scallions, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Reserve ¾ cup of the mixture in the fridge.
Pour the remaining marinade into a 2-gallon zip-top bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Massage the marinade into the wings. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Before cooking, let the wings stand at room temperature for about 2 hours
When ready to cook the wings, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the wings from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Season the wings with salt and pepper and place them skin-side down in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Spoon some of the marinade over them; discard the remaining marinade. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the wings, basting with the pan drippings. Rotate the pan and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the honey has caramelized and the skin is a dark amber color.
In a small saucepan, bring the reserved ¾ cup marinade (from the fridge) to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the liquid turns into a thick, syrupy glaze, about 4 minutes.
Coat the wings with the glaze, arrange them on a serving platter, and garnish with scallions and lime zest.
On June 7, John Coletta, author of Risotto & Beyond: 100 Authentic Italian Rice Recipes for Antipasti, Soups, Salads, Risotti, One-Dish Meals, and Desserts (Rizzoli 2018) will be at Read It and Eat! talking about his recently published book on risotto, one of the most traditional dishes in Italian Cuisine and yet the least explored. Coletta, a restauranteur and chef, will also be presenting a selection of rice-based tastings. His book, with its wonderful photographs, contains 100 authentic dishes and demonstrates how to bring the full range of Italian rice cooking into our home kitchens. Dishes range range from the familiar such as arancini, crochettes, risotti, soups and rice puddings to the more exotic like rice salads, fritters, bracioli, and gelatos. Attendees will get to take home a 500 gm tin of Acquerello Rice, a prized Carnaroli rice from Vercelli in Piemonte (retail value of $22), considered the best rice for making risotto.
Chilled Rice Soup with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped prosciutto fat (see note below)
½ medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped to make 2/3 cup
1 stalk celery, finely chopped to make 2/3 cup
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt1
teaspoon finely ground white pepper
1 cup Arborio superfino rice
Just over ½ ounce Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated to make ¼ cup
3 cups halved thin-skinned cherry tomatoes or blanched, peeled, and chopped plum or Roma tomatoes
1 bunch basil, leaves only, roughly chopped to make 6 tablespoons
Finely ground sea salt and white pepper
1 cup cold vegetable broth
2 cups quartered thin-skinned cherry tomatoes
1 bunch basil, leaves only, roughly chopped to make
6 tablespoons, plus ¼ cup chiffonade of basil leaves or small clusters of Genovese basil, for garnish
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
Place the butter, olive oil, and prosciutto fat in a heavy-gauge stockpot over low heat, stirring until the butter melts and the fat becomes soft and translucent but not browned. Add the onion, celery, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften but are not browned.
Add 6 cups water and heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Immediately reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, covered, until the vegetables are soft and tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in the rice, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the rice kernels are tender.
Prepare an ice-water bath in your sink. You will need this to cool the pot. Remove the pot from the heat. Discard the bay leaves and stir in the cheese, tomatoes, and chopped basil. Transfer the pot to the ice-water bath and cool the soup to slightly below room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
FINISH THE SOUP:
The following day, taste the soup for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. If the soup has become too thick, thin it to the desired consistency with the cold vegetable broth.
In a small bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, chopped basil leaves, olive oil, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls. Drizzle each portion with olive oil; top with the tomato-basil garnish and the basil chiffonade.
NOTE: If prosciutto fat is unavailable, substitute an additional 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Be careful not to burn
Arancini with Fresh Mozzarella and Italian Parsley (Arancini Di Riso Con Fior Di Latte E Prezzemolo)
ARANCINI; SERVES 4
3 cups Arborio or Carnaroli superfine rice
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cubed
2 teaspoons finely ground sea salt
3 large eggs, well beaten
¼ cup sweet white rice flour
1 small bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, coarsely chopped and lightly packed to make ½ cup
2½ ounces Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano, finely grated to make 1 cup
1 pound fior di latte (fresh cow’s milk mozzarella in liquid, drained and cut into ¼-inch cubes
3 large eggs, well beaten
2 cups fine dry Italian, panko, or gluten-free breadcrumbs
4 to 5 cups high-smoke-point oil (safflower, rice bran, soybean, or canola)
Salsa All’Arrabbiata, for serving or your favorite sauce
Pour 5½ cups water into a medium heavy-gauge saucepan or pot and stir in the rice, butter, and salt. Heat to boiling over medium heat; reduce the heat to low. Simmer briskly, uncovered and without stirring, until the rice has absorbed the water, about 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the eggs, rice flour, parsley, and Parmigiano.
Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Transfer the cooked rice to the parchment-lined dish, smoothing to make level. Bring the rice to room temperature. (To finish the recipe the next day, cover the rice with parchment paper and the baking dish with plastic wrap; refrigerate. Bring the rice to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.)
Assemble and fry the arancini:
Using a sharp knife dipped in cold water, score and cut the rice cake into 16 equal pieces. Place one portion of rice in your hand and shape it into a cone; fill with 3 cubes of mozzarella. Close the rice over the cheese and squeeze to shape it into a ball. Place on parchment paper. Repeat until all the arancini are formed.
Place two large bowls on a work surface. Place the eggs in one and the breadcrumbs in the other. Immerse a rice ball in the egg; move it to the bowl of breadcrumbs and dredge until well coated. Place the breaded ball on the parchment paper. Repeat until all the rice balls are breaded.
Pour the oil into a small electric fryer (amount specified by fryer model) or a heavy-gauge pot, ensuring that the oil reaches no higher than 3 inches from the top of the pot. Preheat the oil to 350°F.
Carefully transfer 3 or 4 of the balls into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd them. Fry until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Test one to ensure doneness, adjusting frying time as needed. Proceed with the remainder. Blot the fried arancini on paper toweling.
Place on a platter and serve with spicy salsa all’arrabbiata sauce or your favorite red sauce.
When: June 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Read It & Eat!, 2142 N Halsted Street Chicago, IL
For more information: (773) 661-6158; readitandeatstore.com
Southern food meets Mexican food in Eddie Hernandez’s new book Turnips & Tortillas: A Mexican Chef Spices Up the Southern Kitchen. Hernandez, the James Beard nominated chef/co-owner of Taqueria del Sol, has written a fantastic cookbook that explores the commonalities of these two cuisines.
Never hesitating to improve upon tradition, Hernandez tweaks classic dishes to make food taste better in such ways as by adding sugar to creamy grits to balance the jalapeños or substituting tomatillos for fried green tomatoes to achieve a more delicate texture. Turnip Greens & Tortillas offers a collection of both recipes and “Eddie’s Ways”–sidebars showing how to make each dish even more special.
As an example, Hernandez says Mexicans view bread pudding as a special treat typically eaten only during Lent.
“It is not like any bread pudding you have had in the U.S., but the flavors should taste very familiar—a little like the inside of a cinnamon roll, with the gooeyness of pecan pie,” he writes in his description of Capirotada, a Mexican bread pudding recipe in his cookbook. “The exact ingredients vary with whatever’s in the cook’s kitchen cabinet that needs to be used up, but they usually include toasted and buttered bread, dried fruits, nuts, and mild cheese. My mother often added animal crackers, and I still find their crunchy texture works well in this mixture. Whereas my mother steamed her bread pudding on top of the stove, I bake mine. Instead of being held together by an eggy custard, the pudding is drenched in a warm syrup spiced with cinnamon and cloves that is made by melting piloncillos—unrefined sugar molded in cones and sold in Mexican markets or online—with water. Turbinador brown sugar works just as well. There is deep religious meaning behind the main ingredients: The bread symbolizes Christ’s body, the syrup is his blood, the cinnamon and cloves are the wood and the nails of the cross, and the melted cheese signifies the holy burial shroud. As serious as its message is, the dish is very festive and often served with ice cream and colored sprinkles. This bread pudding is even good for breakfast as coffee cake.”
Also good for Easter are Hernandez’s breakfast egg muffins topped with a tomato-habanero sauce.
Mexican Bread Pudding (Capirotada)
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 pound cane sugar, turbinado sugar, or brown sugar
3 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks, preferably Mexican (canela)
8 ounces French bread or 4 bolillo rolls, cut into ¼-inch-thick pieces
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1½ cups crushed animal crackers
1 cup crumbled queso fresco or grated Monterey Jack cheese
¾ cup shredded sweetened coconut Ice cream (optional)
Colored sprinkles (optional)
To make the syrup:
Combine the sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until slightly thickened.
Remove from the heat; cover and let steep while you prepare the remainder of the dish.
This step can be done a day ahead.
Heat the broiler to high, with one rack set in the middle of the oven and one 4 or 5 inches from the broiler source. Brush the bread with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the butter. Place the pieces in a single layer on a sheet pan and set under the broiler until lightly toasted, about 1 minute (watch carefully). Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use.
Set the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Brush a deep 8-inch square pan or 2-quart casserole dish with the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons butter.
Place one-third of the bread in a single layer in the baking dish. Top with one-third of the raisins, pecans, animal crackers, cheese, and coconut. Remove the spices from the syrup and ladle one-third of the syrup over the mixture. Let the syrup soak into the bread for about 15 minutes, then repeat the layering with the remaining ingredients two more times, finishing with the syrup. Let the syrup soak into the bread for 15 minutes.
Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the top of the pudding is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream and garnished with sprinkles, if desired. The pudding will keep for several days, tightly covered, at room temperature.
My Breakfast Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
12 large eggs
4½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces andouille or other smoked sausage, cut into 24 slices; or left over roasted vegetables
¾ cup grated Monterey Jack or Colby cheese (goat cheese or other kinds of cheese can be substituted)
2 cups Tomato-Habanero Sauce (see below) or use your favorite salsa
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick vegetable spray and set aside.
Whisk the eggs, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until smooth. Place 2 slices of smoked sausage and 1 tablespoon of the cheese into the bottom of each muffin cup. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned.
Meanwhile, heat the sauce. Ladle some of the sauce onto plates and top with the egg muffins.
Makes about 4 cups
5 to 6 medium tomatoes (about 1½ pounds)
1 habanero or other types of chiles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup finely diced onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
Place the tomatoes and habanero in a large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil just until the tomato skins start to crack. Drain in a colander. Remove the stem from the habanero.
Transfer the tomatoes and habanero to a blender and puree until smooth.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion, garlic, and salt and cook until the onion is translucent and soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree and the stock, increase the heat to high, and boil for 3 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. The sauce keeps for up to 3 days, covered and refrigerated.
The above recipes are from Turnip Greens and Tortillas: A Mexican Chef Spices Up the Southern Kitchen by Eddie Hernandez. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Eddie Hernandez will be talking and signing copies of his book on June 3 at 1:30 p.m. at Read It & Eat, 2142 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL. For more information: (773) 661-6158; readitandeatstore.com