Summery Garlicky Beans

Summery Garlicky Beans


As blogged last week, this past Friday I set up my kitchen/stage at 5C Café in Manhattan. I  want to thank Michael Bisio who delighted us on bass, Pierre Joris, Yuko Otomo & Steve Dalashinky who read fun & beautiful food & Paris poems, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte who took  the photographs and helped set up/clean up, Adrien Aquilina for his  assistance on waiting tables, as well as Bruce,  Trudy  & the volunteers at 5C  for their graceful hospitality & for giving me the opportunity to cook and sing. Many thanks also to a sophisticated, warm & engaging audience. Please feel free to post comments about the evening if you were there. If you were not there: the menu, the recipe of the main course, & Miles’ photographs are below.
But first let me tell you about my next performance coming up this Thursday with Peter Knoll on electric guitar. No food this time, but singing 3 French songs. I am really excited to be part of the Mongrel Vaudeville, and looking forward to the various & extravagant performances.
Mongrel Vaudeville
“Blue Moon in June”
What: Performance
Host: Julian of Nowherr
Start Time: Thursday, June 25 at 8:00pm
End Time: Thursday, June 25 at 10:00pm
Where: thru the swingin doors at Freddy’s Bar & Backroom
485 Dean Street Brooklyn, NY 11215
That’s the corner of Dean Street and 6th Avenue in Brooklyn.

Now Friday’s menu:

Sardine Paté w/ pink peppercorns (see Sardine Tartine blog ; all I added were the pink peppercorns)
Syrian Cheese served with green spicy Turkish and black Moroccan lemon olives

Main Course:

Summery Garlicky Beans & Kale
(Thank you d’Artagnan for the coco Tarbais beans)


Strawberry short cake w/ live whipped cream!
(Thank you Pierre Landet for the pan and the strawberries)

Photographs by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte

Summery Garlicky Beans & Kale Recipe

I don’t have exact proportions, and it is really up to you to make it the way you like. Though as a rough indication here are the ingredients and the proportional ratio.
Soak beans over night:  2/3 white (coco tarbais)   for 1/3 red beans (dark red pinto beans).
Cook your beans separately and reserve.
—in duck fat, or olive oil— enough diced onions  to cover the bottom of the skillet in which you will cook your dish.
Add a few ribs of diced celery and diced red pepper. Sauté for a few minutes.
Add the purple kale, about half the pot, sauté until wilted.
Add the green garlic cloves. Make sure you buy them with the green stalk attached. Use about 1/2 a head per person. Green fresh garlic is very mild, do not be afraid.

Add about 1 to 2 garlic scapes per person (see last blog for info on scapes). Make sure they are very tender, if not peel them and cut them like green beans.
Salt & freshly ground pepper.
Add stock or water to just cover your vegetables & legumes.
Cook for about 40/60 minutes depending how big your pot.
Just before serving add one tablespoon of a pesto —my “pesto” had only  basil/regular garlic & olive oil, but nothing prevents you to add pignoles and cheese. I just wanted to keep it light as the appetizer had cheese and the dessert, whipped cream.
Make it soon because the garlic ain’t gone be fresh for much longer.

Poor’s Man Lobster & Garlic Scapes

Poor’s Man Lobster & Garlic Scapes

Lotte Nicole!

Also called monkfish, lotte or baudroie in French, this excellent  —not so good looking— fish belongs to the Lophius family. The firm consistency of its flesh resembles lobster meat. The liver, cheek and tail are eaten. The head is rarely seen at the fish store. The tail is the piece most often available for purchase. I got mine at the Bay Ridge Green Market and it was beautiful. Monkfish has been my favorite sea fish since I was young. Back then it was because there were “no” bones  — only one big central bone that is easily removed, but none of those little sneaky ones.  The meat can be roasted whole or cut into chunks. It can also be sautéed, skewered, poached, broiled, pan fried & served with all kinds of sauces. My choice today was: roasted, wrapped in duck bacon, tied with garlic scape.

Monkfish or Lophius

I shared this dish with my friend, poet Patricia Spears Jones, and I would appreciate it if she would comment on it. Meanwhile you can read one of her great poems here.

Preheat oven 375º
Cut the fish into equal chunks.
Coat an oven proof dish with extra virgin olive oil.
Wrap the pieces with duck bacon, or regular pork bacon (though the duck bacon gives it an interesting flavor)
Tighten with a garlic scape ( if already a little hard peel the scape)
Cut little pieces of bacon, sprinkle on top.
Add salt and fresh ground pepper.
Put into the oven for about 20/25 minutes.
Serve with boiled potatoes if it is a main course.

Garlic Scapes
Garlic scapes

Note on Garlic Scape:
Often just called “scapes”, these beautiful curly  greens are the flower stems that are snapped off the garlic in early summer in order to give more energy to the bulb to grow. Their taste is
milder than garlic bulbs. They can be chopped and used in stir fry like green beans or asparagus. A real delicacy, and I look forward to see them at the Farmers Market or Food Coop every June. (For more info read this article on Mother Hearth News).

lotte aux pousse d'ail

Whisk! Don’t Churn at Bowery Poetry Club

Whisk! Don’t Churn at Bowery Poetry Club


Saturday May 16 2009
6:00pm -7:30pm

Concert CD release of:
“Whisk! Don’t Churn!”
Nicole Peyrafitte
(voice, video, electronics, whisk & sweets!)
Michael Bisio
(double bass)
with guest poet & producer
Pierre Joris
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
New York, NY 10012
(212) 614-0505

CD Details: here
Read  reviews: here
Get the CD: here (though if you come to the release party Saturday the CD will be available on donation)

And you can always find out more about my works on:
Cooking Parties
Nicole’s Website

Cherry Coke Foie Gras

Cherry Coke Foie Gras

Cherry Coke Foie Gras
photo: Josh Stansfield

“She is making Cherry Coke Foie Gras!” says Ariane, nodding her head, pursing her lips, and cracking a demi-smile. She looks at my face and quickly adds: “she always wanted to do it. Ariane Daguin, the Foie Gras goddess and childhood friend, is talking about her daughter Alix.  Rose, Ariane’s best friend, and I have just been picked up at the corner of Madison ave. & 52nd street, and the  three of us are now en route to Ithaca (N.Y) for the last Underground dinner of the season organized by an independent group of talented and inventive students from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Alix Daguin is a founding member and one of the main emulator of the smart and energetic Underground cohort.
So we are excited to attend the Underground #3 dinner installation and the last event of the season. The five hour drive passes very fast despite traffic, weather, anxiety to be late — and all that thanks to Rose & Jacques’ interaction. Jacques is Ariane’s French speaking GPS, who is much better at keeping us entertained than at giving accurate directions!

The premise for tonight’s dinner:  six of the Cornell students work on six separate courses mentored by a master chef; each has to create one dish to be served to forty guests (2 servings of 20). The mentor chefs were: Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert, Anthony Bourdain, Drew Nieporent, Rick Tramonto, and Francois Payard. The location is the beautiful private home of Ann Druyan and the late Carl Sagan on Cayuga Lake (all dinner proceeds are going to the Carl Sagan Foundation). Cocktails are  served outside, overlooking the lake; there we meet Ann Druyan who graced the evening with her generous and caring hospitality —Ann is a writer, and also the founder and chair of the Carl Sagan Foundation. We are now called to dinner. We are taking our seats in the impressive below ground glass veranda. We look down at the kitchen, we look up at the trees, we are in a dreamscape like setting and the Nicolas Feuillate champagne helps!


The level of attention for details and care is very impressive. The chefs and waiters show total command throughout the soiree. The menu is creative, exciting, balanced and imprints my memory with beautiful flavors. I will not give a detailed review of every dish but I do need to return to the Cherry Coke Foie Gras. Yes! The idea is provocative, and I have to admit that for once the evil ingredient made itself discreet and (to me) it is it’s best usage ever!  The Cherry Coke is used in the reduction, and acts as a gastrique (If i remember correctly I think that 2 cans are used for 40 servings), then the Cherry Coke demi-glace is spooned out under a perfectly pan seared slice of Foie Gras, accompanied by preserved black cherries, and garnished with a few slivered almond. The combination of the Foie’s silky texture, the fleshy tartness of the cherries and the light crunch of the slivered almond created a subtle balance of flavors and textures. Bravo! Alix, you sure are carrying on the family tradition with style and inventiveness. Bravo! to the entire Underground team,  I hope that I will be asked back, I heard that not everybody makes the guest list. For more info read the review in the The Cornell Daily Sun of the Underground Dinner #1 and do not miss the video below. Meanwhile drool while reading the menu! & Thank you Ariane for taking me along.

Cherry Coke Foie Gras
Alix Daguin mentored By Rick Tramonto

Rabbit and Chanterelle Tamales with  Mole Trio
Nicole Leong and Anna Bauer Mentored By Anthony Bourdain

Finger Lakes Schuyler Cheese filled Ravioli with Green Peppercorn
Kevin Relf Mentored By Daniel Boulud

Pan Seared Halibut with Shellfish Emulsion and Spring Vegetables
Max Kellman Mentored By Eric Ripert

Beef Tenderloin with Marrow Parmentier and Spring Garnish
Peter Roumanis Mentored by Drew Nieporent

Lemon Verbena Sorbet
Katherine Kiess

Chocolate Toffee Cake
Danielle Tsuzuki Mentored By Francois Payard

Molokhia, Corète potagère, Corchorus Oilitorius,ملوخية

Molokhia, Corète potagère, Corchorus Oilitorius,ملوخية

It can be spelled Molokhia, Mulukhiya, Malukhiya, Molokia; A.k.a: Juteplante in Germany, Jew’s mallow in the UK, corète potagère or chanvre du bengale in France, Crain-Crain or Krin-Krin in francophone’s Africa, Corchorus Olitorius in Latinand finally, in Arabic, ملوخية. Until my trip to a Syrian grocery store yesterday in Bay Ridge, NY, I had never heard of it. It is a very well known Middle Eastern & African mucilaginous leave-vegetable that grows easily; it belongs to the family of the Tiliacea. It as been cultivated for century both in Africa and Asia, it is found wild on both continents.

Same family as jute (white jute is Corchorus capsularis and Tossa jute Corchorus olitorius). Raw jute was exported to the western world to make cordage, ropes and is better known in the USA as burlarp.

Once cooked the leaves produce a viscous or gooey texture similar to okra. I bought a frozen pack and since I knew nothing about it, I just followed the simple recipe on the package, just adding a few pickled chili pepper . Next time I will add a few drops of fresh lemon juice.

Molokhia soup

Molokhia Soup Recipe
Drop frozen molokhia in 2 cups of boiling water or broth.
Mix often until totally unfrozen.
In a sauce pan melt 1 tbsp of butter and lightly brown 6 finely chopped garlic cloves adding a pinch of coriander.
Add the molokhia, stir, adjust seasoning and serve.

So voilà! my dinner last night:  Molokhia soup and a batch of home made French fries. It was a quick, unusual and satisfying dinner.

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