PB&J Makes the Jump from Lunchbox to Luxury
Upper East Side restaurant David Burke & Donatella is taking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches upscale. Forget about the white bread, Skippy and Smuckers. For $23, their Hudson Valley Foie Gras PB&J Tourchon provides layers of macadamia nut butter, strawberry-vanilla jam and foie gras on a toasted brioche.–Kerri Fortune
Recipe: Fois Gras Tourchon
Yields 6 Servings
1 lobe Hudson Valley foie gras, deveined
5 grams salt
5 grams pepper
2 grams sugar
¼ cup white port
1 cup strawberries
¼ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
Macadamia Nut Butter:
1 cup macadamia nuts
Salt and pepper
To Assemble and Serve:
6 slices brioche
Fleur de sel
For the Fois Gras Tourchon:
Season foie gras with salt, pepper, and sugar and soak in port overnight. The following day wrap foie gras in a cheesecloth and tightly roll to about two inches in diameter. Poach in simmering consommé for four to five minutes. Remove from consommé, tighten the cheesecloth, and set in fridge.
For the Strawberry Jam:
Place the strawberries in a double-boiler with sugar, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick. Place lid on top and steep until liquid is extracted from the berries. Separate the liquid and set aside. Blend the berries and cool. Pass berry mixture through a chinois.
For the Macadamia Nut Butter:
Roast macadamias in oven at 350 degrees until golden. Pulse in blender until slightly chunky. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To Assemble and Serve:
With a cookie cutter, cut out a round of brioche with the same diameter as the foie gras. Pan-fry until golden brown. Place a small amount of strawberry purée on a plate. Plate one slice of brioche and spread with macadamia nut butter. Add one slice of foie gras and a second slice of toasted brioche. Add jam and a second slice of foie gras. Season with fleur de sel and serve.
Shaking Things Up
Restaurateur Danny Meyer donated $75,000 worth of proceeds from the June 9 and 10 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party to the Madison Park Conservancy. Stewart Desmond from the Madison Square Park Conservancy said that the money will be used for park maintenance, clean-up, gardens, lawns and tree care. It’s part of a park’s ongoing efforts at “carving out an identity based on cultural events, food and gardens,” he said. – Kerri Fortune
Ex-Per Se Captain Dishes on Dining
Phoebe Damrosch, author of “Service Included,” her inside scoop on the restaurant trade out this month, dished some dining tips to the Resident. The book details her work as a captain at celebrity chef Thomas Keller’s restaurant Per Se.
“It matters less where you go and more about how frequently you go. Becoming a regular guarantees a better experience,” Damrosch said.
• Sitting at the bar is a good idea because there is less pressure to order a particular way and bartenders tend to have more time to serve.
• Diners should “be specific with requests.” Instead of simply asking what’s good on the menu, give waiters a decent description of what you want.
• Be friendly to the wait staff. She said people tend to have the misconception that all waiters are aspiring actors, which can be offensive to captains at places like Per Se, where many members of the wait staff were culinary students and now receive benefits like health, dental and 401K. Some diners think there is an adversarial relationship with their waiters, but captains are only there to serve. In her experience, diners have gotten touchy when they “feel conned into buying water,” when the waiter is just trying to keep them happy and hydrated. – Kerri Fortune