Monday, October 12, 2009

Chef Patrick Clark Speak From His Heart

Memories of my dear friend Chef Patrick Clark

Patrick Clark
March 17, 1955- February 11, 1998

While I have many wonderful memories of my dear friend Patrick Clark, a few great moments do come to mind. Patrick was always willing to help whenever I called upon him to share his talents and expertise. He worked with me on several events for the National Counsel of Negro Women in Los Angeles. He helped me to coordinate the judges for the "Real-Men-Cook" Annual Gala, and was a founding member of board of trustees for the Taste of Heritage Foundation.

Patrick loved to cook and I never hesitated to ask him to do so, for those visions we shared, he participated in the first Elegant Taste of Heritage dinner held at the L'ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California and hosted the first Elegant Taste of Heritage dinner on the east coast at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington, D. C. The most memorial day was November 19, 1991 when Patrick came to The School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona as part of our second annual Distinguished Chef Series. He conducted a master cooking class, and worked with my students to prepare a Gala Banquet, one of the greatest meals of my life. First course Cannelloni of Cabbage and Root Vegetables with Potato and Olive Oil Broth, Second course Sautéed Zucchini Wrapped Shrimp with Mixed Wild Mushrooms, Fresh Thyme and Light Shrimp Sauce, Main course Medallions of Venison with Roasted Beet Sauce, Butternut Squash Puree with Deepened Fried Sweet Potato Chips and Dessert course Warm Apple Bread Pudding with a Vanilla Custard Sauce. Patrick was the first chef I contacted to contribute to A Taste of Heritage: New African-American Cuisine, a collection of foods and dishes that reflect both the family histories and training of the chefs that contributed to the timely book. Chef Joe Randall 5/29/98

Mustard-Barbecued Lamb Chops
Makes 4 servings

Tavern on the Green's award winning executive chef Patrick Clark, presents his lamb chops

7 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 table spoon of dried oregano
20 black peppercorns
1/2 cup of olive oil
12 rib lamp chops
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 small red onion
1/2 carrot
Add 1/2 serrano chili
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of ketchup
1 1/2 table spoons of dijon mustard
1 table spoon of honey

In a small bowl, combine 5 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced, 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, 20 black peppercorns cracked and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Place 12 rib lamb chops trimmed of fat in a shallow baking dish or a ziploc plastic bag to marinate. Set aside to refrigerate overnight.

In a medium
sized saucepan over medium high heat, add 1 small red onion peeled and diced, 1/2 carrot peeled and diced and 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed. Sautee for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 serrano chili seeded and 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar. Stir for 1 more minute. Add 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1 1/2 table spoons of dijon mustard, and 1 table spoon of honey. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes.
Swap out with sauce that has already been sautéd for 25 minutes. Cool and puree in a blender. Strain and thin with a little water if needed. Wipe the marinade off the lamb chops before placing the chops on the grill. Grill the meat until medium rare. About a minute before the lamb is done, brush the lamb chops on both sides with the mustard sauce. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. When you serve the lamb chops, spread both sides with the additional sauce.

This recipe developed by
Chef Patrick Clark
all rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chef Edna Lewis In Her Own Words

Memories of My Dear Friend Edna Lewis

Edna Lewis
April 13, 1916 - February 13, 2006

Today, I found myself reminiscing about the first time I spoke with my dear friend Chef Edna Lewis. At the time of our very first conversation, Ms. Lewis was a few years shy of retirement and was serving as the executive chef at Gage & Tollner in Brooklyn, New York. I called Ms. Lewis and introduced myself and right away let her know how proud so many of my fellow black chef's and I were of her contributions to the restaurant industry and especially for all she had done to set a positive example for all African American chefs.

Over the next few years we had many opportunities to work on projects together. In 1993, she had retired and was living in Orange County, Virginia with her brother George, who had also retired and returned home to Virginia from Pasadena California. George had a new home built just down the road from their sister Ruth. I invited her to come to Washington, DC and participate in a dinner at the Hay Adams Hotel, where my friend Patrick Clark was the executive chef. The dinner was great and so was her dessert course Blackberry Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream. The next year she returned and did another dinner at the Grand Hyatt Hotel where she made She Crab Soup.

In 1996, Edna and I traveled to Chicago for three days to attend the African Festival where we hosted cooking demonstrations and she signed cookbooks. One morning , Ms. Lewis and I went to Glady's Lunchonette for breakfast. She was delighted to see scrambled eggs and brains on the menu. She immediately ordered them and began to tell to describe to me her love for hog brains since she was a young girl. I can remember Ms. Lewis saying, “During hog killing time the brains would be the first thing that got eaten.” She was especially excited to eat hog brains that morning. After breakfast Ms. Gladys came out of the kitchen to greet Ms. Lewis and myself. These are memories I will always cherish.

Ms. Lewis gained tremendous accolades for her cookbooks on the pleasures of southern cooking and heritage. Some of her most prized cookbooks included, The Edna Lewis Cookbook, The Taste of Country Cooking, and In Pursuit of Flavor. Chef Edna Lewis’ passion for fresh ingredients and authentic flavors will live on through the work of generations of African American chefs to come.

She-Crab Soup
Makes 8 Servings

Female crabs are prized for this famous soup because they contribute a potent but delicate flavor. Following tradition, she-crab soup should be prepared using female crabs exclusively, with their roe added for even more flavor.

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
4 cups heavy cream
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups crab roe or the yolks of 4 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Melt butter in a heavy 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. In a saucepan, heat milk, but do not boil. When butter is hot, whisk in flour to make a roux. Cook roux 2-3 minutes, do not brown. Slowly stir in hot milk, whisking well. Cook over medium low heat until hot, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Pour cream into a large skillet. Bring to boil, whisking occasionally, then reduce heat and cook for about 10-15 minutes until cream has thickened and reduced by [1/4]. Pour cream into hot mixture. Mix well, then stir in crab meat. Cook 30 minutes to allow the flavor to develop, stirring occasionally. Season with sherry and salt. Add crab roe. Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with parsley and a generous sprinkle of cayenne.

This recipe developed by
Chef Edna Lewis
all rights reserved.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oyster and Shrimp Purloo

The Geechee-Gullah Influence

Some of the strongest influences on US cuisine came from African
slaves, the people who least intended to be here. American food is
inconceivable without barbecue in its many variations, all kinds of
fritters and a mess of greens. Indeed Africans brought with them
important techniques including smoking meats, frying grains and
legumes into fritters, boiling leafy green vegetables, and making up
hot, spicy sauces. Since African-Americans ran the kitchens on
Southern plantations, they played a major role in molding the renowned
cuisine of the South.

The geography of the coastal South Carolina and Georgia proved
conducive to rice growing and produced a rice-based cuisine.
Specialties such as Hoppin' John -- rice cooked with red field peas
flavored with salt pork, Limpin’ Susan -- a cousin of Hoppin' John,
made with rice, shrimp, okra and bacon and Savannah Red Rice -- full
of tomatoes, red and green peppers smoked sausage are just three of
many local rice dishes. Seafood specialties include the famous
Oyster and Shrimp Purloo -- contains celery, grenn bell pepper,
onions, garlic, a rich shrimp stock, smoked sausage, tomatoes and

Shrimp Stock
Makes 1/2 Quart

1/8 cup peanut oil
3/4 pound shrimp shells
1 rib celery coarsely chopped
1 small carrot coarsely chopped
1 small onion coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 quart water
1/8 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig thyme
2 each black peppercorns
1 each bay leaf

Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the shrimp shells and
sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring until the shells look dry. Add the
celery, carrots, onions, and garlic, continue to sauté for 2 to 3
minutes. Add the water, wine, tomato paste, parsley, thyme,
peppercorns, and bay leaf. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the
heat and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the stock through a fine mesh
strainer. Return to heat and boil until reduced to 1/2 quart. Will
keep 2 to 3 days refrigerated; can be frozen.

This recipe developed by
Chef Joseph G. Randall
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 10/1/09

Oyster and Shrimp Purloo
Makes 8 Servings

One of the most desired rice dishes of the Low Country is the pilau or
purloo pronounced piloe or puhr-loe. Some purloos call for meat some
seafood or both.

6 slices slab bacon cooked and drained
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup green bell pepper diced
1/4 cup celery diced fine
1/2 cup onion diced fine
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 pound smoked sausage diced
1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
1 pint oysters (reserve liquid) drained
1 1/2 cups rice (long-grain)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups shrimp stock (see recipe)
2 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a large sauté pan fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan
dice and set aside Add butter to the bacon grease. Add green bell
pepper, celery, onions, and garlic pan and sauté 2 to 3 minute until
tender. Add smoked sausage, shrimp, oysters to vegetable mixture,
sauté until shrimp turn pink and oysters curl at the edges. Add rice,
tomato paste and stir, add shrimp stock, oyster liquid, and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and black
pepper Cover pan reduce to low heat and simmer until rice is tender
and has absorbed liquid, (about 20 to 25 minutes). Garnish with
diced bacon and chopped parsley.

This recipe developed
by Chef Joseph G. Randall
all rights reserved
Copyright © 10/1/09