Weekend Recipes: Pizzoccheri (buckwheat noodles) and…. cheese.

….so. Your friend comes back from the low mountains. You’ve been there, to his old mountain-top home. You know that wonderful food store next to the river in the valley below, heard the crackling of its wood burning fireplace on the left as step inside, gazed wide-eyed at all those locally made products it sells, the best aged and fresh meats and polenta and pasta and cheese, tasted a small sample of tidbits, wild boar salami, grilled pig arm, sharp sheep cheese, other flavors.
He brings you… some lovely, fatty, fresh Casera – a mountain cow’s milk cheese that tastes of spring flowers, clean water, mixed grasses and plants and all that hay-sweetness in the mountain plains. Each milking farm will bring a little bit of its own places, where the cows graze during the summer, subtle differences that can’t be reproduced in any frickin’ metal-lined factory. No Kraft crap here. Products that satisfy deeper parts of you than any…Philadelphia. Stuff to respect both while eating and preparing.
But… two pounds of it, a full kilo. And like I said, not the aged kind – where time in rock and wood cellars tease away the summer scents and leave the essence of flavors more room to roam, condensed into the salty rounds. Nope, this is the kind of cheese that will last  a little while in the fridge, a few days fully, maybe 7-10 days before it begins to turn an oddish green-milky color as the mold whittles its way into the solidified milk interior from the golden yellow crust around. So after… cheese and honey, cheese sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese and fruit, a cheese and sweet onion frittata you weigh the now changing-hued chunk remaining… and see on the scale that there’s still well over a pound remaining. You need to make a dish that will made strong headway in a hurry, something good though. Genuine. Then you recall… that you, to, had been to that mountain valley food shop and bought another of the local delicacies: artisan made buckwheat pasta. Pizzoccheri.

Now, this later dish was made by the hardest-working people you could have ever met, real mountain people, ‘montanari’, who used to spend more calories on physical labor and keeping warm in winter than, say, an average tour de france rider uses on a hard, multiple houte-categorie stage day. Lots, I mean looooots, of calories, through what they had and have on hand – cheese. On the Swiss side of the alps… well, they’re swiss, so they take their cheese and basically melt it, then either eat the stuff with boiled potatoes or smothered over bread. Which is fine, of course, and if the main part of those dishes are genuine… very satisfying. But in italy, well, you know, they have this thing about flavor, refining it, mixing it together with other local ingredients mostly until it, well, tastes Italian. So on the Italian side though they melt the cheese as well they mix it with other stuff, and here the grain part of the dish is of course, pasta noodles. From buckwheat flour. Pizzoccheri.

They look a little like that – sorry, the immage came out blurred – if you buy them pre-made. You can of course do them yourself simply with flour and water but I never have as yet, so I’ll say for the dry stuff use about 60 grams per normal person, less if they don’t eat much, 80 grams if you’re famished, more if you’re a montanaro. Or if you just road the Alpe d’huez climb. 3 times. In a row. That’s because you add these as well:

…potatoes, not the floury kind, the freshest the better, about 1 small-medium per 80 grams but adjust as you will. That’s the thing about local cooking – the quantity of ingredients is based on the moment, personal taste, adjusting according to what you smell or see or sample. Anyway, the cubed potato mound should be about the same size as the pasta mound. Here, remember, we’re using dried noodles so prep them size-wise for a 12-14 minute boil. But before you do, slice up about the same amount of cheese, in weight, as the noodles you’ll be using.
….and in volume, fresh vegetables. In winter it almost has to be cabbage of one kind or another.

Drop in the potatoes first into a big pot of boiling salted water. As soon as the water starts boiling again, add the cabbage, maybe make sure it starts to wilt with a strainer or something to weigh it down into the water, then finally the pasta.
In the meantime, get a garlic clove, maybe two, red is better here than white (and do NOT EVER use chinese garlic, I don’t care if they try giving it to you. Spend the extra few cents.) Grab a leaf or two of sage and on the lowest of heat on the back burner let a few pats of butter melt with the flavoring in the pan:

….and grate some aged cheese, not too sharp, some gentle pecorino or of corse parmiggiano reggiano. Grab a caseurole and put some of the cheese in the bottom. Maybe start the melting by placing it on the pot like this:
…and turn on the oven.
   Once the pasta is ready – taste for salt with a few minutes to go if you want but it’s kind of hard to adjust – take a hand strainer, drain the mix well and once it stops dripping, layer some over the cheese. (In case it isn’t clear, yes, the noodles, potato and vegetable are boiled together in the same pot. Adds flavoring to the pasta.) Then more cheese, then the rest of the noodles and finally the rest of the cheese.
   Once that’s done, sprinkle some aged cheese over the whole and the melted, flavored butter, which by now should be a nutty-hued golden color.
   Shove it in the heated oven, 150, 180, whatever as log as it’s hot, for maybe 8 minutes or so then switch on the grill and grill it until the cheese begins to brown. Remove, maybe bring the caseurole into the main room to show off, then plate. You get something like this:
…it is…. awfully tasty even though it’s not a well-known dish outside the north of Italy. But it should be. After dinner…. you can go hibernate until spring, when you might crawl outside and go back to the food store in the valley and start all over again…
ingredients for 4:
200 grams of buckwheat noodles (pizzoccheri)
2 medium potatoes in cubes to cook in 12 minutes
200 grams or so of fatty, fresh cow cheese in half-dollar width slices
cabbage or other seasonal vegetable sliced into ribbons (or in half, as in string beans)
salt and pepper
butter, unsalted
1 clove of garlic
1 sage leaf
a handful of grated aged cheese like Parmiggiano Reggiano
water.
Fill the opt with water, salt to taste, once boiling add first the potatoes, then the veggy, finally the noodles. On the back burner, 3-4 pats of butter on lowest heat along with the garlic clove lightly crushed and the sage. Once the noodles are ready, first on the bottom of a caseurole about 1 third of the cheese, then half the noodle mix well drained, then another third the cheese, the rest of the noodles and finally the last of the cheese. Pour in the melted, flavored butter, loosely cover with the grated aged cheese, into the hot oven for about 5-10 minutes then under the grill until browned. Serve with a structured white or well hopped beer. Then sleep for a week.
link- in pictures and in italian, but it’s an easy dish to show: http://www.buonissimo.org/lericette/4372_Pizzoccheri_alla_valtellinese/view/fotogallery/slide/3-Step
and link, the place where the cheese comes from: https://www.paesionline.it/guida-valtellina
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Friday Music: Trading 4’s

http://neurosciencenews.com/jazz-musician-brain-language-circuitry-776/

old notes – The Musical Brain: Novel Study of Jazz Players Shows Common Brain Circuitry Processes Both Music and Language

Researchers scanned brains while musicians “traded fours”.

The brains of jazz musicians engrossed in spontaneous, improvisational musical conversation showed robust activation of brain areas traditionally associated with spoken language and syntax, which are used to interpret the structure of phrases and sentences. But this musical conversation shut down brain areas linked to semantics — those that process the meaning of spoken language, according to results of a study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to track the brain activity of jazz musicians in the act of “trading fours,” a process in which musicians participate in spontaneous back and forth instrumental exchanges, usually four bars in duration. The musicians introduce new melodies in response to each other’s musical ideas, elaborating and modifying them over the course of a performance.

This is a picture of Louis Armstrong.

The results of the study suggest that the brain regions that process syntax aren’t limited to spoken language, according to Charles Limb, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Rather, he says, the brain uses the syntactic areas to process communication in general, whether through language or through music.

Limb, who is himself a musician and holds a faculty appointment at the Peabody Conservatory, says the work sheds important new light on the complex relationship between music and language.

“Until now, studies of how the brain processes auditory communication between two individuals have been done only in the context of spoken language,” says Limb, the senior author of a report on the work that appears online Feb. 19 in the journal PLOS ONE. “But looking at jazz lets us investigate the neurological basis of interactive, musical communication as it occurs outside of spoken language.

“We’ve shown in this study that there is a fundamental difference between how meaning is processed by the brain for music and language. Specifically, it’s syntactic and not semantic processing that is key to this type of musical communication. Meanwhile, conventional notions of semantics may not apply to musical processing by the brain.”

To study the response of the brain to improvisational musical conversation between musicians, the Johns Hopkins researchers recruited 11 men aged 25 to 56 who were highly proficient in jazz piano performance. During each 10-minute session of trading fours, one musician lay on his back inside the MRI machine with a plastic piano keyboard resting on his lap while his legs were elevated with a cushion. A pair of mirrors was placed so the musician could look directly up while in the MRI machine and see the placement of his fingers on the keyboard. The keyboard was specially constructed so it did not have metal parts that would be attracted to the large magnet in the fMRI.

The improvisation between the musicians activated areas of the brain linked to syntactic processing for language, called the inferior frontal gyrus and posterior superior temporal gyrus. In contrast, the musical exchange deactivated brain structures involved in semantic processing, called the angular gyrus and supramarginal gyrus.

“When two jazz musicians seem lost in thought while trading fours, they aren’t simply waiting for their turn to play,” Limb says. “Instead, they are using the syntactic areas of their brain to process what they are hearing so they can respond by playing a new series of notes that hasn’t previously been composed or practiced.”

link- trading fours: 

comment – ..more than Pinker’s auditory cheesecake, music I suppose is at least a stratified, complex dessert or meal transmitting more information more universally (intrinsically) than more abstracted and culturally influenced/derived narrative methods like words. At some point not so far ahead, emerging neuroscience theory will have to include plural and parallel representations in emergent behavior – even though there remains variably influenced hierarchies in the path to expression, – and take into more account the oddness and determination of time, contexts, entropy and the usually counterintuitive sticky aspect of information.

Wednesday Will: Elizabethan Saltinbocca for BIG Ben Jonson

imgres-1

The Ingredients of the Dish:
5 sole filets
2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
5 ripe tomatoes
Chopped parsley or basil
White wine
Extra-Virgin olive oil
A pyramidical, hierarchical social order
Salt and pepper
Lemon Juice

The Chefs of the Recipe:
Will Shaksper – head chef of The Globe
Anne Hathaway – his 2nd best bed. It’s unclear whom or what was his 1st
Ben Jonson – one of both his greatest friends and fans

serves 5 people or 1 Ben

This appetizer I whipped up when that mountain-bellied, rock-faced sweetheart of a man, my friend Ben Jonson, came out to my country house in July a few years back. On the phone he told me he was getting ready to head to the sea for a few weeks, so he asked me not to make anything too heavy. Said he wanted to look as trim as a young fox once he got to Lamorna beach. I promised him that I wouldn’t try to outfox his dietary works but then added that I wasn’t an alchemist. “Tis not an easy dish to make a fox’s spritely gait from a whale’s lumbering paddle,” I said. “One trots lightly over land, and though seeming secure in his sleek summer coat, oft falls as hunted pray to an early unmasking blackness. You, my beloved Ben, are more like the latter – an imposing mass that knows no rival or threat but its own hunger for depth. You are like a well-tailored Savile Row suit to those flashy-holed Cavalli-jeaned, young beachcombing dudes who swim in the shallows. And as you are often like to say, every man in his humor, and he must fit within it as he fits within his own clothes. But don’t sweat it. Anne and I will to the fish market go and there catch a few days worth of fysshe beyond our beloved crown’s over angling fysshey days. You’ll leave here thinner than in our lordly seasons at Chamberlain. Man, those were good times.” I figured a diet of fish, not much oil or fat, lots of veggies and no sack for a week might actually trim Ben down a bit. He appreciated it. And if he hadn’t slipped out every night for a Pizza Hut extra-large double-stuffed, it probably would have. Anyway.

Though a simple enough dish to make, timing, as nearly always when preparing fish, is essential. The first thing is to take sole filets and lay them flat. On top of each filet place a thin slice of prosciutto. Role the layer whole into loose tubes, fish on the outside, and secure them using wooded skewers or toothpicks. Next, peel and seed the tomatoes and hand puree them into a lovely, fragrant pulp.

Place a pan on low heat and pour in some oil. Crush the garlic cloves and place them in the pan along with the bay leaf and flavor for two minutes. In the meantime go get a triangular shape into which you’ll spoon in the fresh tomato puree. I use the billiard rack from the old converted rec room, now my wine cellar. (Anne insisted. She told me, “Will, if you a different keep from my kitchen for all your Bacchian bottles do not find, this Anne will you find dutifully killing you with unkindness. Though you are the king of your London Globe’s oyster, in this Stratford nest Hathaway rules. So go get shakin’ if you don’t want me to turn you into a speared William. And don’t forget to pick up some skim milk and Venus razor blades at the drugstore when you’re through.”  I didn’t argue. Trust me, you don’t want to fool with Anne when she’s pissed. Hell hath no fury.) If you don’t have a shaped mold it’s not a tragedy. The idea is to make a triangular tomato bed onto which you’ll place the fish filets once they’ve been cooked.

Remove the garlic and bay leaf from the pan, raise the heat and cook the tubes for a few minutes on each side, adding a little dry white wine. Remove, and place the first fish tube near one point of the triangle, but outside the puree. Then place the rest of the rolls ever more into the triangle until the last one, which should be placed completely into the tomato puree form. Grate some lemon rind over the whole, or even a dash of hot pepper depending on your personal taste, a few drops of fresh extra-virgin olive oil and lemon. Decorate with fresh basil or parsley and serve lukewarm with a bottle of good white wine. Or a barrel, if Ben is dropping by.

The real recipe: 
Ingredients:
5 Sole filets
5 Slices of Prosciutto di Parma*
Grated lemon rind
Basil leaves
5 Large, ripe tomatoes
E.V. Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Lemon juice
2 Cloves of garlic
1 Bay leaf
A half-cup of white wine
*ask the butcher or deli clerk for the ‘sweetest’ or tenderest they have

serves 5

Take the sole filets and lay them flat. On top of each filet place a slice of prosciutto. Next, role the filets and prosciutto into a loose tube, with the ham inside. Use long wooden toothpicks to hold each tube, poking them all the way through, side-to-side. Set aside. Next, peel and seed 5 large, ripe tomatoes. After doing so, with two good kitchen knifes hand-puree them into a lovely, fragrant pulp. It should be done by hand as most blenders will tend to over-puree the pulp. Salt just a little, and then leave it on an inclined plane to slowly allow the water to drain. You can make a comfit with the tomatoes if looking for a little more flavor (see Anthony and Cleopatra’s recipe.)


…for something that might have quelled the hunger of a real Big Ben, link to Stwed Beeff recipe: 
http://www.godecookery.com/goderec/grec72.htm

…and Ben’s Eulogy for Will:
To the memory of my beloved, MR.   W I L L I A M   S H A K E S P E A R E:

A N D
what he hath left us.

_________

{Ben Jonson’s Eulogy to Shakespeare}

To draw no envy (Shakespeare) on thy name,
Am I thus ample to thy Booke, and Fame;
While I confesse thy writings to be such,
As neither Man, nor Muse, can praise too much.
‘Tis true, and all men’s suffrage. But these wayes
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise;
For seeliest Ignorance on these may light,
Which, when it sounds at best, but eccho’s right;
Or blinde Affection, which doth ne’re advance
The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance;
Or crafty Malice, might pretend this praise,
And thine to ruine, where it seem’d to raise.
These are, as some infamous Baud, or Whore,
Should praise a Matron. What could hurt her more?
But thou art proofe against them, and indeed
Above th’ ill fortune of them, or the need.
I, therefore will begin. Soule of the Age !
The applause ! delight ! the wonder of our Stage !
My Shakespeare, rise; I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lye
A little further, to make thee a roome :
Thou art a Moniment, without a tombe,
And art alive still, while thy Booke doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
That I not mixe thee so, my braine excuses ;
I meane with great, but disproportion’d Muses :
For, if I thought my judgement were of yeeres,
I should commit thee surely with thy peeres,
And tell, how farre thou dist our Lily out-shine,
Or sporting Kid or Marlowes mighty line.
And though thou hadst small Latine, and lesse Greeke,
From thence to honour thee, I would not seeke
For names; but call forth thund’ring schilus,
Euripides, and Sophocles to vs,
Paccuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead,
To life againe, to heare thy Buskin tread,
And shake a stage : Or, when thy sockes were on,
Leave thee alone, for the comparison
Of all, that insolent Greece, or haughtie Rome
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.
Triumph, my Britaine, thou hast one to showe,
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time !
And all the Muses still were in their prime,
When like Apollo he came forth to warme
Our eares, or like a Mercury to charme !
Nature her selfe was proud of his designes,
And joy’d to weare the dressing of his lines !
Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other Wit.
The merry Greeke, tart Aristophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not
please;But antiquated, and deserted lye
As they were not of Natures family.
Yet must I not give Nature all: Thy Art,
My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part;
For though the Poets matter, Nature be,
His Art doth give the fashion. And, that he,
Who casts to write a living line, must sweat,
(Such as thine are) and strike the second heat
Upon the Muses anvile : turne the same,
(And himselfe with it) that he thinkes to frame;
Or for the lawrell, he may gaine a scorne,
For a good Poet’s made, as well as borne.
And such wert thou. Looke how the fathers face
Lives in his issue, even so, the race
Of Shakespeares minde, and manners brightly shines
In his well toned, and true-filed lines :
In each of which, he seemes to shake a Lance,
As brandish’t at the eyes of Ignorance.
Sweet swan of Avon! what a fight it were
To see thee in our waters yet appeare,
And make those flights upon the bankes of Thames,
That so did take Eliza, and our James !
But stay, I see thee in the Hemisphere
Advanc’d, and made a Constellation there !
Shine forth, thou Starre of Poets, and with rage,
Or influence, chide, or cheere the drooping Stage;
Which, since thy flight fro’ hence, hath mourn’d like night,
And despaires day, but for thy Volumes light.

B E N : J O N S O N

 

 

weekend food – literary recipe (pasta noir): F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Summer Pasta Salad (123 years this month)

imgres“I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.” The Great Gatsby

Ingredients:

Jazz*

Scotch, Champaign and various other liquors*

New York*

Paris*

Summer*

A country house with a back porch*

A beautiful, young, rich girl*

1 grilled chicken breast

200 grams of butterfly noodle pasta

4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded

Two eggs, hardboiled

Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Thyme, basil, salt and pepper to taste

*ingredients 1-7 are optional

Serves …1

Pasta is different from you and me. The pure water and hard flour from which it solidifies and strengthens itself allows it to retain its pure form longer than we do. It suffers no past to which it yearns to return, needs no love to sustain it, and in its dry, ever waiting-to-be-boiled state becomes neither compromised nor unclean as some food products do, like, say, peanut butter, yeah, like peanut butter, ya’ know how it kinda’ tastes like milk and coke after it’s been open in the fridge too long? Uhh, anyway.

Only an essential, clean sauce can complete an elegant pasta dish as a purple-hued cloud can complete a glorious summer sunset. Not a vulgar sauce like, say, one made with Italian meatballs, those shiny, dirty round mounds of grease that sit glistening on the top of Little Italy restaurant displays calling out to passing Midwestern travelers like sirens to Odysseus’ crew. This dish is closer to the essence of pasta and for that reason I recommend you use only the finest ingredients, Martelli butterfly noodles, the most virgin of Tuscan olive oils, and free–range Connecticut chicken. (Avoid those of New Jersey, as they are often unclean. I know Hemingway thinks such differences are pretentious and without significance but he puts ketchup on his hotdogs. Ketchup. Hotdogs. ‘Nough said.)

The preparation itself is very easy. Rent the largest summer country estate available. Then organize a party, inviting as many notable people as you can, (a number of Yale men is essential on such occasions,) but before they arrive make sure you’ve stocked the house with plenty of Scotch, Champaign and any other drinks that might come to mind. Hire a 7-peice jazz band to play throughout the evening and a good caterer to set up a grand buffet of tomato sandwiches, smoked salmon and salmon-egg crostini, an assortment of fresh clams, oysters, crab legs, etc.

Meanwhile on the small back porch quietly begin preparing a meal for two. Simply mix together all the ingredients that you earlier instructed the catering staff to prepare and leave on a table not too far away. Then go upstairs and change into the most gorgeous rags you have. Return. As the half-moon begins rising over the silhouette of trees on the other side of the bay turn on the porch light. Wait. Light a cigarette. Have some scotch. Pine. Repeat the process many times as the pasta salad becomes increasingly dry and hard, losing the magic suppleness and delightful flavor it once had in the beginning, so long ago.

At around 5am when the last of the guests have gone slide out of your clothes and put on some sweats, dish out some of the now cool, indifferent pasta salad, grab a beer from the fridge and plop yourself down on the couch in front of the tube. (She must not have seen the porch light. Or maybe she didn’t understand. Or maybe…ah, screw it. Turn on the cooking channel. Great. An Iron Chef rerun. Life sucks.)

The next morning go online. Do a Google search for cheap flights to Europe. Go to Paris for 5 years. Call Hemingway first and see if he’d like to come along. When you get back try throwing another dinner party. Maybe sushi next time…yeah, sushi, that’s it, if only I’d a made sushi….

 

 

The real recipe:

1 chicken breast, grilled

4 quail eggs, hardboiled

EV olive oil

salt and pepper

12 sicilian date tomatoes

2 small sticks of oregano

8-10 basil leaves

oil to fry

1 red garlic clove

180 grams of butterfly pasta


serves 2

Slice the tomatoes in half, sprinkle with salt and oregano and put them in an oven for about 5 minutes at about 200 degrees (C.), then 5 more at about 160. Remove and let then chill. Do your usual grill on the chicken breast (you can marinade or sweeten with honey or just brush with oil and sprinkle with salt flakes and fresh ground pepper, ecc.) Let the meat gather its juices once cooked. Boil the quail eggs for 2 minutes in barely boiling water, then remove and chill immediately in cold water. Clean and dry the basil leaves very well, then fry them in oil (I use olive oil, it doesn’t take much of it) rapidly – careful not to burn. It takes… not more than 20 seconds or so.  Boil the butterfly noodles, drain. Slice the cooled chicken into bite-sized cubes, then gently mix all the ingredients except the basil in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs to taste. Before placing the ingredients into the bowl rub it as well as the individual serving bowls with fresh garlic – just slice the clove in 2, lightly crush. Once plated, place the fried basil on top. Serve lukewarm with a medium-structured white wine. Or the Champaign.

link- mint julep, Gatsby’s drink (even if we don’t agree with the blogger on some points )-https://foodinbooks.com/2016/05/08/the-great-gatsby-by-f-scott-fitzgerald/

link- cole porter, night and day:

Wednesday Will: Shakespeare’s Vermouth Shrimp alla Elsinore

Shakespeare’s Vermouth Shrimp alla Elsinore
I must be cruel only to be kind.” Hamlet, 3.4

“Shakespeare’s Vermouth Shrimp Tragedy at Elsinore”, more well known as “Vermouth Shrimp”, recounts how Shakespeare – a promising young chef at the time – makes an impulsive, defiant decision to save his reputation and leave Denmark. The recipe is, well, frankly a rip-off of chef de Belleforest’s “Vodka Shrimp” which was in turn a twist on the traditional widely found “Grappa Shrimp” recipes chronicled by the food historian Saxo Grammaticus in his “Vita Squilla” (The Life of Shrimp).

In his recipe however Shakespeare does at least change the liquor Belleforest used as well as adding the “Wha’s up!” exchange, taken from the noted add campaign by Bud-of-Weiser, in the opening scene, a second sea scallop dish later in the recipe and of course the ghost of Julia Child. Given the recipe’s lack of dramatic structure or originality it’s probably best not to argue over or interpret its meaning but simply to prepare the plate and eat it.
 
The Ingredients of the Dish:
Some Vermouth
And some Jumbo Shrimp
As much chopped parsley as you need
Extra-Virgin olive oil
A human skull*
Pepper and salt
Enough bad sea scallops to give someone the runs for a week
* a plastic facsimile can be used in case you don’t want to be arrested for grave robbing
 
The Chefs of the Recipe:
Shakespeare – a promising young chef
Claudio Berlusconi – the (new) owner of the Elsinore, a restaurant in Denmark
Marcellus – a waiter at the restaurant
Barnardo – the same
Horatio – Headwaiter
Caliban – a rotten fish dealer
Julia Child’s ghost

Various other restaurant staff

Act I, sc.1
The Elsinore dining terrace. Enter Marcellus and Barnardo, two waiters, at several tables
Marcellus: Yo, Bernie, wha’s up?
Barnardo: Wha’s up? Wha’s uuup!
Marcellus: Wha’s uuup? Wha’s uuuup!

Barnardo: Wha’s uuuuup!

Enter Horatio
Horatio: Marty?
Marcellus: Wha’s uuuup!
Horatio: Wha’s uuup!

Barnardo: S’uuuuup!

Enter the ghost of Julia Child in a chef’s white frock, holding a rolling pin

Ghost of Julia Child: Uuuuuuuuuup!

Pause. Exit ghost.
Marcellus, Francisco and Horatio: Whoa.
Marcellus: That was creepy.
Barnardo: F***kin’ yeah.
Horatio: Pray, good Barnardo, refrain
From quickly spoken 4 lettered Brooklyn
F’s lest our new real owner, pseudo-
Chef and pseudo-king Claudio with your
Serving job make true substance of the word.
Barnardo: I know, I know. Swear in front of the tourists and I’m screwed. Like, big deal. How much we made in tips so far today? 1 euro each?
Horatio: ‘Tis sadly true. Since the street-of-the-wall
Itself did bear-attack with paper sub-
Primed and toxin derived, our once high Neptune’s
Tide of travelers flows backward ‘pon itself.
Even those returning to this kitchen’d nest
Leave no green eggs for a poor waiter’s omelet.
Marcellus: Nor even the skin of a ham.

Barnardo: So, like, Sam we am?

Pause. Horatio and Marcellus slap Barnardo on both sides of his face.
Barnardo: Ouch! Hey…
Horatio: You guys think we should tell Will about this?
Barnardo: What, that we like, got a freakin’ ghost haunting our empty al fresco dining terrace? I don’t think so.
Marcellus: I rather think you better. Here, use my cell phone. Just press *– 4.

Horatio: If anyone knows what to do about it, Will will.

Exists with cell phone. Enter a delivery truck. Out jumps Caliban, a fish dealer, with a package in his hand. Caliban nods to Marcellus as he walks past into the restaurant. As the package passes close to him Marcellus sniffs noticeably. Exit Caliban.

Marcellus: (looking at you, the reader) Something is rotten in the kitchen of Elsinore.

Act I, sc.2
Enter Shakespeare and Horatio, in Elsinore’s kitchen
Horatio: Thanks for comin’ so quick Will. I’m tellin’ you dude, it was really weird.

William: So, she was holding a rolling pin? Mmm. This bodes of something totally gnarly in our restaurant.

Enter the Ghost of Julia Child. She bids William to follow her. He starts to follow.
Horatio: Dude, are you crazy?
Will: Chill, Horatio. It’s Julia, the Child queen of all us kitchen-bound children chefs, and I will talk straight with her. My fate cries out: She makes each petty recipe in this kitchen as banal as a tuna club sandwich on rye.
Horatio: But what if, like, she eats you or something?
Ghost: Pffff, Horatio if you must know I just wanted to let Wil know that Claudio isn’t using fresh fish, give him a ‘heads up’. He’s made a dirty deal with Caliban, who washes yesterday’s unsold inventory with ammonium and then sells the smelly buggers to Claudio at a discount. An underhanded schemeto make a quick euro. Don’t let the dreadful Claudio ruin your promising kingly career, Shakespeare. I may be out of the kitchen but I still keep a watchful eye on promising young talent, keep good Will hunting, you know, good Will hunting? (giggles to herself. The others look on impassively. Stops giggling.) Anyway. Remember me, Will, remember my cuisine. Adieu, adieu, and…bon appetite!
Exist Ghost

Shakespeare: You have a pen and paper on you?

Horatio gives him a pen and small notebook from his pocket. Shakespeare sets the notebook on the countertop and writes.
Will: Horatio, no one screws with my tables. Here. (hands the paper to Horatio) There are more fish sellers in Copenhagen than are dreamt of in Claudio’s contacts list. Pick this up at Gammel Strand.
Horatio: (Reading the paper) Jumbo shrimp? What about our menued dish, the seared scallops on their bed of baked apple slices and their dribbled sauce blanket of sweetened wild fruit and Balsamic vinegar?

Shakespeare: The scallops we will leave away from tonight’s guests. Yet hidden will we leave them out in our kitchen’s spoiling warmed air. I will later cook andslice them and then, unbeknownst to Claudio, in our staff’s meal-before-the-meal tomorrow to that same crook feed. The scallops’ll be the hook with which I’ll nail that crook. As for the changed menu…my special providence will defy both augury and Claudio’s meanest method. I will add a different liquor during the cooking of our ordered shrimp. It will not be the Vodka he uses, it will be Vermouth. And after plating, a fish stock and shell reduction. And after that sauce, chopped parsley. Timing is all.

Exit both


 

Act I, sc. 3
Enter Shakespeare with a plate of spaghetti. Claudio, Horatio, Barnardo and other staff are already sitting at one table.
Claudio: William, my Great Brit, what delicious sup’ have you for me prepared?
Will: Not even a Great Dane am I, my King chef. We are far from Dover’s purest cliffs. Here I am a smaller pet, your humble cook. But I do my best. Here is your pasta. (Claudius eats, swallows, and makes a strange face.) William, this spaghetti…
Will: …tastes much like the spoiled scallops I incorporated into the sauce. I would they give you the runs all night, you smiling, two-faced, short order villain!
All the staff except Horatio, Marcellus and Barnardo: Whoa!
Will: I quit. Horatio, Marty, Bernie: feel like coming with me to London? I called that Polish hedge-fund manager that was here a few months ago. He said he’d finance me. Said he’s got his eye on a place just south of the Thames.
Barnardo: Cool with me.
Marcellus: I’m there.

Horatio: I speak more English than Danish anyway.

Claudio grabs his gut and exits. The others follow. Shakespeare and his 3 waiters slowly stroll from the stage.
Horatio: You decided on a name yet?
Shakspr: Well, since global fusion cuisine is going to be the central thematic I was thinking something esoteric, you know, ‘The Way’ or ‘The World’s Sphere’.
Barnardo: How ‘bout, like, ‘The Globe’.
Shakespeare: ‘The Globe’? Not bad…

Exit all 4. Exit Recipe

Pasta Noir 2: The Complete Recipes of Shakespeare, Abridged… free download: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1BLfbLyEUF7koh92hoy9vyKk6J4K0vV7Y
 

The real recipes:

Ingredients:
For the shrimp:
4 fresh jumbo shrimp
Extra-Virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
Ground pepperoncino
Chopped wild mint
Vodka or Vermouth
Strawberries
serves 2

Make a thick puree of strawberries and Vermouth (Martini) or Vodka. Clean and peal the shrimp, and toast them in a pan with just a teaspoon of olive oil, 2 minutes per side. Add a couple tablespoons of Vodka or Vermouth not more than 30 seconds before they’re ready, plate, and add just a pinch of salt, pepper if you choose, a sprinkle of freshly chopped mint and the faintest hint of ground pepperoncino. Plate with the puree in a small container next to the cooked shrimp. Serve with small, thinly sliced pieces of toasted bread and a medium structured white wine.


For the scallops:

4 slices of pealed apple
4 sea scallops
Fruit vinegar
Butter
Salt and pepper
Make a sauce with melted butter and a little fruit vinegar in a small pot and reduce over low heat. Bake the apple slices in a hot oven until they’re tender, then slice. Sear the sea scallops on each side, roughly a minute. Place the scallops on the warm apple slices and dribble the sauce over the scallops and plate. Serve with a well – structured white, aka a Gerwustraminer or Tocai. Or a bottle of Tuborg.


Link to quick shrimp in Will’s day: http://www.godecookery.com/mtrans/mtrans21.htmlink – Something smells fishy: How the nose curbs gullibility: http://www.sydneysymposium.unsw.edu.au/2018/chapters/SchwarzSSSP2018.pdf
 

Pasta Noir: 40 postmodern pasta recipes. It’s free, it has real recipes, and it may be the only recipe book with bloopers…..download ebook: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B85ReGrWCxe8UlhQMEFTa3EzU1U/view?usp=sharing

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