Wednesday Will: The Globe’s Seafood Spaghetti

The Complete Recipes of Shakespeare, Abridged (The Globe’s Seafood Spaghetti)

The Globe’s Seafood Spaghetti*
   “…finne the chevin, transen that eele, traunch that surgeon, undertranch that porpas, tame that crab, barb that lobster.” Here Begynneth the Boke of Kervynge, 1508
The ingredients of the recipe per person:
80 grams of guitar (square) spaghettini
50 grams of scampi or mixed crab and/or lobster meat
50 grams of avocado
50 grams of freshly diced tomato
A dash of lemon-lime juice
1-tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
A teaspoon of seeded, washed and diced chili-pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 fictitious king or other fictitious kitchen help
The Chefs of the Dish:
Ariel – Shakespeare’s secretary
Romeo – a horny teen and salad chef at the Globe
Juliet – another horny teen and salad chef at the Globe
Othello – a jealous, old-fashioned chef at the Globe
Shakespeare – Owner and head chef of the Globe
Hamlet – an indecisive, depressed type who works at the Globe
Lear – an old guy with family problems who works at the Globe
Kate – Pastry chef at the Globe
Macbeth – a thief. At the Globe
Ophelia – an herb collector at the Globe
Apothecary – Sommelier to the Globe
Falstaff – ex-vice president at AIG, now a dishwasher at the Globe
Marlowe – a promising young chef, but it’s unclear where he cooks
This recipe I thought up one July morning when Ariel, (my loyal secretary, consultant, food-tester and all-‘round godsend at the Globe restaurant, bar and grill,) notified me as soon as I arrived at the restaurant that Liz’ secretary had called saying they needed us to prepare dinner that same evening for the Queen, the visiting Duke of Milan, and their respective royal entourages. Nothing major, she said, only 190 guests or so. 190 guests! Almost the turnover of an average Friday night! Though I do adore Elizabeth I just hate it when she pulls these tricks on me.
   I rushed into the kitchen and told everyone to gather ‘round. We needed a battle plan, fast. I thought up a menu on the spot and divided up the duties among my faithful staff.
“Handsome Romeo and cousin Juliet,” I told them, “with your grace and beauty compose and dress a mixed salad of crisp greens. Willful Othello, the foulest of deeds does down into your stout hands fall, to go to our private farm, gather and a rapid broken peace give all the young chicks that into our hot oven must go. Eager Macbeth, you must help clean and prep the diminished birds, then use your sly gaze to take them from the creeping roast once you see their last syllable is rightly cooked. Delicate Hamlet, my chef within a chef, all the rest from the 2nd course is yours to prepare and present, along with the fine chopping of all the finest of herbs and scents. Hold thyself in readiness with each for to each dish the proper amount you must dispatch. Proud, ancient Lear, you will aid our young Dane in his duty, and me, chopping all our vegetables to order. Dear Kate, from you the sweetest of us all will come the sweetest, lingering fruitful end of this most royal meal, the dessert. And as for my 3 knowledge-bound resourceful sauciers, there be no 3 more experienced women could match your magic stovetop brews, one for each course, which will round and enrich each.”
   As I walked out of the kitchen and into my office I began thinking about the first course. I knew that these Italian Dukes had a higher standard than most of the guests we usually have at the restaurant, so I decided to try something just a little different, and kick one of our signature dishes up a notch or two. I had a notion of having one of the sauce chefs make a reduction out of shrimp and lobster shells, fish broth and wine, and then to pour it over our popular guitar-string spaghetti with lobster, crab, fresh tomato, extra-virgin olive oil, parsley and a dash of lemon-lime juice. Marlowe later suggested adding some avocado cubes and small slices of tamed chili pepper as well. He was right. The result was simply perfect. That boy has potential.
   It wasn’t going to be easy. The first hurdle was getting Falstaff to hurry in. (I still don’t know why he calls himself Falstaff. He’s actually from southern Italy, hums around London on an old Vespa looking like a hairy, oversized marshmallow on wheels.) Ariel told me to pick up on line 3. “Falstaff, you Mediterranean mistake of a man, if ‘fore long you on this Globe’s shore haven’t anchor set, my foot will find places up your whale of an ass undiscovered yet!” I hung up and started going back toward the kitchen. As I passed the walk- in refrigerator on my right I noticed it’s window was all fogged up with condensation on the inside. Strange, I thought. Then I looked to my left at the salad station and saw that both Romeo and Juliet were missing. As I turned around with the intent of finding them I found myself instead facing Kate’s angry glare. “Good Kate,” I questioned her, “have your keen eyes seen where our two young salad chefs have gone?”
   “I care not a wit where those two have smuggled themselves. Shakespeare, you sexist prick, how long must I entrapped in the back oven remain? Two seasons have past since ‘neath dark winter’s snow you promised me a man’s try at the stove.”
   “Kate, you are true and truly have you spoken, and tomorrow morning in the quiet of my office I vow shall we this problem happily resolve. But today I need your Kate’s touch where best it serves us, unless you find a way to make me two of Kate, one dessert to make, the other as my cooking mate. OK?”
   “OK my hard, stair-mastered ass! Yet for now I will submit for I know you’re in a royal woman’s bind. Oh, and as for our two salad makers, since they are no longer two but as a lustful couple one, when you find Romeo, so, to, Juliet you’ll find.”
   She had a point. I thought about it a minute, then turned around again and opened the fridge. They were there inside, the two of them, all hot and bothered. I just coughed and let them go quietly without saying a word. (They’re young, and were embarrassed enough as it was.) Then I went to check on Hamlet. I found him looking kinda’ weird, staring at one onion and one garlic clove lying still on the cutting board, knife in hand, nothing sliced yet. “Hamlet?” I asked.
“To slice the garlic or the onion first, that is the question. Whether t’is nobl…”
   “Hamlet,” I interrupted, picked up the onion and put it in his hand. “Just get your bare bodkin working, pronto. It’s the right thing to do,” and then turned my attention across the kitchen isle to see how Lear was getting on.
   He’d chopped a small mountain of tomatoes but on looking at them closer I noticed a problem. “Lear, how many times must I to you repeat, first peal, then chop.”
   “Will, today I such patience haven’t got. My house of late gives me no, no, no rest. I feel as if I slept on a bed of stones.”
   I’d heard he was having some big brewhaha with his daughters so I told him to take a break, give them a call, chill a bit. A good employer has to know when to indulge a valuable employee, and no one chops like Lear once he gets going. Then I went straight to see if my sauciers had gotten started on my reduction. When I checked their stove, instead of my sauce I found a giant pot of bubbling minestrone! Moreover the three of them had the radio tuned to WMMS Classic Rock and were singing and dancing around to the Red Hot Chili Peppers! “Ladies, ladies, has good decorum left your conscience! Between the three of you two centuries have graced and scared the planet! Though you know I in the highest regard do rightly consider your minestrone, the reduction I pray you, finish if you this night want not a royally reduced Shakespeare!”
   Othello entered, kitchen right. At least someone was on time! I went outside to take a gander at the fresh Cornish hens he was supposed to have brought back from our private farm but stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the overflowing delivery van. “Good Othello, what has your overzealous hand done? This night we have but 190 guests needing 190 hens, not 1001!”
“William, at the 190th I was, and she it was that provoked me! The insolent little strumpet did peck my eye! I guess I got kinda’ carried away after that.”
   OK. So roast Cornish Hen was going to be a 2 for 1 special on the menu for the next few weeks. Soft me sigh. At least they were here. I went back inside to take a second look at Hamlet and Lear. The Dane was chopping away but Lear was poking his head around his station. “What’s up,” I asked.
   “I, er, think someone stole my knives.”
Great. “Macbeth!” I howled, “return to Lear what’s rightfully his, and go out to the back lot. Our impulsive Moor to you a forest of hens to prepare has brought.” I checked my watch. It was getting late, so I started off toward my own place in the kitchen. All of the sudden Ophelia stepped right in front of me, blocking my path. “Uncle Will, I finished collecting the herbs. I pray you, tell me what else can I do? Please-please-please?” I was kind of nervous, nothing was going smoothly, so instead of saying anything I slapped her. I don’t really know why I did, but it felt good. She got over it. She always does.
The real recipe: (see paragraph 7, lines 5-11)
Ingredients per person:
90 grams of guitar (square) spaghettini
2-3 medium fresh scampi or 50 grams of lobster/crab meat 50 grams of avocado 
50 grams of freshly diced tomato
A dash of lemon-lime juice
1-tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
A teaspoon of seeded, washed and diced chili-pepper Parsley 
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean and de-shell some scampi and/or lobster or crab. Make a reduction out of the shells (scampi) by toasting them, then add water and filter after. Put some salted water into a large pot to boil. Prepare the shellfish beforehand and slice into large chunks. Peel, seed, dice and season the tomatoes and mix them with some cubes of avocado, a dash of squeezed lemon and/or lime and some washed, seeded and diced red pepper. When the square ‘guitar’ spaghettini are ready, drain them incompletely and quickly mix the noodles with all the ingredients, including the parsley and fish reduction. Sprinkle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately.
…or go straight to the lobster. link to Crabbe or Lopster boiled (ancient recipes)…:

Wednesday Will: Shakespeare’s 12th Cheese, or Whatever

Shakespeare’s 12th Cheese, or Whatever

   “I will make an end of my dinner;/ There’s pippins and cheese to come.” The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1.2

As they often mistake the identity of the ingredients in many of Shakespeare’s recipes, diners often mistake what the cheeses are in his ‘12th Cheese’, usually on the menu at the Globe around Christmas time. It remains one of Shakespeare’s most loved winter desserts, with an almost cult following. Though in this version Castelmagno and Emmanthaler are specifically mentioned, any mix of cheeses can be used. Shakespeare wants us to have some fun with the dish: choose “Whatever” you like. Just be sure to accompany the cheeses with a surprising mix of delicious condiments.

The Ingredients of the Dish:
Enough cheese to make you burp for a week
The 12 Days of Christmas
A shipwreck
Lots of isms, (see Shylock’s Bruschetta)

The Chef of the Dish:

Some cheeses are born great, some cheeses age to greatness, and some cheeses have great sauces dribbled over them once plated. Be not afraid of serving cheese as a dessert. The trick is mixing them in such a way that their different flavors and textures combine harmoniously – but with surprise.

Though Englishmen usually prefer a sweeter end to our meals, in the fall and winter a cheese finish after a hearty roast can be like music to lovers: it keeps the meal lingering until all the guests are fully satisfied. I always recommend mixing at least 4 different kinds, varying the milk; sheep, goat, cow or some combination of the three; the texture, from a dry Castelmagno to a creamy raw milk Brie; and the savoriness, from a sharp Blue or Gorgonzola to a soft alpine Emmenthaler.  Of course the platter should be accompanied by appropriate condiments, letting the diners mix and match, from Dijon Mustard with lightly roasted green tea leaves incorporated to different blends and kinds of mostarda, then various kinds of honey and jelly.

Sometimes the cheeses’ flavors can get a little confounding though, particularly once their original flavors are transformed by adding one of the condiments. A regular guest kept coming back and having the same Pecorino over and over again and every time he would complain that it wasn’t as good as the first time. I tried to tell him, “Orsini, though your sharp eyes do well perceive the same faded cream color of the aged milk, yet that same keen sight short sights your nose and tongue. ‘Twas not the Fossa you did enjoy at the first but a cut from a brandless round that, sadly, a now retired herdsman’s daughter from a farther southern Italian hillside hamlet did prepare in exclusivity for our half-round kitchen. If I should have the tastiest fortune of having her sheep’s round come ‘round this Globe again, I do swear to keep and hold the savoriest piece for your well-appointed duke’s tongue.” He refused to believe me, saying that a woman’s tongue is too inconsistent to create such a deeply structured flavor. I didn’t want to argue the point: he’s a consistent client who always orders an expensive bottle or two of wine with dinner.

Anyway, eventually Viola – the cheese-maker’s name – and her brother did come back and I have a chunk from their lovely, fragrant cheese round stored for the duke as a Christmas gift. He usually stops in at least once during the holidays so he should be coming by any day now. I’ll serve it to him with a sweet Suave. And tell him the cheese is his favorite Pecorino di Fossa. The client is always right.

The real recipe:

Plop over to Dean & Deluca and buy a good variety of mostly imported cheeses and sauces. Try not to cry when you see the bill. Then lay them out for your guests after a pause following a heavy meal. Be sure to take the cheeses out of the fridge at least an hour before serving as most cheeses are to be served at room temperature, or at most cooled but not chilled. And try not to eat too far past the point where your stomach tells you, ‘man, you are gonna be really sick.’ You wouldn’t want to spend any days of Christmas laying flat on the couch…

link: a brief of history of cheese (and its usages. Even – I kid you not – in Roman cement)

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