28 May 2009

The Tiffany Gourmet Cookbook

John Loring is not the typical cookbook author. The Tiffany Gourmet Cookbook while lovely, is an elaborate marketing ploy as Loring's day job is design director at Tiffany’s. But frankly, my dear, we don't give a damn, because we love looking at tables set with food AND Tiffany china. So, after your Beloved has purchased that platinum set three-carat ring, what else can Tiffany’s sell you? Well place setting for the afore mentioned lovely table, of course. Silverware. Tea pots. Wine glasses. The lovely table covers the rich and famous use to cover their nifty tables.

But how do you sell enough plates after the Mayflower 500 ( the descendants of the Mayflower pilgrims, not to be confused with a NASCAR race) have their tables set? What happens if you were never invited to dinner with Yves Saint Laurent at his Paris home? Lost your invitation to Charlotte Ford’s Southampton luncheon? John Loring has the answer.

He photographs those lovely entertaining opportunities that you missed, sets the tables with cool Tiffany products and collects the recipes. Now you too, can be a Tiffany Gourmet.

My favorite from Loring’s book is dinner in San Miguel de Allende with photographer Deborah Turbeville. The table is set with rustic Mexican ceramics and while the serving plates may be local artisan ceramics, the serving bowls local squash, the plates are all Tiffany.

Squash, Chicken and Sausage Soup

1 winter squash (acorn, Hubbard, etc.) large enough to serve as a tureen
1 small chicken
1 tablespoon salt
cayenne to taste
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 pound cooked chorizo, sliced

cut off stem end of the squash, remove the seeds, and scoop out 1 pound of the flesh, leaving the squash shell to serve as a tureen to hold the soup. Put the squash shell on a baking sheet, and set it aside.

In a kettle cover the chicken with water, add the salt and 2 dashes of cayenne, bring the liquid to a boil, and simmer the chicken, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid, discard the skin and bones, and remove the meat. Cut the meat into pieces and return it to the cooking liquid in the kettle, add the carrots, celery, the scallions and chorizo, and simmer the mixture for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked. Meanwhile, bake the squash shell in a preheated 325F oven until it is warm. Ladle the soup into the squash shell, and serve the soup from the “tureen.”

Turbeville's most recent book, Casa No Name, features evocative pictures shot in her house in Mexico. Not at all like the pictures in The Tiffany Gourmet Cookbook. And by the by, I'll just bet some of those boys driving IN the Mayflower 500 have Tiffany plates on their tables, too.

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