04 June 2009

New American Classics

Jeremiah Tower was one of the first cooks at Chez Panisse in the 1970’s. He was a bad-boy chef before every guy in a chef's jacket was screaming bleeping obscenities from your television screen. In the 1980’s Food & Wine described him as, “one of the most fascinating and influential characters on the restaurant scene today.”

After conflicts with Alice Waters, Tower eventually open his restaurant, Stars, in 1984. Stars was a breeding ground for a host of chefs including Mario Batali and Emily Luchetti.

The 1986 winner for “Best American Regional Cookbook” at the James Beard Foundation Awards was Jeremiah Tower's New American Classics. While some of the photos look dated, if you reshot them and reprinted the recipes it could still be titled New American Classics some twenty years later.

Grilled Chicken Paillard with Ancho Chili Butter

2 large chicken breasts, skinned, boned
5 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1/4 cup olive oil
6 ounces unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
8 wedges lime or lemon

Put the chicken pieces between 2 pieces of heavy plastic and pound with the side of a cleaver until 3/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Mix two tablespoons of the chili powder and the oil in a pan just large enough to hold the paillards in one layer. Add the palliards and marinate for 3 hours turning occasionally.

Make the ancho butter by combining 3 tablespoons chili powder with the butter and the salt. Let stand two hours to develop its flavors.. If the butter is in the refrigerator, be sure to remove it to let it soften and whisk to get it to the right serving texture.

Cook the paillards on a hot charcoal grill for 2 minutes on each side. Serve with ancho butter on top and garnish with lime and lemon slices.

Recently, Tower wrote and tell-all about life during the heady days of the birth of “California Cuisine” entitled appropriately California Dish: What I Saw (and Cooked) at the American Culinary Revolution. The bad-boy is now the bad uncle of American cuisine but he can still cook!

Check out Emily Luchetti's Classic Stars Desserts from an earlier post.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin