This week’s Sopranos could not have been more at odds with this week’s menu. The episode felt sudden and rushed: when did Tony develop a fast and furious gambling addiction? When did things turn sour between Carmela and Tony? And how (un)believable is it that Hesh’s young wife died from a stroke (according to the HBO website)?
Lindsay’s menu, however, benefited from a slow, well-measured execution: ribs were marinated overnight, and then slow baked; succulent chicken wings spent hours simmering in a Sage and pancetta broth; anchovies were slowly browned to perfection.
Will the show slow down to catch up with the food?
Episode IV Menu
1 pound sliced Bresaola (air dried Italian meat, available at specialty stores)
1-1/2 cups watercress or arugula
4 ounces hard Parmesan
Dress greens with a mix of olive oil and lemon juice. Shave parmesan with vegetable peeler. Assemble cigars by rolling greens and shaved cheese inside round of meat. Place seam side down on serving platter and sprinkle with lemon juice.
Fried Bocarones with Lemon Aioli
One garlic clove
1 teaspoon sea salt
One egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4–1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for frying
1/2 pound bocarones (vinegar or oil cured white anchovies, available at specialty stores)
1/4 cup flour
Sliced, toasted baguette
Mash clove of garlic with flat part of knife and mix with salt to make a paste. Whisk in egg yolk, mustard, and lemon juice until well combined. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Add pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Coat non-stick pan with olive oil. Lightly dredge fish in flour and brown over medium-high heat.
Top toasted bread with a layer of aioli and one bocarone.
Pancetta and Sage Chicken Wings
I’d kill a thousand little chickens for these wings. So tasty … so, so tasty.
Ten garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1-1/2 pound chicken wings
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
One bottle pale ale
Twenty Sage leaves
Poach garlic cloves in olive oil for half an hour over low heat. The cloves should be soft but not brown. Drain garlic cloves and reserve oil. Mash cloves with tablespoon water.
In cast iron saucepan, brown chicken wings in garlic oil. After all the wings have been browned, set aside and brown pancetta. Remove pancetta and deglaze pan with sherry vinegar. Add bottle of beer, Sage leaves, chicken, garlic mash, and pancetta and a squeeze of lemon. Simmer for 30–45 minutes uncovered, then cover and simmer an additional 1–2 hours.
Paprika Glazed Ribs with Cauliflower Puree
Lindsay knows how to make ribs. I have had her rib incarnation three or four times now and they just seem to keep getting better. If you plan on making these, note they must be marinated overnight. Well worth it.
4 pounds pork spareribs, cut into individual ribs
Six garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
Rub ribs with paprika and salt. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add garlic and gently sauté 7–8 minutes (do not allow to brown). Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 20–30 minutes until thickened. Allow sauce to cool and come to room temperature. Marinate ribs overnight in sauce.
Heat oven to 275º F. Bake ribs in marinade for 4 hours. Brush with barbeque sauce (see below) and finish on the grill over indirect heat, making sure glaze does not burn.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic
1 cup ketchup
1 cup honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
Heat olive oil and sauté garlic. Remove from heat and let garlic cool. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat.
One head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
Boil 2 quarts salted water. Add cauliflower florets, boil for about ten minutes, or until tender. Drain. Place in Cuisinart and puree with cream and oil. Add salt to taste.
Plate with a layer of puree under ribs. Watch the faces of your guests melt under the tangy sauce of ribs accompanied by rich, smooth taste of puree.
“The Sopranos with Lindsay” is a weekly cooking column that will run for eight episodes, or until Tony is killed. Get your menu here and watch the show on HBO, Sundays at 9 p.m. See last week’s recipes here.