Art Culinaire
The International Magazine of Good Taste

84 pages; Full Color and Black & White photographs. Hardcover
Culinaire Inc. Madison, NJ, Fall Issue 2004 Vol. 74
Reviewed for Good Cooking by Michael Costantini

Good Cooking believes that Art Culinaire is one of, if not the best professional publication dedicated to artistic food presentations in the cutting edge realm of culinary arts. The next time you dine out and experience a Wow! presentation, know that the chef probably borrowed the idea from an issue of Art Culinaire. Art Culinaire has been published since the Summer of 1986 by Culinaire, Inc. Franz Mitterer, Publisher.

The review--- Looking for a cookbook that not only looks great on your coffee table but which can also challenge the most accomplished chef. Look no further. Art Culinaires vibrant pictures and well-detailed recipes from chefs all over the world is an excellent addition to any professional chef s library.

Art Culinaires quarterly magazine might be a little pricey for a magazine at $59.00 a year, but the great articles, interviews with chefs, hard bound cover, and super sophisticated recipes might be well worth the price for a serious foody. Art Culinaire is not a cookbook for the inexperienced chef or for someone on a limited budget. The recipes are very elaborate and will lose anyone who does not have a firm understanding of cooking techniques and a pantry stocked full of ingredients such as truffle oil or Fleur de sel. There seems to be a few recipes that are not budget breakers, which the home cook could tackle, but the costly subscription rate should keep it off most bookshelves.

Chicken with Farmer's Market Vegetables

Ingredients:For the chicken:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 3-pound organic chickens
salt and pepper to taste
For the Bouillon:
12 ounce assorted wild Mushrooms
1 gallon chicken stock
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
3 cloves garlic, peeled
4 large carrots, turned
1 medium rutabaga, turned
12 baby turnips, trimmed and peeled
6 baby gold beets, trimmed and peeled
12 small fingerling potatoes, peeled
3 baby fennel, trimmed and halved
3 small leeks, trimmed and halved
10 ounces ground chicken
5 egg whites
1 small tomato, finely chopped
Juice of a lemon
2 teaspoons stemmed and roughly chopped parsley
2 teaspoons stemmed and roughly chopped chervil
2 teaspoons roughly chopped chives
Salt and white pepper to taste

For the Garnish:
Marjoram Sprigs

For the chicken:
In a large pot over medium heat, add oil. Season chickens and sear until brown on all sides, remove from pot and set aside.

For the Bouillon:
In the same pot used for the chickens, over medium heat, add mushrooms; saute for four minutes; remove from pot and set aside. Drain fat from pot and add chicken stock, chickens, and a sachet of the thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, skimming surface as necessary. Add carrots, rutabaga, turnips, beets, potatoes, fennel and leeks; simmer until vegetables are tender. Remove chickens and vegetables and set aside. Discard Sachet. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer for 15 minutes, skimming surface frequently. Refrigerate bouillon to chill. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, combine ground chicken, egg whites, tomatoes and lemon juice, whisking until combined. Add chicken mixture to bouillon and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 10 minutes until a raft forms. Strain consomm through a coffee filter-lined fine-mesh sieve. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Cut chicken into serving pieces and lay on a sheet pan with reserved vegetables; place in oven to heat. Bring bouillon to a boil and add chopped herbs.

To serve:
Arrange chicken and vegetables in a shallow soup bowl and ladle broth over top. Garnish with marjoram sprigs. I found this recipe to be a little more approachable than the rest of the recipes in the book. Most ingredients being available at my local grocery store and not as expensive as some other recipes in the book whose main ingredient is Kobe beef. The hearty vegetables really hit the spot on a cold night and the great tip on using a coffee filter to remove some of the impurities in the consomm will be one I use again in the future.

Forest Harvest Mushroom Tart with Vela Jack

For the oven dried tomatoes;
15 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, halved and seeded
Salt to taste
sugar to taste
cup olive oil
15 sprigs thymes, halved

For the Tart dough:
1 cup all purpose flour
3 ounces butter, cubed and chilled
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons ice water
Cornmeal as needed

For the filling:
3 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups chanterelle mushrooms
2 cups black trumpet mushrooms
6 slices Vela Jack cheese*
Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups mixed greens
18 asparagus tips, blanched
salt and pepper to taste

For the Garnish:
Thyme sprigs
Freshly ground black pepper
* A dry aged Monterey jack cheese from California

For the oven dried tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Toss tomatoes in salt, sugar and olive oil. Place tomatoes on a parchment-lined sheet pan and top each with a sprig of thyme. Dry in oven overnight, or for several hours, until shriveled but not entirely dried out. Set aside to cool

For the tart dough:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, add flour, butter and salt, mixing to a coarse meal. Slowly add water and mix until dough just comes together. Form into a flat disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for three hours. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into six 4-inch squares, brush with water and sprinkle with cornmeal. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside.

For the filling:
In a saute pan, melt butter and saute shallots for one minute. Add mushrooms and saute for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Preheat Salamander. Cover each tart with dried tomatoes, pressing them into dough, and top with mushrooms and a slice of cheese. Heat tarts under a salamander until cheese melts.

For the salad:
In a bowl, combine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Add oil, whisking until incorporated. Toss greens and asparagus with vinaigrette.

To serve:
Place tart on a plate with salad. Garnish tart with thyme and sprinkle with black pepper.

Though there are a few steps in this recipe that require a bit of advanced planning, once those steps are out of the way these appetizers are a quick tasty treat that went over well with my housemates. Home cooks might not have a salamander at their disposal, but a little time under the broiler seemed to do the trick just as well. I am always looking for new tart recipes and I think that this one will be stowed away for future use.

Mateo Granados is Executive Chef at Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen in the Hotel Healdsburg, Healdsburg, Northern Sonoma Valley, California

'2004 by Good Cooking, Inc.