Quail à la Roden

A few excellent ingredients is sometimes all you need to cook a wonderful dish. In this case you need quail, shallot, olive oil, butter, sage and Marsala.
We love the delicate, pleasantly intense flavour of quails. They are great to combine with strong flavours like bay leaf, pancetta and prunes but in this case, we follow a recipe by Claudia Roden, as published in her excellent book The Food of Italy. We tweaked it a bit, so please buy Claudia Roden’s book when you want to make the original.
Marsala is a fortified wine from Sicily. Perhaps you know it as something sold in small bottles, especially for cooking purposes. Never buy this nasty product because it can’t be compared to real Marsala. Same story for the small ‘Madeira’ bottles.
Quails must be sufficiently fat and undamaged. We prefer the French label rouge quails. Not cheap, but a wealth of flavours. 

Wine Pairing

The dish comes with a gentle, intense and slightly sweet taste thanks to the sage, the marsala and the quail. You could go for a medium bodied red wine. We enjoyed a glass of Domaine Vico Corse Le Bois du Cerf Rosé 2021 with our quail. This is an exceptional rosé from Corsica. It is made from grenache and sciacarello grapes. It is medium bodied and fresh with aromas of red fruit. Its taste is complex, long and fruity.

What You Need

  • 2 Quails
  • 1 Shallot
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • 4 Leaves of Sage
  • Dry or Medium Dry Marsala
  • Chicken Stock
  • Black Pepper

What You Do

Clean the inside of the quail with a bit of kitchen paper and remove anything that’s left. Check for remaining feathers and shafts. Gently fry the chopped shallot in butter and olive oil until soft. Remove the shallot from the pan, increase the temperature and fry the quails until golden-brown. Reduce the heat, add shallot and sage. Pour in marsala and stock. Cook the quails for 20 minutes until done, turning them over regularly. Transfer the quails to a warm oven (60˚ C or 140˚ F). Reduce the sauce, taste, add black pepper, perhaps some freshly chopped sage and diced cold butter to thicken the sauce. Serve the quail on top of the sauce.
Claudia Roden serves the quails with risotto. 

The Silver Palate

Think about the US, think about food and you’ll end up thinking about fast food, pale fries, endless portions of meat and bagels and waffles, sweetened orange juice and blueberry muffins with too much sugar. Which is such a pity, because the US cuisine is so much more and diverse. Just think about, eh, well, yes, eh…

The Shop

Which is exactly the reason why we bought The Silver Palate Cookbook, written by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, with Michael McLaughlin. It’s the story of two young, motivated people, Julee and Sheila, one from marketing with a passion for cooking and the other a graduate from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Both were trying and struggling to balance work, family, hobbies and interest. One day they came up with the idea of setting up a shop where people could buy great food, to take home and ‘graciously serve as their own’, solving one of the problems in their own life. And so, mid-July 1977, they opened their gourmet food shop in New York, selling Tarragon Chicken Salad, Nutted Wild Rice, Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheese Straws and on and on.

The Book

The shop was more than successful and in 1981 they were asked to write a cookbook. It was published in 1982 and not much later it was published in various languages. The Silver Palate Cookbook was a huge success, and still is.

The book includes a wealth of recipes, ranging from finger food, dazzlers, soups, pasta to game, stew pots, vegetables, sweets and brunch drinks. The book is very well designed, with beautiful drawings and pictures. Next to the recipes you’ll find interesting background information and tips. It’s a pleasure to read recipes for dishes such as Glazed Blueberry Chicken (with homemade blueberry vinegar and thyme, so not overly sweet at all!), Clam Chowder or Sorrel Soup.

The 25th Anniversary Edition of The Silver Palate cookbook is available via your local bookstore and the well-known channels for approximately US$ 17,00 or € 22,00.

Symposium on the History of Food

Next year on February 11th and 12th, the 7th Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food will take place in Amsterdam. You can also join online, for € 40,00 only. Lunch not included of course. This year’s theme is Food and the Environment: The Dynamic Relationship Between Food Practices and Nature

Program

The key note will be delivered by Ewout Frankema, Professor of Rural and Environmental History at the Dutch Wageningen University and research fellow of the UK Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). Amongst the speaker are Christian Reynolds on The evolution of “sustainable” and vegetarian recipes from manuscripts and cookbooks to online and Amber Striekwold on The Dutch Alternative Food Movement.

Ceremony

On Friday 11th the program will close with the Prize-giving ceremony of the 2022 Johannes van Dam Prize and the 2022 Joop Witteveen Prize. Previous winners of the prestigious Johannes van Dam Prize include Yotam Ottolenghi, John Halvemaan, Carlo Petrini, Alice Waters, Claudia Roden and Alain Passard (see picture).

Join the Symposium

Additional information and the registration form are available on the website of the symposium.

Alain Passard speeches after having received the Johannes van Dam Prize 2019 © cadwu
Alain Passard speeches after having received the Johannes van Dam Prize 2019 © cadwu

This Week was Special-A

This week on Friday and Saturday the annual Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food took place at the main auditorium of the University of Amsterdam. Such a pleasure to listen to great papers presented, discussing the origin of umani or the history of Byzantine taste (presented by Anouk Everts). The key-note was delivered by Peter Klosse. He made many interesting points with regard to taste and flavour. His analysis of Mouth Feel is food for thought and discussion.
PS Garum as used in the Byzantine kitchen is a fish sauceIt is made from fermented fish (sardines for instance) and salt. It goes back to Roman times. Fun to make, actually….

Johannes van Dam prize

Yotam Ottolenghi received the prestigious Johannes van Dam prize. The jury, chaired by professor Louise O. Fresco, mentioned Yotam’s impressive contribution to current Dutch and International cuisine. The prize is named after culinary writer and critic Johannes van Dam who was not only known for his reviews of restaurant but also for his massive collection of books on food and drinks. Mr. Ottolenghi was very pleased to receive the prize (as you can see in the picture!)

Joop Witteveen prize

Antwerpen a la carte was the winner in the Academic category, the Joop Witteveen Prize. A book that discusses not only the history of food in the port city of Antwerpen, but also today’s role of a (hungry) city in the area of food production and consumption. Main authors are Ilja van Damme and Leen Beyers. The book is linked to an exposition at the MAS in Antwerp.
More information about the papers can be found on the website of the conference.