Wickwood's Kitchen ---
LE GRAND AIOLI
The centerpiece of Le Grand Aioli, The Great Summer
Feast of Provence, often called “the sunshine of provence” and it is
the greenish gold garlicky mayonnaise made with a mortar and pestle.
That is it’s secret. Neither doctored store bought, nor blender
mayonnaise will do. It must be made in the traditional way for the
flavor to be truly superb. When combined with the Summer’s freshest
vegetables straight from the garden and some poached fish, it truly
becomes a feast from the heavens! We always like to have plenty of
Aioli and so you need to make two batches of the following recipe,
one at a time. It can be made ahead of time, but gets stronger over
time. Serves 12
• 8 garlic cloves, peeled
• 2 egg yolks, at room temperature, whisked juice of 1 lemon
• Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
• 1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil, not the greenest, nor strongest; or
half grapeseed (or sunflower) and half olive oil, to taste.
Crush the garlic cloves
in a mortar with a pinch of coarse sea salt until you get a paste.
Whisk in the egg yolks. Then drop by drop, drizzle in about ½ cup of
the oil, whisking continuously. Don’t rush it here. As the aioli
begins to thicken, the oil can be added in a thin, steady stream.
Whisk just until the aioli is stiff. Set aside.
These are strictly up to you. They depend on your taste, your
garden or the Farmer’s Market, and how long you want to feast.
For 12 people, I usually make:
|• 18 hardboiled eggs
• 24 small gold or red beets, roasted
• 24 Fingerling or 24 Red Potatoes, boiled
• 36-48 baby carrots, roasted
• 3 pounds of green beans, blanched
• 48-60 Heirloom Cherry/Pear Tomatoes
• 2 pounds zucchini, sliced
• 2 pounds broccoli or cauliflower, trimmed
• 2 pounds chickpeas, roasted
• 6 large red and yellow peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced
• 2 pounds of sugar snaps
• 12 small salmon or cod fillets, poached and chilled
• Assorted garlic sausages and carpaccio, thinly sliced.
Present all of the
vegetables in mounds, on a platter laden with dark green lettuce
leaves. Place the aioli in bowls of hollowed out vegetables, nestle
in the fish and meats and serve with plenty of napkins and rose.
LINGUINE WITH TOMATOES AND BASIL
When our heirloom tomatoes are at
their prime one of the first dishes we think of making is one that
we first tasted in Italy many many years ago. It’s perfect for those
lazy days of Summer when you don’t want to cook, but still want
something scrumptious. The secret ingredient is the Brie which melts,
creating an instant sauce! You can also use mozzarella and Roquefort,
St. Andre or l’Explorateur. It’s lovely. Serves 6-8
|• 8 large
ripe tomatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes, or loads of heirloom cherry
or pear shapes, cut in half
• 1 pound Brie, rind removed, cut into bite sized pieces
• 1 cup fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and cut into strips
• 3-6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced (to taste)
• ½ cup best-quality olive oil
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 pound linguine
• Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. At least 2 hours before serving,
combine the tomatoes, Brie, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and
pepper in a large serving bowl.
2. At serving time, bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil in a large
pot. Add the linguine, and boil until tender but still firm, 8 to 10
3. Drain the pasta and immediately toss well with the tomato sauce.
Serve at once, passing the peppermill, and the grated
Parmigiano-Reggiano. Smell the sea breezes, even if you’re not near.
TARRAGON CHICKEN SALAD
Long our house chicken salad --- sometimes we toss in green grapes,
tart dried cherries, or blueberries for variety --- but we never
tire of this. It’s simply the best. Serves 4
pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 2 cups skim milk, or chicken broth
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 cup mayonnaise, preferably Hellman’s
• 4 celery ribs, cut into 1 inch-long pencil strips
• 1 cup shelled walnuts
• 1 tablespoon crumbled dried tarragon, or to taste
• Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to
2. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer on a large baking
sheet. Pour milk or broth around chicken. Bake until cooked through,
40-45 minutes, turning once midway. Remove from the oven and cool to
3. Shred the meat by hand into bite-sized pieces and transfer to
bowl. Do not cut. This makes all the difference in the texture
4. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise to the chicken and combine
well. Add the celery, walnuts, tarragon and salt and pepper. Toss,
taste and adjust the seasonings.
5. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours to blend the flavors.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Lovely served in a lettuce leaf.
SHRIMP AND GRAPE SALAD WITH DILL
A simply great Summertime Salad for lunch or dinner. Serves 6
pounds medium-sized raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 cup prepared mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann’s
• 2 cups seedless green grapes, washed and pattered dry
• ½ cup chopped fresh dill, or more to taste
• Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a
boil and drop in the shrimp. Wait 1 minute, or until shrimp are
just pink, empty the pot into a strainer. Let the shrimp cool in the
colander. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl
2. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise to the shrimp and toss gently.
Add the grapes and toss again. Sprinkle on the dill, add the pepper
and toss once more. Taste and add salt to taste. Refrigerate,
covered, for at least 4 hours to blend tastes. Before serving,
GRILLED CHICKEN WITH LEMON AND OLIVES
Crisp lemon-flavored chicken accented with garlic and black and
green olives. We love to serve this with grilled vegetables and our
Nutted Bulgar Salad for an easy Al Fresco supper. Serves six to
• 2 chickens (2½ to 3 pounds) quartered
• 2 lemons, thinly sliced
• 12 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup olive oil
• ½ cup Cognac
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 cup Nicoise olives
• 1 cup Spanish Green olives
1. One day before serving, place the
chicken pieces in a shallow dish. Combine the lemons, garlic, oil,
Cognac and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the chicken, and
marinate overnight in the refrigerator, turning the pieces
2. Prepare hot coals with some mesquite for grilling the chicken.
3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill several inches
above the hot coals until the juices run clear when the thickest
part of a thigh is pierced. When the chicken is almost done, heat
the marinade and the olives over low heat until hot.
4. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and spoon the olive
mixture generously over the pieces. Serve immediately.
A dessert that can only be made for a few weeks every Summer --- but
well worth the wait!! You can use yellow or white peaches for this,
or a combination --- just make sure they’re ripened to perfection.
The almond extract heightens the flavor!
|• 4 cups
peeled and sliced ripe peaches
• 2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• ¼ teaspoon almond extract
• 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• ¼ cup milk
• 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
• 3 to 4 tablespoons peach brandy
1. Preheat the oven to
400°F. Butter a 2 quart baking dish.
2. Arrange the peaches in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the 2/3 cup
sugar, the lemon zest and juice and the almond extract.
3. Bake for 20 minutes
4. While the peaches are baking, sift the flour, 1 tablespoon of the
remaining sugar, the baking powder and salt together into a bowl.
Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Combine
the beaten egg and mild and mix into the dry ingredients until just
5. Remove the peaches from the oven and quickly drop the dough by
large spoonfuls over the surface. Sprinkle with the remaining 2
tablespoons sugar. Return to the oven until the top is firm and
golden brown, 15-20 minutes
6. Whip the cream into soft peaks. Flavor with the peach brandy to
7. Serve the cobbler warm, accompanied by giant dollops of softly