The James Beard Project: Coming full circle this week

This week marks the return of the James Beard Project, and to start with, we’re bringing back the same slate of dishes we featured in Week 1. That means if you missed any of these great dishes the first time around, you have another chance to enjoy them!

Monday, Jan. 11 — Noodles with Cabbage
Sautéed Medallions of Pork Tenderloin with a French Grainy Mustard and Horseradish Cream Sauce (Beard on Pasta, p. 88)

Tuesday, Jan. 12 — Coq au Riesling
Braised Chicken in Riesling Wine Sauce (Beard on Pasta, p. 116)

Wednesday, Jan. 13 — Walnut-Breaded Filet of Sole With Lemon Aioli, Grape Tomato Salad and Roasted Baby Redskin Potatoes (The New James Beard, p. 199)

Thursday, Jan. 14 — Roast Duck with Cherries and Wild Rice (The New James Beard, p. 338)

Friday, Jan. 15 — Ossi Buchi with Orzo
Braised Veal Shanks with Orzo (Beard on Pasta, p. 140)

Saturday, Jan. 16 — Lamb Shanks with Beans (The New James Beard, p. 399)

Behind the Dish: Coq au Riesling

Today’s James Beard Project dish is inspired by the cuisine of the Alsace region of France, in the east along the Rhine River at the German border. The cooking of this area has, of course, been heavily influenced by German cuisine, and that influence shows here. Coq au Riesling is a variation on the traditional French coq au vin dish that, instead of using the usual red Burgundy wine, uses a sweet Alsatian white Riesling instead.

The chicken is browned in butter to which oil and flour are added. Salt pork then goes in to flavor the dish further. Its fat is rendered, and sliced mushrooms, shallots, onions and carrots are added. The chicken is flambéed with cognac and seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic before the Riesling is added and the dish is simmered. Following the simmering, the sauce is thickened with a beurre manié — a dough of equal parts soft butter and flour.

James Beard’s recipe calls for the completed Coq au Riesling to be served over pasta noodles, which figure largely in Alsatian cuisine. However, we’re substituting a traditional German form of noodle, the small dumplings known (and again, well known to many ethnic Clevelanders) as spätzle. We think they do an excellent job of soaking up the rich, delicious sauce. Of course, there’s one way for you to find out, and we highly recommend that you stop by tonight to conduct your own taste test…perhaps with a nice glass of Riesling alongside.

Bistro 185 Presents: The James Beard Project

We mentioned earlier that in the wake of the success of the Julia Project, Bistro 185 was going to keep exploring the work of the country’s greatest chefs — and now our newest project is ready for unveiling. “The James Beard Project: A Salute to American Icons in Food” will feature four weeks’ worth of new James Beard-inspired entrees each evening. And, just as with the Julia Project, we’ll be blogging about them right here and letting you know from which cookbooks we’re drawing the recipes.

Here’s what’s in store for Week 1, which begins tomorrow night. Be sure to join us for great dishes inspired by James Beard!

Monday, Nov. 2 — Noodles with Cabbage
Sautéed Medallions of Pork Tenderloin with a French Grainy Mustard and Horseradish Cream Sauce (Beard on Pasta, p. 88)

Tuesday, Nov. 3 — Coq au Riesling
Braised Chicken in Riesling Wine Sauce (Beard on Pasta, p. 116)

Wednesday, Nov. 4 — Walnut-Breaded Filet of Sole
With Lemon Aioli, Grape Tomato Salad and Roasted Baby Redskin Potatoes (The New James Beard, p. 199)

Thursday, Nov. 5 — Roast Duck with Cherries and Wild Rice
(The New James Beard, p. 338)

Friday, Nov. 6 — Ossi Buchi with Orzo
Braised Veal Shanks with Orzo (Beard on Pasta, p. 140)

Saturday, Nov. 7 — Lamb Shanks with Beans
(The New James Beard, p. 399)

Keep checking this blog to read “Behind the Dish” features and descriptions of these great entrees and many others we’re featuring this fall. We’ll also be posting a video soon of last night’s Halloween fun, featuring some of the delicious meals being ordered. So don’t be away for long!