Cold Comfort : Food That Will Give You the Chills

While it is totally untrue that we caused last week's hot spell to publicize this Cold Foods issue, we do take some pride in having foreseen that from June on, the weather around here gets warmish. You wouldn't want to eat hot food in this weather, but you certainly wouldn't want to be bored in it either. Since the summer bids to be long and at least pretty hot, here is a budget of surprises: things you might not expect to eat cold.

Short ribs: steaming with noodles, smoking from the barbecue pit. Or maybe not, if you turn 12 pounds of them into this ultra-meaty, and thoroughly cold, terrine.


(From Citrus' Michel Richard)

12 pounds lean short ribs


Freshly ground black pepper

2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half crosswise

1 onion, coarsely chopped

3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped

2 bay leaves

10 sprigs thyme

2 quarts chicken stock

Coarse salt

Assorted steamed vegetables

Herb Vinaigrette

Season short ribs to taste with salt and pepper. Place in 8- to 10-quart roasting pan. Scatter celery, carrots, garlic, onion, tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme over ribs. Make second layer of ribs if necessary. Pour in chicken stock to cover ingredients. Place over high heat and bring to boil. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees 3 hours.

Cool cooked ribs just enough to handle. Remove bones, fat and gristle from short ribs, leaving meaty portions in 1 piece. Line 8x4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting wrap extend over edges. Place hot meat pieces lengthwise in pan as close together as possible. Layer until pan is filled. Fold plastic wrap over meat to cover. Place second 8x4-inch loaf pan on top, pressing down firmly to remove any air pockets. Pour off excess fat or juices. Place weight in top loaf pan and chill until firm.

Remove top pan, unwrap surface of terrine, and invert pan onto work surface. Lift off loaf pan and plastic wrap. Cut terrine into 1/2-inch slices. Place on oven-proof serving plates and reheat until warm, sprinkling little coarse salt over each slice. Accompany with steamed vegetables and spoonful of Herb Vinaigrette. Terrine may also be served cold. Makes 12 servings.

Herb Vinaigrette

1 or 2 shallots, minced

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped chives

Combine shallots, egg yolk, mustard and vinegar in bowl. Blend in olive oil. Fold in chives. Cover and set aside until needed. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Where's the salad spoon? Cook some greens and some peas, chill them and decorate with whipped cream and you have a two-toned, ice cold salad soup.


1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 cup thinly sliced leeks

3 tablespoons flour

1 quart chicken broth

1 (16-ounce) package frozen peas

1 cup watercress

1 cup torn Boston lettuce

1 teaspoon lemon juice

White pepper

1/4 cup whipping cream

2 teaspoons pureed pimiento

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Saute leeks until tender. Mix in flour. Stir in broth and 3/4 package frozen peas. Simmer few minutes. Add watercress, lettuce and lemon juice. Puree mixture in food processor. Season to taste with white pepper. Cover and chill well.

Rinse remaining 1/4 package frozen peas. Add to chilled soup.

Just before serving, whip cream to soft peaks. Add pimiento puree and blend well. (Add drop red food color, if desired, for pinkish hue.) Spoon a swirl onto each bowl of soup. Makes 6 servings.

Sweetbreads aren't sweet and they aren't bread, but this delicate organ meat goes very comfortably into a salad when sauteed with walnuts. Tomato sorbet, now--that is sweet.


(From Rockenwagner Restaurant)

4 whole sweetbreads

Salt, pepper

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

8 cups mixed salad greens (mache, arugula, endive and basil)

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

8 scoops Tomato Sorbet

Sour Cream

Basil leaves

Soak sweetbreads in salted ice water 2 hours, changing water whenever it becomes cloudy. Drain. Place in large saucepan and add cold water to cover 2 inches above. Bring to boil over high heat. Drain and plunge in ice water 5 minutes. Drain. Peel off most of outer membranes, allowing to separate into small pieces. Let dry thoroughly and spread out on paper towels. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In skillet over medium heat, add thin layer of oil. Saute sweetbreads until crispy and golden brown. Add walnuts and saute few minutes.

Mix greens in salad bowl. Toss with dressing to taste (mix 3 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among individual chilled plates. Place scoop Tomato Sorbet in center and surround with sweetbread nuggets and chopped walnuts. Garnish with sour cream and basil leaves. Makes 8 servings.

Tomato Sorbet

6 tomatoes, peeled and seeded

Sugar Syrup

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon chopped chives

Combine tomatoes, Sugar Syrup, lemon juice and tomato paste in blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer mixture to large stainless steel bowl. Add salt and white pepper. Stir in chives and place bowl in freezer.

Remove from freezer every 5 minutes to stir until mixture is consistency of sherbet. If ice crystals form, blend mixture second time. Cover and store sorbet in freezer until ready to use.

Note: Or place pureed mixture in ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Sugar Syrup

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

Combine water and sugar in saucepan over high heat. Bring to boil then cool.

The raspberries here are raspberries, but the angel is actually a frangel, or whatever it is that Frangelico liqueur is made from.


1 cup raspberries

3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup mascarpone cheese

1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

1 tablespoon Frangelico liqueur

1 pint French vanilla ice cream

Stir together raspberries and 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside.

Blend together cheese, 2 tablespoons nuts, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and liqueur.

Spoon few raspberries into bottom of parfait glasses. Add scoop ice cream and top with cheese mixture. Repeat layering, then sprinkle nuts over top. Makes 4 parfaits.

Everybody loves sundaes. Here you get toasted pecans and two sauces.


8 pecan halves

Powdered sugar

Chocolate-Brandy Sauce

Butterscotch Sauce

French vanilla ice cream

Whipped cream

Place pecan halves in skillet over medium heat. Toast few minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Heat until sugar melts, stirring frequently. Remove nuts from skillet onto plate and let cool.

Place 1 tablespoon each Chocolate and Butterscotch Sauces in bottom of tall parfait or sundae glass. Add 3 pecan halves. Top with scoop French vanilla ice cream. Add another tablespoon each Chocolate and Butterscotch Sauces.

Top with large scoop vanilla ice cream. Cover with another tablespoon each of sauces. Pipe or dollop with whipped cream. Garnish with remaining 2 pecan halves. Makes 2 servings.

Chocolate-Brandy Sauce

1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup brandy

2/3 cup whipping cream

Combine chocolate, butter, brandy and whipping cream in top of double boiler over simmering water. Heat until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Makes about 2 1/3 cups sauce.

Butterscotch Sauce

1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed

2/3 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup butter

3/4 cup whipping cream

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in saucepan. Bring to boil and boil until temperature reaches 230 degrees on candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in whipping cream. Return to heat and mix well until smooth. Keep warm. Makes about 2 1/3 cups sauce.


1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

6 egg yolks, beaten

1 vanilla bean

2 cups whipping cream

Mix sugar, salt, milk and egg yolks in saucepan. Add vanilla bean. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to boil. Remove from heat.

Immediately place in pan of cold water. Cool. Discard vanilla bean.

Add cream and chill thoroughly in refrigerator. Pour into ice cream freezer canister. Freeze following manufacturer's directions. Ripen several hours before using. Makes about 2 quarts.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World