CI DISPIACE ... That's Italian for "we regret" incorrectly spelling the name of Auricchio Cheese Inc., in our June 6 story on the Americanization of foreign cheeses.
THE TOP 10 "best new chefs in America" selected by Food & Wine magazine includes Roberto Donna, owner/chef of Washington's Galileo and I Matti restaurants. Donna was named earlier this month during the magazine's yearly food extravaganza in Aspen at which he prepared his ragout cuttlefish for the awards banquet. Cuttlefish is a cousin of squid and can be obtained locally through some specialty fish markets. RAGOUT CUTTLEFISH COOKED IN ITS OWN INK (4 servings)
2 pounds fresh cuttlefish
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
6 fresh basil leaves
10 ounces dry white wine
1 teaspoon salt, plus to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces fish stock, bottled clam broth or cooking liquid from the cuttlefish
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Have the fishmonger clean the cuttlefish, separating tentacles from bodies, reserving the ink sacs (the latter are essential). Finely chop the onion. Thinly slice the garlic and basil leaves.
Combine 2 quarts water, 5 ounces wine and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the cuttlefish tentacles and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cuttlefish bodies and continue simmering for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain the cuttlefish and keep warm.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Saute' the onion, garlic and basil leaves over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the remaining 5 ounces of wine and boil until reduced by half.
Add the fish stock and tomato sauce and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes. Add the cuttlefish ink (gently squeeze it out of the sacs) and gently simmer the sauce for 30 seconds. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, spoon the sauce onto plates or ladle it into shallow bowls. Arrange the cuttlefish pieces on top. Polenta is Donna's preferred accompaniment.
Per serving: calories, gm protein, gm carbohydrates, gm fat, gm saturated fat, mg cholesterol, mg sodium.
A NEW CHOC ON THE BLOCK should appeal to those chocolate lovers who are always on the lookout for a new taste seduction. Swerdloff's Russian Chocolates may not be as fancy as Godiva or all-American as Whitman's, but they rank right up there with some of the best we've tried.
Made at the Kiev Bakery, in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn and staffed by Russian families, the chocolates are as silky as can be and have a rich cocoa flavor. The so-named Mishka, Odessa, Bellechka, Charodeyka and Margarita treats (each with a different filling or blend) are colorfully wrapped and sell for about 55 to 60 cents apiece at Sutton Place Gourmet stores, the Tivoli store in Rosslyn and La Prima eateries around town.
A ROSY RED LOBSTER is a ready-to-eat lobster, according to Herbie Hodgkins of Hancock, Maine, president of the Maine Lobster Pound Association. "When it's all red, it's done," says Hodgkins. "If the color isn't there, it isn't done."
Note that the emphasis should be on all. It's the word to remember when you become confused by the plethora of conflicting (boiling's best, no steam 'em) lobster instructions that summer brings: this many inches of water in that big a pot for whatever time plus so many minutes per pound ...
It doesn't matter. Whatever the instructions, if the math works out to 19 1/2 minutes (and you're not sure whether to start the timer just as the first bubble appears or when the pot starts to rumble), it's still what the lobster looks like that tells you it's done.
Take a periodic peek as the time approaches. The lobster isn't ready, even if the timer says it is, if there are dark areas on the claws and/or body that haven't turned fully from dark green to rosy red -- all rosy red.
HOISIN-GLAZED CHICKEN THIGHS
Crunchy with toasted sesame seeds and marinated in rich Chinese barbecue sauce, this savory chicken is great cut in strips as an appetizer, too.
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 to 2 quarter-sized pieces of fresh ginger root, peeled and slivered
1/4 cup hoisin sauce*
3 tablespoons mango chutney or apricot preserves
2 teaspoons rice* or cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons corn or sesame oil
4 to 5 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Preheat broiler for 5 minutes. Mix garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, chutney, vinegar, pepper and oil. Stir chicken into the marinade. Sprinkle top of chicken with sesame seeds.
Broil chicken 3 inches from broiler for 3 minutes (place chicken on a cake cooling rack set on a baking sheet for best heat circulation while cooking). Turn, sprinkle with sesame seeds and broil 3 minutes. Turn and broil 2 to 3 minutes more. Serve with fresh asparagus.
*available in Oriental grocery stores Per serving: 426 calories, 30 gm protein, 27 gm carbohydrates, 22 gm fat, 5 gm saturated fat, 106 mg cholesterol, 213 mg sodium.
-- Leslie Bloom