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Old Copies of Bon Appetit


Barbara
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Do any of you have a stack of Bon Appetit from 1990 to 1991? The MLK Library downtown has tossed theirs from before 2007. I am looking for a specific Lobster Risotto recipe that was printed in one of these years. I tossed my own pile and thought I had kept the one with this particular recipe in it--but that turned out to be incorrect. The website doesn't have this, either. I would like to avoid a trek to the Library of Congress.

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Barbara, unfortunately, I didn't locate the recipe, but I can perhaps save you some time if you end up at the LoC. I have 10 issues from 1991 (all but April and December). I just went through the indices of all 10 issues and, sadly, did not find the recipe. I don't have any issues from 1990. If you think, perhaps, that it might have been 1992, I do have all 12 issues from that year and will gladly search for you, if you think it possible.

Your post is extremely timely for me. I had most (but not all) BA issues from 1991 through 2008. I've been carting them around with me for all these years because I just couldn't give them up, even though I generally use Epicurious to search for BA/Gourmet recipes. I am currently in the midst of a massive downsizing in preparation for moving from a large house in the burbs to a condo in DC and I finally have decided that I have to let them go. I've been working my way backwards, reading favorite features in each one and then tossing it in the recycling. I'm now in mid-2004. (Considering that the move is a month away, I'll never make it through all of them.) This has been a hard thing for me to do and your post gives me pause. But, ultimately, it must be done.

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Do any of you have a stack of Bon Appetit from 1990 to 1991? The MLK Library downtown has tossed theirs from before 2007. I am looking for a specific Lobster Risotto recipe that was printed in one of these years. I tossed my own pile and thought I had kept the one with this particular recipe in it--but that turned out to be incorrect. The website doesn't have this, either. I would like to avoid a trek to the Library of Congress.

Possibly--I'll check at home what Mr. S has. I know he got rid of a lot of food magazines a while ago, to the Wheaton Friends of the Library. Any idea of which issue the recipe might be in? He most likely kept selected issues with recipes he wanted, as you intended. Maybe LauraB's post will help you narrow down a time frame.

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I can look and see what I have. I have a lot of the old copies, which I have to do something with very soon because we have to renovate the room they're in. I'll look tomorrow for lobster risotto ca 1990-91.

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Barbara, unfortunately, I didn't locate the recipe, but I can perhaps save you some time if you end up at the LoC. I have 10 issues from 1991 (all but April and December). I just went through the indices of all 10 issues and, sadly, did not find the recipe. I don't have any issues from 1990. If you think, perhaps, that it might have been 1992, I do have all 12 issues from that year and will gladly search for you, if you think it possible.

Your post is extremely timely for me. I had most (but not all) BA issues from 1991 through 2008. I've been carting them around with me for all these years because I just couldn't give them up, even though I generally use Epicurious to search for BA/Gourmet recipes. I am currently in the midst of a massive downsizing in preparation for moving from a large house in the burbs to a condo in DC and I finally have decided that I have to let them go. I've been working my way backwards, reading favorite features in each one and then tossing it in the recycling. I'm now in mid-2004. (Considering that the move is a month away, I'll never make it through all of them.) This has been a hard thing for me to do and your post gives me pause. But, ultimately, it must be done.

It was the move from one apartment to another in the same building that had me going through and throwing out stuff. I put a bunch of those mags in a box for a Tenants Association yard sale. Silly me, I just assumed that all those recipes would be on the Epicurious site.

As background, Dame Edna and I made a trip to Italy a few months after we married in 1990. (Hey! We'd been living together for several years before pressure from both sides of our family tripped the switch,) We found an open restaurant on Christmas day not too far from our hotel. Believe it or not, it was a Brazilian-themed place. However, I got a seafood risotto that was simply divine. Who knew Brazilians could cook like that? ;)

Then, my MIL started passing on her Bon Appetits to me and in one of them (I believe it was in their RSVP section in the front where people ask for recipes from restaurants where they have eaten) was a recipe I decided to try. It transported me right back to Rome on Christmas. So, in 1992, when my mother got her BA from UTEP, the whole fam damily went to El Paso for the commencement ceremony and I made a several-course Italian meal for the crowd. I served that risotto as one of the courses (after having to go all over town looking for a live lobster. I found one. After I left town, every damn supermarket had lobsters on sale!). That is also why I know what a narrow window I'm searching. Was thinking of making it again, now that I have the room to entertain and do a lot of meals for others during the summer and on holidays. I haven't found another recipe that comes close to that one. That's why I am so determined to find this one. I don't subscribe to BA and am afraid they won't respond to an email from me.

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Barbara, thanks for sharing those lovely memories. I'd send that email anyway. You never know. I'd send it for you, but I discontinued my BA subscription in mid-2008 after becoming disgusted with the direction the magazine had taken -- dumbed-down and tailored for the very short-attention-span.

I loved the RSVP feature and it's one of the things I'm reading in each issue as I go through them and, yes, I've discovered that they didn't put any of the RSVP recipes on the website. I doubt that any recipes from as far back as 1990-91 made it on the website. Website launched in 1999.

Good luck in your quest. Hopefully you can narrow the search window with the info I provided. Please let us know if you find it!

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So far I've discovered a crab and basil risotto in December 1991, and also that my issues from 1985 through most of 1990 are not with the others :angry: . If only you had asked a few years ago while I still had them on bookshelves in chronological order <_< . They're in no kind of order now. I've checked most of the period late 1990 through mid-1992, both the RSVP section and the recipe index. I'll keep looking. I'd like to know where the MIA issues are, as I had a subscription through that whole period.

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I can confirm it's not in the Feb-December 1991 (including the missing Apr and Dec from LauraB) Of note, the RSVP recipes are not shown in the indeces. Also not in Dec 1990.

IT IS HOWEVER IN THE NOV 1990 ISSUE. :rolleyes: Recipe will be forthcoming after scanning. Mr. S to the rescue!

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And, I am holding in my hot little hands three copies of this recipe! I plan on putting them in separate places, so I won't lose this again. Needless to say, I won't be deleting Squids' email in the foreseeable future.

Special thanks to Mr. S--I've always liked that boy! I knew somebody here would be able to put his/her hands on this. Thanks so much!

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So glad you got your recipe! Would you mind sharing the recipe with us? If it was worth this much effort, it must be fantastic!

I don't have the technical know-how to post what they sent; but, I'll bet Squids and Mr. S do--and I know she will see this by tomorrow. They are busy this evening taking his Mom for a birthday dinner (she was kind enough to call me from the car--he was driving--to tell me to check my email). If that isn't possible, I will type up the ingredients and instructions for all of you kind enough to care about this and everybody else, as well--though it might take some time.

The real key here is the broth: there are specific instructions to boil a live lobster in a specific amount of water with other additives, none of which I could remember. That seems to make all the difference.

BTW: with only that lonely lobster, I made the mistake of adding some snow crab legs I was able to find in El Paso because the recipe is for 4 people and I had 9 to feed. Don't do that. I can taste frozen crab or lobster from 100 yards. The dish wasn't ruined, but it sure wasn't as sublime as it was meant to be.

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If Roberto has lobster on the menu I would suggest that his lobster risotto at Al Dente is the equal of any on earth. For anyone doing Roberto's Four (which is now an impossible reservation) please take note if it is on the menu. The lobster is "prepared" literally a few feet from where you sit.

Coincidentally, my wedding dinner in '96 was lobster risotto at Chinois in Santa Monica. There, as at Al Dente, we sat at the food counter and watched the risotto made a few feet away. To be honest I'm not so sure that I can do a live lobster myself (which must be used and is used at Al Dente).

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Roberto Donna's Lobster Risotto from "Cooking in Piedmont" (1996)

Lobster preparation:

"In order to render lobster meat for use in recipes, lobsters are first blanched in boiling water to remove the meat. To blanche a lobster place whole in boiling water for five minutes. When lobster is removed from water it will be a bright orange in color. Allow the lobster to cool for 5-8 minutes. Keep the water for making stock. After the lobster has cooled enough to touch it can be cleaned. Using a large, wide blade knife cut off tail first and drain liquid from inside. Turning lobster over on its back take cooking scissors and carefully snip the membrane along the outer edge of both sides of the body. Remve body meat, piercing with a spear or skewer to keep meat in one long piece. Pull off claws and remove meat by cutting away at shell and pulling out with your fingers. Cut down the length of the claw, all the way to the tip, to remove meat inside. If you want to keep the claw meat whole, use this technique cutting carefully along the edge of the claw to preserve the shape of the claw meat. If you just want to extract the meat crack the claw using a cracker tool."

Lobster stock:

4 lobster carcasses (which will yield approximately l lb of lobster meat)

6 quarts lobster water (water from above)

6 celery stalks, rough cut (about 12 ounces)

3 carrots, peeled, rough cut (about 12 ounces)

2 onions, quartered (about 12 ounces)

3 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black peppercorns

1 ounce fresh Italian parsley (with stems)

1/4 ounce fresh thyme

2 dried bay leaves

2 cups white wine

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over high heat until mixture comes to a boil. After contents boil reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat and pour contents through a small colander or sieve. Using a spoon press mixture, extracting juices; discard vegetable mixture. The recipes yields 6 quarts of stock.

Basil Puree:

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves packed

3/4 cup olive oil

Place basil leaves in blender or food processor; add 1/2 of the olive oil and begin blending allowing basil and oil to mix. Continue mixing adding remainder of the olive oil while blender is running, approximately one minute. Remove contents, cover and refrigerate for up to one week. May be frozen for up to six months.

Lobster Risotto recipe:

Lobster meat-1 lb sliced

1 lb. arborio rice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion, peeled, finely chopped (approx. 1 cup)

2 celery stalks, cleaned, finely chopped (approx. 1/2 cup)

4 tblsp. basil puree (see below)

1 1/2 cups dry white wine

1/2 cup tomato puree

1 tblsp. tomato paste

2 cups lobster stock

4 ounces fresh fava beans

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 cup unsalted butter, sliced (about 1/2 lb)

In a large sauce pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until onions begin to sweat. Add 2 tblsp. basil puree and arborio to pan; toast arborio, stirring as it cooks for two minutes.

Add wine and continue to cook until wine is completely reduced. After wine has dissipated add tomato puree and tomato paste. Cook until reduced by half and add 2 cups hot lobster stock, salt and pepper and continue to cook down mixture, stirring well. Add fava beans and additional 3 cups of hot stock. After cooking for 10 minutes add lobster meat. Cook for one minute; remove from heat. Add butter and 2 tblsp. basil puree. Mix well and serve topped with lobster pieces.

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If Roberto has lobster on the menu I would suggest that his lobster risotto at Al Dente is the equal of any on earth. For anyone doing Roberto's Four (which is now an impossible reservation) please take note if it is on the menu. The lobster is "prepared" literally a few feet from where you sit.

Coincidentally, my wedding dinner in '96 was lobster risotto at Chinois in Santa Monica. There, as at Al Dente, we sat at the food counter and watched the risotto made a few feet away. To be honest I'm not so sure that I can do a live lobster myself (which must be used and is used at Al Dente).

It turns out that this recipe was originally from Prego in LA. The real beauty of this recipe, apart from the sheer taste of the stuff, is that the most labor-intensive parts of it can be made in advance. In fact, where it says to take the whole thing out of the pot and cool it for 15 minutes before the final step? Who's doing the timing? I'm talking about preparing something quite wonderful for your loved ones in a non-professional kitchen. And, you absolutely have to use live lobster for this. It is essential to the broth you then use to prepare the risotto. I even remember my SIL coming up behind me, just when I was dropping that sucker into a pot of water, and squeezing my shoulder and "eeking" in my ear simultaneously. I must say, however, that Martha Stewart suggested throwing a shot of vodka into the water first because, "If YOU were being boiled alive, wouldn't you like a drink first?" Can't argue with that.

ETA: I just saw your posting of Roberto's recipe. The one I've been looking for has a much more complex broth and doesn't contain any tomatoes or basil. And, no, I'm not going to argue which is better. Let's just say I was prepared to go to great lengths to find this particular recipe and was saved from a day at the Library of Congress by Squidsdc and her hubby. Not to mention the efforts of the other folks on this site.

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I don't have the technical know-how to post what they sent; but, I'll bet Squids and Mr. S do--and I know she will see this by tomorrow. They are busy this evening taking his Mom for a birthday dinner (she was kind enough to call me from the car--he was driving--to tell me to check my email). If that isn't possible, I will type up the ingredients and instructions for all of you kind enough to care about this and everybody else, as well--though it might take some time.

The real key here is the broth: there are specific instructions to boil a live lobster in a specific amount of water with other additives, none of which I could remember. That seems to make all the difference.

BTW: with only that lonely lobster, I made the mistake of adding some snow crab legs I was able to find in El Paso because the recipe is for 4 people and I had 9 to feed. Don't do that. I can taste frozen crab or lobster from 100 yards. The dish wasn't ruined, but it sure wasn't as sublime as it was meant to be.

I think I figured it out-let me know if it works! Dinner, btw, was at Riderwood. The Hot Shoppes of today B)

Bon Appetit_Nov 1990.pdf

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Remarkably lobster risotto is being prepared live on channel 4 as I type this. (It's late!) Video instruction on preparing it is helpful. The show is called "1st Look" which is an" entertainmnet guide to restaurants, nightlife and travelacross the country." While this may be neither as good as Prego or Roberto's it should prove helpful to anyone who is doing a live lobster and appreciates a few insights.

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The one I've been looking for has a much more complex broth and doesn't contain any tomatoes or basil. And, no, I'm not going to argue which is better. Let's just say I was prepared to go to great lengths to find this particular recipe and was saved from a day at the Library of Congress by Squidsdc and her hubby. Not to mention the efforts of the other folks on this site.

I'm very glad Squid stepped up and helped you find your recipe which was the whole point of this thread.

Love it when members rush to the aid of someone here.

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