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    You are in: Home / R. L. Wallace's Public Recipes
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    9 Recipes

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    This cold leek-and-potato soup, a French-American classic, was perfected in the early 1900s by Louis Diat, the chef at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York. Everyone has eaten it (or at least heard of it), but if it is served at all these days, it is often a watery, grainy, yellow-green puree, instead of the ivory-colored velvety cream it should be. Diat's soup is basically milk and cream that is flavored and thickened by the vegetable puree; most current recipes are just the reverse, a not-very-smooth puree with a token amount of cream tossed in. Diat included "medium" cream, now a thing of the past; the recipe below substitutes more milk and heavy cream, but scrupulously follows Diat's directions for such flavor-enhancing steps as sauteing the leeks in butter. Made correctly, there is no reason to be bored with this soup, and it doesn't need jazzing up with a lot of "creative" ingredients (or even a sprinkling of chives). It fully deserves its fame.

    Recipe #381616

    Hollandaise is emphatically not an "egg-lemon sauce"; the butter flavor should be paramount, lemon juice can be replaced by vinegar, and both acids can even be omitted entirely. As with Bearnaise sauce (see Recipe # 362638), many published recipes are poorly balanced, with too much acid or salt, or too little butter per yolk. To avoid a harsh raw taste, Escoffier's classic version simmers the vinegar and cracked peppercorns, exactly as for Bearnaise. A full four-ounce stick of butter per yolk, melted and clarified, makes the thickest sauce with the most buttery flavor, but the emulsion is somewhat fragile; if the sauce should start to separate, see Step 6.

    Recipe #367304

    Elegant and scrumptious but not hard to do, this is a dessert for anyone who enjoys orange liqueur. Except for the flavoring, this classic French recipe has strong resemblances to tiramisu; but instead of freezing the mousse mixture, the Italian dessert uses mascarpone cheese to firm it up. The liqueur-soaked ladyfingers provide bursts of intense flavor, and the alcohol keeps them from freezing solid. Cubes of spongecake can substitute for the ladyfingers; and with a bit of experimentation, you can replace the orange flavoring with rum, or coffee and Kahlua, or what you will.

    Recipe #362919

    With more egg than flour, homemade ladyfingers have a better taste and texture than the commercial product, and they are quick to put together. Many recipes call for beating the yolks with most or all the sugar, but that can make the yolks heavy, dry, and hard to fold with the other ingredients. The "meringue method," in which all the sugar is beaten into the whites, makes a puffier batter that doesn't spread when it's piped out.

    Recipe #362872

    With an overnight soak in cream, eggs, and Grand Marnier, this French toast (based on a 1967 recipe in McCall's) remains the best version I know: like bread-and-butter pudding without the pudding. No recipe better demonstrates the superiority of a vanilla bean over extract -- the seedlets sauteed in butter have an amazing, over-the-top aroma and flavor.

    Recipe #362746

    Thick, buttery, and aromatic with tarragon, Bearnaise sauce is a classic pairing with beef or salmon steaks, artichoke bottoms or poached eggs; its mint-flavored variant, much less well known, is splendid with lamb. Recipes for Bearnaise abound, but many of them have balance problems: Too many yolks, and it tastes like scrambled eggs instead of a butter sauce; too much vinegar, and it tastes sour; too little tarragon or pepper, and it just tastes dull. For the vinegar reduction, use a fragrant dried tarragon like Spice Island; in the finished sauce, sliced flat-leaf parsley can closely mimic fresh tarragon. Three ounces of butter per yolk, melted and clarified, makes the thickest sauce with the most buttery flavor, but the emulsion is somewhat fragile; if the sauce should start to separate, see Step 7.

    Recipe #362638

    A dessert on its own, or served with berries or baked puddings, sabayon is like champagne in sauce form: its tiny bubbles almost audibly fizz and pop as your tongue wraps around each luscious spoonful. "Sabayon" is a French transliteration of the Italian "zabaglione," originally made with one tablespoon sugar and two tablespoons Marsala per egg yolk; French versions typically use white wine instead of the sweeter Marsala, and increase the liquid by 50% for a softer, lighter cream.

    Recipe #362594

    At half a stick of butter per serving, this recipe obviously isn't for everyone, but it makes sumptuous mashed potatoes, rich in flavor and velvety in texture. Since both the milk proteins and the starch in the potatoes tend to mask the butter taste, you really can't use much less; adding the unmelted butter last also preserves its freshness. And no, this isn't the most buttery recipe ever, not by a long shot: "Chez Maxim's" (1962) gives a version from the Paris restaurant with 50% more butter than this, a full 3 sticks for a pound and a half of potatoes!

    Recipe #361675

    For anyone whose experience ends with My-T-Fine, this recipe should be a revelation. Made with quality ingredients, American chocolate pudding can easily rival mousse au chocolat. The pudding may seem too runny while it's cooking, but the chocolate thickens after refrigeration to a velvety cream with a rich, full-bodied flavor. Use a high-quality chocolate with full cocoa-butter content (like Callebaut or Lindt), not chocolate chips.

    Recipe #361638

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