Cooking with the Stars Part II: Recipes from the Archives
Last month, in preparation for the season of holiday parties, I reprinted a few recipes found in Dance Magazine's vast archives from ballerinas Lupe Serrano and Tanaquil LeClercq. Today I'm bringing you part II—more culinary specialties from other notable chefs artists.
In the late 1980s, Dance Magazine's December issues included a "Holiday Treats" series. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:
Choura's Honey Chicken (from Alexandra "Choura" Danilova)
1 chicken, cut into pieces
1/3 cup softened butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup mustard
4 tsp curry powder
Stir honey, mustard, and curry powder into softened butter. Coat chicken pieces well. Place chicken skin-side down in large, flat baking dish or pan. Bake at 350º for 45 minutes. Turn chicken and cook 15 more minutes.
(Danilova with Frederic Franklin in the Ballet Russe's Nutcracker. Photo by Maurice Seymour, DM Archives.)
Una Kai's Danish Apple Cake
1 box zwieback (crisp toast)
8 sweet or tart apples
1/2 lb. butter
Cinnamon and sugar, to taste
Vanilla-flavored whipping cream
Crumble zwieback in food processor or with a rolling pin. Peel, core, and cut apples into quarters, then cut each quarter into three sections. Layer an 8" pie plate or casserole alternately with crumbs and apples, dusting apple layers with cinnamon and sugar. Pour melted butter over the top. Bake at 350º until apples are soft. Serve warm with vanilla-flavored whipped cream.
(Una Kai with New York City Ballet, undated photo by Walter E. Owen, DM Archives.)
Patricia Wilde's Party Pistou
(Vegetable Soup with Pistou. Pistou recipe follows soup instructions)
3 cups water
3/4 cup dry white beans (Great Northern, marrow, or navy)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onions
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 1/2 quarts water
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced potatoes suitable for boiling
1 cup chopped leeks (optional)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery leaves
1 tablespoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh green string beans
1 1/2 cups diced, unpeeled zucchini
1/2 cup broken pieces of spaghettini
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Drop in dry beans and boil them for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let beans soak for 1 hour. Return pan to low heat and simmer uncovered for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until beans are tender. Drain beans and reserve the cooking liquid. In a heavy soup pot or kettle, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in diced onions and cook over moderate heat until limp and golden, then add tomatoes and cook for 3 or 4 minutes longer. Pour in 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add carrots, potatoes, leeks, celery leaves, salt, and a few grindings of pepper; reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15 minutes. Stir in white beans, their cooking liquid, the green beans, zucchini, a spaghettini, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Season to taste.
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely cut fresh basil or 5 tablespoons dried basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 small slice stale French bread, finely crumbled (optional)
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
While soup is simmering, prepare the pistou. With a food processor (or a wooden spoon and heavy bowl), pound garlic and basil into a paste. Work in 1/2 cup of the cheese then beat in 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time. Before serving, pour the pistou into the soup and mix well. Serve extra grated cheese as desired.
(Patricia Wilde in costume for Balanchine's La Valse, circa 1951. Photo by Water E. Owen, DM Archives.)
Kent Stowell's Old Dad's Salad
1 cup black beans
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Wash beans. Soak in water and olive oil overnight. Cook slowly 2–3 hours until tender but not mushy. Drain and let cool.
1 cup couscous
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pour couscous gradually into boiling water. Add oil and salt. Boil 2 minutes stirring occasionally. remove from heat, cover and let stand 10–15 minutes. Fluff with fork. Let cool.
2 cups raw barley
6 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
Wash barley; remove foreign objects; rinse. Cook slowly in 6 cups water until tender, 45–60 minutes. Drain and let cool.
1 large can garbanzo beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat oil in skillet. Drain garbanzos and brown in oil. Drain and let cool.
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or Balsamic vinegar)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 finely chopped garlic clove
1 cup chopped scallions
salt and pepper to taste
(Optional: tarragon, basil, 1 cup chopped celery or mushrooms, red or green peppers.)
In a large bowl, mix dressing with other ingredients until fully absorbed. Let stand at room temperature for at least one hour before serving. Adjust seasoning, garnish with parsley and serve.
(Kent Stowell (seated) with Maurice Sendak, rehearsing Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker, circa 1983. DM Archives.)
Dancers are understandably obsessed with food. In both an aesthetic and athletic profession, you know you're judged on your body shape, but you need proper fuel to perform your best. Meanwhile, you're inundated with questionable diet advice.
"My 'favorite' was the ABC diet," says registered dietitian nutritionist Kristin Koskinen, who trained in dance seriously but was convinced her body type wouldn't allow her to pursue it professionally. "On the first day you eat only foods starting with the letter A, on the second day only B, and so on."
Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.
"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."
Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.
Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:
Yvonne Rainer's Parts of Some Sextets (AKA "the mattress dance") hasn't been revived since it premiered in 1965. Nor has Rainer had any wish to do it again, to ask performers to heave 10 mattresses around while carrying out 31 tasks that changed every 30 seconds. It was an unwieldy, difficult dance. (Even the title is unwieldy.) But Emily Coates, who has danced in Rainer's work for 20 years, became curious about this piece and was determined to see it again—and to dance in it. She will get her wish November 15–17, when the mattress dance will be performed as part of the Performa 19 Biennial.
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.