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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Towering recipes: ‘The Last Magnificent’ Jeremiah Tower shares a few recipes in advance of his Inland Northwest visit this week

Want to cook like a legendary chef?

Jeremiah Tower, a founder of California cuisine and subject of a new documentary by Anthony Bourdain, is sharing a few recipes in advance of his appearance at the first Crave food and wine festival in Spokane Valley.

You’ll want to save these.

Duck With Endive Salad

4 duck legs

2 duck livers

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons Madeira or dry sherry

16 small slices bread for croutons

3 tablespoons chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup hazelnut or walnut oil

1 large head curly endive, washed and spin-dried

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned

Turn the legs skin side down. Cut along each thigh bone and remove them.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Remove the sinews from the duck livers. Season and then saute over high heat in the butter for three minutes. Pour in the Madeira or sherry and cook for another minute. Puree the liver and juices in a food processor or through a food mill until smooth; then set aside.

Bake the bread for 10 minutes and then let cool.

Heat grill or broiler. Season the duck legs and grill or broil for five minutes on the flesh side and eight minutes on the skin side. Spread the liver puree on the croutons and put half a teaspoon of the chopped tomatoes on each crouton and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Dissolve salt and pepper in the lemon juice and whisk in the oil. Toss the endive and hazelnuts in the dressing. Put the salad on warm plates, a duck leg on top of each salad, the liver croutons around the salads.

Yield: 4 servings

Grilled Garlic and Ancho Chili Sauce

2 dried ancho chili pods

1 head fresh spring first-crop garlic

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 cup mild extra-virgin olive oil

1 ripe lime, zested and juiced

1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped

4 ounces unsalted butter


Grill the chilies over a charcoal, wood, or low gas flame until they puff up, or about 3 minutes. Put them in a bowl with enough warm water to cover them. Weight them down with a small saucer, and soak for 2 hours. Drain, saving the water, and remove and discard the stems and seeds.

Meanwhile, wrap the head of garlic loosely in foil with the thyme and a tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook over low fire or under a broiler until the garlic is tender, or about 20 minutes. Remove the stem and rough outer layers of the skin and discard. Put all the cloves in a food processor and puree the garlic with the remaining olive oil. Pass through a sieve and discard the residue.

Puree the chilies with just enough of their soaking water to make a smooth puree. Sieve. Clean out the food processor.

Put the garlic and chili purees in the processor with the lime zest and juice, oregano, butter, and a teaspoon of salt. Puree until soft and smooth. Add more salt if necessary.

Serve on top of grilled fish and shellfish.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Tropical Fruit Compote

Serve the warm compote either with custard, vanilla or coconut ice cream, mascarpone, or English clotted or heavy cream. Add cookies of your choice, like shortbread or warm gingersnaps five minutes out of the oven.

2 ripe mangoes, peeled, cut in 1/4-inches slices

1 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, cut in 1/4-inch slices

2 ripe passion fruit, cut in half, pulp and juice saved

1/2 cup medium sugar syrup

1 basket raspberries

1 tablespoon unsalted butter


Put the mango and papaya slices in a medium-size nonreactive frying pan. Whisk the passion fruit pulp with the sugar syrup for 1 minute to break up the pulp, and add to the fruit.

Warm the fruit over medium heat until just heated through – about 3 minutes. Add the raspberries, butter, and pinch of salt. Turn up the heat, and swirl the pan around until the butter is just melted.

Serve immediately in soup plates with the cream or ice cream in the center.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings