The Grenadier Restaurant

Milwaukee’s Grenadier’s Restaurant hosted presidents and, throughout its 29 years, stood out not only in Milwaukee, but also competed with Chicago’s finest restaurants.

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In 1978, the Chicago Tribune wrote, “With all its fine dining rooms, Chicago has nothing, except perhaps for its exlusive private clubs, quite like Milwaukee’s Grenadier’s Restaurant.” The Grenadier Restaurant was my dad’s favorite place to dine.  It was very British and very formal and fine dining at its best.  Coat and tie a must. It has been missed since its closing.

Today are a few of the rare recipes collected from this famous restaurant, including the dish Owner and Chef Knut Apitz served to President George Bush and the game recipe’s Grenadier’s Executive Chef Charles Weber provided to the Chicago Tribune.  (The links to the original articles are provided with the recipes.)

Grenadier’s Medallions of Veal and Crayfish with Angel Hair Pasta

Knut Apitz, Grenadier’s chef and owner, hosted President George H. W. Bush in 1989.  The following dish was “my own concoction,” Chef Apitz said. “with lightly sautéed veal medallions, fresh crayfish tails, and a very light crayfish sauce and a hint of hollandaise sauce.” The President was also served a floating island with fresh raspberries and terrine of duck.

The recipe for the Presidential dish was provided to the Milwaukee Sentinel and the original article can be found http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1368&dat=19890216&id=s35QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qhIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3334,4398583.

Grenadier’s Medallions of Veal and Crayfish with Angel Hair Pasta
8 Shallots, finely chopped, divided
Butter to saute’ shallots
1/4 c. Madeira wine
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Grenadier’s Seared Duck Breast with Wild Rice Griddle Cakes and Tart Cherry Sauce

This wild duck recipe was provided by Grenadier’s Executive Chef Charles Weber to the Chicago Tribune in 1998 and Abby Mandel’s original article can be found http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-04-12/news/9804120310_1_duck-breasts-tablespoon-kosher-salt-tart-cherry-sauce.

Weber grew up in Wisconsin and blended his knowledge of hunting with his art of cooking.

Grenadier’s Seared Duck Breast with Wild Rice Griddle Cakes and Tart Cherry Sauce

Sauce Ingredients:
1 c. dried tart cherries
3 c. reduced chicken broth or duck , see note
¼ tsp. salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Duck breasts:
8 duck breasts, skin lightly scored
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Grenadier’s Brazilian Black Bean Soup

The Grenadier Restaurant provided this recipe to the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1982. The chef noted that this soup can be prepared with pork shanks, pork knuckles or sausage to make it a main course.

Grenadier’s Brazilian Black Bean Soup
12 oz. black beans
1 lb. bacon
2 stalks celery
1 lg. onion
1 med. carrot
2 qts. pork stock
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Grenadier’s Artichoke Salad with Pea Pods & Mushrooms

This recipe, with its amazing blend of flavors of dill, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, pea pods and almonds, was Grenadier’s contribution to the charity cookbook, Dining In Milwaukee.  More about this can be found at the Art of Natural Living at http://artofnaturalliving.com/2014/03/01/artichoke-salad-pea-pods-mushrooms/

Grenadier’s Artichoke Salad with Pea Pods & Mushrooms
Salad Ingredients:
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, cut in half or quartered if large
½ c. white mushrooms, sliced
1 c. pea pods, strings removed, lightly blanched
½ c. sliced almonds, toasted

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Italian Pork Loin with Polenta

This great Italian recipe comes to us from a famous New York restauranteer, “Mother Leone.” imageThe introduction to Luisa Leone came through a well-worn copy of her son Gene’s  1967 cookbook, perched high on a bookshelf in a dusty antique store in northern Wisconsin.  The teal cover, missing its dust jacket, protected old, authentic recipes, the kind that pass from one generation to the next.

Leone’s was a New York institution, now gone, but still very much missed.

Luisa Leone entered the restaurant business in 1905, her son Gene writes in the introduction. Just a year earlier, she was only dreaming about running a restaurant. That changed the night Leone’s husband Geralomo invited fifty members of the Metropolitan Opera to their home for Luisa’s birthday, including the great opera tenor Enrico Caruso. Caruso, himself, encouraged her to make the restaurant a reality and convinced Geralomo to agree.

Luisa’s resaurant began in her converted living room, then grew to twenty seats, and then to a larger space, then an even larger space in the heart of New York’s theatrical district on West 48th Street, and to eventually to fill two buildings and seat 1,500 guests, serve more than 6,000 dinners on busy evenings. Leone’s had become a multi-million dollar affair that catered to the famous, including W.C.. Fields, George M. Cohan, Presidents Truman and Eisenhower (who wrote a forward for the book). After Luisa died in 1944, her sons continued the business. Later, one son, Gene took over with his wife.  The place became a New York staple, serving Luisa’s cooking far into the early 1990s. Sadly the restaurant closed, but the recipes, of course, live on.

Here’s Leone’s Pork Chops with Spaghetti, except substituted inch-thick sliced pork loin for Luisa’s pork chops and served her sauce and pork over her wonderful polenta instead of pasra.

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Italian Pork Loin with Polenta
3 tbsp.. olive oil
1 1/2 c. butter, melted
2 lg. garlic cloves, mashed
1/3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
4 lean slices of pork loin 1″ thick (Leone called for pork chops)
1 tsp. crumbled, dried rosmary
1/2 tsp. salt
4 med. ripe tomatoes or 2 c. canned peeled plum tomatoes, chopped
10 fresh parsley sprigs, leaves only, chopped
1/4 c. fresh, shredded Parmesan cheese
Polenta, recipe follows (Leone called fo 3/4 lb. spaghetti cooked in salted water 10 min.)

Combine oil and half the butter in a large heavy-bottomed skillet and heat garlic black and red pepper 2 min. Sprinkle pork with rosemary and brown in the pan, 5 min. per side. Lower heat to medium, add tomatoes, salt and parsley. Cover and simmer 20 min. Uncover and simmer 20 min. more, until pork is done and tender. Taste for salt.

While cooking prepare spaghetti as in the original recipe, or try the polenta below.

Loeone’s Polenta
1 1/2 c. corn meal
1 1/2 c. water
4 c. boiling water
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter
Grated parmesan cheese

Soak the cornmeal in the cold water. Stir it into the boiling water, add salt and butter. Stir constantly and simmer 20 min. to a creamy consistancy. Taste, add salt if needed. Once polenta is cooked, spread it on a warm plate, sprinkle with a little cheese and arrange the cooked pork and sauce on the polenta, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Inspired Linguine with Italian Ham

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I have the 1963 The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook, which is great for proper ways to slice meats and entertain. But on page 3, it warns the reader, “No recipe, even Good Housekeeping’s, can rate raves if you fail to follow it with meticulous care.” Problem is, hmm… I first read that sentence this morning, 12 hours after heavily reworking, changing and failing to “meticulously” follow the recipe for Baked Italian Ham and Spaghetti. I am grateful for the inspiration, though, because it turned out amazing! Here’s the revision.

Inspired Linguine with Italian Ham
Ingredients
¼ tbsp. plus 1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lg. onion, cut in thin rings
4 small stalks celery, cut in long slivers to mimic linguine
4 cloves garlic, divided
2-3 tsp. thyme
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John Stocker’s Marinated Sirloin circa 1968

Classic for the Bar-B-Que. Seriously, we never had a better steak than this!

John Stocker’s Marinated Sirloin
Ingredients
Lg. Sirloin steaks
1 bottle Teriyaki marinade
1 lb. salted butter
1 bottle Sauce Diable’ (no longer sold, see recipe below)
Lemon-pepper

Remove the acid from the sirloin with a paper towel. Pierce the meat with a fork and apply the lemon-pepper. Melt the butter and stir in the remaining ingredients and pour over the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours, turning every hour.

Grill to rare, medium-rare.

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Hard Rolls, Milwaukee Style #1

photo 5The first Milwaukee Hard Rolls recipe is exactly as we remember! It has that great dry crusty top and the cornmeal bottoms we love, and comes from Gordon King a Milwaukee baker who ran Wilbert’s baker, which closed back in 1993. Note: It requires high protein bread flour and a little more yeast.  And, while the directions make the tops of these rolls plain, feel free to top rolls with sesame seeds or poppy seeds.

An article, with his recipe for hard rolls appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and is preserved here: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1298&dat=20050511&id=VS4zAAAAIBAJ&sjid=dggGAAAAIBAJ&pg=6793,3364570

Wilbert’s Bakery/Gordon and Barbara King’s Authentic German Hard Rolls
Makes about 2 dozen rolls
Sponge: 3 tbsp. active dry yeast (4 packets)
2 3/4 c. lukewarm water
3 tbsp. sugar

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Crusty Rolls, Milwaukee Style #3

These rolls come from the 1955 Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book and turn out great! The recipe calls for “enriched flour” and shortening, but I slightly revised the recipe, using high protein bread flour, Dakota Bread Flour and lard instead of shortening. I added the salt last so that it did not prohibit the yeast, and slightly shortened the rise time. Oh, and I made only 8-10 rolls instead of a dozen or more.

That seems to be the difference, and the key to producing rolls that look like they come from a bakery. Please note below, this can be altered to make crusty rye rolls, too!

1955 Woman’s Home Companion Crusty Rolls, slightly revised
1 c. water, boiling
2 tbsp. lard
1 tbsp. sugar
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Extra-Dark Chocolate Pound Cake, by Pernigotti Cocoa for Williams Sonoma

A little dark chocolate cake for St. Valentine’s Day!

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Perignotti is an unsweetened, vanilla-flavored, extra-dark cocoa that is Dutch processed, but made in Italy, exclusively sold by Williams-Sonoma. This recipe was published in a Williams-Sonoma catalogue in the 1990s.

While Perignotti is, of course, preferred, this dark pound cake can also be made using another cocoa, such as Hersey’s Special Dark Cocoa, by adding a little more vanilla.

Extra-Dark Chocolate Pound Cake
1½ c. sifted flour
½ c. sifted dark cocoa
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Bernice Zurawski’s Bread

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 1.27.54 PM Here is my Polish grandmother’s signature bread, and no one in the family, no one, had the recipe. She was an elegant lady who also was a fabulous cook, including dishes such as tender venison steak and walnut-stuffed turkey.  But she made this always round, hard crust bread almost daily, sometimes adding raisins and topping with sugar. This bread was treasured, especially at my mother’s swanky Christmas parties. And, one summer, a grandson entered her bread at the Wisconsin State Fair, where it promptly won a blue ribbon.

My grandmother never used a recipe for her bread, of course, and would gently laugh while raising her shoulders when we asked how to make it. But we could watch.

This “close-as-we-can-get” recipe comes through my uncle and aunt. He was the second youngest of her nine children, and saw her make bread countless times. I’m so grateful, for as I follow it, grandma comes to life, there in her small kitchen, brewing strong black coffee as she scalds the milk with butter and sugar, then softens yeast for her bread.  Then she stops, turns, and in her wonderful Polish accent, asks me to “wait a minute,” as she pulls ginger cookies down from the pantry for me before turning back to her bread.

Bernice Zurawski’s Bread
Ingredients
½ lb. butter, and more to generously grease the bread rising bowl and bread pan
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Oxtail Stew, an heirloom recipe

This is a classy, rich, amazing dish. It’s an heirloom, for it was handed down to me from my Polish mom from her mom. But it is one of those, “they never used a recipe,” recipe. That means it was assumed you had seen how it was made before, tasted it, knew what you were doing and, certainly, made it slightly differently each time. (And you serve it on top of mashed   potatoes or wide egg noodles.)

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This “unwritten” recipe for Oxtail Stew is really just the “bones” of the dish, the basic instruction. The cook uses it as a start, then simply tastes and adjusts as he goes along. So feel free to take this instruction, and note of some of my italic adjustments I made today when preparing this stew; then make your own. ~But know, the next time you, or I, make it, it will be different!

Anyway, I introduced this Stew to my hubby when we were dating, and swear, that introduction led to the 20 years of marital bliss we celebrate today!

Oxtail Stew
2 lbs. oxtails, cut in 1½” lengths
flour for dredging1 med. onion, sliced
1 can condensed beef broth
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Creamy Peasant Turkey Soup with Waldorf Noodles

Roasted turkey stock, rustic vegetables and cream sent over the top with the handmade soup noodles as described Waldorf Astoria Maitre D’Hotel Oscar Tschirky in his 1896 cookbook, Oscar Of The Waldorf.

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Creamy Peasant Turkey Soup
Ingredients
2 tbsp. butter
6 stalks celery with inner, tender stalks and leaves, cut in 1″ square pieces
6 carrots, cut in 1″ square pieces
I med. or lg. onion, cut in ½-1″ square pieces
1 lg. turnip, ½-1″ dice
2-3 bay leaf
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