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CR(EAT)E Food Blog:  Frank Lloyd Wright, Exiled Meatballs, and the Usonian Cocktail

A WOW guest tangles with Chef Melody's specialty spaghetti.

A WOW guest tangles with Chef Melody's specialty spaghetti.

Curatorial Assistant Dylan Turk (left) and Director of Culinary Services Case Dighero.

Curatorial Assistant Dylan Turk (left) and Director of Culinary Services Case Dighero.

 

The crowd gasped dramatically…millennials forced to peer up from their devices, men gnawing on their knuckles, and women covering their faces as brutal images of the murderer and his weapon of choice shot across the big screen.  What was the venue for this exercise in violence, you ask.?  Merely the most recent Wednesday Over Water (aka, WOW) in the Great Hall featuring an in-depth, twisted, salacious, and telling glimpse into the life and times of Frank Lloyd Wright.  Curatorial assistant and resident expert of FLW, Dylan Turk, led guests on an unorthodox tour of the not-so-well-known side of the late architect.

 

 

 

 

A WOW guest tangles with Chef Melody's specialty spaghetti.

A WOW guest tangles with Chef Melody’s specialty spaghetti.

Chef Melody Lane and team constructed an edible metaphor of spicy, sloppy, tangled spaghetti and meatballs as a nod and a wink to the period Wright spent in social exile in Italy with his mistress.  Turk unraveled a web of intrigue that has surrounded the famous architect since his death in 1959 that included but was not limited to insights into his multiple marriages and the tragic murder of his second wife and step-children at the hand of the family servant in 1914.

 

In an effort to acclimate WOW guests to Dylan, early in the show we played a game called “Frank Lloyd Wright or Dylan Turk,” whereby two volunteers were called to the stage to try to decipher facts that were true about either the architect or the curator.  The winner, WOW regular Dan Davis, was awarded a large bag of BBQ Pork Rinds…an arbitrary and utterly ridiculous prize.

 

After guests were completely spent from the heaping, delicious bowls of spaghetti and sensational content of the evening, they were allowed a taste of a brand new cocktail, a namesake of Wright’s Usonian philosophy comprised of Rye Whiskey, Campari, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Peel, and luxardo cherries.

Yet another successful Wednesday Over Water chock full of food, art, and the intrigue of Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

The Usonian

The Usonian cocktail

The Usonian cocktail

Ingredients

1  1/2 ounces Bulleit rye whiskey
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth, preferably Dolin Rouge
3/4 ounce Campari
Twist of orange peel, for garnish

Technique

Gently pour all ingredients into an iced shaker. Stir carefully, taking great care not to bruise the rye whiskey. Quietly pour into a martini glass, garnish with orange peel, and sip handsomely.

 

 

 

 

Exiled Meatball

Ingredients

10 oz pork shoulder, ground
10 oz beef chuck, ground
4 oz pork fat, ground
6 oz day-old country bread (or panko breadcrumbs), ground or finely chopped
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons kosher salt
 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
2/3 cup fresh ricotta, drained
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4cup whole milk
1  28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
Handful of fresh basil
Grana Padano cheese
 olive oil

       

Technique

  1.       Preheat oven to 400° F. Prepare large baking sheet with olive oil.
  2.       Combine pork, beef, pork fat, parsley, 1 tablespoon salt, oregano, fennel seeds, and chili flakes with your hands in a large bowl.
  3.       In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, and milk. Combine this mixture into the meat mixture until just incorporated. Do not overwork.
  4.       Form 1  1/2-inch balls and place on the baking sheet or a roasting pan. You should have about 30 meatballs.
  5.       Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the meatballs are browned. Rotate the pan if needed for even browning.
  6.       Mix remaining salt with the tomatoes.
  7.       Take the pan out and lower the temperature to 300° F.
  8.       You can use the same pan or put them into a roasting pan, cover tomatoes, and cover tightly with foil.
  9.       Braise for 1 to 1  1/2 hours or until the meatballs are tender and have absorbed some of the sauce.
  10.   Remove from oven and distribute the basil leaves into the sauce.
  11.   Serve topped with Grana Padano and olive oil to finish.

 

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