Playing With Fire
Michael Tusk shows off his new grill at Cotogna
Michael Tusk has a new toy that has nothing to do with eggs and flour.
The Quince chef has long been known for his peerless pasta. At his brand-new restaurant, Cotogna, however, the anchor of the kitchen produces a slow burn.
Made by the Italian company Universo, the massive rotisserie and grill looks like something designed for 19th-century chefs. Tusk, who has coveted one since 1996, loves it for both its looks and its efficiency.
Four spits turn before a wood fire, whose hardwood coals heat three grills below. The chef says the rotisserie not only burns less wood than typical models, but it can handle smaller cuts easily, too.
For a three-course meal (available at Cotogna for $24), the chef can grill a first course of rabbit skewers with artichokes and pancetta, while a main course of lamb shoulder turns on the spits.
As no one we know has a Universo at home, we've adapted Tusk's recipe for rabbit spiedini for a standard grill or even a grill pan (click here to download the recipe).
For the real deal, dine at Cotogna. But we'll bet that cooking a facsimile of the restaurant's skewers is easier than replicating those legendary pastas.
Cotogna, 490 Pacific Ave.; 415-775-8508 or cotognasf.com
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