Abandon diets all ye who enter here!

This is a selection of some of the culinary delights we usually serve at Fest. As we come up with more dishes and see that no one keels over after consuming them, we'll add their recipes to the site. If you've brought homemade victuals to a past Fest, and we've neglected to add it to the site, just send us an e-mail with the recipe, and we'll squeeze it in.
Simply click on a dish below to jump to its recipe. This is one document, so if you print it, make sure your printer is stocked with paper!

Ian's Orgasmo Duck Jamie's Cumin Potato Salad Anita's Strawberry Spinach Salad
Tandoori Turkey Burgers Brian's Ultra Sauerkraut Pineapple-Tarragon Chicken
Stephen's Big Bowl of Pasta Salad Mom's Baked Beans Aunt LouAnn's Bourbon Slush
Roberto's Vodka Caipirinhas How to Pour A Guinness Gerry's Barbequed Ribs
Suzanne's Zarzuela And of course kids' food,
but we all know what that's about!

Ian's Orgasmo Duck:
Once tasted, never forgotten

This duck, also known as tea-smoked duck, got its name for reasons that anyone who has tasted it can attest. You need to start three to four days in advance. The first time I made this was a Friday, and I thought, "Great, we'll have duck for dinner tonight." We ended up eating it on Tuesday!
It's a four-part process involving marinating; steaming; air drying and smoking the duck. The recipe is based on one for chicken published in "The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking" by Barbara Tropp.
To make this duck you should have a strong desire to become very (and I do mean very) intimate with your duck. Not only that but you shouldn't be squeamish about leaving poultry lying around for a day or two at room temperature.
I usually do three or four ducks for the party, increasing all the ingredients accordingly, but one duck is just about enough for four people as a main course. I have an electric combination steamer and smoker, which greatly facilitates this entire process.

1 duck. Fresh is hard to find, but they are generally obtainable in the frozen poultry section of the supermarket.

3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons Szechuan brown peppercorns
1/2 dried orange peel

2 scallions cut into three-inch lengths
5 quarter-sized slices of fresh ginger

1/4 cup dry black tea leaves
1/4 cup packed brown sugar, plus another 1/4 cup for smoking the second side of the duck
1/4 cup raw white rice
1 tablespoon Szechuan brown peppercorns
3 whole star anise
2 two-inch cinnamon sticks broken into small pieces

Marination: Clean the duck thoroughly. This is where you get to know your duck more intimately than you had ever dreamed. Pat it dry inside and out. Dry roast the peppercorns and salt in a heavy frying pan until the peppercorns begin smoking, but don't let them burn. The salt should turn off white. Grind the salt and pepper mixture and orange peel to a fine power. Thoroughly coat the duck inside and out making sure you don't miss any spots. Place the duck on a plate, cover airtight and marinate it at room temperature for 24 hours, turning it once after 12 hours.

Steaming: Drain any liquids that have accumulated. Place the duck on a rack and put scallion and ginger pieces in and on the duck. Place the rack over boiling water and cover the steamer. In my large steamer, I usually steam the duck 30 minutes on one side and another 30 on the other.

Air Drying: Once the steaming is complete, place the duck on a rack over a plate to catch any juices and air dry it at room temperature for 3 to 12 hours, turning it once midway through to ensure even drying. At this point, you can refrigerate the duck, tightly sealed for a day or two. The duck should be at room temperature before smoking it.

Smoking: Mix together and place the smoking ingredients in the bottom of the smoker. Fire it up, and put the duck on a rack above the smoking materials. I normally smoke the ducks for about three-four hours total, turning them over halfway through and adding the additional sugar. Once done, the duck should pretty much fall from the bones, and be so good that people gnaw from the bones the morsels that remain.

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These rather different burgers came about as an experiment in duplicating sheek kebabs, an Indian minced-lamb skewer made with tandoori spices in a clay oven. Needless to say, the end result was a bit different. The amounts of the various ingredients used are a bit fast and loose, as is the case with most of our culinary exploits.
Tandoori and garam masala are available in Indo-Pak grocery stores, which fortunately are pretty common in the U.S. these days. Note that one remarkable property of tandoori spice is its colorfastness; the rest I leave to your imagination.


Mix all the ingredients together and make patties as large or small as you like them, remembering that these burgers will shrink a bit because of the turkey's high water content. Grill them longer than you would regular burgers because they are poultry after all.

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Brian's Ultra Sauerkraut: Simply the best!

You've tried the rest, now enjoy the best. Brian Whary makes THE best sauerkraut in the world. It's so good on its own that adding it to hot dogs is almost sacrilege. The recipe below is for a large crowd or an extremely hungry small one. You will note that this dish is not part of the cuisine minceure family.

2 1lb bags of sauerkraut (avoid cans)
3 large onions, thinly sliced
3 cans baby potatoes
1 lb bacon, diced
1 12 oz lager, preferably German, Brian tells me
Fresh black pepper to taste
Olive oil

Preparation: Separately brown the onions and sauerkraut. Fry the bacon. Mix together the sauerkraut, onions, potatoes and bacon in a large pot and simmer for a couple of hours, adding lager and stirring occasionally, taking care not to break up the potatoes too much. Season with fresh black pepper and olive oil. Keep warm over a low heat for the duration of the party.

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Jamie's Cumin Potato Salad: An old favorite with a twist

Most delicious. The usual liberties with ingredient quantities apply. We're not making souffles here!

5 lb potatoes, preferably red bliss which add a nice color contrast
14oz mayonnaise, only the good stuff please
1/2-2/3 cup milk, with whatever fat content your arteries can handle
4-6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3-5 teaspoons cumin powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: Boil the potatoes until cooked but DON'T over do it. Let them cool to room temperature. Peel if desired into a big bowl. In a separate container, add the milk to the mayonnaise until it becomes the consistency of light cream. Add the vinegar, starting with 4 tablespoons and adding more as needed. Now spice the mayo/milk/vinegar mixture with the cumin, salt & pepper to taste. Pour the liquid over the now-cooled potatoes and mix well taking care not to break the potatoes. Serve well chilled.

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Anita's Strawberry Spinach Salad: A tasty combo

A summer favorite, courtesy of Anita Edwards. This recipe serves eight.

1 lb fresh spinach
1 pint strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Preparation: Clean and tear spinach. Clean and slice strawberries. Just before serving, mix spinach and strawberries. Mix the remaining ingredients well. Toss spinach and strawberries lightly with dressing.

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Mom's Baked Beans: Beyond beans from the can

Gail's variation on a traditional theme and dead easy to prepare. It can even be microwaved.

2 11 oz cans of baked beans
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3-4 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
A splash of hot sauce

Preparation: Combine and heat all the ingredients thoroughly and serve. It doesn't get much easier!

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Aunt LouAnn's Bourbon Slush: A brain freeze with booze

Aunt LouAnn passed this one along a few years ago. Funny how it withstands the test of time.

9 cups of water
5 regular tea bags
2 cups of Bourbon
1 12 oz can frozen orange juice
1 6 oz can frozen lemonade
1 cup sugar

Preparation: Boil 2 cups of water, steep tea bags until cool. Add bourbon, orange juice, lemonade and sugar. Add 6 cups cold water and 1 cup hot water. Freeze for two days before serving. To serve, scoop into a cup and add either more tea, orange juice, or lemonade to taste. Some add more Bourbon!

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Roberto's Vodka Caipirinhas: A variation on a Brazilian specialty

My buddy Roberto suggested we add these (pronounced kai'pirinyas) to the slate. I've had the original in Sao Paulo, but Roberto says these are a bit less strong (what about the vodka?!?) Roberto also was kind enough to photograph the process, but he says the caipirinha didn't survive for much longer afterward!

1/2 half lime per drink, sliced into small pieces
Sugar to taste (it offsets the lime)
Vodka (as much as you feel like drinking!)

Preparation: Mash the sugar and lime pieces together in a mortar and pestle. A blender is less authentic, but is probably a bit easier of you're making quantity! Put the mash into a glass (#12) and add ice and vodka. For the real thing, stir with a popsicle (trademark infringement?) stick blending in only as much sugar from the bottom as you need to counter the bitterness of the lime.

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Pineapple-Tarragon Chicken: A savory delight

This is one the few inventos we've come up with that we actually wrote down. Our traditional invento preparation involves looking in the fridge and cupboard and saying, "Well, this is what we've got. What the hell are we going to do with it?"

4 chicken breasts
2 teaspoons dried tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon pineapple juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup, more or less
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Preparation: Mix all the liquids and spices to make the marinade. Marinate the chicken for an hour or two in the fridge. Cook on the grill.

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How to Pour A Guinness: In Case You Didn't Know

Our friend Stephen Ryan sent us this (we think) as a spoof. What the hell, there is a technique to pouring a can of Guinness. This is not to be confused with that nasty swill in a bottle that was all you could get outside the pub before they invented the widget. Yes, there is a thing called a widget, and they got a design award for it. It's a small plastic unit containing nitrogen, and it's found at the bottom of cans of draught Guinness. Nitrogen produces that fine head that you expect from a good glass of Guinness.


Preparation: Chill can for at least 3 hours before opening. Do not freeze. Do not shake. Pour the can in one smooth action into a cool, clean glass large enough for the whole can. Pour at an angle of 45 degrees. Wait for the surge of your Guinness Draught to settle. Enjoy.

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Stephen's Great Big Bowl of Pasta Salad

Our friend Stephen Ryan brings us this fine salad every year that he's in town.


Preparation: Wash basil leaves and dry with paper towel. Stack and roll leaves and slice into slivers. Reserve cup for Basil Vinaigrette. - Make Basil Vinaigrette (see below) - Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse, drain and cool. Add cup of Basil Vinaigrette and set aside. - Trim green beans and cut into halves. Steam until just tender. Rinse, drain and cool. - Add tomatoes, olives, remaining slivered basil, steamed green beans and parsley to pasta. Toss well. Add remaining Basil Vinaigrette and toss again. - Shave fresh Parmesan cheese over salad (if desired).

Stephen's Basil Vinaigrette

This accompanies the above recipe for pasta salad.


Preparation: Combine garlic, mustard, vinegar, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Whisk well. - Add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until vinaigrette is slightly thickened. - Fold in slivered basil leaves and parsley (if desired).

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Gerry's Barbeued Ribs

These are probably the best ribs you'll ever taste! The recipe is courtesy of our neighbor Patty's brother Gerry.

Orange juice
Barbeque sauce
Pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil

Preparation: Combine beer, orange juice, barbeque sauce and pepper. Marinade ribs overnight, turning once. Grill ribs on high heat to sear the meat. Roast in oven for a couple of hours until tender. Enjoy!

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Suzanne's Zarzuela

This is a recipe we're unlikely to activate for ClarkeFest, but it's one of the most delcious fish dishes you'll ever have. Ian's sister, Suzanne, was kind enough to reeal her recipe. The fish should be any white fish, though you need to be careful that it doesn't desintegrate too much during cooking.

Shellfish, including langostinos, clams and mussels
1 large onion, grated
4 very ripe tomatoes, grated

Extra virgin olive oil

Preparation: Salt everything, including the shellfish. Fry grated union on oil until lightly browned, add crushed garlic, making sure it doesn't burn. Add the grated tomato and simmer for a few minutes. Lightly brown the fish and shellfish in olive oil. Add to onion/tomato mixture, cover with water. Simmer for 1 hour, partially covered. Serve immediately.

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