Curtis Stone 2014 Picnic Recipes

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This week at the Hollywood Bowl, a star-studded program convenes for “To Ella with Love,” a tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald. Our featured chef, celebrity toque Curtis Stone, also pays homage to an important, influential woman by naming his new Beverly Hills restaurant Maude for the grandmother that inspired his love of cooking. The Australian-born chef embraces life in L.A. and is a passionate fan of the Bowl.

“Music is one of life’s most beautiful gifts and I indulge in it every day. Lounging around at home calls for Jack Johnson’s surfer beats but in the kitchen, I’m all about blasting classic punk rock and getting fired up for service! I’ve come to appreciate music even more in recent years since meeting my beautiful wife Lindsay; she has such a gorgeous way with it—she can sing, she can dance and she always knows the right song to play at the right moment. And I’ll let you in on our little secret: we live just close enough to the Bowl that if we listen just hard enough, we can make out who is taking the stage!”

—Curtis Stone

For more information visit:

[+click here] for our weekend entertainment guide




Serves 8


For my Hollywood Bowl picnics, I love to make this delicious chicken liver mousse parfait, similar to the one I offer at Maude, because I can make it in advance and tuck it into my picnic basket as I head out for the concert. Serve it on a board with shaved prosciutto, salami, mortadella, capicola, and Comté cheese for a casual but elegant picnic. Sliced fresh ciabatta, my Pickled Onions and Mustards Seeds, Madeira Jelly (see recipes below), and wine, of course, all go great with my favorite picnic!


  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup Madeira
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cleaned chicken livers, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, gently heated until melted but still creamy, and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 155°F.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the brandy, Madeira, sherry, shallots, thyme, bay leaf, and 3 grinds of fresh black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the liquids are reduced to a near glaze. Remove the thyme and bay leaf and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a blender, blend the chicken livers, shallot reduction, and pink salt. Slowly add the eggs and blend. Slowly add the butter. Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve and season with the kosher salt.
  4. Transfer the mixture to two 8-ounce ramekins. Cover the ramekins tightly with plastic wrap. Set the ramekins in a square 8-inch baking pan. Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan tightly with foil.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the mixture still moves slightly when the ramekins are gently shaken. Remove the ramekins from the water and set aside to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow the parfait to set completely.



These parfaits can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered tightly and refrigerated. Just bring them to room temperature before serving.

Madeira Jelly

Makes 2 cups


  • 2 gelatin sheets (silver)
  • 2 cups good-quality Madeira
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  1. In a medium bowl of ice cold water, soak the sheets for about 5 minutes, or until they soften.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the Madeira, salt, and sugar and cook for about 8 minutes, or until reduced by half. Remove from the heat.
  3. Remove the softened gelatin sheets from the ice water and squeeze out any excess moisture. Whisk them into the Madeira mixture until they have dissolved.
  4. Pour the mixture into a small heatproof bowl. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until the jelly has set. Using a spoon, break up the jelly and transfer it to jars or ramekins to serve or store.



The jelly can be made up to 2 weeks ahead, covered and refrigerated, and has many uses.

Pickled Onions and Mustard Seeds

Makes 2 cups


  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 12 each red pearl onions, halved
  • 1 tarragon sprig
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the mustard seeds and 2 cups of water. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat, strain the mustard seeds through a fine-meshed sieve, and return the strained seeds to the pan. Cover with 2 fresh cups of water and repeat the process. Repeat the blanching process for a total of 10 times. This blanching, though tedious, is imperative to remove the bitterness from the mustard seeds.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, oil, lemon juice, onions, tarragon, thyme, salt, and blanched mustard seeds. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer gently for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature.



The pickled onions and mustard seeds can be made up to 2 weeks ahead, covered and refrigerated.




Serves 4


  • 2-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2-1/2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, julienned
  • 2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced on the bias into rounds
  • 2 stalks celery, julienned
  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  • 2 pounds shrimp (size U16-20), peeled and deveined
  • 1 bunch cilantro, tender stems and leaves only
  • 1 Japanese cucumber, halved and sliced on the bias


  1. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the wine, vinegar, sugar, and 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for about 20 minutes, or until reduced by half. Cool the pickling liquid to room temperature and divide in half.
  2. Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the oil then add the onions and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add the carrots, celery, and kohlrabi and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add the bell peppers and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Remove from the heat and pour half of the pickling liquid over. Steep until cooled to room temperature. Season with salt and more sugar, if needed.
  3. In a large bowl, add 3 cups of ice and set aside.
  4. In a large pot, bring the remaining pickling liquid to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, or until just cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to the ice and add enough of the cooking liquid to the ice to make an ice bath. Set aside until the shrimp are cool. Drain and add the shrimp to the vegetables in the pickling liquid. Marinate for at least 4 hours.


  1. To serve, pour off most of the liquid from the shrimp and vegetables, reserving some liquid on the side.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp, vegetables, cilantro, and cucumber.
  3. Season to taste with salt, and dress with the reserved pickling liquid, if desired.
  4. Serve immediately.



The shrimp and cooked vegetables can marinate up to 1 day, covered and refrigerated.




Makes 18 madeleines and 1 cup of raspberry sauce


  • Madeleines
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons limoncello
    • Unsalted butter, room temperature, to coat the madeleine pans


    • Raspberry Sauce
      • 12 ounces fresh raspberries
      • 1/3 cup sugar
      • 1 lemon, zested


      1. The Madeleines:
        • Heat a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and cook, swirling constantly, for about 3 minutes, or until the butter is browned, but not burned. Pass the brown butter through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into a small heatproof bowl. Cool to room temperature.
        • Into a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar in the mixer bowl on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the limoncello. Mix in the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a silicone spatula, fold in the brown butter. Cover and refrigerate the batter for at least 2 hours.
        • Position the rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter the pan for large madeleines with the butter.
        • Spoon about 1-1/2 tablespoons of the batter into each indentation in the madeleines pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until puffed and beginning to brown on the bottom. Immediately remove the madeleines from the pan and transfer them to a cooling rack. Repeat to make the remaining madeleines, buttering the pan before the next batch.


      CHEF’S NOTE:

      The madeleine batter can be made up to 2 days ahead, kept refrigerated. The raspberry sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered and refrigerated.


      1. The Raspberry Sauce:
        • In a medium bowl, fold the raspberries, sugar, and lemon zest together. Set aside at room temperature for about 15 minutes to macerate, folding occasionally.
        • Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve.


      1. Serve the raspberry sauce alongside the madeleines for dipping.




Joshua Bell and Friends

Tuesday, July 8 at 8:00pm

Superstar violinist Joshua Bell displays his virtuosity and collaborative skills in concerto, chamber music and more, with help from some of his favorite friends including Glenn Close, Frankie Moreno, Philippe Quint and Time for Three.

[for tickets]

To Ella With Love

Wednesday, July 9 at 8:00pm

The “First Lady of Song” Ella Fitzgerald was one of the world’s greatest jazz voices. The Hollywood Bowl salutes her swinging scat and timeless classics with The Count Basie Orchestra and special guest vocalists including Patti Austin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Clint Holmes and Yuna. L.A.’s own Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra kicks the evening off with instrumental prowess and excellent jazzmanship.

[for tickets]

Bernstein & Gershwin

Thursday, July 10 at 8:00pm

The wry and witty Bramwell Tovey brings 20th-century favorites from Bernstein and Gershwin, acting as both conductor and pianist for Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. With special guest Dee Dee Bridgewater.

[for tickets]

Chris Botti & Chris Isaak

Friday, July 11 at 8:00pm

Saturday, July 12 at 8:00pm

These two suave and sophisticated stars will share the stage with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a romantic evening of beautiful ballads and enchanting melodies. After performances from both artists, they will collaborate for the first time ever—the tenderhearted crooning of Chris Isaak along with the lush tones of Chris Botti, a perfect mix for a very special summer evening.

[for FRIDAY tickets]

[for SATURDAY tickets]

Grease Sing-A-Long

Sunday, July 13 at 7:30pm

Bring your friends to the fun-filled Grease Sing-A-Long, which returns with a pre-show performance and the much-loved movie musical on the Bowl’s giant screen. Grease is the word! With host Didi Conn (“Frenchy”). 7:30 PM pre-show with Sha Na Na and film at 8:30 PM.

[for tickets]


To download a pdf of this recipe, [click here].


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