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Brooklyn will soon be home to the city’s first gay cookbook.

Dozens of the borough’s gay-friendly foodies are coming together and coming out in Brooklyn Pride’s recipe compilation, “A Family Table: Recipes from Brooklyn’s Gay-owned and Gay-friendly Restaurants,” a self-published compendium that’s scheduled for release on Feb. 18.

Pride representatives would not leak the details until the cookbook’s debut, but did reveal at least one tasty nugget: the forward is written by our own gay-friendly Borough President Markowitz.

The goal of the cookbook is to help gay-owned eateries.

“The bad times have hit everybody — we’re trying to support many of the local bars and restaurants that have supported us over the years,” said Zully Rolan, chairwoman of the Brooklyn Pride organization. “Plus, for someone like me who can’t cook a hill of beans, it’s great.”

You certainly don’t have to be gay to take a swing at these recipes. The cookbook’s not a campy, flamboyant stereotype like a predecessor, chef Lou Rand Hogan’s “The Gay Cookbook” from 1965, which is full of innuendo and references to the reader as “girlfriend.”

Instead, Rolan calls her group’s tome a family book that encompasses the gay foodie community from Brooklyn’s past and present.

It features an eclectic mix of breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees from the locals we love. Rolan and the crew have even tracked down the borough’s culinary greats, including Food Network star Daisy Martinez, to share their favorites, step-by-step.

The restaurant owners involved couldn’t be happier.

“It’s a great idea, and shows we welcome everyone like we have since we opened in 1987,” said Lee Ornati, co-owner of Teddy’s Bar and Grill in Williamsburg, which gave us the best linguine with winter veggies our carnivorous palate could bear.

French Onion Soup

(from Belleville restaurant)

Serves four

1/4 cup butter

3 yellow onions, thinly sliced

4 Vidalia onions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2-1/2 cups water

1/2 cup red wine

6 cups beef broth

1 French baguette, sliced into big croutons

8 ounces sliced Swiss cheese or gruyere

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter in a four-quart saucepan. Stir in sugar. Cook onions over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir in flour until well blended with the onions and pan juices.

Add water, wine, and beef broth; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Cut four one-inch thick slices of bread from the loaf and toast in the oven until browned (about 10 minutes). Reserve the remaining bread to serve with the soup. Ladle soup into four, 12-ounce, oven-safe bowls. Place one slice of toasted bread on top of the soup in each bowl. Place Swiss cheese slices on each toasted bread slice.

Raise oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for three minutes or just until cheese is melted.

Linguine with Autumn Vegetables

(from Teddy’s Bar and Grill)

Serves four

1 medium butternut squash

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup roasted garlic

1/3 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps torn in pieces

1/3 pound oyster mushrooms, torn in pieces

1/3 pound chanterelle mushrooms, torn in pieces

1/2 bunch fresh sage, coarsely chopped

1/2 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1 cup dry white wine

1 pound greens washed and coarsely chopped (escarole, kale, etc.)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/2 cup Romano cheese, freshly grated

1/4 cup butter

1 pound dry linguine

1 cup shelled, toasted, chopped pumpkin seeds

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut off the top of a head of garlic, wrap it in aluminum foil, and roast in oven until soft and fragrant.

Use the back of a knife to squeeze the garlic from the skins.

Peel and dice the butternut squash, toss with two tablespoons of olive oil, spread on a sheet pan and roast until soft and squash begins to brown a little.

In a large frying pan, add the rest of the olive oil and heat.

Add all the mushrooms and sauté until their juices evaporate and they start to brown.

Add the garlic, the squash, the sage and cook together a couple of minutes.

Add the wine and simmer until the wine evaporates by half.

Cook linguine until it is still a bit tough, and reserve about a cup of the cooking water. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.

Add the greens to the sauce and cook until they wilt.

Add the linguine, the reserved cooking water, the butter and the parsley.

Toss and cook until linguine is just cooked and the sauce is still a little thin. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Take off the heat and add the cheeses, reserving a little for final garnish.

Portion the pasta and vegetables on four to six plates depending on whether this is an appetizer or main course, and top with pumpkin seeds.

Plantain Stuffed French Toast

(from Bogota Bistro)

Serves five

1 loaf sliced bread

6 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons of honey

2 ripe plantains

Green Apple topping (see recipe)

Maple syrup

Vegetable oil

Peel the plantains and cut them into slices.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Fry plantains until golden on both sides, about five minutes per side.

Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

Combine eggs, milk, ground cinnamon and honey in a shallow wide dish.

Dip the slices of bread into the egg mixture allowing them to soak in on both sides. Butter a non-stick sauté pan.

Cook the French toast for two to three minutes on each side, until golden brown (flip only once).

Assemble sweet plantains onto five pieces of French toast and press down with a fork.

Place remaining five pieces of French toast on top of the sweet plantains.

Serve with maple syrup.

For the green apple topping

2 green apples, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons of honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Butter a non-stick sauté pan and cook green apples with cinnamon, cloves and honey for six to eight minutes until apples have browned and are fork tender.

“A Family Table: Recipes from Brooklyn’s Gay-owned and Gay-friendly Restaurants” will be published in February. To pre-order a copy, visit www.brooklynpride.org. Copies are $25 (suggested donation).

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Reader Feedback

Juicy Julius from Dyke Slope says:
The recipies aren't really that gay at all. I was hoping for tips on how to make melt in your mouth pink cream puffs, or the perfect quieche!

Can we have a gay recipie book that is really gay and doesn't take itself so overly seriously?

Everything sounds like it's from an Iowa farm house.
Jan. 21, 2010, 7:26 am
Vale from Kashmir says:
Plantain stuffed french toast? Sounds plenty gay to me. (Spotted Dick would be too obvious and sounds unpalatable if not unhealthy) Now if we could just get a decent club/restaurant in the downtown area....
Jan. 25, 2010, 2:07 pm
Lance from Prospect Heights says:
I agree, plantain pancakes sound pretty gay - you know how we gays love our bananas!

And anything can be as long as it's served in the right dish. you know what we say: dish dish dish!
Jan. 26, 2010, 10:57 am
Karen from South Slope says:
Now that the gays have their own cookbook, who is going to step up and make the broolyn lesbian cookbook?

I have a good recipie for a sloppy tuna sandwich if anyone wants to use that as a start.
Jan. 27, 2010, 6 pm

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