Recipe Hijack

22 Feb

Last week when I was honored at New York University for donating Gourmet‘s cookbook library to the esteemed institution, the subject of a missing recipe came up. Zanne Zakroff Stewart, who was the executive editor of Gourmet magazine for decades, said that she was in possession of all of Gourmet’s recipes — except one. That recipe happened to be mine: Candied Ginger and Rosemary Squares that Zanne said she has loved for years but simply could not find in her extensive files.  The next day, I ransacked my office looking for the recipe.  I, too, could not find it, nor could I remember what issue it was in.  I did, however, remember some of the other recipes in that article.  It was a time of great creativity I suppose, for in that same article were recipes such as Curried Onion Baklava; a savory cheesecake made with feta and mascarpone cheese in a black and white sesame crust, and an Arabic orange salad.  I sent an email to Zanne hoping that would help her in her search.

In the meantime, I went to Google.  I was curious whether the recipe had landed on Epicurious, as so many of my recipes have.  Well, there it was. My exact recipe.  Except it had someone else’s name on it! Now they were called Paul’s Candied Ginger and Rosemary Squares and they were submitted to Epicurious two years ago by a certain chef Paul Boyami.  I laughed. This happens all the time — some cases more extreme than others. Once a chef plagiarized 13 of my recipes and sent them, with his own photographs, to a major newspaper in Miami!  And…the recipes were in the exact order that he copied them from my Recipes 1-2-3 Menu Cookbook.  That cookbook even won a James Beard Award.  What was he thinking?!  The issue of recipe theft and plagiarism in our industry is monumental and getting worse given the instantaneous kleptomaniacal nature of the Internet.  Zanne wrote to me later in the day.  With the hints I had given her, she was able to find the recipe.  It was from the November 1994 issue of Gourmet!  Here’s the recipe and here’s what they look like.  I made them yesterday, with great excitement, for my brunch guests — for I haven’t had them since 1994.  The photo was taken by my husband, Michael, who just popped one in his mouth.  Enjoy!

Candied Ginger and Rosemary Squares

1 3/4 cups sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped (3 tablespoons if using dried)
1 cup candied ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon water
4 cups all purpose flour, sift with salt
2 each large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Into a medium bowl sift together flour and salt and gradually beat into butter mixture with three fourths of eggs. Beat in ginger and rosemary and press dough evenly into a 13″ x 9″ baking pan.

In a small bowl beat water into remaining egg to make an egg wash and brush on dough. With back of knife score dough (about 1/4 inch deep) in a crosshatch pattern and bake in middle of oven 35 to 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool pastry in pan on a rack and cut into 24 squares. Pastry may be made 5 days ahead and chilled covered. Let pastry come to room temperature before serving.

Garnish pastry with rosemary sprigs. Serves 16 to 20

One Response to “Recipe Hijack”

  1. wichitalinegirl April 21, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    I am looking at this article right now. I am copying all of them all into Paprika before I take the magazine to the church rummage sale. The recipes for the holiday appetizer buffet look great, and I can’t find them on the internet.

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