That’s pork belly braised in the last of the maple sap with pho spices, then removed and the liquid strained and reduced to somewhere in the happy medium between stock and syrup. Underneath, freshly dug parsnips—early spring’s great treat, and maple’s perfect partner—steamed with yogurt whey and then puréed in it underneath, and alongside kale sautéed with some of last summer’s mirepoix from the freezer and a vibrant pesto of escarole and sunflower seeds. Chervil, the earliest (and latest; it’s indestructible by frost) of the domesticated herbs, made a fitting garnish. I reduced the rest of the liquid down to a thick caramel for use in various future nefariousness. This was a good dinner: contemplative and subtle, but also revelatory. This time of year, when fresh food becomes available again, is conducive to flavor experiences more profound than any . . . → Read More: Zen Garden
Going back to 2008, I have made 10-course extravaganzas for Thanksgiving: balls-out, unfettered freestyling wherein my imagination runs wild and my skills try their best to realize the perfervid visions and tie it all together. They’re all documented here on the blog, including the one that won me a trip to France. I have enjoyed cooking every one of them. But this year I wasn’t feeling it, so I took it easy. No manic list-making, no frantic days of prep beforehand, no careful curation of the trajectory from course to course. I bought a goose, and I used the homegrown produce on hand to round it out into a meal.
Keep reading Keep On Fucking That Turkey…
Just a quick note to mention that my piece about the process behind the opening of Fish & Game for Edible Manhattan, a revised version of the one I wrote for Edible Hudson Valley, is featured in Best Food Writing 2013. It’s gratifying to see my name alongside those up there on the top, as well as many others inside. I look forward to reading through it once my . . . → Read More: We Validate
You wouldn’t know it from this joint, but there’s been much afoot here at corporate headquarters and elsewhere lately.
Keep reading Don’t Fake Defunct…
I was taking pictures at Fish & Game on Sunday, and they had a giant puffball in the kitchen that they were running as a bar snack: brushed with olive oil, grilled, and served with lamb sausage and a scallion-chili salad. Zak gave me a couple of slices to take home, because as I ate one of the soft, slick slices it occurred to me that the mushroom could out-wonder Wonder bread as a grilled cheese substrate.
Keep reading More Puffball…
I decanted last fall’s vinegar crop over the weekend, and it was a good one. Three kinds, all fully fermented and super sour: straight cider, made from biodynamic apples, cider macerated with sumac for a few days and then strained, and blackcurrant. Half a gallon of each should last us a while. The cloudier bottle of cider was from the bottom of the jar; it has settled now and is quite clear.
Keep reading I Love To See You In The Morning Light…
Fresh morels, sautéd in butter with wild garlic, white wine, heavy cream, and herbes de Provence, make excellent crostini on homemade sourdough.
Oh, and I just saw that Edible Hudson Valley has the last issue online. You can read my piece about Tuthilltown’s fire and their new gin, and also my article about homemade vinegar. I also took the photos for . . . → Read More: PSA
In the current issue of Edible Hudson Valley I wrote a piece about Zak Pelaccio and Jori Jayne Emde’s Fish & Game, their new restaurant set to open next month in Hudson, NY. I spent three days with them over the course of three weeks, shooting a metric shitload of photographs and getting to know them and their crew pretty well in the process as they developed recipes and techniques for all the great ingredients that will be passing through their kitchen every day. All indications are that right out of the gate this will be one of the best restaurants in the Hudson . . . → Read More: Behind The Scenes
This predates Christmas, and thus was photographed without a flash, but it was a pretty good dinner and warrants a quick mention. Kind of a mishmash, it nonetheless managed to be both seasonally resonant and really fucking good to eat. Which you look for in a dinner.
Keep reading Apocalypse Chow…
Consistent with the tradition in this house, there was no turkey for Thanksgiving. Turkey is boring and hard to cook well unless you take it apart. We did, however, have Milo’s awesome Lego turkey as part of the centerpiece. Also keeping with tradition around here, the meal was a seven-course exploration of whatever perfervid visions had swum into my insomniac mind during the preceding week. It’s funny; I was listening to the radio as I made the dough for the foie gras oreos—one such idea—and the guest was saying something like “The key to a stress-free Thanksgiving is never to cook something new for the first time when people are coming over.” I think that takes all the fun out of it; three out of the seven courses were things I just made up and figured wouldn’t suck.
Keep reading Thanksgiving 2012…