Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sublime on South

Soup Season

My GF has achieved virtuosity with chicken soup. She's practiced a lot and is a firm believer in 6hr chicken stock (a la A. Portale). She's developed favored vendors and has a few unconventional twists. Her Mom is also a virtuoso, particularly with banh xeo, bun thit nuong, bun rieu and many more. This pic is sup mang cua. She takes every shortcut imaginable in making this dish, and it still comes out delectable. I added the chives.

Mixing up our standard stuff with items my gf brings from home results in unexpectedly delightful dining. Vietnamese ribs and l/o potato gratin, crab and asparagus soup with grilled ham & cheese, pork pastries with fried eggs --- available only here in our kitchen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Positively 9th st

Bad in bulk -- pirate cookies

Here you get a plu rather than nutrition info or ingredient list.


One of my favorite loaves around town. (Sarcone?)

At WholeFoods Market and HeadHouse market I've not found a loaf worthy of a second taste.

oops! I did it again

Bison Ribeye Roast was still on sale (WFM 13.99$/#) could not resist making it again for my son.

Used the Bommarito pinot noir (chairmen's selection). 20$ worth it

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Miracle on 10th st.

Novembers' Jersey tomatoes. Surprising yes. Maybe even miraculous (the price that is). Acceptable taste and texture.

Organic yet not transparent @ WholeFoods Mkt

Is coconut a vegetable? The French and/or Wholefoods market say so. If the 2nd ingredient is copra oil (coconut oil) how could the French sign off on this crap? The price is right and with the 'organic' designation you'd never suspect that eating 3 of these would supply 55% of the saturated fat recommended for a day! On the plus side whole foods always has their MartCarts charging.

Update --- to their credit WholeFoods Market employees are knowledgeable about the products sold. Today I pointed out my vegetable~coconut oil and saturated fat concerns. The employee, a step ahead, pointed out that: #1, the "truffle" looks the same both going in and coming out and #2, that the allergen sticker that covers over other details is fair warning enough.

Stepping up it's game SUPER FRESH MARKET

Organic potatoes at SFM , Chestnuts* too

*Chestnuts not organic.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sausages and such

I did return to Giunta's and test out the chipped pork. It was real good and I would definitely use again. But when it comes to the sausages it's a different matter. Way back when, Martins sausages had some made right here-ness to them. Canulli (ritner st) is packed with made right here-ness. They don't have a turkey sausage and that's good because it's absolutely suspect when a butcher sells sausage across so many domains: lamb, pork, beef, turkey, smoked ... The sausages taste generic and mass produced because they are.

D'Angelo is an exception. He has sausages from alligator and boar to ostrich and 7 fish! His integrity and fastidiousness is legendary.

Canulli sells pork. Cutlets, sausages, braciole that's it. The taste and texture are right on and the place smells sweet and clean.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Creme obscene

Try to find a container of Heavy Cream that has one ingredient. Shocking!

Nature on South St

Lindera Benzoin
at All Occasions Flowers


I thought this dish was a serious throwback however the Halekulani serves something similar; good enough for them it's OK w me. For service i thickened a lil creme and tossed in marjoram, savory, parsley, thyme and scattered frizzled leeks at end. Came out great in my own oven, not as nice in my sisters. still a nice app and plates up fast.

Happy Thanksgiving

The Sky yesterday afternoon was wild. I was genuinely Thankful and felt the need to make a T'day toast. I came really close to passing out this pic to emphasize the THANKS in Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Car go

I imagined that a visit to
Assouline would provide culinary inspiration. However i forgot they moved. We ended up at the Wood Turning Center (501 Vine).They had spectacular wood pieces and we drilled the friendly woman there with questions about the pieces. They had this pine cone, epically scaled about 4'!

Meanwhile at Assouline (2050 Richmond)i decided to prepare escargot for my part in the Thanksgiving meal.

Country Club

We were ravenous in the NE yesterday. I suggested CC diner since we were on Cottman. My gf wisely ordered a knish, it was super. I thought i was in the know ordering a reuben. The coffee sucked and blah blah blah. Most of the CC employees were great. The host and cashier were friendly and helpful. Our server, however, must've bounced halfway through our lunch.

Haricot there you go

WholeFoods market really goes all out for shoppers who like to be overly prepared. Mega packs @7.99$/# bagged Sunday with complimentary "First Hand Knowledge"

Happy Thanksgiving to you WholeFoods Market

Monday, November 19, 2007


Feelings can run strong about cheese steaks. Around town even the crappiest places have devotees. I think outsiders use different criteria than locals. For example the esteemed Gayot mentions Jims* and "very good" in the same sentence. Landmarks, neon, local color, etc add weight to evaluations done by visitors. Some sandwiches taste like they supply 3x the daily sodium needs*. Others will inspire colonics. Some critics judge the merits of the sandwich by its weight. If you are looking for the straight up best sandwich i am a loyal subject of Steve the Prince of Steaks but that requires a trip to the NE. In town Sonny's is very good. The S. Philly places I've been to I would recommend only for emergencies. I once had a passable sandwich at Gianna's grill on 6th.

UPDATE:8/24/08 Sonny's earns a Businesses that Botch
Popped in @8:30 on a Sunday night. They gave me a precooked cheesesteak and cheese fries with solid lumpy whiz. The table had a ridiculous rock and the flies were all up on my grub. The staff were having a contest. The contest was who could shout the most convincing "fuck you" (they apologized, said they didn't know i was inside). They didn't need to shout at all the food said it all.

Fall fare right here

My son and his girlfriend joined us for dinner last night. We had some antipasta type stuff from Walnut St. Di Bruno's (bring gold) that was tasty along with 2 breads that were very good!

Chairmans selection in pic delicious and everyone enjoyed it. I Gaetanoized the classic Blanquette de Veau.

From WholeFoods market I got chanterelles 15.95$/# fair price, a box of Dufour pastry and veal that was cut for stewing. The pearl onions are key in this dish but couldn't find any at last minute so garlic-chives and shallots. Used up that crappy Viognier along with some chicken stock for the liquid.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Marketing

I stopped by Pink Rose and grabbed a few cookies for my lady friend. They were sweet in there. I believe this bicycle basket belongs to someone @ Southwark.

I popped in Essene while i was in the area and wow they had some nice Japanese groceries, also the prepared stuff looked great. Although the lotus root that i went in for looked vintage. Kinda quiet in there esp in comparison to WFM but the goods looked good.

Back at WFM I was scoping out the meat case and a customer walked up, asked about a filet mignon and bought a 4# on the spot for 100$. WHOA. The bison roast was still on sale and i thought about suggesting, but last time i did that i felt like a jerk as i had to refuse catering the meal.

Sunday Marketing

I stopped for coffee at The Bean. Joe B's work was on the walls. A pair of erotic cutouts, a subversive grouping of politcal pieces and a botanical-ish cutout with oak leaves were all deftly detailed, black on white cutouts.

The cutouts are 10x better looking than these crappy pics.

Sunday marketing

Fall color. Ginkgos on 9th

Sunday Marketing

Dinner for tonight and ideas for a T'day appetizer forced me into todays' chilly drizzle. At the SuperFresh 10th st. they had great lamb deals. AU loin chops were very fresh looking and 5.99$/#. These are a deal we grill em all the time. Frenched racks that were cryo'd for 8.99 looked good. I might go back for those. Also good looking veal loin chops were 9.99. It's easy to meet new people in SuperFresh, ever notice that?

Friday, November 16, 2007

All was not lost.

We caught nothing from the boat but we checked the Lobster House Market and found lobster prices favorable. They had a pair of 19# for 7.95$/#. MMMMM that would be a dead serious brunch presentation. We couldn't use the giants but we took a 7# for 8.95$/# still a great deal. Their tank was full of lg lobsters.
At the Lobster House I was told that the larger lobsters were not local and were trapped in northern waters.

DO NOT believe that lg lobsters are tough or suck or anything else. I've cooked dozens of lobsters over 10# they are delicious if you don't vulcanize them. A 22# used for a party was reduced to a husk in minutes by glamorous guests who told me later it was the best ever. Big ones need a big pot to cook them in. We've used all kinds of vessels but I'd like to test out the Turbotiere offered by Mauviel.

Using the lobster cooking directions in Jeffrey Steingarten's 'The Man Who Ate Everything' is a very good idea. His times and techniques work nicely. Also the recipe for Lobster Rolls that is included is exceptional if you carefully follow the directives.

Skunked at sea

Fishing for striped bass on Wednesday we got skunked. We took to the high seas on Sea Star III out of Cape May with Capt'n Rob and 1st mate Chuck. 3 keepers were caught on this trip (not by us) none of them over 25#. Plenty of blues caught, it was divided between using for cat food and people food, they were chopper size.

The woman in this pic is Maryanne Rambo we've fished with Maryanne in the past. Last May she caught the bass in the pic 37# 45" which is a nice fish by any standard. I asked Maryanne about her cooking technique for the big one. She told me that she bakes slices of filet with italian dressing, peppers and onions. she still has a supply in freezer from the May fish! On Wednesday Maryanne was skunked as well.

We fished the Cape May rips mostly (pictured) and used live eels.
WholeFoods Market has Striper filet on sale for 14.99$/# which is a fair price if the fish is perfecto. I've used their bass filets for holiday meals and the freshness was there but the small fish aren't especially tasty nor do they have the fantastic texture of the bigger fish.