Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Guanciale


Finally unpacked the cheek and used it first for Pizza with caramelized onions and Claudio ricotta and then the lil lady made carbonara using Talluto pasta and leeks from Graiff. Both dishes were delicious. The pasta was her first try and it was better than the version I had at Ansill a few weeks back. AND WTF? No pepper, parsley or reggiano served with the Ansill version.

We grilled turkey (paillards) to serve with the noodles.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Guanciale

The lady at Claudio grabbed one of these and I asked her about it. She seemed in the know and then Claudio Tom told me more so I grabbed one. I'll report back.

Tomahawk at WholeFoods Market


My girlfriend had designs on this as soon as I mentioned I saw it in the case. It's an aged rib steak that weighed just under 2#. we seared it than coated it w S&P, Garlic and shallots and slow roasted it to rare. Excellent along with some corn from Graiff. Chicken veg soup and metro bread with Headhouse lady's goat cheese. The Belgian beers were perfecto too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pancetta Pizza





WholeFoods Market had Applegate Pancetta tied and unsliced in their case today. I grabbed a 1/4 # and used it to make a pizza with goat cheese from the Headhouse lady. Brightened up the Prego sauce with Susanville garlic barely cooked in the pancetta fat, delicioso.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Super Grouper

At WholeFoods this morning the fellas told me about the grouper. I took a slab $19.99/#, skin on. Worth it. Spectacular filet of fish, absolutely shimmered. I sprinkled it with my proprietary chicken wing rub and seared it, extraordinaire!

6 for $2 corn was thrifty and tasty, an unexpected treat.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Susanville and Purslane @ Headhouse Market





















Last week the Beechwoods guy was selling garlic varieties for a buck a knob. They were tiny, I snickered at them. When I got home I was feeling toolish for not testing them out. He had them again this week. I asked for details but he wasn't too familiar, said that his daughter grew them. I bought a knob of Susanville. I'll report back

Purslane seems to be all over the place lately. I am totally unfamiliar. I grabbed a bunch today. It's seems to have a weedy disposition so the price is low and it's a sturdy grower. I'll get back on this.

UPDATE: the heirloom garlic 'Susanville' was distinctive and prime. It had a texture more like apple than the stringy commercial garlic varieties. Also a greener, brighter garlic flavor when I used it to flavor grilled lamb chops.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

'Amber ghost'


Some of the maple trees that got fried over the Summer are pushing late season growth.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ansill



Last night I took a seat at the bar. It was before 8, and I was presented the 'happy hour' menu. There were a few good deals. Oysters @ 1$/each got my attention. I asked and was informed that these were Cape May Salts. A buck each is a decent value. Don't believe the hype surrounding these oysters. They are plenty good at certain times of the year, but they are not year round flavor treasures. Anyway these were C+,B, good. From the daily specials I had a bowl of pasta carbonara. It was real good. The coddled(?) yolk in the shell on top of the noodles (papardelle) was a crafty touch.

Some other bright spots about Ansill. After 3 excellent martini's (9/11) I had a coffee. It too was excellent. The proprietress opened the door for me. Love that! The music was low and non-generic (Child of the Moon). The atmosphere was fresh and dustless.

Next time please offer me an excellent roll (and butter).....and bartender it is your job to dislodge or distract the creaturish gawkers at the bar.

I had a nice time. The very good cooking and hospitality sets Ansill apart from clone-ish faux-sseries. The experience was authentic and satisfying.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget




Philly lost plenty of men and women 9/11. We have a memorial mural that Elsie Caldwell (mom of Kenny Caldwell) created at 56th & Thompson.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bar 210 at LACROIX


I had a peek at the bar and cocktails menus for this new spot. I found them underwhelming. The thing is though, since you're in the restaurant, you can pretty much order anything they have available. The possibilities are splendid. I'm more of a Giant Buttermilk "chicken nugget" and Becks kind of guy but I wouldn't turn down some oysters, scallop tartare with a bottle of Chablis Grand Cru.

Lacroix has an amazing wine guy and plenty of depth in the kitchen. The service was superb on my visits and their authentic hospitality preps you for a delicious adventure . Bar 210 won't be my hangout but I'll need to stop by and check out the leather flooring and ya, the chicken nugget.

UPDATE: I popped in last night (9-14) had a quick drink and chatted up Eric (sommelier) who shared some ideas about 210. The bar space is pretty much in the center of the restaurant. It's raised up, ensconced and doesn't intrude on the dining room at all. The bar is a modest 6 seater with a soothing slate-ish green granite top. The leather floor and fabric walls mute any rogue sounds. The bar menu was not on offer yet it begins at the conclusion of Restaurant week. So I'll have to go back for the nugget. For starters 210 definitely succeeds as an appealing alternative to the Boathouse.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Di Bruno Bros Dangerous Price Break


My lil lady came home the other day with a flyer from Di Brunos. I zeroed in on a deal for Three Little Pigs Pates @ $4.99 a tray (8oz). I wondered why she didn't buy and gave her grief. Her response was "Frankly, I would be afraid of $5 pate." I told her that this brand was well known.

Today she was back at their store on Chesnut, and she grabbed one. YIKES! It is absolutely a DPB. The pickled aspic was a give away but the odd saltiness and clumpy texture of the solids all added up to a vicious DPB. There was no date anywhere on this package! Was it a French soldier's rations from the last time they were at war? No, the tray was plastic. I guess the lil lady's instincts were right.

Toolish Judgment













I feel like a tool sometimes bad mouthing the South St Superfresh. We are neighbors and I'm in there often. Of course even crappy joints often have bright spots.

This sandwich for example was made using $9.99/# veal from Superfresh. It was very good. If you factor in price it was extraordinary. All the ingredients for my veal parm sandwich came from Superfresh. Polly-o mozz is choice with authentic mozz flavor and lightness, prego sauce is tasty with nice texture, plain old 4C bread crumbs and an amoroso roll(?), all in the larder at South St. Superfresh.

UPDATE---Later on this week Superfresh was selling Pellegrino .5 ltr 24 count cases for $9.99. WOW that is a deal. I carried 3 cs home and the little lady grabbed one as well. I feel like a real strap bad mouthing SF.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pappardelle


Talluto's cuts these delicious noodles on a machine. They can also be cut from sheets with a chef's knife or a pastry cutter and it makes a more dramatic presentation (perfect w rabbit, pheasant stew).

Prickly Ice




Extraordinary in flavor along with a Kombucha like sense of well being.

Thank You Shari


My neighbor has a plot in the South St Community Garden. After shamelessly begging her for a share of her harvest she handed over a bag of tomatoes and basil. My little lady and I made this pizza which was delightfully tasty thanks to Shari.