Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Party Recap

Well the party was definitely very festive. The record heat of 92F fueled a champagne, beer, pineapple mojito and sangria frenzy. We were prepared for it.

As for the grub, folks seemed to lay back in wait for the swine. There was no fear of the aporkalypse. Although the buffalo flanks with sprouts and avocado were delish, the banh trang were expertly made, and my Chinese mustard chicken wings were a little better than OK, none of those got much attention.

When planning the party, our original idea was to have just a raw bar set-up and the pig. I think that makes a felicitous combination, and if the opportunity arises I would do it that way.

Still no complaints. The party was really fun. The effect of presenting a whole roasted creature charges up an event and the lil lady definitely deserved it.

Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us, esp: Ean, Shane, Cara, Tim, Nina and Sean.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Birthday Party Menu --- Lil Lady's 30th

Tomorrow is party day celebrating the Lil Lady's 30th. We weren't expecting the 89 degree April day but it didn't derail the menu planning.

The main dish is a roasted suckling that I got from $onny D'angelo. It's 17.5 # cost $172. The suckling has been in the cooler since yesterday it's all salt and peppered up along with a load of chopped rosemary, parsley, oregano, thyme, marjoram, sage and garlic.

I have a big batch of chicken wings chilling in an OJ, 5 spice, sesame oil marinade. They get tossed with Chinese mustard, chives and cilantro when they come off the grill.

I have a few bison flank steaks resting with some shallots, pepper and soy. They will go on grain bread with sprouts and avocado and italian bread with roasted peppers and provolone.

We've got loads of asian greens, shrimp and rice papper for Banh trang.

Potato salad,
mac n cheese and a salad of bibb, pears and almond along with fruit, rolls and bread fill out the buffet.

We have the lemon curd cake, canele and chocolate ricotta tortes for dessert.

Mojitos, champagne, sangria and beer for drinks. Yahooo!

Pics coming.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bison Flank Steak

This was a test dish for Sunday's Birthday Party menu. Chile rubbed and seared ...considering a sandwich with sprouts. avocado and grain bread.

This flank from WholeFoods $9.99/#.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lobstah Rolls

Lobster rolls and Cape May salts.

Excellent combination and perfect with tater tots. We also fried a 1/2 pint of cape May oysters and swigged down a bottle of White Star and a 1/2 bottle of Innocent Bystander Moscato, delicious.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pathetic Product(s)

Lazor and Amorosi are promoting Tony Lukes frozen Cheesesteak over on SpielTicket. Spiel Ticket is the complimentary marketing service over at City Paper.

Their Tony Luke spiel is loaded with culinary brilliance : “you cannot, under any circumstances, take a full and complete sandwich — a loaded sandwich that is frozen — put it in a microwave or in an oven and expect that the sandwich will taste good..." and “Three minutes in a bag — let it rest so that the cheese doesn’t stick to the bag..." sexy yes?

In all fairness I wasn't part of Tony's focus group so I can't comment on his sous vide sandwich. I would think though that it wouldn't be too tricky to boil anything in a bag and make it taste better than what's called a cheesesteak on Oregon Ave.

Amorosi earnestly states: "
Getting the sandwich absolutely right was crucial to Luke...." ya it's crucial to Kraft too.

Expect to see cheesesteak sous vide in the Reading Terminal Market soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Canele Molds

I accidentally broiled my molds a few months ago. That action forced their premature retirement. I picked up new ones at Fante's. These were about $15 each. A double batch of the Zuchini and Chocolate recipe makes enough to fill the blue one and 2 of the 8 well molds.

(I'll gladly give anyone canele lessons in exchange for copper canele molds.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

National Poetry Month Poem for South St Posers

Well I had to sell my bike so maybe a bit of sour grapes here.....but tonight I was walking up South St and the posers on sport bikes were thick. Walking your bike down South St costumed in pristine racing leathers LOL. Packing your ho on the pillion, ... hey Biker Bois !

I took the liberty of venting my derision by writing a verse describing the time my girlfriend, who has modest driving skills, overtook a sportsbike rider on the entrance to 95 at the Walt Whitman. He was in full racing gear including his club patch. Not surprisingly he had no (cornering) skills. UPS trucks out-corner Philly sport bike riders with impunity. The guy we passed I saw a few days later on South St. Same bike, same leathers still rolling as if he were Valentino Rossi

This Is Just To Say

We overtook
your bike
cornering on 95

maybe you thought

No disrespect
girlfriend was driving
she smiled
car so old

Guanciale & Bucheron

These ravs are filled with Claudio ricotta, Bucheron and chives. The dough is from Talluto. The sauce is chicken stock, tomatoes and onions with guanciale.
This was an excellent chunk of guanciale fron $onny d'Angelo, $ 25.00/#. About 5 oz. total used in this dish for four.
Sonny's house made guanciale is superior to cryo'd cheek.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Callebaut & Claudio

I found chunks of Callebaut 97.5% in WholeFoods Market$7.99/#. Callebaut is a Belgian firm. I used the Callebaut to make a ganache for the ricotta torte. The ganache was delicious, haven't tasted the torte yet.

Update: torte is delightfully chocalicious.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Acer palmatum 'Fairy Hair'

This plant is a 3 yr graft.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Harry Kalas Master Broadcaster

I'm sad that the master has passed. Sportscasters with Harry's character, wit and warmth are way too rare.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Sunday Brunch

I'm off to Cape May to feed the clan for the Holy day. We've got antipasti with lots of charcuterie stuff from Claudio and cheeses from there and WholeFoods. We've got shrimp spring rolls and crab tacos. In the entree department we've got fresh ham with fingerlings, cipollinis and sauerkraut and also grilled lamb Ras el hanout with tabbouleh. Desserts are cannele, lemon curd cake and ricotta tortes.
I'll be back with pics.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Chef's Table

Chef Eric "Cayman Picnic" Ripert explains to Chef Jim Coleman that the"fish guts" is not glamorous, seriously.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

TOURISTS BEWARE: Cheese Steak Free For All at Reading Terminal Mkt

Reading terminal management continues to keep it classy.

Not free cheesesteaks.......
now that Olivieri's been ousted everyone's taking a crack at the grill. By George added another layer of signage and a griddle; they have joined Rocco's (Carmen's) and Spataro in hustling dollars from uninformed tourists.

4/20/12 UPDATE: It's astonishing but conditions have deteriorated.

The free-for-all, anything-goes 'cheesesteak' debacle continues. Molly's and Down Home Dinner offer 'cheesesteaks'! Molly looks to be trying way too hard with their sandwich. Engineering a $13 bar sandwich in a food market seems more accountant than chef driven.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

El Costeno

These are the tasty plates we devoured today when we took a break from shopping for Easter Brunch. Chorizo sopes, quesadilla with excellent guac and tongue tacos. The cooking was tasty and we enjoyed a video of Joan Sebastian as we ate.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

World Irish Dancing

Whoa the Kimmel was full of high spirits, high steppers and high hair do's.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sakura Sunday

Bainbridge St.
Cherry Blossoms.

Sakura beauty
Dark trunks against pale blossoms
Life in an image.

My sakura soul
Blossoms full then falls.
A short, brilliant life.

Silent sakura
In the blossoms a message
Taste life's beauty now.

Strawberries $1 a Quart

Strawberries everywhere in the Italian market today

La Tia's Tamales

A woman was selling tamales out of a shopping cart on 9th St today. 4 chicken tamales for $5 warm and wrapped to go. Delicioso

National Poetry Month

my spring is just this:
a single bamboo shoot
a willow branch

Serve The People, Jen Lin-Liu TASTY READING

The New York Review mentioned this book in a story about changing times in Beijing and I asked my lil lady to get it for me.

"Lin-Liu, a second-generation Chinese-American from California , was the only foreigner to study at a cooking school in Beijing; she then worked in a variety of restaurants, from a simple noodle shop in Beijing to the Whampoa Club in Shanghai, one of China's fanciest restaurants. Along the way she produces fascinating portraits of the vast world of Chinese cuisine..."
New York Review, 3/26/09, pg.41.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

'Jambon Royal' (It's Not Internacional)

This is a Niman Ranch product that is available at WholeFoods Market. It's on $ale right now at $8.99/# which seems cheap for royal ham. This ham is a good value for those with a Liquid Smoke fetish and splurgers who blow their daily sodium allowance on just a few bites.

Acer japonicum 'Attaryi' in Flower

Hearing frogs
We pluck yellow yamabuki roses
In the field
And float them in our sake cups
How pleasant the picnic is
The poem is about a completely different plant.
April is national poetry month.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

'Hanami nishiki'

This tree is one of the dwarf cultivars of Acer palmatum.