Sunday, August 28, 2011

Roasted Peppers, Guanciale, Corn, Basil Savory Tart --- Ricotta Vanilla Nectarine Sweet Tart

 On Thursday we brought roasted pepper, leek, basil and guanciale tart to Media farmers Market.

 The sweet tart used Claudio's ricotta with FairFood Farmstand on-sale nectarines.

Hurricane Supper

Yesterday I was at Rittenhouse Market while Lil Lady was at BrynMawr. I wasn't convinced that we had enough grub in the event Irene got irate. I texted her "grab a chicken" and she came home with an impressive heritage breed chicken form Canter Hill Farm. Check out their "poultry" page for good information about their practices and products. 

Super tasty plate here: Taproot lettuce, Z-Food Farm organic cipollini's and tomatoes, boned-out heritage chicken with chanterelles and cream.

We used a Good Spoon Senegalese Peanut and Chicken Stew as a first course. We've tried a few soups from Kate Hartman including the delicious, shimmering asparagus soup she brought to the RTM Buy Local event. We used her cantaloupe soup to make cocktails during the scorching summer days. All of them were carefully composed, freshly executed and deftly balanced . There's a slice of shishito threaded through a slice of tomato as a garnish.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Tarticle----Philadelphia Style Magazine

Thanks to Philly Style Magazine and Adam Erace for the savory tarticle.

Andy Kahl made the excellent photographs. Thanks Andy. 

No HeadHouse Market This Weekend

All you HeadHouse Market Day fans....come to Rittenhouse tomorrow and grab fine hurricane grub. I've got crispy cucarachas, crackly florentines, salty caramels, vanilla nectarine ricotta tarts and tomato, chanterelle and ham savory tarts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Andouille Stuffed Chicken, Grits w Chevre, Heirloom Tomatoes

The pic is sloppy but the plate was tasty. This was a Griggstown chicken (thanks Chip) that Lil lady boned out. I stuffed the leg with sausage from D'Angelo (superb quality), the grits got a dose of roasted poblanos (Three Springs) and a dollop of Linden Dale chevre and tomatoes from Weaver's Way.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Florentine Fixens

Candied Fruits: cherries, ginger, orange, lemon

Tedious task candy-ing cherries

Monday, August 22, 2011


Tom Culton's plums at Headhouse yesterday.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Herrcastle Berries, BirchRun Hills Equinox

Lil lady came from Media Market with a flat o' berries on Thursday. The blackberries and raspberries came from Herrcastle Farm in Holtwood PA. Both berries were tangy, with a juicy delicate texture. The razzies, far more full of Summer than both the organic and conventional Cali Driscolls we've used lately.

This savory tart is made with corn, tomatoes and peppers, all from Reading Terminal Market along with PorcSalt bacon, BirchRun Hills Equinox and Linden Dale chevre. The use of contrasting cheeses upped the delicious complexity in this peak of Summer assemblage.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Post From the Coast II

Peak of the Summer Produce from West cape May Farmers Market

The softies more than fulfilled expectations.

Delectable selection of heirloom tomatoes from No Frills Farm at West Cape May Tuesday  Farmers Market

Hula @ Market

This plate deceptively basic but way delicious eg.. purple potatoes from No Frills Farm with sour cream and chives... elemental yet commanding your undivided attention with earthy perfection. The grilled chicken is a $2.00 a pound basic bird from West Side Market with backyard rosemary and parsley, Duckie's garlic and Grey Poupon. The grilled veggies are a selection of items from the farmers market.

Post From the Cape May Coast

When it comes to striper fishing I am a proponent of the match-the-hatch philosophy. Still my favorite bait for surf fishing is fresh squid. My experience striper fishing in Cape May is that you don't see fresh squid at market very much during the season. I'm not saying it's a conspiracy to encourage visitors to buy pricier baits but... 

It is not currently striper season in CM. There was a bounty of sweetly fresh squid at the Lobster House last night. The lovely veggies all came from Duckie's Market. We used a chiffonade of basil and a few crispily grilled rashers of pancetta from Nick Macri (SouthWark) on that plate.

Well Fed August Spiders
Absolute beauties from the Lobster House: soft, lively and large, with all their appendages, $4.50
Lagerstroemia  (indica x fauriei) 'Natchez' sheds bark in August

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

East Goshen Market Tarts

 I could not make a decision about the sweet tart yesterday...WFM forced my hand with these organic Cali beauties! Valhrona on the bottom, vanilla pastry cream in the middle.
Sonny's pancetta in these along with our neighbor Shari's basil and our other neighbor Bobbie's tomatoes. Leeks from Weaver's Way.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Farm and the Fisherman

Arriving at FFM maybe 10 mins. late for our reservation we opened the door on a full dining room. Not an open table in sight. We stood at the door until the hostess relieved us of our burgundy and suggested we come back in about 10. We walked back home. There we polished off the Cava that had made us 10 mins late. When we got back things inside the restaurant were far calmer. We accepted sweet seats at the front window.
'Parker House' bun. A tasty touch! At times WildFlour makes an excellent version of these.
This is the 'porridge' with peach, tomato and salami. This inspired combo presents delightful flavor dynamics among the sweet, funky cured salami notes and the fresh and fruity, low acid tomato and peach elements. Brilliant!
Cape May scallops with corn and chanterelles. We cook up loads of CM scallops in our crib. I like em just fine but they're not reliably superb. These were fine but not glistening gems. They were also a bit on the cooked side. The corn kernels and the scallops in this preparation were not as complimentary as I had hoped  .  . Lil lady thought these were delish.  
This is the delicious stuffed quail. Just as tasty as the expertly grilled version I devoured at Pumpkin not too long ago. Pumpkin's had more of an a la minute bite to it.  Still not feeling the corn kernel action. Shola's quail concept seems solid.

The poached farm egg. Well there was exactitude in this dish. The egg couldn't have been more perfectly gelatinous. The veggies held in the broth just so. I think this dish is hatching in too many restaurants.

Pork loin and jowl. Clearly a deft touch at play yet I wasn't captivated. The jowl was straight up flaccid fat while the loin was tastily cured but plainly framed. My least favorite.
The Bloody Beet was bloody spectacular. Earthy, interestingly sweet and tart, with unexpected textural sensations. World class.

The lamb ribs with sumac were sensational. A remarkably delicious and felicitous combination. These were crispy, fatty, spiced with inspiration and precision and expertly roasted. A flavor epiphany.

At FFM the cooking is excellent. The hospitality is just fine. The Farm and Fisherman is a must visit for precise cooking with prime local ingredients.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Barbacoa, Los Taquitos de Puebla

We caught the delicious article that Brian Shreffler penned for the City Paper and were compelled to give barbacoa a go from Los Taquitos. Gracias Brian! Los Taquitos' barbacoa was astoundingly delicious. Los Taquitos is a solid spot. 1149 S 9th. is a must visit destination for Mexican grub in Philly.

Santucci Lands on Christian St!

I ate my first slices of Santucci's in Juniata Park, with my Uncle Len, listening to a transistor radio broadcasting Sandy Koufax's pummeling of the Phils (1964?). When my family moved to Frankford, a few miles from Santucci's, we stuck with Santucci although Leandro's on Frankford Ave. was a delicious alternative. Later when I visited my folks and there wasn't any grub in the fridge my dad would be on the phone and then in the Gremlin (AMC) to grab a couple of pies @ O St. Until very recently the lil lady and I would trek to O St when we got the craving. We were shocked when we discovered O St location shuttered. We were thrilled when the Christian St spot was finally open for biz.

So far we've done Santucci on Christian 3x. The first order was chicken wings and pizza. The wings were fresh and nicely cooked, very satisfactory but not distinctive or addictive in a wingy way. The wings themselves were of fine quality. The pizza was real good. It was about 90% identical to the O St version. The difference being in the moistness level of the crust. It was far better than any pies I've had in town.

On the second visit we had sandwiches. Their menu is ambitious in the other-than-pizza offerings. We sampled porchetta, burger and chicken cutlet and fries. All of these had issues. George, Paesano and Sarcone will prove tough to out-sandwich.

The third try was 2 different pizzas and a cheesesteak. The pies were delicious and perhaps 100% the equal of the original. Was there a bit of clangy herbiness in the T sauce? The cheesesteak was tasty and of high quality but not in the range of steak shop virtuosity ala Steve's Prince of Steaks

All of the food we sampled was clearly fresh and of high quality. Did they maybe start off with too many offerings...could be, but maybe they'll iron out these bumps.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Black and BlueBerry Tarts with Lemon Verbena Pastry Cream

At RTM last Friday Iovine had prime local blackberries at a tasty price.


Heirloom tomato, corn custard, basil, chevre tart.

Amazing bounty of late but tasty tomatoes this summer.

Z Food Farm Shishito Peppers From Rittenhouse Farmers Market

Seared peppers w heirloom garlic, Fleur de Sel, Linden Dale Chevre, Wild Flour Baguette

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Managing Risks of Supply Chain Disruption....Leaf Lard

Isn't it tricky locating leaf lard around town? I get mine from Sonny D'angelo. Every so often his shop will run out or close early and I'll be forced to make butter only pastry shells. This supply chain disruption puts me on edge.   Synchronicity to the rescue....across the aisle from Market Day Canele at Headhouse Market is Patches of Star. Patches of Star sells fantastic goat cheese and they are deservedly revered for their products. The synchronous part is that Nolan Theveret helps out at PoS on Sunday. Nolan owns Stryker Farm. At Stryker Nolan raises barley fed, pastured heirloom pigs. A few weeks ago Nolan and I chatted about lard, pork and other delicious stuff. This past Sunday he showed up with a cryo'd pack of 2- 2.5 lb. sheets of unrendered leaf lard. Those are in the pot as I post!

Anyone who's fascinated/obsessed with no-holds-barred deliciousness should be informed of the taste punch that great quality lard imparts. Beyond the flavor bonus: "it’s not bad for you. It has less saturated fat (the bad fat) than butter, while it also has more than twice as much monosaturated fat (the good fat) than butter. And it has none of those pesky trans fats—that is, if it hasn’t been hydrogenated to prolong its shelf life."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Cooking Crab and Melon, Pork and Tomatoes

The crab and melon dish used a petite heirloom melon from Ben Wenk, Three Springs, that was delicious. The "softshells" came from John Yi in RTM. The one i ate almost gave me a punk style pierced cheek! But it was super fresh and lively.

The main plate used BirchRun Hills spectacular pork chops along with some 'Red Rain' Mustard greens from TapRoot Farm. The tomato tart was a beauty! It used Z-Farm tomatoes and cipollini and Kings Farm basil with Linden Dale Chevre. I thought this was a festive summery plate. I had intended to grill the chops but it was too dark.