Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Interview at Great Food Photos

With all my social networking to keep track of (oy vey there's a lot to stay on top of ), I somehow managed to forget to share with you all this wonderful interview that Donny over at Great Food Photos did of me last week. We can't figure out how we learned of one another, but all the same I am grateful that we now have this flowering friendship to nurture...

I hope you enjoy the stories and images we put together! It was a lot of fun considering what my answers to his thoughtful questions would be, and, as per the title I of course selected some images to accompany the feature. Have a great week everyone :-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spring Snacking

I love the zing Springtime flavors bring. And their bright colors, yippeee! The crunch of baby lettuce leaves (look for more on that soon...), the juiciness of citrus wedges (almost a spring thing, and certainly welcome after squash and tubers for months on-end), and then ease of simple ingredients casually tossed together, symbolize a lot of what I cherish most about the (finally arrived) warmer weather. Here's to this time of year!

Branches from my mother's dogwood

And for that good crusty bread, here's an enormously satisfying snack to accompany any meal, or to eat in-between. With oranges as well, this makes for a nice pairing with the above salad. :) As it was completely impromptu there really isn't a "recipe" to speak of. My ingredients, though, are listed below...

I bought duck fat garlic bread - yes, there is such a thing, at the Union Square Market, at Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse . After cutting it into thick slices, I slathered on double-cream brie-like d'Affinois cheese, and then layered a smear of chunky marmalade. The natural pairings of duck and orange - along with the silky texture of the oozing cheese - put me into a state of immediate bliss. So easy, you absolutely must go now and try it. If this specific bread isn't readily available where you are, choose any rustic, good, wood-fired bread. Dig in. Relish the effortless delights of spring.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Saveur's Must-Read List and Edible Manhattan

So, dear Annie in Wisconsin notified me today that Saveur Magazine included my blog in their list of newest - to them - great blogs to follow. I found myself in pretty amazing company and am once again awed by all the talent and content out there. A few that caught my eye are: Canal House Cooks Lunch, Three to One, and The Year in Food. I can't wait to learn more about each of the blogs listed (wouldn't hurt to have an eighth day each week...)! Thanks for including me, Saveur. :)

In other news Edible Manhattan's most recent issue, Eat Drink Local, includes my image of Spring ramps! Tribute gets paid to one of Union Square Market's finest, Rick Bishop, and his hard work foraging for ramps and other fleeting seasonal delights. Many of the top restaurants and chefs in the city source from Bishop - some even make time to accompany him as he scours terrain in the Catskills for these highly sought after wilds. For us lucky regular folks, he can be found at the market twice a week so we can bring the booty to our tables at home. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Crock Pot Porchetta

When cooking is done right, there really isn't a more blissful experience than eating the fruits of that labor. My friend Kate had a party not too long ago for which she made all kinds of delectable food; one dish in particular had me returning for seconds and even thirds (perhaps a bit gluttonous, I agree). She described it as a slow-cooker version of porchetta.

Having visited the famous little nook that is Porchetta in the East Village just today, I can verify that the slow cooker version is exactly like the one I feasted on a few hours ago, but here, with the bones left in. When you experience for yourself just how juicy and flavorsome this tastes, I think you will agree every bit with my assertions. I welcome you to prove me wrong, in fact. You cannot mess this recipe up if you have a crock pot and sustainably sourced, good quality meat. And with the leftovers you will have, the gifts just keep on giving. ;)

I bought a bone-in (more flavor in the cooking with those bones left in) pork loin roast from Ottomanelli & Sons, one of the oldest family-run butchers here in New York. They have offered pastured and local prime meats for over 80 years. Go there. It is a wonderful experience and they are such sweet fellows (and will take great care of you!). After slathering it with the pureed herb-spice mixture (see recipe below), I simply popped the roast in my crock pot for a number of hours and tried to find distractions from being driven crazy by the intensely savory fragrance filling my home.

I had enough leftovers to last a few days (yippeeeee!). So, I made two types of sandwiches to see if either satisfied me more, and really, they both were outstanding. First, I pan fried thick slices of red onion in a cast iron skillet and sandwiched them with the pork between the heavenly signature semolina-golden raisin-fennel rolls from Amy's Bread. For the other, I toasted a seeded bun and slathered the buttery meat with the last of my homemade grain mustard, and served pickled watermelon rind to accompany the sandwich. Their crunchy texture and sour kick complemented the juicy meat quite nicely. If you find new variations for your delicious leftovers, I want to hear about it! So many options. So much flavor.