We had some mole poblano from our friend Nacxi Gaxiola of xillinyc.com stashed in our freezer. Rich and complex, it’s the perfect thing to have on hand. It transforms the simple into the sublime, as it did for our lunch today. Pot-roasted chicken with mole poblano, black beans, and slices of avocado. We’ll have to replenish our stash of this “king” of sauces. It’s too good live without.

 

 

This weekend one of us made a vat of ragù—sauce or gravy as it is called in nearby New York or Philly—which is a very good use of kitchen time. Short ribs, country ribs, hot and sweet Italian sausages simmered for hours flavoring the rich tomato sauce before they were scooped from the pot, the bones removed, the meat finely chopped, then returned to the pot. A container came to the studio today to share for lunch. But the cupboard was empty-ish and the sauce called! So we used what we had and plunged half a package of linguine into a pot of boiling water to be followed three minutes later by a small handful of thinner spaghetti. A sin to any self respecting Italian or Italian-American. It wasn’t correct, but it sure tasted divine.

 

We had a dozen nice fresh eggs in the fridge, some corn tortillas, and a perfectly ripe, ready to eat Hass avocado. No trouble figuring out what we’d have for lunch today. We warmed the tortillas in a cast-iron skillet, scrambled six eggs, sliced the avocado, then served everything together, seasoned with salt and chile flakes. Lunch, breakfast, or dinner, we could eat this combo any time of day. Remember to make something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.

 

 

We had a young gentleman caller today who arrived as we were fixing lunch—linguine with tinned tuna and green olives. So, of course, we set another place. We fell in to talk of food and wound up discussing our lunch. He is interested in learning how to cook, so when we listed the ingredients (which are practically the recipe) he queried quizzically, “I thought I tasted something else?” Then we remembered, we had added preserved lemon. The kid’s got a good palate.

 

Okay, so now you know what we did with our leftover turkey carcasses from Thanksgiving. And with the meat? Cold turkey sandwiches (mayonnaise, cranberry sauce, salt & pepper), of course. Best day-after sandwich there is. And with the very last bits, we made turkey pot pies for lunch today. The filling had sautéed onions, carrots, and leftover chestnuts-madeira stuffing, all bound together with a little white sauce seasoned with nutmeg. The pastry top—a regular pie crust dough using pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour—was tender and flaky. Oh, yes, one pie was for lunch, the other will be for dinner (we’ll toss a coin to see who gets to take it home to their family). Adiós Thanksgiving. Until next year.

 

We hope everyone had a delicious Thanksgiving. Between us, we roasted about 75 pounds of turkey this past Thursday. By Friday, we had three big carcasses to make stock. And stock we made. We now have about 5 gallons of rich broth, all but 2 quarts stashed in our freezers. That’s a great feeling—plenty of soups in store for us. But in the meantime, we filled our bellies today with some of the remaining broth—big bowls of it, piping hot, with some turkey, tofu, carrots, rice, scallions, and lots of fresh cilantro. Perfect lunch for a rainy day.

 

As happens every so often, and usually by surprise, a USPS flat-rate box filled with the most delicious Hass avocados shows up at our door—a gift from our generous California friends with an avocado grove in their back “yard”. Well, today was one of those days. What timing! We were just about to head out to the farm to pick up our pre-ordered 25-pound turkeys. Too busy to cook anything for lunch, and a little bit starving, we did some gentle pressing and found a perfectly ripe avocado in the lot. These West Coast beauties are rich enough to eat plain, but we like to guild the lily. So we split it, drizzled olive oil into the halves, added a couple squeezes of lemon juice, two pinches of red pepper flakes, and salt. As always, we are so grateful for our friends (and gifts like these!). Thank you John, Stephanie, and Nick!

 

 

This year, more than ever before, we can hardly wait for Thanksgiving. We’re counting on the pleasure of gathering around the table with family and friends. And the comforting holiday food will taste particularly delicious. Our twenty-five pound turkeys (one for CH; 2 for MH) have been ordered; good bread has been carefully torn into fine crumbs for stuffings, bagged, and stashed in the freezer; and we’ve already started making turkey stock for soup and gravy for the big day next Thursday. Now in the past, for us, roasting a whole turkey for lunch just a week before Thanksgiving would be jumping the gun—most definitely. But our cravings are so strong, that we just did it. We roasted a twelve pound bird this morning, and served it sliced, on toasted bread slathered with mayonnaise, and spooned the turkey jus on top. Just to make the point. It was wonderfully messy, and it sure hit the spot.

 

Carey Jonesauthor of Brooklyn Bartender, a modern guide to cocktails and spirits (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2016)—and John McCarthy, global mixologist extraordinaire, gave us a quart of rich, exotically-flavored chicken broth. Think cinnamon, lemon grass, ginger, then imagine the heavenly aroma. We added no more than a tangle of aptly-named angel hair pasta and some cilantro. It filled us up and soothed/calmed our restless spirits.

 

We know Ruth wrote Comfort Me with Apples, but for us pasta is more consoling. So today, as we nervously await the outcome of the election, we lunched on big bowls of spaghetti tossed with a meaty, long-simmered sauce. As we slurped up the tomato-coated strands, our anxiety melted away—felt better than Xanax. Cook something to comfort yourselves tonight, dear friends.

 

To take the chill off the day, we tucked into big bowls of warm chili con carne—fragrant with cinnamon and cumin—and rice, with sour cream, cilantro, onions, and grated Gouda.  This afternoon, we may just need to roll out our mats and take siestas. Good way to set the tone and start the week. God only knows what tomorrow may bring!

 

 

For lunch today, we slurped up the last of a big pot of ginger-chicken broth that we made earlier in the week. We added cooked arborio rice and scallions warmed in butter. Amazing how flavorful and satisfying a dish this simple can be. Remember to cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.

 

Yesterday, dear friends gifted us with a bag of wide scallion rice noodles from NYC’s Chinatown. This morning, we put a large pot of chicken wings, onions, fresh ginger, and water on the stove to bubble into something beautiful. By lunchtime, we had a rich, flavorful broth for our noodles. To the strained simmering broth we added sliced hen-of-the-woods and a large handful of chopped scallions, then we slipped in the noodles.

If Frenchtown were big enough to have its own Chinatown, we might be slurping bowls of noodle soup like this every day, but until then, we’ll rely on the kindness of friends.

 

 

Stopped by the road side farm market on the way to the studio this morning and was surprised to find a whole table laid out with heirloom tomatoes. “The very last of the season”, the young woman said as she finished putting out bushy bunches of kale. So we grabbed a few of the largest and ripest Black Krims for lunch today. We thought we might make BLTs, but with no bacon or lettuce in the fridge, we made the next best thing: prosciutto cooked like bacon (nice and crisp), tomatoes pan-fried in the prosciutto fat and some olive oil, and fried toast with butter. Wish we could eat this combo all winter long!

 

 

It’s a soup day here in the hinterland. Though our trusty weather app insisted it was clear, a blustery wind pushed dark clouds across the sky and there were showers off and on all morning. So for today’s lunch we made butternut squash soup with ginger and preserved lemon, then twirled it up with sour cream and scallions. Now the clouds are parting and we can see blue sky—could it have been the soup? It is going to be a lovely warm weekend. Remember to cook something delicious for yourselves, dear friends.

 

If we were in the beautiful Piedmontese town of Alba right now, we’d be shaving white truffles over our uova strapazzate. But we are in good old Frenchtown, NJ. So for lunch today, we served a delicate scramble of local eggs under a pile of buttery sautéed hen-of-the-woods and scallions. Though travel is alluring, we are happy to be here at the studio, still eating like queens.

 

 

We feasted on “the king of mushrooms” (aka hen-of-the-woods) for lunch yesterday. And today, we are tucking into plates of tender pappardelle tossed in ragu bolognese, arguably “the king of pasta sauces”. We’re doing our best to eat like queens this week. Wonder what we’ll be having for lunch tomorrow?

 

An earthy lunch today, thanks to our friend Tama Matsuoka of Meadows + More. The hen-of-the-woods cluster Grifola frondosa (Maitake in Japan) she gave us was so big we had to slice it like a loaf of bread just to get the mushroom into the skillet. We sautéed the fungi in olive oil and butter with a clove of garlic, salt, and pepper. Then we panfried a thickly sliced russet potato until it was golden brown and soft inside then served them with the mushrooms, a few shavings of parmigiana-reggiano, and a drizzle of good olive oil. Both earthy and heavenly.

 

Today we made a quintessentially autumn lunch: roasted sweet dumpling squash and sweet potatoes (or  yams) simply seasoned with butter, salt, and freshly ground black. We ate with gusto, while we sipped tiny glasses of Danilo Thomain Enfer d’Arvier, a rare wine from a vineyard “in the shadow of Mont Blanc” in the Valle d’Aosta. It was a beautiful pairing and a good way to start the week.

 

Today we built ourselves sandwiches for lunch—Crossroads Bake Shop heirloom wheat bread, Prosciutto di San Daniele, fresh ricotta, this summer’s tomatoes preserved in olive oil, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and a liberal anointing of olive oil. A perfect way to end the week. Remember to cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.

 

We poached a turkey breast along with carrots, parsnips, and turnips for dinner the other night. Had enough leftovers—broth and breast— to transform into today’s soup-and-sandwich lunch. And since we’re having the finest summer weather we’ve had all fall, we served our puréed parsnip-carrot potage cold, garnished with chopped scallions, as you would a vichyssoise. The accompanying open-face turkey sandwiches, on buttered medieval rye, were drizzled with olive oil, and seasoned with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.

 

 

We were about to make a “chef’s” salad of sorts for lunch today, but switched gears when we noticed the big russet potatoes in the bin on our kitchen counter. Yes, still a salad, but first we peeled the potatoes, grated them on the large holes of a box grater, added chopped scallions, salt, and pepper, then fried them in a lot of butter into crisp rösti. While the potato cakes finished browning, we tossed bibb lettuce, radicchio, and parsley leaves in a garlicky vinaigrette then piled the salad atop the rösti and added a flourish of silky smoked salmon as a garnish. Guess we can call this home cook’s salad.

 

One chicken, three meals, and eight happy tummies. One of us went to a Yom Kippur dinner last night and the other took the bird, broth, and vegetables (yesterday’s lunch) home and served it to three for dinner. This morning, back to the studio it came. Augmented with a handful of string beans (a gift from our neighbor) and orecchiette, it fed us (plus a hungry young man who wandered in at noon) again this lunchtime. That is our kind of re-cycling.

 

Ever since the weather changed this past weekend—it got so chilly and crisp—we’ve been dying to make this stewy dish, pot roasted chicken with braised onions, garlic, carrots, and parsnips. Today we found the time and served it for lunch. It is plenty good and there is plenty left for our suppers tonight. We like this kind of economy.

 

 

Sunday, we drove home from Kentucky where the weather had been summer-like. Woke up on Monday to a glorious fall day. The autumn light and crisp air in the Delaware River Valley is intoxicating.  It turns out on our day off we both took long walks—who could resist being outside. It also inspired a chili dinner with leftovers for a studio lunch. We recommend making a big pot, it so suits the season.

 

We’re posting Leftovers Lunch today. We never seem to tire of chicken. Last night, one of us made a dinner of pot-roasted (braised actually) chicken, its rich broth spooned over cannellini beans, with chicken liver toasts alongside. Too good not to share, so we’re having the leftovers for lunch (anchovies replaced the chicken livers on the toasts). Sometimes, food tastes even better the next day with a little more time for the flavor to develop.

 

We are going to the dogs up here in our ivory tower—pasta carbonara for lunch. Fuhgeddaboudit carbs-bashers, gluten be damned, Dr. Perlmutter avert your eyes; we are digging into piles of fettuccine tossed with egg yolks, red pepper flakes, bacon, and handfuls of grated parmigiano-reggiano. We’ll pay for it but it sure tastes good right now. Be here now.

 

Our neighbor left a bag of colorful peppers hanging on our studio door knob—a beautiful gift to process—plus we had eggplant and tomatoes whose time was at hand. The peppers and eggplant roasted in the oven, filling the air with their distinctively deep, nightshade fragrance while we peeled and sliced the sweet tomatoes. The we dressed the soft, warm vegetables with crushed red peppers flakes, olive oil, and anchovies (to add some salt) and served everything with artichokes and coppa. Our favorite kind of antipasti platter and a healthy, delicious way to start the week. Let’s see if we can keep it going.

 

 

Everybody waxes on about the perfect summer tomato (us included!). But just gotta say, tomatoes really hit their red-ripe, sweet, juicy peak in September. Like, right about now. We had a collection of ripe heirloom tomatoes at the studio—some from our gardens, others from farm markets and road stands—that needed to be eaten before the weekend. So we did them the honor at lunch today: fall tomatoes peeled, thickly sliced, dressed with a sharp vinaigrette, Stilton cheese, and anchovy fillets, then seasoned with salt and pepper. We each had a plate for lunch. And for dessert, we had the sweet, salty juices left on our plates—one of us used a teaspoon to daintily spoon up all that deliciousness, while the other slurped the juices as she tipped the plate up to her mouth. She managed to catch every last drop. You guess who did what! Remember to cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.

 

A simple lunch on this beautiful, warm first day of fall—fish and scales. We roasted a center-cut salmon filet seasoned with olive oil, and salt and pepper, then set “scales” of pommes Anna on top. Treat yourself to something delicious to welcome in the new season.