We cooked our third and final (maybe) Pop Up Pancake Breakfast yesterday. We loved everything about it. Waking up early and driving down the river in the dawning autumn daylight. Setting the long table. Lighting a fire in the wood stove and opening the doors to the brisk breezy air. The aromas were downright intoxicating—freshly brewed coffee, bacon, and of course, pancakes. People said they just followed their noses up our stairs. Then there were the guests, who brought us gifts! Gabby, of Bent Spoon ice cream, brought Henry the studio dog, doggie ice cream. Jeff produced three bone-cold bottles of Veuve Cliquot he brought to toast the event and share with the last lingering guests. Peter and Ashley brought bread and sweets from Sullivan Street Bakery. So to hell with lo-carb for this day. It’s toast with Irish butter and blackberry jam for lunch.

 

We’re racing out this afternoon to take in this glorious day—it’s prime-time autumn. So it’s just a quick lunch of braised leeks vinaigrette, hard-boiled eggs with salsa verde, and crumbled bacon. That should hold us until supper. Cook something delicious for yourself this weekend, dear friends.

 

 

It’s lunch for one at the studio today—as Nilsson would say “One is the loneliest number…”. So while one of us is holds down the fort, the other toils at home.  We send each other pictures of what we are eating, boeuf aux carrottes over gemelli wins the day.

 

Lunch today is forcemeat-filled ravioli tossed in sage butter with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Enough said.

 

We “…read the news today, oh boy”, the sunny South of France has flooded. We send our condolences. Here in the northeast it is still uncharacteristically warm, with tomatoes on the vine in the garden. We made a big salad Niçoise and will think of our French friends as we eat in their honor.  Bon courage, mes amis.

 

We were all set to have a few salad leaves for lunch today, until we remembered that we had four beautiful Jamison Farm lamb shanks defrosting in the fridge (No kidding. We pulled them out of the freezer on Sunday and forgot about them until we went rummaging around in the refrigerator this morning.). We oven-braised them—with onions, lamb stock, red wine, bay leaves, and salt and pepper—in one of our heavy pots, until they were soft and very tender. Looks like tonight’s dinner will be those few salad leaves.

 

 

Canal House Cooks Lunch and Serious Eats. Ed Levine has been promising to come for a visit. Being a man of his word, he did and brought his whole wonderful team. There wasn’t a food allergy among them—imagine that! So what did we feed them? Oh, let’s just say we went all Italian on them—antipasti, some pasta, a salad of bitter greens, a little red wine, and sparkling water. And for dessert, a good ol’ American apple tart.

 

We had hot dogs and sauerkraut for breakfast this morning. That didn’t sit well with either of us. But by this afternoon we were hungry for lunch. So we’re having bowls of tomato-enriched chicken broth and little cheese raviolini. Our tummies feel better now.

 

 

On this overcast fall day, our lunch is bowls of buttery cauliflower, chickpeas, soft onions, and parsley, with the warm flavors of fresh ginger, crushed cumin, coriander, and chili flakes.

 

We spent the first part of the week making caldron after caldron of ragù alla Bolognese (good ol’ Bolognese sauce here in America), the main course of a dinner for one hundred guests at a bloggers’ seminar hosted by The Big Potluck. We saved a little for our lunch today and served it over tagliatelle. MH licked her plate—the very highest Canal House compliment! Looking forward to teaching a little, learning a lot, and more of this delizioso pasta!

The seminar is full, but to read about it—http://www.thebigpotluck.com/?page_id=1712

 

Here we are on this first day of autumn with the best of summer’s tomatoes—deep-red throughout and sweet and juicy. But our tastes have changed, just as the season has. Instead of our summer regime of sliced, peeled tomatoes, we opted to roast them with a spatchcocked chicken in a very hot oven until their skins blistered and they gave up their meaty juices to make a rich sauce. Then we threw in a handful of little zucchini to roast in the pan with the bird. We set up our little folding table and ate lunch sitting by the open doors overlooking the canal—it felt like we were on a house boat. Happy Fall, dear friends.

 

Day two of hummus for lunch. Today we smeared a circle of hummus on a big white dinner plate. We added spoonfuls of ripe tomato concasse with garlic, slices of avocado, minced chives, a drizzle of good olive oil, then seasoned everything with salt and Aleppo pepper. Make something delicious for yourself this weekend, dear friends.

 

Wishing we were closer to Michael Solomonov’s Dizengoff, a new Isreali hummusiya in the City of Brotherly Love. Nothing to do but make our own simple hummus with olive oil and Aleppo chile pepper. But we are saving up for bus fare and heading down there as soon as our piggy bank is full—l’chaim!

 

Harrissa mussels on little toasts—a late lunch or nibble with a glass of rosé? You decide. Now cook something delicious for yourself tonight.

 

Well, today’s lunch is The Canal House version of the Diet Plate Special: hamburger steak with sliced tomatoes. But the meat is coarsely ground chuck steak and brisket and the tomatoes are all-dressed-up-for-summer with mayonnaise, fresh herbs, and a few drops of olive oil—so delicious and the old jeans feel looser already.

 

It’s tomato-time around these parts and we are savoring the glut. Today’s lunch—one huge, very ripe fruit stewed with a little (a lot of) olive oil until it collapsed on itself; then we strained it, and poached a duck egg in the rich red sauce.

 

Today we’re having the most obvious summer lunch—pan con tomate. Olé.

 

With Labor Day bearing down, we are indulging ourselves in the last days of summertime. Our lunch today says it all—white corn soup with lobster and avocado.

 

Late summer yellows are everywhere now—blooming in the fields and beside the road—and in the garden. We’re ingesting the glorious color with a lunch of golden beets and yellow zucchini with French feta, extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, and some salt and pepper.

 

This morning we picked blackberries at Manoff Market Gardens—we’re making berry jam to keep for winter. The market gardeners tipped us off to head to the end of the row and go for the bodacious Apache variety: big berries, whole lotta flavor. We couldn’t resist, so lunch today is sugared blackberries and cream. Make something delicious for yourself this weekend, dear friends.

 

Today’s lunch—cold grilled filet of beef with a mustard mayonnaise and a tangle of green beans, zucchini, and sweet green tiger tomatoes dressed in a lemony vinaigrette. It’s summertime and the eating is easy.

 

 

We still have a mad craving for BLT’s. After all, this is the tomato’s moment in the sun. We have been wolfing down scads of the red beauties, drizzled with vinaigrette, dolloped with mayo, adorned with minced chives. We’ve even taken to serving our salads with spoons so that we can slurp up every last drop of juice. So today, lunch is a gastronomic harmonic convergence—peeled dead-ripe tomatoes, good crisp bacon, butter lettuce, mayonnaise, chives, and salt and pepper piled on toasted country bread to sop up all the lusciousness. We ain’t gotta barrel of money, but we sure do eat like we do!

 

We had our minds set on BLTs for lunch today, but a turn here and a turn there, and somehow we arrived at this heavenly combination instead: peeled and sliced (finally red, ripe, and juicy) tomatoes, blanched string beans, hard-boiled duck eggs (their yolks are divinely rich and flavorful), crisp Nueske’s bacon, and snipped chives and parsley with a garlicky vinaigrette.
We grabbed spoons at the end of the meal to scoop up all the juices left on the plate. Nirvana!
 

As we were standing by the charcoal fire this afternoon, grilling lamb chops, blistering eggplant and tomatoes, and dodging the smoke, we realized today’s lunch is about fire and sauces, the comingling of smoke and assertive flavors—they belong together. So we are feasting on A Pile of Grilled Lamb Chops Scottadito and Eggplant Cooked in the Coals with a smoky grilled tomato vinaigrette. Get your grill on before the leaves fall.

 

Today we are enjoying the fruits of our weekend labor—Cold Corn Soup with a swirl of sour cream and squash and chive blossoms just because. Here’s how we made it: We cut the kernels off twelve ears of bicolor corn, chopped up two bulb onions, peeled and diced two russet potatoes, then simmered the lot, along with the cobs, in a half gallon of whole milk until the potatoes were soft. We seasoned it with some crushed red pepper flakes and good ol’ s & p. After puréeing it all (minus the cobs, of course) in a food processor, we double strained it. Smooth and silky, sweet and savory, we must say, it may be the best summer recipe so far—maybe. As delicious as it is pretty, it’s an elegant way to start the work week. By the way, is anyone working, or is everyone at the beach?

 

Which came first? The chicken or the succotash? Maybe it was the corn and lima beans we had bought at the farm market this morning? Or that we already had two plump chicken breasts in the fridge? Hard to say, but we’re eating the Chicken Wrapped in Prosciutto with Anchovy Butter, some sautéed meaty chanterelles, and a succotash of wax beans, limas, and white corn with a fork and knife, plus a spoon to scoop up all the delicious, savory juices. Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends. Enjoy summer’s bounty and cook something delicious for yourself.

 

We had it all planned, a picnic lunch of Tomatoes Stuffed with Tuna Salad. We’d sit with our legs  over the side of the canal and watch the world float by. But one of us was late! She (MH) got a notion to pull the car over by the side of the road, climb a brambly bank, and hunt for mushrooms. Eureka! She found them, beautiful golden chanterelles. We tossed them in a vinaigrette with some steamed runner beans. So now we have a real blue plate special—talk about your locavores. (Oh that’s right, full disclosure, we did not catch the tuna in the canal.)

 

Today we we pulled the very last radishes from the garden. We needed them to finish today’s lunch, Cauliflower Salad with Green Olives, Radishes (needless to say!) & Parsley. We served a grilled steak on the side.

 

Week 3 of Canal House cooks Pronto! and there are still so many good dishes to come. We forgot to get beach houses this summer, dang it, and here we are with two feet (actually four) in August with a hunger for a taste of the shore. Whatcha gonna do? We picked up a bag of littleneck clams at the market this morning, a handful of small zucchini, and a  bunch of fresh basil to make this delicious Lumache with Zucchini & Clams for lunch. It sure satisfies. And anyway, we don’t like getting sand in our sandwiches.

 

Instead of lunch (we were invited out today), we offer you a late afternoon hors d’oeuvre and cocktail: Hard-Boiled Eggs & Tomatoes Bathed in a Lemony Vinaigrette and a pretty glass of Prosecco & Aperol. What a way to begin the weekend! Make something delicious for yourself this weekend, dear friends.