We are at the eleventh hour of our Canal House Cooks Every Day book deadline. We forgot to eat breakfast so we wolfed down this early lunch of scrambled eggs with a “sauce” of tiny peas, baby leeks, and pancetta and mugs of milky hot coffee. Now we feel like we are going to make it!
We are on our annual local asparagus jag—we just can’t get enough of them. We buy big fat spears that we peel, then plunge into a big pot of salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes. We dress them with a knob of good Irish butter, some fresh chives and their blossoms, and serve them with a pile of soft scrambled eggs. Have a lovely spring weekend, dear friends.
Today’s spring lunch—shoulder of lamb braised in white wine with onions and garlic, served with baby leeks, artichokes, and sorrel from the garden. And the hits keep on coming.
The shad are running in the nearby Delaware River. The local asparagus are up. It’s time for one of our favorite spring meals—pan-fried shad roe with crisp bacon and asparagus with brown butter. You can’t get more local than that.
Hallelujah, for our first asparagus of the season—we’ve been dreaming of their green grassy flavor all winter long. We peel away the skin and little fins that hide grit and dirt, but leave each stalk long and untrimmed. There’s only one way to eat these zaftig beauties: Dispense with knife and fork and eat the supple, butter-drenched spears with your fingers.
We’re getting to the bottom of the bins of winter root vegetables in our version of a root cellar. So for lunch on this cold rainy spring day, we roasted beets and carrots of rich warm colors—oranges, maroons, golds, and pinks—and tossed them with lots of fresh Meyer lemon juice, excellent olive oil, and plenty of salt and pepper. Tomorrow we’ll treat ourselves to a feast of local asparagus.
We jumped the gun! BLT’s for lunch today with hothouse heirlooms. Right after lunch we’re heading straight for the confessional. To make up for our sin of eating tomatoes out of season, we’ll be devouring local asparagus all next week—not a bad penance. Have a lovely weekend dear friends.
We didn’t have much time to cook this morning, so we put a pork shoulder in a slow oven and let it cook itself. Six hours later, we’re having sliced porchetta with a pile of fresh beans doused in really good olive oil, , seasoned with salt and pepper and thin strips of lemon peel.
Dandelion greens, fava beans, English peas, tiny beets, and pancetta are all tossed together—cooked and raw—with really good extra-virgin olive for today’s spring tonic salad. We feel better already!
The market was beginning to show signs of spring this morning. There were fresh peas, fat favas, fuscia stalks of rhubarb, and the word on the street is local asparagus have arrived. So it’s risotto with lemon and those fresh peas for our lunch today.
Near record breaking heat today on this fine April day—it’s 88° in the shade but feels like 90°. We’ve opened all the doors and windows, moved the table canalside and are having an indoor picnic: hummus, chickpea and spinach salad, escarole salad, beautiful ripe runny cheeses, and a loaf of country bread. There’ll be no ants or risk of sunburn at this picnic lunch!
Our friend Andrew Abruzzese delivered his annual Easter Pie today. He learned the recipe and carries on the tradition from his Neapolitan grandfather Pasquale Platerote. So the beat goes on. His family’s pizza rustica (pizza chiena) has a rich lard crust filled with diced cured meats—soppressata, pepperoni, salami cotto, and pepperoni—and shredded Italian cheeses. The filling is all bound together with eggs, which Andrew has plenty of, since he raises chickens. He says this time of year “the girls” are so happy with the weather they are laying like crazy, two eggs a day each. Have a lovely weekend, dear readers.