We’ve fired up the barbie and grilled some burgers for our “diet plate” lunch today. No buns, just cottage cheese in a lettuce cup, ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and sliced onion. Now we’ll fit into our bathing costumes so we can ride out the weekend heatwave.

 

 

 

A very late lunch today—or an early-bird supper of black bass filets cooked Italian style in “crazy water”—cherry tomatoes, really good extra-virgin olive oil, sliced garlic, crushed red pepper, fresh parsley, and most importantly, water! We’re crazy for it.

 

The crack of a beautiful dawn this past Saturday found us in the fields at Come Back Farm in a bucolic New Jersey valley where we’d gone to photograph vegetables. We came home with a basket full of Swiss chard. Nothing to do but make a classic Niçoise Tourte de Blettes with its filling of chard, onions, golden raisins, pine nuts, cinnamon, parmesan, and eggs, all encased in a tender flaky crust. Bon appétit you chard lovers.

 

Lumache (snail shell-shaped pasta) with a zucchini sauce and littleneck clams for lunch today as we end our week. If a storm doesn’t blow in and spoil the fun, there will be fireworks over the Delaware tonight. Let the weekend begin!

 

Now it feels like summer—95° in the shade—it’s kind of nice to have something to complain about instead of politicians and the economy. So it is pan-fried duck and fennel slaw for lunch. Keep cool.

 

In support of the pauvres Greeks, we are dining Greco-style—a chopped salad of grape tomatoes, radishes, feta, baby leeks, chives, parsley, and hard-boiled eggs with a bowl of pea shoots. Everything anointed with really good extra-virgin Greek olive oil and a splash of bright red wine vinegar. Good for the diet and the pocket book, too.

 

It was supposed to be a scorcher today, but it is only 68° and we are tempted to pull on sweaters. To warm ourselves up we pan-fried shoulder lamb chops with rosemary and made mandilli de sæa— delicate, handkerchief-size sheets of Genoese-style pasta, that we tossed in butter with pecorino and parmigiano. Delizioso!

 

Lunch yesterday was at NYC’s Tía Pol where we devoured plate after plate of the most delicious tapas: patatas bravas, gildas, pimentos estilo gernika, and garbonzos fritos. Owner Mani Dawes and manager Stephanie Mannatt brought us a glass porrón filled with cold effervescant txakoli. Tipping back our heads and aiming the vessel’s long spout in the general direction of our mouths, we drank (and ending up wearing!) streams of the delicious white wine—they sure showed us a good time up there in New York City.

We’re back in the studio today eating pan-seared magret duck breast and a lettuce, pea shoot, and chive salad with a duck egg mimosa vinaigrette for lunch. Let the good times roll.

 

We lunched today as the nice people in Nice do—on a summer salad of garden lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, little potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, a can of olive oil-packed tuna, fresh chives, and a little crumbled bacon to add a rich salty flavor (this the French would never do!). We tossed everything in a preserved lemon vinaigrette—we can’t get enough of that flavor. No tomatoes yet, so we’ll just have to wait. Bon appétit.

 

Yesterday afternoon, Tyler Harvey and Alex Moriarty stopped by. They had driven up from Washington, D.C. where they work at Birch & Barley. They were on their way to NYC for the weekend and detoured through our neck of the woods to pay their respects and deliver a very special summer cocktail. Juices of blackberries and cucumbers are mixed with muddled fresh mint, laced with Hendricks gin, then poured over lots of ice. Well,  they sure had our number and we pass it on to you. For the exact recipe, leave us a message at questions@thecanalhouse.com.

 

For an end of the week lunch, swordfish with a ginger black pepper butter and Swiss chard (cut this morning from neighbor Bill Cahill’s garden) sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with preserved and fresh lemon. Have a lovely weekend dear friends. Eat well, be happy.

 

Today’s lunch—crispy batter-fried  soft shell crabs from North Carolina, fat scallions pulled from the garden this morning, and paper-thin slices of Meyer lemon, served with a preserved lemon-flecked remoulade. Our young friend Lillie Anderson is back visiting us from the great Midwest. She says anything battered and fried is all-right by her.

 

We’ve invited friends and family to come for an early supper before the Friday night fireworks show over the Delaware River. We’ve chilled a couple of bottles of Sancerre, made turkey tonatto with English peas (above), and for dessert we’ll serve tiny fresh local strawberries with homemade vanilla bean ice cream. Sadly, rain is on the way so perhaps no fireworks, but happily we’ll eat very well.