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.
Early this morning we pulled some beets from our garden, which is overblown and spent, but there are still lots of potatoes and more beets hiding underground. Back in the studio kitchen we roasted the beets and seared two duck breasts, then married them along with all their juices—and a happy marriage it was. The beets tasted meatier than the duck! Isn’t it cool the way the season always tells you what to eat?
It’s a rainy Monday here today—the first real soaking we’ve had this summer since we left you high and dry. A perfect day to settle back into Canal House Cooks Lunch. We went down to the Trenton Farmers’ Market over the weekend and found beans—fat romanos, yellow wax, and sturdy green beans—and field peas. We love this time of year, when summer fades into fall and the kitchen calls you back. This morning we sat at the long table in the center of the studio and told each other our weekend stories while we shucked the peas and trimmed the beans. We panfried two duck legs seasoned with salt and pepper until all the fat rendered out and the skin turned mahogany and crisp. Then we made a succotash of sorts—beans and peas tossed with olive oil, preserved lemon, and crushed, dried red chiles. It felt good to fill our tums with duck and beans, it tasted just like fall. And fall, it seems, is in three days. Right around the corner. How is that possible?