The latest of lunches today. This rainy weather takes our appetites away. But hunger finally prevailed and we quickly made ourselves a kale and prosciutto frittata to settle our tums as five o’clock rolled around. Would that be called linner? Perhaps, so we’ll just have dainty glasses of wine for supper tonight.
Last weekend’s cooking yielded rich bounty. We both ate well, and we each had lots of leftovers which came to the studio this morning. So for lunch we made a cocido of sorts—a Spanish chickpea-based stew—with our leftovers. Our version is chicken broth enriched with a ham hock, kale, poached chicken, some shredded ham from the hock, a scoop of rice, and of course, garbanzo beans. There’s plenty more where that came from. Stay tuned!
We made an excursion to our fishmonger earlier this week for some mussels and came away with a few extra treats—squid ink and calamari. Yesterday, we steamed open the mussels with onions, garlic, pepperoncini, and white wine, plucked the meat from the shells, and saved it along with the broth. Today we made a traditional squid ink risotto, plumping the rice with the mussel broth, then smothered it in calamari and mussels. A well deserved feast to end our long full week of work. Most likely it has been the same for you, so remember to cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.
When we look out the window these gray skies fool us into believing it is bitter cold out there, but actually the weather feels like Jakarta’s. So we have been making soups—and not cold gazpacho nor vichyssoise—good hearty potages. There was an enticing fairytale pumpkin at a farm stand and we couldn’t leave without it. Back in the studio we roasted it, scooped the deseeded flesh from the skin, then whirled it up with chicken stock, sautéed onions, and lemon. When we were plating it, we grabbed light instead of heavy cream and it spread out on the surface of the soup in a very unattractive way. We pulled a spoon through it, then swirled up a soup that looks like Florentine marbled paper. That was a happy accident. Hope the rest of the week goes that well. For you too.
The week started off chilly and damp, definitely soup weather. Though it has gotten warmer, it’s still soggy and a bit dreary, and we’ve been making soup for dinner all week long: chicken vegetable; split pea and ham hock; fall squash; bok choy and spinach in ginger broth. Today we made a silky smooth cauliflower soup for lunch. We sweated onions and a little garlic in some olive oil, added saffron threads, marash red pepper flakes, cauliflower, and some good stock to the pot. When the cauliflower was soft, we whirled everything together in a blender until smooth, then served ourselves big bowls of the soup, garnished with a little melted saffron butter and lots of black pepper. Soup weather. At this time of year, it’s a nice way to ease on into cool weather cooking.
Early this summer, CH gave MH a fig tree to plant in her garden. It was a scrawny thing, kind of Dr. Seuss-like, lanky with a couple of floppy leaves on top. By August it had filled out a bit and even developed tiny fruit. Last week we picked the first ripe fig from the fledgling tree, and today our second. It made a dainty breakfast for two, along with a little piece of Roquefort drizzled with local honey. Despite the rain, the figs keep ripening. Maybe next week there will be two ripe at the same time—then we’ll feast!
Today’s lunch—a plate of sliced beefsteak tomatoes and chopped basil dressed with warm olive oil, salt and pepper. Seems the best summer eating is in the (almost) fall. We head home from Long Island’s dreamy North Fork. Back to our own watery valley with the mighty Delaware River. Remember to cook (or slice) something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.
Sometimes, when we’re on the road, as we’ve been this week, we eat like dogs and can’t wait to get back to the familiar and reliably good rhythms and flavors of home (and studio). We lucked out this week—shooting, cooking, and eating everything that Ned Baldwin (chef owner of Houseman in NYC) makes for the cookbook he and author pal Peter Kaminsky are working on together (working title: 5 Ways: Master a Basic Recipe and See Where It Takes You (Houghton Mifflin, 2020). Oh yeah, out on the North Fork of Long Island. We gave Ned a break today and made lunch—a simple salad of chickpeas, string beans, and torn radicchio and parsley leaves tossed with a soft-boiled egg enriched parsley vinaigrette. Canned tuna served on the side. Fingers crossed the boys like what we made(!).