It’s always a treat to come into the studio on Mondays and find out/talk about what each of us cooked up at home over the weekend. It’s even better when delicious leftovers come along, too. So for lunch today, we turned CH’s maitake mushroom risotto into risotto cakes (we added an egg to the risotto to bind the cakes), breaded them with crunchy, buttery bread crumbs, then baked them in a 400°F oven until hot. MH brought washed Bibb lettuce and we tossed it in our Canal House Vinaigrette. Leftovers never tasted so good.
We arrived at the studio with a butternut squash. Hmm, what could we make with it for lunch? Then we eyed a box of artisanal tagliatelle in our pantry, and the decision was made. We braised fat cubes of squash and sliced garlic with butter, preserved lemon, and saffron and spooned the chunky “sauce” around tangles of toothsome pasta. Just as we sat down to eat, it started—the cold rains of November. With a few more days like this, all the leaves will be off the trees. We’re definitely heading into pasta season. Cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.
On her way home from a meeting in NYC yesterday, MH stopped at our favorite Korean spot—So Kong Dong in Fort Lee, N.J.—for a bowl of boiling-hot soondubu jjigae (spicy soft tofu stew). Halfway through eating, she ordered more to take-away for lunch the next day. So today that’s just what we did, heated up the stew and slurped down every last tasty drop. CH was grateful for such a thoughtful gift. And we both agreed that it’s a good thing we don’t have more delicious spots like this nearby—we’d never cook!
In honor of Halloween today, we carved out a lid from a Fairytale pumpkin (such a great name!), scooped out the seeds, and filled the cavity of this noble squash with sliced onions and garlic, rich chicken stock, butter, a bay leaf, some nutmeg, kirmizi biber Turkish chile flakes, salt and pepper, and lots of grated Gruyère. We replaced the lid, and into a 375°F oven it went to roast until the flesh was tender, then took the lid off and added more cheese. Just before it was finished roasting, the pumpkin tricked us, and split on the sides, releasing all the flavorful broth into the roasting pan. Dang! It was so thick-walled, we thought it would never collapse. We should have stuck with Cinderella (Rouge Vif d’Etampes), the beige cheese, or the blue Jarrahdale varieties for this soup. Their thick sturdy walls won’t collapse as the pumpkin roasts in the oven. No Matter. We scooped the flesh and melted cheese into soup bowls and ladled in the broth. Happy Halloween!
The weekend is a great time to get set up for eating through the rest of the week. One of us made hummus on Sunday, so today we topped it with roasted butternut squash, chopped fennel, and scallions. We brought pita to toast then use to scoop up the flavorful “paste” but we didn’t even bother with it. We just scarfed it all down with forks, then back to work we went tummies full.
This morning it was overcast and chilly, the kind of weather that had it been ten degrees cooler, would have smelled like snow was in the forecast. Nevertheless, it’s cold enough to get our braising on. So we did. We filled our big Le Creuset Dutch oven with lamb shanks, onions, garlic, white wine, broth, and butter, covered the pot, and slid it into a 375°F oven to bubble away until the meat was about-to-fall-off-the-bone tender. Then we braised some leeks and scallions in butter. The aromas filled the studio with warmth. It’s been a long time since we’ve tucked into a big lunch like this, but it’s Friday and a worthy way to end the week. Remember to cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.
We are bringing dessert to a dinner party next week and have been cooking through some of our favorites to see what will fit just right with the pot luck menu. These red wine poached pears—Bartlett and Forelle—are strong contenders. Their poached flesh is so meaty, and the poaching liquid, reduced to a rich winey syrup, tastes warm and sweet. Kind of the perfect fall dessert. And not half bad for today’s lunch.
We had a great visit this morning with a group of creative minds from Bath & Body Works. They are touring Bucks County so they stopped by Canal House Station to see what we are up to and to grab a bite of breakfast. What a fun confab. We were asking them questions, “What are your favorite fragrances?” And they were asking us questions, “What are your favorite flavors?” We were all interested in each other’s point of view. They were on a schedule, so we showed them around the building, then fed them—waiting to eat later since we were the waitresses. We finally sat down around 2 P.M. to a breakfast lunch of buttered soft boiled eggs showered with tarragon and chives, toast with apricot jam, and the last piece of apple galette to share. Actually the day was about sharing. Everybody wins.
We returned to the studio this morning after being away all week. The fridge was virtually bare, save for some salted Irish butter and a hunk of parmigiano-reggiano. We’re in catch-up mode today, with no time to shop, so for lunch we indulged in big tangles of warm fettuccine bathed in sage butter with lots of cheese grated on top. We’ll have time this weekend to replenish our larder. Maybe we’ll make a pot of ragu bolognese and start next week off with a bang. Remember to cook something delicious for yourselves, dear friends.
We met at the studio late this morning, CH carrying bags of baby vegetables she picked up at Trauger’s Farm Market on her way in, and MH following bringing Bobolink’s cheddar cheese and fresh eggs that she gets from her post mistress. But how to get everything to go together for our lunch? So . . . we roasted the vegetables and made a delicate, trembling cheese flan. It was the perfect way to end this week. And best of all, it feels like fall is finally here. Remember to cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.
Comfort food for us on this dreary afternoon. Nothing quite like the rich sweetness of a baked white sweet potato with pools of melted, salted Irish butter all further seasoned with Maldon salt and black pepper. We were tempted to pour ourselves a splash of Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieux Télégraphe, but kept pious and sipped cups of hot milky tea instead.