Thursday, April 29, 2010

a weeknight dinner

A friend came for dinner last night and I had made a turkey meat loaf, moist and flavorful. To accompany it I boiled a yam just to the point of slight underdoneness. I cut it into large cubes, then sauteed it in olive oil, along with scallions, halved grape tomatoes, garlic and asparagus. When done, I showered fresh cilantro over all. Delicious.! I had some flatbread on hand, so I brushed both sides with olive oil and sprinkled the top with za'atar, then toasted it in a 375 oven until browned and crisp. This informal melange of textures and flavors came together happily.I'm looking forward to the leftovers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

family supper

My daughter, son-in-law and grandkids came for Sunday night supper after a long day at soccer games. I put out some red bean pate with crackers and in a few minutes we sat down to our informal dinner. Oven-fried chicken, my most often prepared rendition, which I'd come upon a few years ago while reading Amanda Hesser's delightful "Cooking For Mr. Latte." I brine the chicken for several hours (I used all thighs), then tossed it in flour to which I'd added a nice amount of lemon zest and some grated parmesan. Then into a hot pan with a bit of melted butter and baked till crispt. As accompaniments, roasted carrots and broccoli, the latter roasted with thin-sliced garlic and some red pepper flakes. Garlic bread, hot and crisp-crusted completed our dinner - except for dessert. Malted blondies, served warm, the chocolate bits within oozing slightly and on the side, a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Comfort food, with loving family.

Monday, April 12, 2010

weekend in nyc

I visited a good friend in the city and we had a marvelous dinner at an informal place in Brooklyn, "The Big Fork". The owner, his wife and friends had done all the refurbishing of the small space with it's brick wall, funkly lighting and tiled kitchen. The food was fresh, imaginative and oh, so delicious. And the wine list offered a well-chosen selection of wines by the glass - I chose a lovely gruner velt-liner. I shared the first course with my friend, grilled squid, sparklingly fresh. It was accompanied by a mound of quinoa and some grilled pineapple and the juxtaposition of flavors, textures and tastes was perfect. A perfectly prepared duck breast with a confit of fruits and served with a black rice cake was rich and succulent and the individual apple tart with a cakey crust was the ideal finish. Now i am intent on grilling squid on my soon-to-arrive, state of the art gas grill. As is typicl of NYC restaurants the bread was terrific and refills appeared without our asking.