Hey everyone, I know it’s been a while since we’ve posted, but Thanksgivingtime is a busy one. Here are some pictures of chilies we’ve been drying on our windowsill. Hope y’all had a great time with friends and family last week, we’ll hook you up with some post-turkey recipes on the fly. Continue reading
Thanksgiving is just around the weekend, and many poor souls out there have been turned from sweet potatoes (or improperly converted) by the old marshmallow-covered standby of Novembers past. While it may have its charms, there is a place to balance between the cloyingly sweet traditional preparation of sweet potatoes, and the just-the-right-touch of sweet and salty coming together in good mashed sweet potatoes. As versatile as any regular potato, sweet potatoes can be mandolined and laid out in a delicious gratin, sliced into medallions and sauteed or fried, roasted into sweet potato fries or tossed cold into a salad, and mixed with a wide variety of sweet and savory additions ranging from maple syrup to bacon. They go extremely well with steak, sausage, chicken, pork, and, of course, turkey.
So there’s a great place right in our neighborhood called Bocca Lupo, with nice tapas options, a great whiskey selection, and a DJ on the weekends. We’ve been there a few times by ourselves or with friends and really enjoyed everything, except for one pasta dish that sounded great, but was almost unbelievably bad: a special pasta with brussels and guanciale in a cream sauce. The sauce was described as light (it was heavy), the pasta was gummy, the guanciale was overly chewy, and the brussels were nonexistent. Really one of the worst dishes I’ve ever been served. However, the idea stuck with us and on Sunday, searching in vain for a supermarket or butcher’s shop to be open, we were left without any ideas for dinner. Rachel suggested just going home, seeing what we could put together with what we had, naming the brussels, pasta, and soppressata as some things we had on hand. Smart girl.
Great for an afternoon snack (and in no small way facilitated by my current spot — egg restaurant in williamsburg, bk) this veg. gravy is a good way to get you from a small breakfast to a late dinner.
We took whatever vegetables we had in the fridge, which included some leek, mushrooms, carrots, brussels sprouts, a little sundried tomato and spinach, and sauteed them together in a nice knob of butter. When the veg got some color, we added about a tablespoon of flour and got it all incorporated, letting it sit on the heat for a minute, then pouring in a cup or so of milk. We seasoned it with salt, a bunch of black pepper, and a little sriracha. Let the pan sit on medium-high heat for a few minutes for the milk to reduce and thicken with the flour until you’ve got some tasty gravy. We had a couple biscuits from the restaurant, you can find yours anywhere.
Let’s just start this off by noting that I do realize the words “quickie” and “creamed” appear in slightly too-close proximity in this post. Now that that’s out of the way.
Last Saturday, Rachel spent a beautiful morning at the USq. Farmer’s Market with her Mom (cute!) as the start to a relaxing weekend. She picked up some great kale and brussels sprouts on the stalk. I’d been in Boston watching my sister’s volleyball match and visiting my brother at Northeastern. After a long bus ride home, I wasn’t really up to devote a bunch of time to cooking, so I picked up some chicken breasts and shallots and decided to make it quick. It was good, but the standout was the kale…one of the best veg sides I’ve ever made.
This meal came about at a good time, when our GREAT friend Tommy Eskew was making his presence felt in the BK. We had eaten a few good meals around, seen some great music (Gabriel Alegria @ Tutuma Social Club — get you some) and had an overall wonderful time, accompanied by the one and only Jonny Salud along the way. The only thing left was to cook up.
I imagine I’ll end up saying this a few too many times, but: braise. There’s nothing, save a big pot of soup, that is more comforting to me in cold, wet weather than the aroma and depth of a long, slow braise on a pot simmering in the oven or sitting on the stove. We’re in the process of picking up a dutch oven on the cheap, but shipping issues will delay its BK debut for at least another week. However, our little saucepan has been working its ass off, turning out some excellent dishes.