Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Dressler, Ghetto-style

One of our favorite brunch spots in NYC is Dressler’s in Williamsburg. It is an easy walk from our house, beautiful décor, scrumptious food, great service and it has outdoor seating so Scout enjoys it, too.

I almost always order The Dressler: 2 poached eggs, potato galette, smoked salmon, crème fraiche, hollandaise, herbs, home fries & greens. Yum!

I decided to give this a whirl at home, sans creme fraiche & hollandaise, fresh herbs (JZ! I need some cuttings!) & home fries (too hot!). I used frozen potato pancakes (Dr. Praeger’s) and nova from Russ & Daughters, eggs, butter lettuce and some pea sprouts.

My Dressler

The Verdict: eh. But that’s the point of this blog, I’m just learning how to cook. The pancakes were mushy (JustAwesome called them “The Weak Link”), the eggs were overdone. Try, try again. That’s ok. JA also said, “This is pretty damn good, Baby!” And that, my friends, is the whole damn point.

What The Dressler SHOULD look like
(stolen from someone else’s blog)

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Very Large Lunch

Today for lunch I had marinated tofu, shaved spring vegetable salad, whole grain risotto with spinach and asiago, cranberry bean ratatouille, steak & portobellos with breadcrumb salsa, arugula salad with mustard vinaigrette, grilled shrimp in harissa, fresh corn polenta with sautéed cherry tomatoes, grilled zucchini with mint oil, striped bass and tofu (separately) with lemon, white wine and butter sauce, quinoa salad with corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado, chilled asparagus soup, seared fish and tofu (separately) with spicy black beans and mango salsa, chilled tomato soup with shallots, cukes and corn, and warm green beans and new potatoes with sliced eggs and grilled onion.

And a strawberry soup with a digestive cookie for dessert.

For my birthday, JustAwesome got me a class at the Institute of Culinary Education, so I waited until the busiest work week ever (Thanks, MST!) and took Flexitarian Fresh Food Fast with Peter Berley. Peter is in the holy trinity of our home: Berley, Bittman and Oliver. Buy his book. Take his class. Spend an intensive cooking weekend with him on LI. His recipes are really good. He is cute.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Brooklyn Kitchen

I feel like I’ve let my 12 fans down, but the truth is, we just haven’t been cooking that much here in the Feral Casa. We had 2 cousins in (separately) from across the pond, other friends in from out of town. And work. Busy, busy, busy. We made pizza one night. Note to selves: egg can slide right off pizza and into oven. Use less wrist action. With pizza leftovers we made our favorite Jamie Oliver baked pasta with tomatoes and mozzarella dish and a yummy potato and leek omelet. But mostly we’ve been out...

So I took a Homemade Tofu making class last night at Brooklyn Kitchen. I made a soft tofu custard (among other things) that was very simple and delicious. Will try again at home.

If you haven’t been to Brooklyn Kitchen, go. Right now. The classes are very cheap. Sometimes they serve beer. It is a beautiful place, with beautiful supplies. And beautiful meat. If you eat meat.

Other classes we’ve taken there: Pressure Cooker and Ricotta Making with the Salvatore Ricotta Girls. (If you haven’t had this, go. Right now. Try the smoked version. Anne sells it.) Yum and yum.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Great Scape

I love seasonal veggies and crazy lookin’ scapes excite me. They grow from the tops of garlic plants—a deliciously mild and tasty by-product. They taste fresh and bright. They’re extremely versatile.

I like to make them into pesto and it is not your Momma’s (or step-momma’s) 80’s-style pesto. All you really need are scapes. Forget the basil. Forget the pine nuts, and obviously, forget the garlic. Actually, some people use almonds or pine nuts, but I’m something of a purist. I keep it simple.


Olive oil

Parmesan or Pecorino

A little lemon

Sea Salt

Or, you can roast them. Or just cut them up and add to a salad. Or in mashed potatoes. Or...

Dorie Greenspan freezes the pesto until the tomato season. She says they’re “stupendous together”. Mmmm!! Check out her link to see how she stores it and for more details on what scapes are, what to do with them and what they taste like.

Oh man, I wish we were making pizza tonight. What cheese goes with scape?