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Everything posted by ProfessionalHobbit

  1. I didn't see a topic for this year but if there is, would one of our lovely staff move this? Even though it's a month away, we've started to think about the menu because a dinner party of the size we're planning requires thought for successful execution. We've determined that our T-day menu will be Italian instead of the usual boring traditional turkey, etc. But I'm curious about your offerings, and maybe, if they're enticing, I'll use a couple. Right now, it looks like: Antipasto plate Cipolle en agrodolce -- sweet-and-sour onions Crostini di pomodorini (slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, if available at the market) Crostini di fagiolini di rosso e aglio (cranberry bean and garlic crostini) Salsicce e salumi (various sausages and Italian pork-based cold cuts) Braised meats Spaghetti with meatballs and Sunday sauce Vegetable sides (subject to market availability) Dolce -- maybe homemade, maybe store-bought We're skipping the primi because the main will involve pasta as one of the offerings. We nearly always have two desserts on hand because one member of the group we're inviting hates anything made with fruit and prefers creamy/chocolate-y. What's on your menu?
  2. Oh cool. My partner's parents had their 60th anniversary dinner at Sinatra. I understand that they both enjoyed it.
  3. We've decided to cook Italian food this year instead of turkey. At the moment, I'm contemplating what to make. The main course will feature braised meats, meatballs, pasta and Sunday sauce. We've invited a VERY hungry group of eaters and I'm a little curious whether they'll demolish/decimate the offerings as expected. ETA that I'll liveblog everything on eGullet and Facebook.
  4. thanks Katie. Unfortunately we weren't able to get properly-sized onions at the market. The ones pictured are double to triple the size of normal-sized cipolline. I decided to go ahead and adjust accordingly.Peel, then boil in lightly salted water until easily pierced by a fork or the tip of a knife, about 20-25 minutes. Clockwise from lower left: 2 tbsp. organic sugar, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Most recipes for sweet-and-sour onions up the sugar, which I think is a mistake. This recipe (which is a Lidia Bastianich recipe) doesn't use as much and is our go-to method. After the onions were done boiling, I drained them, then cut each into wedges. I thought about leaving the root ends intact, but in the end removed them. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter foams, add the onions. Toss them carefully, making sure they're glazed with butter, stirring occasionally. Season with sea salt. Cook until onions are caramelized all over. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Stir. The liquid will thicken fairly rapidly as the sugar dissolves. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the syrup thickens and glazes the cipolline.
  5. Salsa verde. We make a batch weekly and use it on everything: from steamed vegetables to scrambled eggs to roast beef sandwiches to baked fish to pasta...it's an incredibly versatile sauce, and it's really just an excuse to buy more herbs. Tomato salad: heirloom tomatoes, scallion, salt, black pepper, extra-virgin olive oil. Poached egg, tomato salad, salsa verde Leftover braised chicken with tomato and vinegar
  6. Today: fava beans, heirloom tomatoes, heirloom apples, onions, brussels sprouts, salad greens, herbs (mint, basil, thyme), rock cod, carrots, scallions, mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, oyster, chicken of the woods, champignon, lion's mane)
  7. The job of making the sides falls to me. These pix are from last year: Cipolle en agrodolce ("sweet and sour onions") Pink Lady apples stuffed with Italian sausage and baked with apple juice, butter and sage Roasted brussels sprouts with crispy pancetta and golden raisins And here's a pic of our turkey for good measure
  8. We're still awash in them but I expect that they'll start to peter out around the last week of October. This year I discovered a new tradition that will probably be an annual thing going forward -- slow-roasted cherry tomatoes. I don't know why I never thought of that before. I still remember the day I shot this photo. Our favorite vendor at the market had a blowout sale -- $2.50/lb. for heirloom tomatoes. They won't be back until next year. The tomato you see at lower left next to the Green Zebra is an heirloom variety I'd never seen before until I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Looks like a plum with purplish-red flesh and wonderfully sweet.
  9. We brine ours, then inject with butter and chardonnay, and during the actual roasting, baste with a mixture of butter and duck fat. Makes for a fabulous stock after all is said and done.
  10. It's not like adobo at all. Not unless somehow French technique became Filipino without my knowledge. 0.o
  11. I happen to love fat, so more for me. The writing is exactly like @Anna N describes: "Here's this dish, here's how I made it better and you should listen to me because I'm Chris Kimball". Uh...no thanks. The dish that's on the front cover, the one about caramel oranges? Well, I don't know about you but the reason why something is called "a classic" is because it doesn't need to be fixed.
  12. For the dish he's writing about, it's absolutely necessary. I might have to make it this upcoming weekend. White-cut chicken with Hainanese chicken rice on the side....hmmm.
  13. rotuts -- it totally duplicates CI's mantra but through the prism of using herbs and spices, and less fat, salt and sugar. People will buy it because FAT is scary! Ooooh!
  14. I'm sure it's a good publication on *some* level. It's unfortunate for him that the first article I read was the one on white-cut chicken -- a dish I've made quite a few times and one I learned from one of my uncles who is Cantonese himself. So coupled with my own knowledge of that dish, plus my previous experience with CI, the real question is if I'm interested enough in reading the rest of the magazine. So far it doesn't look good.
  15. I bought a copy of his new magazine, and let's just say that maybe he should stick to living off his buyout money instead of writing about food he doesn't know anything about. PS. The reason why we obsess over chicken skin is because fat carries flavor. You can read a sample article by clicking on the picture.
  16. Chicken braised with tomatoes and vinegar, from "The Art of Simple Food II" by Alice Waters, page 166. Her recipe calls for red wine vinegar but I used sherry vinegar instead.
  17. There is definitely a marked difference between weekday eating and weekend eating at Casa Hobbit. Like today's breakfast: 5 leeks that have been cleaned and trimmed. Lay in a steamer basket set atop a pot filled to 1/4" depth with cold water. Bring water to a boil, then steam the leeks in a covered pot for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Pre-heat oven to 325 F. Split the leeks in half and lay them side by side in a roasting pan or baking sheet. Season with salt, black pepper and olive oil. Roast leeks for 30 minutes. 1 quart shelled cranberry beans with enough cold water to cover, a pinch each of salt and black pepper, and a couple of rosemary sprigs, and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so that the beans simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, then drain. Use half of the beans for the salad whose recipe follows, and reserve the remainder for another dish. Reserve the bean cooking broth if you like. Clockwise from upper right: 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil; 3 tbsp. julienned red onion in ice water; 4 tbsp. red wine vinegar; 3 tbsp. diced pancetta; 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley. Let the red onion sit in the ice water bath for 5 minutes, then drain and reserve until needed. 1 head radicchio, thinly sliced. Fry the pancetta until crisp. Drain, reserving 4 tbsp. pancetta drippings. Lay pancetta atop paper towels to drain off the fat. Combine radicchio with pancetta, cooked cranberry beans, red onion, red wine vinegar, pancetta drippings, extra-virgin olive oil and parsley. Taste for salt and black pepper, then serve immediately. Roasted leeks with fried egg and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, with radicchio, pancetta and cranberry bean salad.
  18. Hopefully it'll be better than CI which I personally found to be underwhelming (albeit based on only one issue).
  19. Mixed lettuce salad with radishes and mullet bottarga. I really should look into using bottarga more often as a substitute for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The flavor profile is similar. Clockwise from lower right: 4 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley; 1/2 lemon, sliced; 4 garlic cloves, crushed; kosher salt; 3 tbsp. fine breadcrumbs; 1 cup pinot gris; 2 onions, sliced. Not shown is a bowl with 3 lbs. mussels and another bowl with 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil. Warm 1/2 cup olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic cloves. Fry garlic for 2 minutes, then add the lemon slices. Fry for 1 more minute... ...then add the onions and a pinch of salt. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until onions are wilted. Add mussels. Toss with lemon, onion and hot oil. Cover and cook for 1 minute, shaking pan frequently. Add wine, cover, then cook for 3-4 minutes. Uncover pan, then sprinkle breadcrumbs over, along with parsley. Toss mussels, drizzle over 4 tbsp. olive oil, then remove from heat and serve. Brodetto di cozze, from "Lidia's Family Table", page 298.
  20. Technically this is breakfast since we didn't get up until 11 am. We went food shopping at Andronico's where I bought a copy of Chris Kimball's new magazine. I wonder if I'll like it better than CI. We also stopped into Lucca (1100 Valencia at 22nd, in the Mission) to get some bottarga and pancetta. I found out they sell 25-year old balsamic vinegar for $180. That will be my birthday gift to myself.
  21. Salsa verde fixings: 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves 1/4 cup basil leaves juice of half a lemon 1 minced garlic clove 3 anchovy fillets a pinch of sea salt a scant pinch of crushed red pepper flakes Process until you obtain a coarsely textured paste. Stir in extra-virgin olive oil until you have a loose sauce. If you need proportions, 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil is about right. Taste for salt and pepper, then use as desired. Either broil for 20 minutes at 500 F or bake for 30 minutes at 400 F. Turn chops over twice during cooking. Boiled potatoes with salsa verde. 4 LaRatte heirloom potatoes, peeled and boiled in salted water, then coarsely diced and served with salsa verde. Yukon Gold potatoes are fine if you don't have LaRatte heirlooms.
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