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eG Foodblog: johnder, slkinsey, weinoo (2011) - A tale of two boroughs


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Whew. I think I got started earlier than John, the kitchen has been cleaned and here's how it began...

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That's the Ward 8 1/2...a Ward 8, substituting blood orange juice for the orange juice...mighty tasty. Of course, you can't prep dinner and have a drink without having some snacks...

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Looks fantastic from start to finish Mitch. I'd like to know more about the grenadin syrup you are using. What is it? Looks homemade. As much detail as possible about syrups (Gum???), bitters and other cocktail accents would be much appreciated from all pretty please.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Okay... I am way behind, I know! I have some stuff from Wednesday I still have to post, but first to last night's dinner.

As no doubt already explained, we had blood oranges, scallops, baby artichokes, spring onions, lacinato kale and our pantry to work with. Here's what I did:

First, I prepped the spring onions, cutting the bulbs into chunks and slicing the greens finely. I like to use scallion greens and things like that in place of parsley as a finishing herb. I also zested one of the blood oranges and cut it up into little supremes. These would all be used in my first course, which would be scallop crudo with blood orange supremes, minced onion greens, blood orange zest, extra virgin olive oil and Maldon salt. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the prep on this dish. But I do have some pics of the finished product.

scallops_plated.jpg

I used the other blood orange to make a cocktail, which I must with modestly downcast lash admit is an origination of my own, and which I Christened the Juan Gallardo. It's made with equal parts smoky mezcal, kirschwasser, Cocchi Aperitivo Americano and orange juice. I usually use regular oranges, as I like the resulting color better, but blood orange was what I had. Here's picture of the drink. Extra points to anyone who figures out the reasoning behind the name.

cocktail.jpg

Meanwhile, there was some prep work to do on the kale and the artichokes. I did a simple intermezzo course of shredded, sauteed and lightly creamed kale with a touch of onion greens as garnish. Here I am cutting out the center veins on the kale.

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Here it is in the pan cooking down.

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And here it is in a little bowl. This went nicely with a little extra Aperitivo Americano.

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One thing I love about baby artichokes is that the choke doesn't need to be removed. All you have to do is trim off the tough outer leaves, strip off the rest of the peel, cut 'em down and toss 'em in the pan.

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Didn't take long, and they were cooking with the spring onion bulbs in some olive oil.

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And here they are finished.

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Whenever I see baby artichokes, my mind also goes directly to spaghetti -- and that is where I went this time. Toss in the minced onion greens at the end, and grate on some Pecorino Romano.

finishing_chokes.jpg

Then it's a matter of tossing it around with a little pasta water and an extra glug of extra virgin olive oil.

tossing_chokes.jpg

--

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I'm gonna have to go with Johnder's meal for the moment -- his appetizer and dessert look better to me, although Mitch's risotto looks awfully tasty. Now, where is Sam?! :)

We have a Miele vacuum cleaner and love it, especially because it's compact and stores nicely in the upper reaches of the closet (sure there's probably a price premium but I'm willing to pay it for a small vacuum whose cord ACTUALLY retracts neatly after months of usage). I love that dishwasher utensil shelf idea.

Nice one-up-manship with the Kindle 2 & New Yorker. I still think I prefer the paper version on the subway, planes, etc. since the Kindle's default justification is 'full' not 'left.'

NYC is still pretty buried under snow right now. Madison Square Park is waist deep in it. Lots of fancy footwork to cross over 1-2' wide slush puddles, too.

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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Continuing...

It's then just a matter of moving the pasta to the plate...

plating_chokes.jpg

And here it is:

plated_chokes.jpg

Another view:

plated_chokes2.jpg

As you can see, we don't have a fancy camera like John and Mitch. These were all taken with Mrs. slkinsey's iPhone.

--

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I used the other blood orange to make a cocktail, which I must with modestly downcast lash admit is an origination of my own, and which I Christened the Juan Gallardo. It's made with equal parts smoky mezcal, kirschwasser, Cocchi Aperitivo Americano and orange juice. I usually use regular oranges, as I like the resulting color better, but blood orange was what I had. Here's picture of the drink. Extra points to anyone who figures out the reasoning behind the name.

I admit I had to google to confirm, but I was right: it's a Blood & Sand riff, and Juan was the lead character's name in the movie of that name.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I've always wondered about the pronunciation of "Cocchi." Sam or anybody else in the know, can you spell it out for me? Not that I have access to it or anything, but still...

edited to add: awesome blog! thoroughly enjoying it.

Edited by Alcuin (log)

nunc est bibendum...

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I've always wondered about the pronunciation of "Cocchi." Sam or anybody else in the know, can you spell it out for me? Not that I have access to it or anything, but still...

More or less, it's pronounced "cokey." To bring a little bit more Italianita to it, you could hold the "K" part of the sound in the middle of the word a split second longer than usual.

--

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I used the other blood orange to make a cocktail, which I must with modestly downcast lash admit is an origination of my own, and which I Christened the Juan Gallardo. It's made with equal parts smoky mezcal, kirschwasser, Cocchi Aperitivo Americano and orange juice. I usually use regular oranges, as I like the resulting color better, but blood orange was what I had. Here's picture of the drink. Extra points to anyone who figures out the reasoning behind the name.

Well, Juan Gallardo is the protagonist of the movie Blood and Sand, while the composition of your drink is roughly modeled after the drink of the same name (Spirit, Vermouth, Cherry Brandy, Orange Juice).

Really enjoying all of the cocktail blogging...particularly having some evidence to point to when my wife implies that I don't really need another bottle of Stagg.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Mitch and John certainly outdid me on this one. Although, in my defense, I would point out that I was taking a voice lesson on La forza del destino in the evening and didn't even get started on prepping for dinner until after 8PM.

--

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I used the other blood orange to make a cocktail, which I must with modestly downcast lash admit is an origination of my own, and which I Christened the Juan Gallardo. It's made with equal parts smoky mezcal, kirschwasser, Cocchi Aperitivo Americano and orange juice. I usually use regular oranges, as I like the resulting color better, but blood orange was what I had. Here's picture of the drink. Extra points to anyone who figures out the reasoning behind the name.

Well, Juan Gallardo is the protagonist of the movie Blood and Sand, while the composition of your drink is roughly modeled after the drink of the same name (Spirit, Vermouth, Cherry Brandy, Orange Juice).

Yes, exactly. And credit to Chris as well.

One of the things I like doing is taking sweet cocktails and making they dry, or taking dark-colored cocktails and making them light-colored, and vice-versa. So, the idea of this one was that the a light-colored smoky spirit (mezcal) stood in for the dark-colored smoky spirit (scotch), a light-colored dry spirit (kirschwasser) stood in for the dark-colored sweet liqueur (cherry brandy), a light-colored bitter aperitif (Aperitivo Americano) stood in for the dark-colored herbal aromatized wine (sweet vermouth) and the orange juice stayed the same. The Aperitivo Americano proves to be the lynch-pin to this drink. The sweetness and richness it brings is critical, and substitutions of Lillet, blanc/bianco vermouth or dry vermouth are progressively less satisfying.

--

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I've always wondered about the pronunciation of "Cocchi." Sam or anybody else in the know, can you spell it out for me? Not that I have access to it or anything, but still...

More or less, it's pronounced "cokey." To bring a little bit more Italianita to it, you could hold the "K" part of the sound in the middle of the word a split second longer than usual.

Thanks. That's what I suspected, but it always sounded a bit funny in my half-americanized half-italianate pronunciation of it. It's no fun not only to be wrong, but to sound funny at the same time. It's exponentially lame.

nunc est bibendum...

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. . . . I know some people like to dis Miele; whatever. . . .

I know this is incredibly trivial, but what's wrong with Miele? Do they suffer from 'Fiat curse' in the US, or something of that sort, owing to mandated import modifications?

I'm curious, because in the EU they still have a reputation for reliability. Not luxury or anything, but something you can pretty much count on.

You're going to have to go over to this topic, where I'm pretty sure I added my two cents.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I'm gonna have to go with Johnder's meal for the moment -- his appetizer and dessert look better to me, although Mitch's risotto looks awfully tasty. Now, where is Sam?! :)

I have no problem conceding to John, with the following parenthetically noted:

1. Dessert was not a necessary component of the meal. It was the two courses.

2. One of my "Italo-centric" friends, who shall remain nameless at this juncture, had a not very nice thing to say about the fried egg on the pasta. Poached or raw, yes. Fried, never!

I think everyone is on John's bandwagon because of his booze stash... :raz: . Me too :shock: !!

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Looks fantastic from start to finish Mitch. I'd like to know more about the grenadin syrup you are using. What is it? Looks homemade. As much detail as possible about syrups (Gum???), bitters and other cocktail accents would be much appreciated from all pretty please.

Hi FoodMan,

Yes, the grenadine is home made; when I moved in the direction of the Ward 8, I checked my fridge and realized I was out. It is a quickie grenadine - 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup Pom - shaken till your arm falls off. Works in a pinch. And I'll be able to make Significant Eater a Jack Rose, one of her favorite cocktails.

John or Sam or Chris can explain the gum syrup much better than I, but it adds a certain viscosity to drinks that doesn't come from plain simple syrup.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Ok, back from applewood.and back from the pig butchering. Today it was a pig from Amlaw family farm. They had a side of a pig delivered last week and hung it for a few days to stiffen it up, so it is easier to work with. This pig had a hanging weight of around 140, so this side was approaching 70-75 lbs.

Removal of the head.

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Head for roasting...

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Butt removal

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Butt and shoulder

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Tenderloin removal and breakdown of the loin

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Breaking down the ribs

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Loin

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Notice how small the tenderloin is on this pig. This was probably approaching 220 pounds live and gave up a tenderloin that maybe weighs a pound if that. Quite a difference from the mass market pigs.

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Loin, and upper rack

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One thing you sure get enough of is fat and fatback.

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Broken down...

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Chef Shea decided he was going to roast off the butt for a roast pork special.

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And lastly, the belly is going in for a cure, then a smoke to make some house bacon.

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.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Instead of a trip to the gym today, I decided to take a 3 mile, 2 hour walk around the neighborhood. You know, it really hasn't changed much...

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You see the same people hanging out on the same corners...

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Though today there are more of these...

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And parks that rarely look like this...

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I know there are probably some people who wonder why I haven't been here yet...

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But I was interested in something a little more off-beat...

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Where I ended up buying a few dozen of these...

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I also popped into...

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But came out empty handed, since they didn't have any minis on hand. That's okay, though, because the real object of my affection is just down the block...

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Perhaps the greatest appetizing store in the country. I know, I know, there are those who'll argue for Barney Greengrass, those who love Zabar's, and I'm sure Zingerman's is wonderful, but they ain't Russ & Daughter's, folks.

First, when you enter, it may look intimidating...

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And don't forget to...

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Because if it gets crowded, and you don't have one, you won't get served. Now, what to buy? You can start with the cans and jars lining the walls...

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But that's not really what you're there for. How about some salads...

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Maybe some herring?

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What about pickled lox?

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Kippered salmon, smoked whitefish, smoked trout, sable, sturgeon...

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Or something which people have been known to liken to addictive substances...

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But really, you're here for this, I think...

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There are 9 kinds of cured salmon in that case, so don't forget this, which goes so well with, well, all of the above...

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And finally, something to put it all on. I prefer the minis...

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Significant Eater will be mighty happy with breakfast tomorrow :smile: .

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I should also mention that they are doing their own breads in-house as well. During the time I was there I was being tempted with the smell of fresh bread being made...

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b2.JPG

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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2. One of my "Italo-centric" friends, who shall remain nameless at this juncture, had a not very nice thing to say about the fried egg on the pasta. Poached or raw, yes. Fried, never!

I think everyone is on John's bandwagon because of his booze stash... :raz: . Me too :shock: !!

I know exactly who that is. :biggrin:

I guess I have been going to Mailino too often and like their pasta with fried eggs. Guess it isn't a Tuscan thing. :biggrin:

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Any remaining disappointment relating to weinoo's refusal to brave the elements to catch Liz Phair in Williamsburg on Wed night has dissipated with his Russ & Daughter visit and photos. R&D is one of my absolute favorite places in NY and not only because the whitefish salad is laced with crack (it has to be - that's the only way to account for me eating something with mayonnaise in it). It is uniquely New York and one of the last of a dying breed. I walk in and am instantly transported to my childhood (which was not in 1914 when R&D opened). I'd like to start a campaign to keep the word "appetizing" alive.

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I'm enjoying this blog very much, swimming as it is in testosterone. Points have to be subtracted from Johnder because he didn't crispy-up any artichokes and because making a beautiful suck-up dessert was unfair. Also, and this isn't his fault, I just don't want a pair of yolks staring at me during dinner. The picture of his brothy stew looks fabulous and I would eat that in a New York minute. Although I couldn't identify some of the ingredients. You either cheated or have an awfully well-stocked pantry.

The risotto looked perfect and to me was the most appetizing of all the dishes. Many points for that one dish, especially because I don't actually like scallops and the chokes look especially crispy. I would be happy to have that along with Sam's simple kale for a meal, if Johnder would make me a cocktail. Many points for Sam's kale, since homey is good. Points also for starting to cook at 8pm. I would just have made a bowl of popcorn, at that point. As for cocktails, I'm impressed by anything more complicated than a glass of rye, neat.

Points to all for braving the weather to shop. I don't think my 93 yr old mother, who lives in midtown, has been out of her apt in the last three weeks. She orders take-out using her iPad. If I was tiger mother I might vote, but you are all deserving of praise.

Oh, and I just noticed Johnder's recent post. I grew up two blocks from Barney Greengrass, so of course I have great and tender feelings for it. But yeah, Russ and Daughters is amazing.

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Any remaining disappointment relating to weinoo's refusal to brave the elements to catch Liz Phair in Williamsburg on Wed night has dissipated with his Russ & Daughter visit and photos. R&D is one of my absolute favorite places in NY and not only because the whitefish salad is laced with crack (it has to be - that's the only way to account for me eating something with mayonnaise in it). It is uniquely New York and one of the last of a dying breed. I walk in and am instantly transported to my childhood (which was not in 1914 when R&D opened). I'd like to start a campaign to keep the word "appetizing" alive.

Appetizing it is.

I'm still bummed about missing Liz, but really glad I saw her last month down here in my neighborhood.

Hold on - I have to eat MORE whitefish salad.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
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