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hathor

eG Foodblog: hathor - Big Apple Blog

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Good morning and thank you Ms. Victoria, I hope I can do justice to the blog tradition! But first, a shout out to all of us Mothers, mommies, moms, mas, mammys, and mahs: Happy Mother’s Day!!

I’m a "here and there" home chef. Right now, here is NY, and there is Italy. My husband and I have spent a quiet weekend at our house in Northern Westchester, we’ve been getting the house ready for spring and summer, planting flowers, cleaning up the outdoor plants…and we’ve been eating rather well.

A quick bio: married, 1 son, 2 cats. We’ve been married a long time…20 years…and lived together for a few years before that. Our son is just finishing his first year in college, he can’t make it home for Mother’s Day because he’s working away finishing his last project of the semester. We are going to Philadelphia on Tues to bring him (and his mountain of stuff) home, I’ll still be his mother on Tues, so we’ll celebrate then. Most of the week we live in a loft in Soho, which is in downtown NYC; weekends we try to head up here to Westchester.

I’ve had some formal training with cooking, I graduated from an accelerated program at the NY Restaurant school (the school has since merged with some other school, I’m not sure of the name anymore). I thought I wanted to become a caterer, but as this was an early mid-life career change, I found I could make more money working in the garment center, and have weekends off; so now I just cook for family and friends.

Some of the high points in my life have been very literally high points: I’ve climbed and stood on some of the world’s highest peaks with my husband and son. We climbed Kilimanjaro, Mt. Elbrus and some peaks in Bolivia to mention the really high points. We are avid downhill skiers. Anyone want to talk about the trials of cooking at altitude?? Now that’s a real pain.

I commute to work in the city by bike, which is an adventure in its own right.

Hold on: we just got some great news!! Our friend who is an avid hunter, just called to say he finally got a wild turkey!!! Its been a long, dry spell since he’s been successful. Our deal is, he hunts, I cook. He just called from upstate on a scratchy cellphone connection to let us know the good news. Oh boy!!

Enough bio. Onto the food.

We left work a little early on Friday, so we were able to eat to come up here to the house, and have dinner at home, which is a rarity on Fridays, as we usually have to leave the city late, after the traffic has abated. Friday night was grilled artic char and shrimp, served on a nest of cappelini with a parsley brown butter sauce, and some grilled baby fennel. Need to work on the baby fennel part, it would be great if you had very sharp teeth and were in need of fiber…maybe this is one vegetable that needs to come to maturity before eating. We opened a 98 bottle of Haynes vineyard Turley that was magnificent. A bit overboard for the fish, but it was delicious. And it was Friday night, after all!

Saturday lunch was a warm white bean and shrimp salad. Is there any more symbiotic relationship than parsley and garlic? This was served with a Tavel rose that worked perfectly with the bright flavors of the salad. I’ll post photos later, right now, I’m working off a really s l o w dialup connection, but I can post when we get back to the city. i6651.jpg

Saturday dinner was a TV dinner. That means the temperature dropped, it started to rain, so we had to eat inside. So dinner was served while we watched Sling Blade. Remember, that old Billy Bob Thorton film? It had some serious story flaws, but overall it has held up and is still interesting to watch. We had grilled quail for dinner. The quail had spent the afternoon relaxing in a ginger, garlic, and lemongrass bath. So they were simply grilled and served on a bed of rice, along with some white asparagus, and a terrific watercress salad. The watercress was a type I had never seen before: very thin stalks with oversized leaves. It was firm, crunchy and very peppery. I tossed it with some sliced red onions, micro-planed some orange zest on top, and made a simple vinegarette with EVOO and orange juice. The oranges are very, very, very tart. i6652.jpg

Sunday morning I made my favorite Sunday brunch breakfast. It has a number of names: salade du pays, survival salad, but it’s a frisee and lardon salad. I’m able to get some nitrate free, applewood smoked bacon in a slab. That gets sliced up into cubes and cooked, frisee salad gets a very light simple vinegarette. This all gets tossed, 2 poached eggs on top, a little toast and you have the perfect meal. We had some fresh squeezed orange juice (need to find some sweeter oranges to mix in with these babies!), and grapefruit juice. Coffee is illy brand coffee, made in the mokka with the foam coming from the chuga-chuga. I honestly don’t know what its real name is, we bought it in Italy, and I just made the motion and chuga-chuga sound to the man at the store, and he instantly produced exactly what I wanted. Anyway, the chuga-chuga is a metal cylinder, heavy bottomed container that you heat the milk up with, the top has a plunger with a mesh screen attached. When the milk is warm, you pump the plunger a few times, and voila! You have perfect foam for the cappuccino. Low tech perfection.

Here you can see my dear old Caloric stove. The clock has worked in years, but the burner space is large, the oven is large, its truly an old reliable friend.

i6653.jpg

We have a bunch of people coming for dinner, its Sunday Soprano Supper. Something that has become sort of a tradition, we eat dinner and watch the Sopranos. Of course, we start with the Simpsons, because you just have to love the Simpsons. And for the Sopranos, you need a bunch of people around to keep you up to date on the plot. I need to go and get some groceries, so we’ll be back…!


Edited by hathor (log)

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Let me be the first to welcome you to Blogville.

Frisée and lardons salad...yum. But how can you stand it without a glass of crisp white wine? :biggrin:

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Did I say I didn't have a glass of wine?? Actually, no its too soon even for me to have a sip of wine.

How do those older European men do it? The ones who come into the bar tabac, get an espresso, and some sweet wine. I would have to go right back to bed.

Gotta run, or we all starve tonight. Thanks for the welcome!

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Happy Mother's Day, Hathor, and all eGullet moms! Sounds like we're in for yet another fascinating foodblog. Thanks!

Squeat

PS kudos to you for commuting in Manhattan on a bike! yay! Very Katherine Hepburn.

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Sunday morning I made my favorite Sunday brunch breakfast.  It has a number of names: salade du pays, survival salad, but it’s a frisee and lardon salad.  I’m able to get some nitrate free, applewood smoked bacon in a slab.  That gets sliced up into cubes and cooked, frisee salad gets a very light simple vinegarette.  This all gets tossed, 2 poached eggs on top, a little toast and you have the perfect meal.

Hathor's blogging ! Yay!

Sounds like an excellent salad - it is on all of the bouchon menus over here, by the name of Salade Lyonnaise. Poached eggs and all. I like mine with a large glass of Cote du Rhone... :laugh:

Question, do you eat pocket coffee? :smile:


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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This will be fun. Great food, a peek at NY, wines, and it sounds like hathor is into healthy food, too! What a great combination. :cool:

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I'm in! Looks like you're up to the task and happy Mother's Day and all of that.

Now, let's get down to brass tacks. What about the turkey? Killing one of those things is one hell of an accomplishment. Your friend is a lucky guy. Got any plans for it?

Wild turkey is a wonderful, wonderful thing but it is an altogether different bird than store bought. Much. much leaner and usually with a natural nutty flavor (as mast tends to make up a major part of their diet, down here it' pecans and acorns, I don't have a clue what their northern relatives eat all winter). I have had great success in a water smoker, as it keeps the bird fairly moist.

And as far as Sling Blade goes, my Dad was raised where it was filmed (so was Billy Bob Thornton) and while I agree that there were some flaws, the feeling that he got with the exterior shots of that town, especially the drive in (I believe I'll have me some of them french fried pataters) was spot on. It is a very good film.

Have fun with the blog. It takes a little more time than you might be anticipating. :shock::laugh:

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Have fun with the blog. It takes a little more time than you might be anticipating. :shock:  :laugh:

Yeah - I tried to warn her, but would she listen? Nope. Headstrong, our Hathor, and now... she's off!

This is gonna be a good one, I can feel it.

Hathor, I didn't know you were a New Yorker! You're practically in the neighborhood.... I too am impressed with the bike thing; I tried it at one point when I still lived in the city, and - like blogging - it ain't as easy as it looks. And unlike blogging, it doesn't even look easy.

I share Brooks's interest in the fate of your wild turkey. I too have a hunting friend who often supplies me (and our considerable circle of mutual friends) with game, and on two or three occasions this has included wild turkey. Unfortunately, this happened at a time when we had all been discussing the phenomenon and logistics of deep-frying turkeys... and you can probably guess the rest. Unfortunate; I can't think of a less appropriate combination of meat and preparation. A wild turkey needs a treatment that will offset its leanness and toughness, whereas deep-frying only seems to exacerbate those qualities. Further pity: this has become a kind of tradition with this crowd. Funny, because they're not at all gastronomically unsophisticated - au contraire, in most cases. So I am really looking forward to seeing what you make of the bird. Will you do it in town or in the country?

A thought about the fennel. Blithely considering it from my vantage point of no experience whatsoever, based on your description it sounds to me as though it might have benefited from sort of a par-braising, maybe in a little dry vermouth... and then finishing on the grill. The braising would take care of the toughness (depending on the size of the bulbs I assume you'd have to cut them into manageable chunks), then if you pat 'em dry before you toss 'em on the grill you'll still get that nice charky finish and caramelization. For a major treat - grill scallions, whole. Oh yum... think I'd better go get me some scallions right away....


Edited by balmagowry (log)

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It's too bad I am not a hunter as we have a number of wild turkeys on our property. A week or so ago I woke up to seeing a tom courting a hen on the alawn area in front of my house. He was in full regalia - a very impressive sight. On the other hand, if I was a hunter I wouldn't have been able to witness that sight. Turkeys are actually very impressive and beautiful birds. I have absolutely nothing against eating them. In fact we had a roasted red bourbon this past week. Delicious.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers and mothers-to-be!

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Looking forward to the blog, hathor.

I have a number of different preparations for fennel and I always blanche or parboil first except when doing a long braise.

Enjoy the turkey!

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...and some grilled baby fennel.  Need to work on the baby fennel part, it would be great if you had very sharp teeth and were in need of fiber…maybe this is one vegetable that needs to come to maturity before eating.

Fennel! Did I hear baby fennel?? Hathor, I must have spaced that part of your post! I just had baby fennel last week - we steam it for about 5 minutes. That makes it nice and tender and great chilled for salads, or served warm. :rolleyes:


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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Balmagowry hit the nail on the head (as she so often does-I am sure that she is a fine carpenter :wink: ). DO NOT let that rare bird come anywhere a giant pot full of bubbling oil. Although I am a supporter of the occasional turkey frying fest, I would never waste a fine wild bird in this manner. Not that I am tooting my own horn (but, of course, I am) I have a pretty good description of a method designed to keep the turkey moist and having used it on a wild bird a couple of times, I know that the results can be pretty spectacular.

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Not that I am tooting my own horn (but, of course, I am) I have a pretty good description of a method designed to keep the turkey moist and having used it on a wild bird a couple of times, I know that the results can be pretty spectacular.

You're going to post that method (or link to it if you already posted it), right? :biggrin:

Damn, another New Yorker! :laugh:

Just kidding. Have fun this week, Hathor. :smile:

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Damn, another New Yorker! :laugh:

We've been saying that in New Orleans ever since General Butler started shipping all of the "Fair Flowers of the South" to Fort Massachussets :raz::laugh::laugh: (technically Butler was from New Hampshire, but to most down here everything above Louisville is New York :raz::wink::laugh: )

The Turkey and the reference to the recipe are on an April 8 post here in my blog. I explain it in general terms and link to the book that the recipe is in (an eGullet link of course!)

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now that vic has me hooked, i'm waiting with anticipation to hear about this turkey, i had a bad experience with a turkey about 16 years ago, but i think wild game is always interesting.

happy mother's day to all.


Edited by keifel (log)

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And she commutes by bike. Good on ya, girl! :wink:

We had four wild turks in residence around the bird feeders for a few weeks. We don't own any guns, so I kept praying that one of the cats would take one down for us....

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We had four wild turks in residence around the bird feeders for a few weeks. We don't own any guns, so I kept praying that one of the cats would take one down for us....

That makes wonder just how big your cats are :blink::blink:

Cheers

Tom

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Ciao...would have been here sooner..but we got delayed coming back into the city, because we had to go and visit the turkey. Its huge...a 23 pounder. I've had the good fortune to cook a few of these precious birds, and this one is a bit intimidating. I'll try and post the photo in the morning.

Here is the lovely and large bird: i6654.jpg

Wild turkeys are nothing like a commercially raised bird, for one thing they have a huge V shaped breastbone. I've rotisseried 2 of these birds, and the result was fantastic. The hard part was busting and then getting out the breast bone, glove bone style. Its amazingly tough. But this bird is too big to put on our rotis, the motor won't handle it, so I'm going to have to give it some thought. But the flavor, is so delicate and so, well, flavorful it barely seems a distant cousin to a Butterball. Balmagowry, thanks for the heads up on the deep fry as I giving that some thought.

Hunting and gathering turned into a bigger chore than I expected. Plan A was paella. I went into town and got some chicken which I set it up in a rosemary, thyme, lemon juice marindade. Then we went to visit the turkey, and toast its demise.... had to hear the whole hunting story...so, by now we are late heading back into the city.

We decide to stop at Chelsea Market, 9th Ave and 15th St...or thereabouts. Its a great market in the old Nabisco factory, there are separate shops: flowers, breads, wines, bakery, fish store, butcher, great Italian products, good vegetables, and some Saturday afternoons there are gatherings for tango dancing. Now, that is one stop shopping. Anyway, I'm late, husband in the car with 2 cats...and I now know that one of our dinner guests is allergic to seafood, so Plan B, is mixed grill, and the butcher at the market has....nothing. I mean half a sausage. Quick side trip to the vegetable store for zucchini, eggplant, red pepper and lots of herbs.

As soon as we get home, I head to Dom's on Lafayette St. Its an Italian market with Chinese butchers. The owners are two brother from Napoli, although I haven't seen the older brother in awhile. Its the only real, true butcher shop that's left in the area. I'm sure that's open to debate, but the owners are very careful about their sources, and its the only place that will cut the meat exactly the way I want it. I got some wonderful homemade sausage, and thinly sliced leg of lamb.

I now had about 1 hour and 15 minutes before everyone arrived, tonight was 8 for dinner. Come on, you know this routine, you've all been there! To make a long tale shorter, I pan fried thin strips of the vegetables, sprinkled with a little salt, and a few drops of balsamic. The chicken and sausage were roasted. Potatoes with fresh rosemary, thyme, parsely and garlic were roasted. The lamb cutlets were treated to a little wash with some eggs, and then pressed into a cozy parmigiano herb crust before being pan sauted. And as I was wiping down the counter...the buzzer rang and it was time for some Proseco with our friends.

We ate well, and laughed loud...desert we spent with the Sopranos. Some things are best watched with a crowd. So we watched Tony self-destruct as we ate pastries from Arthur Ave, and fresh berries and great key lime pie.

But, a few questions before retiring:

Bleudauvergne: what on earth is Pocket Coffee? No, I don't eat it. Should I?

Squeat Mungry: Hepburn rode a bike? who knew? I feel more like Pac Man fighting my way thru some video game, than Ms.Hepburn riding in high style.

Mayhaw: I'll take all the suggestions on turkey that you throw my way. This is a serious honor and responsibilty, and I cannot f*ck it up.

And most of all, thanks for the support...yes, this does take a bit more time than anticpated, but, watcha gonna do?

Sleep well. Tommorow's another day. :biggrin:


Edited by hathor (log)

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As soon as we get home, I head to Dom's on Lafayette St.  Its an Italian market with Chinese butchers. The owners are two brother from Napoli, although I haven't seen the older brother in awhile. Its the only real, true butcher shop that's left in the area. I'm sure that's open to debate, but the owners are very careful about their sources, and its the only place that will cut the meat exactly the way I want it.  I got some wonderful homemade sausage, and thinly sliced leg of lamb. 

Uh-huh. Wonderful home-made sausage. I was waiting for that paragraph to end that way. I don't imagine you'll be seeing that other brother again....

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As soon as we get home, I head to Dom's on Lafayette St.  Its an Italian market with Chinese butchers. The owners are two brother from Napoli, although I haven't seen the older brother in awhile. Its the only real, true butcher shop that's left in the area. I'm sure that's open to debate, but the owners are very careful about their sources, and its the only place that will cut the meat exactly the way I want it.  I got some wonderful homemade sausage, and thinly sliced leg of lamb. 

Uh-huh. Wonderful home-made sausage. I was waiting for that paragraph to end that way. I don't imagine you'll be seeing that other brother again....

Lisa, you really crack me up sometimes. I seriously laughed out loud and I'm glad the workman I have here happened to be out of earshot at the time! :laugh:

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Lisa, you really crack me up sometimes.  I seriously laughed out loud and I'm glad the workman I have here happened to be out of earshot at the time!  :laugh:

What th--- ??? Did I say something funny? :huh::unsure:

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Hathor, your dinner party sounds like it went off without a hitch, even though you arrived home just before your guests arrived. Chicken, sausage, and lamb! Sounds like a feast! I totally concur with the lots of herbs - you just can't go wrong with a big bouquet of fresh herbs in your kitchen to clip from.

Do you have a smoker? One of my favorite ways to enjoy a big bird is to smoke it. Unfortunately, since we are now in the city and in an apartment, we are not able to do that.

Being a "there" cook in Italy, I thought you might have had exposure to the PC phenomenon. Click for the pocket coffee thread in the Italy Forum. Apparently these are to be had in New York as well.

Great blog so far! :smile:

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As soon as we get home, I head to Dom's on Lafayette St.  Its an Italian market with Chinese butchers. The owners are two brother from Napoli, although I haven't seen the older brother in awhile. Its the only real, true butcher shop that's left in the area. I'm sure that's open to debate, but the owners are very careful about their sources, and its the only place that will cut the meat exactly the way I want it.  I got some wonderful homemade sausage, and thinly sliced leg of lamb. 

Uh-huh. Wonderful home-made sausage. I was waiting for that paragraph to end that way. I don't imagine you'll be seeing that other brother again....

I think I need more coffee in me this morning... at first I thought you knew about the brother, now I realize you mean he's may gone on to serve a higher purpose! :raz: Actually I do worry about him. He was the older brother, and cantankerous to dowright crabby. Dom's is right across the street from a firehouse that lost quite a few members during 9/11, and it took the wind out of him. He was a wonderful butcher, and I chose to think he just decided to retire.

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Do you have a smoker?

Click for the pocket coffee thread in the Italy Forum. Apparently these are to be had in New York as well.

No, sadly I don't have a smoker, and I would want to do a lot of experimenting before I worked on this bird. Getting a smoker is on the Things to Do List, but I haven't gotten there yet.

Pocket Coffees sound wonderful...but, I have a problem. I can't eat chocolate. I can hear the groans of sympathy, and dis-belief. I've suffered from migraines since I was little, and chocolate is a major trigger for them. Could be worse, could be red wine. Now, that would be tragic! :hmmm:

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OH, do I just love Monday mornings. Sarcasm intended. Actually, its a lovely, mid-60's slight haze kind of morning, not bad at all.

No time to eat breakfast at home, so I fed the cats. Here's Bella relaxing.

i6658.jpg

I drink a sort of health food, vitamin drink first thing in the morning. I call it Pond Scum, but its made by a company in Utah called Synergy, its a mix of algae and mushrooms and Chinese herbs and god knows what else. Its gets mixed with some blueberry juice, which anti's any oxidants I may have. I have no idea what anti-oxidant means, but its supposed to be good for keeping your skin looking good, and I like blueberries, so its all good. The only other household member that will touch the stuff is Bella. i6655.jpg

My SO was already out the door, he was off to yoga class. I squeezed him some OJ, grapefruit juice for myself, and I biked up to the office to try and upload some of these photos. Now I'm drinking deli espresso and a yukky corn muffin, which believe me, does not warrant any photo at all!

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      In the spirit of memories, I'll first go back to 2006 when my wife and I took our honeymoon to Thailand (Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Singapore and Hanoi.  That was our first time to Asia, and to be honest, I was a little nervous about it.  I was worried the language barrier would be too difficult to transcend, or that we'd have no idea where we were going.  So, to help mitigate my slight anxiety, I decided to book some guides for a few of the locations.  Our guides were great, but we realized that they really aren't necessary, and nowadays with internet access so much more prevalent, even less necessary.
       
      Prior to the trip, when emailing with our guide in Bangkok to finalize plans, I mentioned that we wanted to be continuously eating (local food, I thought was implied!)  When we got there, I realized the misunderstanding when she opened her trunk to show us many bags of chips and other snack foods.. whoops...  Anyway, once the misconception was cleared up, she took us to a noodle soup vendor:


      On the right is our guide, Tong, who is now a very famous and highly sought after guide in BKK.... at the time, we were among here first customers.  I had a chicken broth based noodle soup with fish ball, fish cake and pork meatball, and my wife had yen ta fo, which is odd because it is bright pink with seafood.  I have a lime juice, and my wife had a longan juice.
       
      This is what a lot of local food places look like:

       
       
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