Puntarelle can be thought of as vegetable cousin to chicory. My first try, I was hooked by a marriage of this crisp fennel like vegetable with anchovy. It was, no overstatement, divine! And now if I sound like a guy who sports twin toy poodles, so be it. Puntarelle is even fun to say. Try it out loud. Puntarelle! Okay, now I'll shutup and just share that finding a stand selling it at Union Square Farmer's Market, I decided to recreate the Roman style salad which had first inspired my reverie. And so I did. Just sliced thinly, popped into ice water where it curls and crisp and dressed with a anchovy, vinegar, oil and garlic vinaigrette, presto, puntarelle, baby, puntarelle!!!!
At one point, even economy-class airline travel promised a cold sandwich. And even if they ususally were way too cold (not to mention, minus the mustard, tasteless), today's menu translates to "order out." Or in - if you're in one of those nicer airports with celebrity chef airport ports; say Shake Shack, Marcus Samuelssons, or the now-ubiquitous Wolfgang Puck. This is my long segue to some photos of my very passable lunch at Orange County's John Wayne Airport where I enjoyed a chi-chi tasting of three wines, charcuterie and a cheese plate. Poor big John Wayne would have been horrified. Ah, bon voyage, my friend, merci!
Perhaps it's no irony that the dish whose name recalls the "oldest profession in the world" is also among the most aromatic and nuanced, its flavors rooted in sea and earth. Below is my hommage to those ladies who made this power packed delicacy of basic ingredients. Oh, the power of love on a plate. Grazie signore.
Just got back from a three day look & see in California, specifically Orange County. Got to visit offline with online friends. And got the chance to eat, and eat some more. Great food! I even got to use a wood burning oven and play with dough! Southern Cal, specifically Los Angeles, reminded me of a Jim Morrison song. Like Soul Kitchen...yeah!
Gnudi, pronounced "nu-di" with a silent "g," are a bit like dumplings or ravioli. April Bloomfield's eatery, The Spotted Pig, gave them some recent cache. My hankering for them came from this site. My mom's garden provided some nice kale and tomatoes to add to the Amish ricotta mix. Light and delicous, oh, yeah!
My charcuterie friend Jonel Picioane has the most awesome store. His Sunnyside market was my go to shop where I buy nduja and all sorts of good things. But to visit his Ridgewood European Pork store....well, it's smoking! Literally as you walk to this hidden gem in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens, it's a one of a kind, because not many butchers with his skill have survived. If you catch him behind the counter your eyes, and all senses are opened by his craft work, go check him out!
Cork Buzz Wine Studio has a new spot in Chelsea Market. A small tasting bar menu, with simply designed but chock full of flavor bites. I was introduced to the chef's "Hillary Sterling and Missy Robbins", and we chatted up about food adventures and tastings around the world. One thing I miss at my own work place is a working with the opposite sex, women. They bring a fresh air to the dungeon like skulleries of man food restaurants, and these two culinarians impressed me with execution and flavors and the wine was exceptional as well the service. Here is what I had.
Fregola is a durum pasta from Sardinia, closely related in shape and texture to moghrabieh and used like cous-cous as an anchor within larger dishes or salads. Fregola is toasted, with a toothy bite, and goes especially well with seafood such as a recent paella-like dish I made from shellfish, garden herbs, and tomatoes. Really easy to cook, and served hot,cold, with vegetables or protiens, it's a great addition to the pantry.