Thursday, February 26, 2009

Avant Garde Restaurant Hits the Big Time

It is with pride that I direct you to this piece in Time Out New York!

This weekend's event is sold out but I hope you'll come chew the scenery with the AVGR in April...?

PS also check out TONY's David Cote's blog post with our Butternut Squash soup recipe.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Peanut, peanut butter

I am a good American, inasmuch as I really like peanut butter and I eat it an awful lot. As you can imagine, for this and other reasons, I have been following the peanut recall with more than idle curiosity.

Please see the Slow Food USA blog today for my woefully belated Peanut Butter Recall Redux.

Also, please see my old post, from the early days (4 years ago!), on Peanut Butter Bumpers. n.b. this week Whole Foods was having a sale, and now the top of my fridge looks like a PBB convention.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Death of a Salesman

A few weeks ago, the peeler guy from the Union Square Greenmarket died. Yes, I bought peelers from him, and yes, they work really really well.

I already miss his shpiel.

I spent my childhood watching my father's alter ego--antique book salesman--and admiring its unlikely bravado. My weekday policy/finance Dad wore a suit, carried a briefcase, and went to an office. I don't know exactly what his work persona was like--though a memorial service last year gave me the sense that he was more outgoing and more gregarious than I ever imagined--but his salesman persona always seemed like a funny role he was playing.

"Antiquarian bookseller" sounds genteel, I realize, but ofttimes this involved selling at streetfairs (back when NYC streetfairs were eclectic and interesting, not just sweatsocks and funnel cakes). On certain occasions, he was a carnival barker, calling passerbys to his booth, promising 50% off. I was usually plopped on a lawn chair at the front of the booth with my mother, making sure nobody stole anything, making transactions, and watching my father doing what he loved.

Somehow I think Joe Ades the vegetable peeler seller reminded me of that unabashed salesman spirit I used to see in my Dad...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chocolate, chocolate, meat

I have a dream job, and what you do in a dream office is have potlucks, ones where everyone who brings stuff in are really, really good cooks.  Cool, right?

This week we had our 3rd Annual Meat Lovers and Chocolate Lovers lunch (in honor of Valentine's Day), for which Jenny and I made Sausage/Broccoli Rabe panini.  It's a good thing, too, because everyone else practically brought chocolate (remember the old Sesame Street episode where they have a potluck picnic and neglect to plan who will bring what?  Everyone brings watermelon.  This wouldn't happen at our office because, hey, watermelon is NOT in season.  But chocolate, chocolate is always in season).

Sausage/Broccoli Rabe Panini
Sweet Italian Fennel Sausage  (OR John's homemade spicy italian sausage)
a little white wine (or red wine, whatever you have)
olive oil
broccoli rabe
garlic, minced
red pepper flakes
thinly sliced fontina cheese
sliced sourdough
panini press

begin by blanching broccoli rabe in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes
saute chopped garlic in olive oil
add cooked broocoli rabe, pinch salt, and one shake of red pepper flakes
toss to coat, cook 1 minute

at the same time (because multi tasking is fun) in a separate pan, heat a little more oil
add sausage links, letting them brown on all sides
add 1/2 cup white or red
cover, turn down heat and let cook fro about 12 minutes

assemble sandwiches: one layer cheese, one layer of sliced sausage, one layer of broccoli rabe
put on a lightly oiled, heated panini press and cook until cheese melts and bread crisps and browns.

cut into thirds and eat with 2 kinds of chocolate mousse, 2 kinds of chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and a strong antacid.