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Well, I was dropped off samples yesterday from a meat supplier..  I have a lot of beef... I  do not eat a lot of beef usually.. I usually eat fish but, fish has been in short supply to me and meat has not been.. So, instead of actively seeking it out, I am going with the flow..  


How much meat you ask?  




So yeh, at least it's sealed.  It will freeze and I will dole out to neighbors I am sure.  As I already have too much meat in my freezer from the last time this happened. 


So,we ate outside.  Which was nice so, i wanted to do everything in the grill... 


Start start I made a watercress and spinach gratin. Blanched and chopped the greens.  Cooked a half an onion in butter and garlic then added the spinach and a shot of sweet vermouth.  Then off the heat I added sour cream,an egg yolk mustard, nutmeg, parm, salt, pepper and cayenne.   Topped with more parm, bread crumbs and dots of butter..  I placed this in my cast iron gratin dish.. It had previous been my perfect nacho pan and a great queso fundido container but, now it was finally serving its original purpose. 


My photo:





Not wanting to get the food processor out, i stratched at the last 1/6 of a loaf of sourdough bread with a fork.. Raking the fork back and forth, and back and fork, until little crumbs came shedding off..  I used these bread crumbs for the gratin but, now I just murdered this bread... So, I cut it into chunks,  i grilled the bread, i rubbed garlic on the grilled bread, then I rubbed tomato over the bread and took more tomato and squeezed it over the bread, I added salt and oil and olive oil and then these canned anchovies with chile oil over them and tossed with basil.  A pan con tomate panzanella something or other. 


This is what happens when my wife takes photos:





I also had some pretty hen of woods mushrooms... So, I wanted to just simply roast that on the grill with a ramp butter.. I looked and noticed I have a few ramps that escaped me.. they didn't look super hot but, i have been doing so well at not throwing anything away.. Again, it's a huge stress among many people I know... For instance. I have these sprouts that may have gone bad in my fridge.. It's like on my top 10 concerns for the day... It freaking lurking back there in my mind. 


So, I made a quick ramp butter.. 4 tablespoons of butter, 3 ounces of ramps, salt and a squeeze of lemon. 





So, bring cocktails down, bottle of wine down, speaker, turn on the string lights.. The grill is lit, slight chill in the area, birds are chirping..  All in the middle of Brooklyn.. It was a beautiful night.. 


Into the fire, I added some wood chips.. i had the coals hot but, not  an inferno. I threw the steak in, I threw the gratin in and the mushrooms in a pan...  At one point, I cut off all the air and let the smoke build in the green egg.. It almost like pressure cooks everything and creates this huge amount of sealed in smoke... It permeates everything... It provided such a wonderful flavor to everything but, especially the water cress and spinach.. That smoke played with the nutmeg and the sweetness of the vermouth..  It was the best thing I have had in recent memory.  It was shockingly good. Everything was very good but, that was next level. 


I love that gratin dish so much...






Wifes photo:



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Working my way through some Indian recipes from a not very good book - an experiment in seeing what works and what doesn't. The night before last I turned my kitchen into a post-hurricane site with a

Ta. I must give this a try.

Thank you thank you. But doesn't everyone look better wearing a bath mat?

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Eggplant gratin... I have been reading richard olney's simple french food and decided to follow one of his recipes... And when i say follow, not really... But, i read it and was inspired by it... His was basically like, take eggplants, slice and fry.  Take onions, cook down, add tomato, spices and then cook it until the water is gone... Then take that mush and hold it.. Then take ricotto and parm with an egg and mix, add cream... Then layer..   I floured the eggplant.. I did a ricotta sour cream mix, flavored with nutmeg and parm.. I also added mozzarella and did a similar tomato thing..   


I also don't have bread crumbs so, i used self rise flour.. 




here are is the tomato mixture, mozarella and basil.. the ricotta, sour cream, egg, and parm mixture goes on next. 



2nd layer of eggplant





Top with mozarella.




baked at 450 for 45 minutes:


It was delicious:  Glass of wine with lunch!




So, i had an orange and a bag of clementines.. My first thought was to supreme the orange slices but, I was like, f that... So, I added cut wedges of oranges with fennel.. Salt, pepper, red pepper and olive oil.. Then I squeezed a clementine over the dressing and then i added thin slices of clementine for the peel and the affect.. i think it looks pretty.




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4 minutes ago, Sneakeater said:

I don't know why Richard Olney's recipes have the reputation of being so impossibly difficult.  And there are always steps you can adjust.

i would say for a few reasons.. But, i dont think they are difficult at all.. I mean, i kind of feel a sort of love for the guy...  There is definitely a way to do things as far as I am concerned.  If anything he is as opinionated about things as I am.. I think we would have a lovely time being absolutely picky bastards together.  He can pick the wine and we can just talk shit all night.   But truly, to have his knowledge and to have lived in America at the time he did, I understand stand why he left.. If I would have had the same culinary knowledge that I do now, 50 years ago, I would have left too. 

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made sichuan cucumbers... Then cold potato starch noodles that I boiled and cooled.. Once the cucumbers were gone, i added some tahini with a new set up noodles. 




Super quick and hit the spot:




Seriously, for anyone missing real chinese food.. there is nothing more rewarding, cheap, or simple than making these cucumbers... Or sesame noodles... 

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15 minutes ago, Sneakeater said:

Yeah shit I would LOVE to have known him!

you would handle the wine, for sure!  We can laugh at people who put wine in the the court bouillon before the vegetables infuse their flavor. 

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Definitely not free scallops! with spinach and fennel. Almost free thyme (I'm growing it), and free-ish grapefruit zest, because it's a byproduct.


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The last few days Mrs. P made some excellent fresh Whole black sea bass and filets from Local 130 Seafood in Asbury Park, NJ. I highly recommend them for those living in NJ. During normal times they deliver to some of the top restaurants in NJ, and now they have been delivering to regular customers, usually within 24 hours.













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14 hours ago, Daniel said:

i would say for a few reasons.. But, i dont think they are difficult at all.. I mean, i kind of feel a sort of love for the guy...  There is definitely a way to do things as far as I am concerned.  If anything he is as opinionated about things as I am.. I think we would have a lovely time being absolutely picky bastards together.

Two ways to do things, a famous chef once said.  My way, and the wrong way.

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