What a long week. Of eating. Monday began, quite like most Mondays, with me whining “I’m so sick of cooking. Let’s get take out.” Lucky the Thai place just downstairs from us. But that was about it, cause by Tuesday, I was rejuvenated and ready for some dining in like you’re dining out.
A quick 3 minute sear per side was enough for this piece of fish. Stirring in some fresh thyme, as well some lemon zest, salt, and pepper, into the sour cream a few hours ahead of time let the flavors develop and increase in intensity. And I know, it’s totally not tomato season, unless Fresh Direct, for some reason, has hydroponic heirloom tomatoes on sale. These, I must say, pretty much rocked. I happened to have some basil growing out of one of my desk-top terrariums. Off went their heads, chiffonaded and tossed into the tomatoes. And rice is rice.
I’d had two of these gorgeous chops hanging out, cryovaced, in my fridge for a week, waiting for cooler weather. Go figure we had August temps in Brooklyn last week. But I couldn’t wait any longer. This dish was just the easiest, though. Seared off the meat, and they went into the pot atop all the other ingredients. A couple hours later, the you have it. Tender, fall-off-the-bone goodness. And it’s true, those Berkshire pigs are some tasty hogs.
We always have chicken legs (never boobs) in the freezer, so it’s a quick go to on a random night. A few hours in a balsamic marinade, and 1/2 hour in a hot oven, and there you go. Myum. A trick: I always cook my chicken on slices of onion. This both keeps the bird out of the oily drippings and lets the crisp creep to all corners. You also get a little bit of onion goodness to smash on some bread (it’s rather soft after the cooking, like roasted garlic). Those familiar with this blog are familiar, too, with my new love for roasted cauliflower. No surprise there.
And Friday night?
Well, I guess this was Friday night…
By Friday, pure laziness. We’d just been to Scalino‘s last week with a visiting friend. It’s probably our favorite neighborhood restaurant. Unpretentious and delicious. That’s all we ask, and that’s what we always get. This time, we shared some grilled calamari, Miro enjoyed their lasagna, and I had their braised pork shoulder with white beans and spinach. A few glasses of wine. Lovely.
So, you’d think Saturday, I’d be cooking again? Nope. Laziness, again. Well, not really. We started running again this week, so not entirely lazy. But, whatever. Why make excuses. We went to our #2 favorite neighborhood restaurant:
I really love this place. Check Cafe Steinhof’s totally cool website. Make sure your sound is on. I can see this Austrian-style cafe/restaurant from my window here, it’s only a block away. The neon sign beckons me nightly. This was the 1st place I ate alone at when we moved here last year. Think sausages like debrecena and weisswurst served with sauerkraut (or braised red cabbage) and roasted potatoes. Or chicken paprika with some spaetzle that’s so tasty it will make you blush. You can sit at the bar, down a few glasses of Gewurztraminer or Gruner Veltliner, gaze upon the insane artwork and assorted Viennese paraphernalia, and let happiness fill your soul.
So, that was the week, or wasn’t, if you count Sunday a part of your week. For this blog’s purpose, I shall. You know all about the cake fiasco from my previous post. There are few things that can rebound my mood from a moody cake-bake, and one of them is duck. I had a bird hanging out in the freezer, so after a quick thawing, I scored that baby up and put her to roast.
I hadn’t roasted a whole bird before. I usually break the beast down and take care of it like this. The whole bird, well, that takes a little more care. I found a website that may just contain the most amazing pictorial instruction on how to roast a duck that I’ve ever seen. Take a read through. Gander. For the crispy glaze, I concocted a stickiness of blood orange juice, Bee Pee Honey from Horton Hill Farmin Jefferson, NY, and some soy sauce. This was perfect, I must say, for the final dish:
The skin was crispy, the fat had rendered out about 75%, which is less than we’re used to, but we didn’t mind at all. The breast was a bit dried out, but the legs and the skin made up for it. The sauce was an old Le Pommier inspired bit of genius. All-in-all, it rocked. It rocked even more with an all white flour, and nicely salty, Jenny Bread…
So, there’s the week in review. I’m sure I’ll cook something this week, too.