Menu for Alex Katz
September 10th, 2011
(I was too busy to take many pictures.)
Bread and cheese
Proscuitto and melon
Heirloom tomatoes, olives, oregano and garlic toast
Cucumber, parsley, avocado, feta and pine nut salad
Braised short ribs with cinnamon and wine
Crushed and crisped potatoes with rosemary
Milk chocolate pudding and cream
Menu for Peter Nadin
Bread, olives, cheese
Marjoram butter, radishes and salt
Toast with sheep’s milk ricotta, cherry tomatoes and basil oil
Garden salad with herbs
Braised and crisped pork shoulder with salsa verde
Snap peas with mint, scallions and pecorino
Potato salad with toasted chick peas, garlic scapes and herbs
Berries with cream and honey
Lemon verbena tisane
Little snakes. (Garlic scapes.)
Spotted Trout lettuce and Red Oakleaf lettuce from Old Field Farm.
Pork shoulder, pre-braise.
I am in California where sarcasm is often misunderstood, hiking is the activity of choice, and what greens to juice THIS morning is the hot topic of conversation.
New York. I miss you.
Red Cabbage Salad with Apple, Avocado and Sunflower Seeds
1/2 a head of red cabbage sliced very thin
1 apple, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 a small red onion, chopped fine
big handful of parsley, chopped
1/4 toasted or raw sunflower seeds
1 avocado chopped
1 or 2 lemons
olive oil for drizzling
micro greens (pretty, but totally unnecessary)
-In a big bowl mix all ingredients up to the avocado together.
-Juice the lemon over the salad and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
-Taste salad and add more lemon juice or salt if needed.
-The salad as is (with no olive oil) will marinate and be fine in the fridge for a few days. When serving, drizzle with olive oil, scatter avocado around and top with some pretty greens.
I have had strep throat for 5 days and all I keep thinking about is how much I love Alexander Flemming.
If I could, I would give him this tart.
It is not very sweet, just a good buttery pastry crust with tart fruit and a little apricot jam for a nice shine.
Plum and Apple Tart
1/2 or so of cup ice water
2 cups all purpose flour
12 tablespoons salted butter cut into small cubes
Topping: (substitute any stone fruit or use only apples)
3 apples such as Granny Smith, Rome, Macintosh, peeled
4 tablespoons apricot jam
2-3 tablespoons of sugar
2-3 tablespoons melted butter
-pulse together flour and butter in a food processor and add ice water slowly until in forms itself into a loose shaggy ball. Alternately, cut butter into flour and add ice water slowly until the dough just comes together.
-pat and lightly knead dough just so it forms a smooth ball that you can press into a disk.
-cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so.
(you can also make a smaller tart and divide the dough in two, freezing 1 disk for another time)
- peel and core apples and sprinkle with a little lemon juice
-slice apples into 1/4 inch slices
-slice plums into 1/4 slices
-take out dough and let it soften (about 15 minutes)
-Preheat oven to 400
-dust surface with flour and roll out dough to about 1/8 of an inch (you can also do this directly on parchment paper which makes transferring it to a baking sheet easier)
-gently roll it up on the rolling pin and unroll it on your baking sheet
-dust with very little flour, then lay fruit in whatever way you want but it should be snug and slightly over lapping- leave a 1/2 in border of crust that you will then fold over the fruit when you are done.
-brush crust generously with butter and brush a little bit over the fruit
-sprinkle the fruit and crust with sugar
-bake for about 45-50 minutes
-while tart is warm, brush with heated apricot jam (you can add a tablespoon or so of water to the jam to loosen it even more.)
I don’t think you can go wrong with this dish. However, for the past 3 years or so…
For some reason, I kept thinking that if I roast the chicken just like us good Americans roast chicken, it would taste like Greek chicken.
I was opposed to cooking the chicken for too long. (A very Greek treatment of all meats in question.) I persisted with my 400 degree Americano roasting technique until a few weeks ago. And guess what? I’m not looking back.
The real thing is goood. Like, real good. And easy. The kind of childhood dish I remember greeting me after a strenuous morning at the beach… The kind of dish everyone is happy to eat thanks to a polygamist marriage of lemon, oregano, olive oil and roasted chicken flavor that seems to be such a hit with the rustic cooking circles of New York City…
Ok, here were the tricks and differences: (after a long conversation with Yiayia.)
-I par-boiled the potatoes before adding them to the roasting dish- this makes them soft and luscious and they absorb all of the good stuff that emanates from the roasting chicken.
-In the roasting pan you add water. Not too much not too little. Don’t let it make you nervous… think 1/3 of a cup or so. This makes cooking it longer ok because it half braises and half roasts it. (Genius.)
Here is to success!
Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Lemon and Oregano (Kotopoulo sto Fourno)
1 chicken cut into 12 pieces (ask the butcher to cut the breast into 4)
4 waxy potatoes (not Idaho)
red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
-Pre-heat oven to 450.
-Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and add potatoes (not peeled).
-Boil potatoes for about 7 minutes. A knife should be able to pierce them but feel resistance.
-Cool potatoes in cold water and peel. Cut into wedges.
-Place chicken in a bowl and pour a couple glugs of vinegar over it. Let it sit for a minute and then rinse in cold water and pat dry.
-Place chicken in roasting pan and arrange potato wedges around the chicken.
-Heavily drizzle with olive oil, and squeeze the juice of 2 lemons over the whole thing and add 1/3- 1//2 cup of water. It should barely cover the bottom of the pan.
-Sprinkle with salt (go for it!) pepper and oregano.
-Place in oven and after five minutes reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees.
-Roast for about and hour until the chicken is golden and potatoes are soft and golden colored.
Serve with steamed greens.
I hate when people travel to foreign countries and talk about what they ate, and then even maybe blog about what they ate, and it looks so good and delicious but YOU CAN’T MAKE IT.
It is either too complicated or the ingredients are too hard to find, or there is just no point in re-creating it. However, if it is simple enough and the ingredients are seasonal then… I’M IN.
As we crawl out from one of the snowiest/dreariest New York City winters all I can think about is a farmer’s market that will have other things than sweet potatoes… regular potatoes…. squash… more potatoes…more sweet potatoes… more SQUASH.
No, thank you, I have had enough.
Though I can’t complain too much because currently I am in Athens where it is about 70 degrees and in between fashion related activities I force my cousin to come to the Laiki with me where the crowds part like the Red Sea because we are such a rare site to see (still under the age of 85).
When you can buy 3 ingredients and make something perfect, it might be one of the best feelings ever (next to watching a marathon of Euro music videos of course).
Roasted Peppers, Feta and Tomato
You will need:
8-10 long, light green peppers
2 ripe tomatoes
a hunk of good feta (about 1 cup crumbled)
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450
-slice peppers down the middle length wise and remove seeds
-place on a baking sheet or roasting pan skin side down
-sprinkle with feta
-coarsely chop tomatoes and sprinkle them on as well
-drizzle like you mean it with olive oil (halfway between a pour and a drizzle)
-sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano
-roast for about 30 minutes or until everything starts to brown
Here I am in not so sunny Greece but I really don’t care because I have one thing I have never had before…
I am here for Athens Fashion Week, but really, all I have succeeded in doing so far is convincing my cousin to let me borrow her rabbit.
We have been having a great time together so far… he eats lettuce leaves, while I make Kokkinisto which is one of my favorite dishes on a cold and rainy day. (No, it is not warm here yet.)
Every Greek woman has a different version of this dish, but the concept is always the same. Entitled” Kokkinisto” meaning “made red” because it’s braised in tomato giving it a very rich red coloring.
It’s delicious- slow cooked beef that falls apart, swimming in a tomato sauce scented with onions, cinnamon and bay leaf. It is served with pasta or potatoes and grated cheese.
Next time we will be making it with rabbit.
Braised Beef in Wine, Tomato and Cinnamon (Kokkinisto)
2 pounds beef stew meat or short ribs
2 onions chopped
3/4 cup red wine
1 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes (San Marzano is always good)
1 fresh tomato chopped
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
salt and pepper
-generously salt and pepper the beef.
-heat a heavy bottomed pot and add two glugs of olive oil.
-sear beef on all sides (you probably have to do this in 2 batches) and remove from pot.
-add onions, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and more olive oil if you need to.
-sautee until the onion is soft and then add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan as you do so.
-add the can of tomatoes, the fresh tomato and beef.
-bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cover pot.
-braise for about 2 hours, until the beef is soft and falls apart when you stick a fork in it.
-test sauce and adjust seasoning to taste (aka salt and pepper)
This is even better when made 1 day in advance.
Ah the wild and wonderful world of biscotti. On second thought, maybe not so wild, but definitely wonderful.
I have been doing my research on biscotti lately. The very Italian recipes only use eggs and no other fat- making for a very hard and not so sweet biscuit… similar to a Greek paksimathi (which can either be dried bread rusks or something sweeter and similair to biscotti.)
American biscotti are more similar to a cookie because we add some kind of fat- in this case, (and most others) butter.
I hate to say it, but I like the American version better. When I make the Greek version…well… then I will have really accomplished something.
In other news, my bf’s mother gave me a huge jar of Nutella. It made me feel a bizarre sense of kinship to her like never before and it almost scared me that a large jar of Nutella could have such a profound effect on me and my feelings towards other human beings.
I just think chocolate and hazelnuts are like Gadson and a tin of sardines.
A perfect marriage of course.
These biscotti are perfectly hard, but not too hard, sweet but not too sweet, and above all just delicious. When I have them with coffee I get a glassy look in my eyes because I have briefly visited a taste utopia.
Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour (you can alternately use all purpose flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raw hazelnuts
3/4 cup chopped semi sweet chocolate (I like the Ghirardelli bars)
-Preheat oven to 350.
-Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast at 350 for about 8 minutes- or until they are fragrant and light brown. Cool and chop. Then lower oven temperature to 325.
-Beat sugar and butter together, and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the other one.
-Whisk flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and add to butter mixture.
-Fold in chopped chocolate and hazelnuts. The mixture will be sticky.
-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (not totally necessary if you don’t have parchment paper)
-Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a log about 3″ across.
-Bake for about 30 minutes. Until the log is firm to the tough and lightly golden brown.
-Take out of the oven and let cool for a good 20 minutes. Turn oven up to 350.
-Using a serrated knife cut slices of biscotti. A generous 1/2″ or so and place onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 6-8 minutes, then flip the biscotti and bake the other side until they are an even golden brown.
Don’t feed them to Gadson, he has had enough.