HG’s Vegetable Gumbo

September 20th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The best gumbo in the world is SJ’s chicken and andouille (or chorizo) sausage gumbo. Far better than vaunted New Orleans Creole or Cajun gumbo. Unlike talented (as writer, cook and reggae impresario) SJ, HG doesn’t have the patience or skill to make the flavorful roux that is the base of lush gumbo. So, last night HG turned out a simple version of bacon and vegetable gumbo. Reinforced with splashes of Frank’s Hot Sauce, it turned out to be a robust dish. HG browned five slices of thick cut bacon, onions and okra. When the mix had softened, HG added a can of Italian plum tomatoes and simmered for twenty minutes. Three ears of left over Blum’s corn were in the fridge. Added the delicious kernels to the pan and warmed for another ten minutes. Stirred with File powder (left over from SJ’s last PEI visit). Served the gumbo over basmati brown rice. No match for SJ’s masterpiece. However….

Prince Edward Island Dim Sum

September 19th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

When HG/BSK lived on Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village (for one year prior to a move to Colorado) the duo enjoyed a splendid Sunday morning bike ride. HG/BSK pedaled through the weekend quiet of Wall Street, the City Hall area, and across Brooklyn Bridge (best views of New York). Brooklyn Heights gave HG/BSK a glimpse of serene streets lined with brownstone town houses and the Promenade facing the river was strolling heaven. Appetites raging, HG/BSK rode back across Brooklyn Bridge arriving at Manhattan’s Chatham Square and Chinatown. Time for dim sum and hot tea. These early autumn days on Prince Edward Island, HG and Toby, The Wonder Dog, walk along the ocean facing bluffs in front of HG/BSK’s oceanfront home (sometimes descending to the shoreline for a beach glass search). Lunch is dim sum. Chinese vegetable dumplings, pork and leek dumplings, rice noodles with tofu (flavored with sesame oil and chili oil). Plenty of hot tea, of course. HG buys Asian provisions at Global Grocery in Charlottetown (Poong brand frozen dumplings are winners). HG’s dim sum lunch is not as varied as the repasts HG/BSK shared in Chinatown. But, hey, Chinatown restaurants don’t have the panoramic sea views of HG/BSK’s PEI kitchen/dining room.

OishiGevalt.com

September 18th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

SJ has long had thousands of Facebook followers for his brilliant “SadChairs” instagram account and blog. In various forums he has written penetrating political and cultural insights plus, SJ is noted expert in everything about reggae music, reggae events, vintage records, Jamaica, etc. The consummate New Yorker/Brooklynite has moved (with family) to Tokyo. SJ has an affinity for big cities so it is no surprise that SJ is falling in love with Tokyo. SJ is reporting on Tokyo’s food, culture, regional distinctiveness in SJ’s just launched blog, OishiGevalt.com. If you ever plan on visiting Tokyo, Oishi Gevalt is essential reading. The blog will also bring pleasure to all who are interested in food and brilliant, evocative writing. OG surpasses HG. Makes HG proud. HG is also pleased that SJ continues to edit and illustrate hungrygerald.com. And, happily, SJ is discovering many gloomy chairs in Tokyo.

Savory Melted Cheese

September 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

A wee drop of autumn cool in the Prince Edward Island breeze. To some this can foretell colorful leaf excursions, tweed jackets, football games, the dreaded pumpkin spice, etc. What does greedy HG ponder this season? Hot melted cheese extravaganzas. Mundane (but tasty) toasted cheddar cheese sandwiches, French croque monsieur sandwiches (Sandwiches of white bread doused with beaten egg and sautéed in butter enhancing the stuffing of ham and swiss cheese. Plus, a gilding of maple syrup). Greek sautéed cheese flamed with brandy, Melted brie topped with strawberry jam. Camembert baked atop shallots and sliced apples. Gratins of potatoes, onions, garlic and a heap of gruyere. Baked ziti covered with a pound of mozzarella (or just melted mozzarella on garlic rubbed country bread toast and topped with fruity olive oil and sea salt.) .Fondue? Boring.

BSK Beats the Wind

September 14th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

HG/BSK’s Prince Edward Island home was buffeted with winds of almost Hurricane Irma velocity. However, HG/BSK luxuriated in comfort as BSK stoked HG/BSK’s Danish wood stove. Dinner was pure comfort. BSK cooked local hot and sweet Italian sausage with peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Hearty sauce. Served it over perfectly al dente papardelle. Oh, my! HG approached heaven. The sausage was good but it wasn’t the true flavor packed (lots of fennel seeds) Italian sausage available in New York (Greenwich Village-Ninth Avenue- 11th Avenue- Bronx: Arthur avenue and Mott Haven-Queens Corona-Brooklyn Carroll Gardens and Bensonhurst.) When HG/BSK lived in Manhattan and northern New Jersey, a favorite source for Italian sausages was Faicco’s Pork Storeon Bleecker Street (other location on 11th Avenue). The best. Faicco’s also had great mozzarella and many other Italian delicacies. Plus, fabulous hero sandwiches. If you are wandering in Greenwich Village and developing an appetite, order a take out Faicco’s sandwich. Be warned. One sandwich is more than enough for two hearty eaters. Abondanza!!

Restaurant Nostalgia.

September 12th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Examining HG’s archives, HG notes that HG’s followers respond, with passionate nostalgia, to HG’s memories of long closed New York restaurants. Number one in the nostalgia parade is Christ Cella, the great steak house on E. 44th street. Scores of readers have sent in comments recalling romantic dinners there, happy meals with fathers and family members who worked there. Yes, CC didn’t do fancy frills. Superb products treated simply and with respect. Number two: Luchow’s, the outstanding German restaurant on E. 14th Street. Gorgeous antique decor. Oompah music. Succulent food. Wonderful beer. Number three: Gage & Tollner, the venerable seafood (and mutton chop restaurant) on Fulton Avenue, downtown Brooklyn. Sautéed clam bellies. Shad and shad roe with bacon. Dignified African-American waiters. Surprisingly, few HG fans recall two Upper West Side restaurants frequented by HG: Famous Dairy on W/. 72nd Street and Gitlitz delicatessen on Broadway and W. 79th. Nobody seems to remember the splendid Chinese restaurants clustered around Broadway and W. 96th Street. Most were on the west side of Broadway, but on the east side an eatery introduced fiery Szechauan fare to New York.

Joyous Overkill

September 10th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Too much food. Too much alcohol. Nevertheless. A wonderful, festive dinner with HG/BSK’s visitors, New Mexico pals Karen K. and David F., two of HG/SK’s favorite dining companions. Strange Prince Edward Island day of sun, clouds, rain, wind, calm. HG managed shore walks with companion Toby, The Wonder Dog. Toby has become an intrepid sea wanderer, leaping off bluffs and high rock formations, dodging waves. Activity honed a lust for alcohol. HG, David F. and Karen K. drank much PEI Myriad View vodka. BSK was content with Pelee Island white wine from Ontario. Accompanied the pre-dinner drinking with ripe local cantaloupe and prosciutto (dusted with ground black pepper). Dinner consisted of lobster with melted butter; tiger shrimp sautéed in olive oil with sliced garlic, olive oil and smoked Spanish paprika; sautéed sea scallops atop lightly dressed butter lettuce; sweet corn (of course); salad of sliced tomatoes, baby cucumbers, Kalamata olives and feta cheese. This was followed by rich chunks of chocolate brownies, Macadamia nuts, tart lemon bars, Stilton cheese mixed with canded ginger. There were no left overs.

Karen K. & David F.

September 10th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Much joy. Our New Mexico neighbors and pals, Karen K. and David. F., have joined HG/BSK for a Prince Edward Island visit. Brilliant, life enhancing people. HG has often posted descriptions of happy dining experiences with this duo. (HG has dubbed Karen, “The Dessert Queen.”). Basking in sunshine and ocean views, HG/BSK and K/D have been enjoying the best of PEI’s produce and seafood. Malpeque oysters, sweet corn, sea scallops, cantaloupe melon, fried hake, mussels, just picked lettuces, yellow beans, blueberries, smoked salmon, potatoes with sour cream and fresh dill, lobster. And more. The quartet banished thirst with much Chilean and New Zealand red wine, Canadian sauvignon blanc and Gahan’s beer and ale, Generous K/D arrived with an abundance of good things including Hawaiian macadamia nuts, Maine hot pepper jelly, a variety of chocolates. Best of all: Maine potato vodka. Unusual. Flavors that evoke tequila and French marc. Did HG overindulge?. Indeed.

No Hurry Dinner

September 7th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Oddly warm afternoon at HG/BSK’s oceanfront paradise on Prince Edward Island. Winds disappeared, Bright sun. Calm sea. HG/BSK and Toby, The Wonder Dog, clambered down to the beach in front of the HG/BSK home. HG, a naturist, stripped and plunged into the sea. Very cold initially. But, vigorous swimming made it comfy for the oldster’s body. BSK walked the shoreline and collected an abundance of beach glass. Toby frolicked. Fun for all. Hot showers followed and then a leisurely dinner, suitable for warm weather. A small vodka with orange bitters for HG. Then, while BSK attended to a computer chore, HG had a typical Paris bistro treat (one often enjoyed by Julia Child): Thinly sliced fresh red radish with butter, sea salt and red wine. Listened to Mozart. Some 30 minutes later, BSK cooked a special treat: Farmers Market zucchini blossoms and okra. Dipped in beaten egg. Rolled in seasoned flour. Fried in a minimal amount of sizzling canola oil. Dusted with smoked black pepper and, of course, sea salt. Wondrous. A long pause as wine was drunk and HG/BSK exchanged observations on life, politics (unfortunately), food. Finally, the meal climaxed with with voluptuous omelets stuffed with shitake and oyster mushrooms; shallots and feta cheese. As always, the omelets were lightly browned on the outside and lushly creamy and soft on the inside. BSK and SJ (BSK’s culinary pupil) make incomparable omelets. Fortunate HG.

Left Over Corn

September 6th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

When it comes to seasonal sweet corn, HG’s eyes (cliche) are bigger than HG’s ample stomach. So, what to do with the excellent left over corn on the cob? BSK cuts off the kernels and adds them, with tasty results, to BSK’s robust fish stews. HG adds the kernels to organic batter and makes corn pancakes. A treat when doused with plenty of Canadian maple syrup. Lazy HG had a breakfast of corn and grits this morning. Instead of excellent Geechie Boy grits (introduced to HG by SJ, Geechie requires much slow stirring), HG used Quaker Instant Grits. Grits lovers will cry: “Shame”. But, when stirred with a scoop of cream cheese and some butter (trick learned from Lesley R.), they are savory when mixed with left over corn kernels. HG dusts them with ample sea salt and smoked pepper. Corn relish is an excellent condiment. But, BSK doesn’t make it since the local Prince Edward Island product is so good. BSK focuses on making jars of (better than New York) dill pickles.