Yes, Chicken Again (Oh Yes!)

October 25th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

BSK has a way with chicken. Roast spatchcocked chicken. Breaded chicken breast cutlets. Chicken sauté with garlic and rosemary. Chicken sautéed with 40 (that’s right) cloves of garlic. And, more. Last night, there was a dinner party for five and, as usual, BSK rose to the occasion. First, there were toasts with glasses of Gruet Sparkling Rose and nibbles of Feridies Five O’Clock Mix. Everyone took their seats as BSK placed a steaming pot on the table. It contained a new chicken dish: Greek Chicken Stew with Cauliflower and Olives (Recipe by Martha Rose Shulman of the New York Times.). Besides the cauliflower and olives, the dish contained crushed tomatoes, onions, garlic and a plethora of herbs and spices including smoked Spanish pimenton. The diners topped their bowls with chopped Bulgarian goat feta and added harissa for further heat. BSK served the savory autumn dish with pearl couscous and accompanied it with a salad of thinly sliced baby turnips, radishes and fennel. All drank much Spanish Tempranillo and Argentine Malbec. The meal concluded with carrot cake (a creation of HG/BSK’s neighbor, Karen K., The Dessert Queen) and vanilla ice cream. HG/BSK and their pals have enchanting meals in The Land of Enchantment (among other virtues, polls indicate that New Mexico is solidly behind Hillary).


Sammy’s: Not For The Sensitive

September 29th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Pete Wells, The New York Times restaurant critic, did a delightful, witty review of Sammy’s Romanian Steakhouse, The Cardiolgist’s Nightmare on New York’s Lower East Side. Sammy’s serves a nostalgia drenched, schmaltz (chicken fat) drenched, heavy on garlic cuisine. The place evokes the yesteryear Jewish New York of The Bronx, Brooklyn and the Lower East Side. It is loud and clamorous with music from a non-politically correct pianist. Customers, fueled by vodka from ice enclosed bottles, join in the songs and dance between the tables. There are no strangers, just one big family. Wells got it right when he called it a “permanent underground bar mitzvah where Gentiles can act like Jews and Jews can act like themselves.” The restaurant provokes strong emotions. Love it or hate it. Wells wrote: “Sammy’s is the most wonderful terrible restaurant in New York.” BSK is firmly anti-Sammy’s. HG and SJ love it. Sammy’s is a once (maybe twice) a year place. More than that is suicidial. HG once left Sammy’s full of vodka, chopped liver and silver dollar potatoes. Driving uptown on the East Side drive, HG’s equally sozzled companion pointed out he was driving in the downtown lane. Both survived. Barely. Some sensitive Jewish readers have complained about the Wells review. HG’s advice to them: “Lighten up. Sammy’s is just a Jewish joke. Have a shot of icy vodka. L’Chaim.”


HG Told You So!

May 17th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Some time ago HG advised HG’s faithful followers that the only way to cook steak is the smoky, satisfying cast-iron-on-a-stovetop method. This involves heating a cast iron pan to the ultimate, sprinkling it with kosher salt and adding a well dried New York strip (or rib) steak and giving it a robust, crusty sear on both sides before turning down the heat. Well, in the New York Times Dining section today, Julia Moskin reiterates this advice (and illustrates it with a nice video). Moskin advises that after it is seared, the steak should be turned every 30 seconds. Crushed pepper should be added, she says, just before the steak nears readiness as pepper burns easily. Some HG counsel: If you like rare steak (anything else is a waste of good meat), take it off the heat while it is still very red in the interior. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing to let the meat’s juices re-circulate. During the “resting period,” it will continue cooking to the right saignant (as the French put it) point. The eccentric French (lovers of Jerry Lewis) like their steak “bleu”, not “saignant.” “Bleu” is raw beef with a modest sear. Enhance your steak with a pat of butter or top it the Tuscan way with a splash of fruity olive oil and crushed garlic. Pass that bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon down here, please.


Listen To The Rebbitsen

May 15th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Okay. For those unacquainted with yiddish, the rebbitsen is the rabbi’s wife. Convinced that women were smarter than men, HG’s Mom often said: “Listen to the rebbitsen.” The presumption was that rabbis were lost in a haze of spiritual, legalistic and other “of the Book” concerns. Rebbitsens, on the other hand, were sound on earthly matters. A recent New York Times obituary of Omaha Rabbi Myer Kripke (died age 100) brought this to mind. Midwest synagogues did not lavish money on their spiritual leaders but Kripke, through inheritance and frugality, managed to accumulate about $65,000 in the early 1960s. Rabbi Kripke and his wife Dorothy, an author of religious books for children, became friends with another Omaha couple, Mr. and Mrs. Warren Buffet. Buffet was achieving a local reputation as an astute money manager. Dorothy Kripke suggested that they turn over their money to Buffet to manage. Kripke demurred. Buffet was only accepting investors who put up $150,000-$250,000. Dorothy (a traditional noodge) kept insisting that Kripke approach Buffet. It took three years but Kripke finally gave in. Buffet, who liked Kripke, made an exception and accepted the money. By the early 90’s that modest sum grew to $25,000,000. Didn’t change the Kripkes. They continued to live modestly and used their wealth for a variety of philanthropic causes. They were guests at the Buffets’ annual Thanksgiving dinners. Knowing their kosher dietary strictures, Mrs Buffet hired an eminent caterer to prepare tuna salads for the the Kripkes.


Chowder By Candlelight

March 4th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Exciting night at HG/BSK’s New Mexico home. With the dinner hour approaching and appetites honed in wait, a sudden squall hit. Rain and intense wind. And, poof, no power. All was darkness. Incompetent HG murmured maledictions. BSK went into overdrive. Lit some two dozen candles. Found flashlights. Then some major frustration: The much-repaired emergency generator on the property kicked in. Five minutes of light and then…it conked out again. BSK went out in the rain and did what she could in a vain effort to restart the cursed device. Nothing. With a call into the repairman, hunger was still an issue so back in the kitchen. Again BSK took charge, manipulating pots, pans, flashlight, candles, knives, fish, bacon, butter, milk, leeks, spices etc.. The end result was a spectacular fish chowder heated up by plenty of smoked Spanish paprika. While the recipe (Smoky Fish Chowder). came from Melissa Clark of The New York Times, the soul came from BSK. By the end of the meal electricity was restored and stomachs were sated. The feast was just another example of BSK’s indomitable resourcefulness.


At Last: A Great Marinara

February 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Supermarket shelves have many jars of Italian Marinara Sauce. And, you’ll find Marinara on the menus of many second rate Italian red sauce restaurants. The result of all this has been to give Marinara a bad reputation among discerning gourmands (like HG). The New York Times recognized this phenomenon and recently published (with accompanying video) a recipe for true Marinara. The worthy sauce has been rescued. Follow the recipe and you will have a sauce that is sprightly, pure and a sure way to chase away the winter blues. Best of all, it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook. BSK prepared the sauce last night (she added an extra dried hot pepper and a pinch of fragrant Mexican oregano). Served it with De Cecco fettucine (HG cooked the pasta properly al dente). A shower of freshly grated Parmesan. A bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzze. Finished the meal with a lightly dressed mache salad and manchego cheese. Happy time indeed.


January 30th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Every morning, while sipping cafe au lait, HG reads the daily obituaries in the New York Times. It is a habit that smacks of schadenfreude (defined as pleasure in the misfortunes of others). Yes, muses HG while reading of the demise of a distinguished individual: “With all of your honors and renown you are very dead. HG is very much alive.” There is also a sobering thought. As an octogenarian, HG may soon (hey, not too soon) be an obit subject. The star of a recent Times obit page was Martin S. Bergmann, 100, psychoanalyst. Bergmann played the philosopher in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors. The photo illustrating the obit fascinated HG. There was Bergmann, looking glum, seated on a Persian rug clad psychoanalytic couch (obviously a copy of Freud’s lounge). Bergmann’s office, richly wood paneled and containing a big bookcase of reference volumes, had huge windows with spectacular view of Central Park, the Reservoir and the West Side (the twin towers of The Beresford on Central Park West clearly visible). Office had to be on a high floor of a Fifth Avenue building. Very super-prime, super- expensive real estate. So. In order to cover the nut, what was Bergmann charging his analysands? The obit raised another question. Bergmann was raised on an Israeli kibbutz. The kibbutz paid for Bergmann to come to American and study agriculture. Bergmann abandoned agriculture and never returned to Israel. Did he ever pay back the kibbutz? Yes, death raises many questions. HG’s response to death is Italian (HG paraphrases): “Life is short. Brutish. And, it ends in pain. So, in the meanwhile, let’s enjoy a good meal.” With ample wine, adds HG.


Mushroom Delight

October 30th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

HG/BSK are mushroom lovers and a favorite is the oyster mushroom sold at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. BSK uses a plentiful amount of these in BSK’s creative variation of David Tanis’ fresh and wild mushroom stew recipe (Tanis writes for the New York Times Wednesday Food & Wine section. HG/BSK are Tanis fans). In creating the mushroom stew, BSK adds dried porcini mushrooms, the broth in which they have been softened and some good chicken stock. BSK’s choice of a cultivated mushroom is the brown cremini. BSK is generous with her use of herbs–namely fresh sage, rosemary and tarragon. BSK makes life simple by purchasing a polenta loaf at Trader Joe’s. BSK browns slices of the polenta. Tops them with a ladle of mushroom stew. A dash of red pepper flakes. Accompanied by a fruity red wine and followed by a green salad and cheese, you’ve got a festive autumn dinner.


Chopsticks Night In Santa Fe

October 19th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

HG did some chopping and BSK got the woks sizzling. Yes, Chinese food for dinner tonight. Chinese restaurants in Santa Fe are miserable so Chinese dining is strictly DIY. On HG/BSK’s menu was Gong Bao Chicken With Peanuts; String Beans With Ginger and Garlic; and stir fried Spicy Eggplant that used the little Japanese eggplants that are in season right now. Instead of steamed rice, there was a big bowl of room temperature soba with sesame oil and a bit of hot chili. A great meal. Easy to prepare. And cheaper than flying to New York to partake in a Chinese feast in Flushing.


Romantic Obit

October 17th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

HG is a fan of The New York Times obituaries. Reads them (online) every day. Yes, there’s a bit of gloating involved. “Yes,” says HG in an internal monologue, “you (subject of the obit) may have accumulated honors, wealth, fame, etc., but you are very, very dead. And, HG, is very, very alive.”

HG is also a romantic (witness HG’s half-century of marriage to much loved BSK). HG’s belief in romance and HG’s ghoulish interest in obituaries were combined in one obit (paid notice) that appeared in a recent Sunday print copy of the Times. The subject of the obituary, a woman, met her husband (they were married 65 years) when she was 18. While courting he wrote to her with an invitation to the theater. She replied: “Pleasure was my first sensation (upon receipt of the letter). Let us hope the evening does not lead us into any serious indiscretion. Your more than willing, Victoria.” HG adores that reply. Charming, graceful–and sexy.


Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with New York Times at HUNGRY GERALD.