Happy New Year!!!

September 24th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, Rosh Hashanah has come and gone, the Jewish new year. HG is an atheist and not fond of religious institutions, holidays, etc. However, HG identifies himself as a Jew and loves Yiddish; sardonic and dark Jewish humor; Jewish food containing an abundance of schmaltz (chicken fat). For a Rosh Hashanah celebratory feast, HG’s late Mom usually prepared long cooked brisket accompanied by kasha (buckwheat groats) smothered in fried onions, garlic and (you guessed it) chicken fat. Challah soaked up the abundant gravy. BSK marked the holiday at HG/BSK’s Prince Edward Island oceanfront home with a middle eastern feast. Pan broiled kefta (cigar shaped patties of ground lamb flavored with onion, garlic, pine nuts, paprika and herbs); Israeli couscous; buttered yellow beans. HG mixed a big bowl of Greek yogurt and sour cream with olive oil, garlic, cumin, sumac, zaatar, coriander, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Very tasty and festive, If you want to mark a holiday (or any cool day) with brisket, essential reading is “The Brisket Book” by HG/BSK’s talented pal, Stephanie Pierson.

Desserts Rule

June 4th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

Been a wonderful week of dinner parties here in the scenic Jacona/Poajque neighborhood of New Mexico. HG has never had a serious sweet tooth; nevertheless, the unexpected stars of these festivities were the desserts. HG/BSK hosted a dinner for visiting wit/writer Stevie P. (Recent must-read book is Brisket, A Love Story) and antiques expert Eric S. (You’ve seen him on PBS’ Antiques Road Show); Santa Feans Gerald and Penelope S. (He’s a fourth generation dealer in fine arts and she’s a curator); neighbor Karen K. (Film producer and HG/BSK’s source for the best eggs in New Mexico). The menu consisted of flank steak, grilled vegetables, French potato salad. Crudites to start. Karen said she’d bring dessert. Mentioned goat milk ice cream. Uh,oh. To HG’s ears it sounded too healthy. Turned out to be a knockout. Lemony pound cake topped with light goat milk ice cream (a joy) and a citrus coulis. Next dinner party was at the home of photographer Polly B. and educator/novelist David F. Dinner was crusty barbecued lamb from a local farm, herbaceous orzo salad and grilled seasonal asparagus. Their visiting daughter, Leslie (A documentary film maker) made delectable fruit tarts for dessert. The crusts were truly remarkable. Off to a dinner party at neighbors Mary Lou and Mike W. (Political activists who are always engaged in trying to make our region and nation humane and environmentally responsible). Two interesting couples we had never met were invited. Lots of laughter as some of these former Texans recalled incidents with two salty, irreverent Texas women: the late Governor Ann Richards and the late journalist/columnist Molly Ivins. On the menu: Curried carrot soup, baked salmon, inventive fruit salads. Ah, but dessert. Mary Lou made creme brulees that would have a place of honor at any Paris bistro (Mike flamed the surfaces into a perfect crackle).

So you thought we New Mexicans survived on only tacos, chili and beans?

cremebrulee

Paddy Redux

March 26th, 2013 § 4 comments § permalink

Bob C., journalist, publisher, senatorial press secretary, horseman, befriender of burros and a fellow resident of northern New Mexico came to dinner bearing a bottle of Bushmills Irish Whiskey. BSK decided to honor the noble beverage by doing a belated Paddy Day feast. Corned beef. Potatoes. Cabbage. The ingredients got that special BSK twist. The corned beef got some good peppercorn spicing and simmered happily for about three hours. The cabbage was not boiled but stir fried in a manner derived from a James Beard recipe. The potatoes were smashed with chicken stock, olive oil and chopped green onions. The corned beef was accompanied by a parsley sauce that BSK sourced from the remarkable Colman Andrews. This was a puree of parsley, butter, milk, onions, broth from the cooked corned beef and a bit of flour for thickening. (You can find the recipe for the corned beef and the parsley sauce in The Brisket Book: A Love Story With Recipes by Stephanie Pierson, a wise and funny book by a wise and funny writer). HG provided the table with dill pickles, hot mustard, Guinness Stout and Belgian ale. Lots of laughs helped along by after dinner Bushmills indulgence. (If you enjoy penetrating writing and sharp wit, log into Bob C.’s Blog: An Old Gringo’s Gazette.