In the height of summer.

She read Lucky Peach while making a peach crumble for friends

On a Saturday in August, I was home in NYC. A rare occasion for a beach and summer loving gal. After the wonderful brunch (a meal I usually deplore), I headed to the Union Square Greenmarket, almost a home-away-from-home. A place where my mother took me when I was young every chance she got – her office being very nearby and her love of food ruling all. Plowing through the fresh and colorful high summer produce, I happened upon juicy, smiling, sunny peaches. A peach crumble was in the near future…

I adapted this recipe from Orangette. Deleting the cinnamon and ginger (unnecessary and too overpowering for such a bright fruit) and adding ground almonds for depth and nuttiness. This recipe can be adapted for all summer fruits.

For the peaches:
2 Tbsp. lightly packed brown sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. all-purpose flour
8 to 10 ripe peaches, pitted and slices

For the topping:
Scant ¾ cup granulated sugar (about 4 to 4 ½ ounces)
1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup ground almonds

1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 egg, beaten well
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Position a rack in the center of your oven, and preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the seasoning for the peaches: the brown sugar, and flour. Add the peaches, and gently stir to coat. Arrange the peaches evenly in an ungreased deep 9-inch pie plate.

In another medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the topping: the granulated sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to blend well. Add the egg. Using your hands, mix thoroughly, squeezing and tossing and pinching handfuls of the mixture, to produce moist little particles. Sprinkle evenly over the peaches.

Spoon the butter evenly over the topping, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is browned and the peaches yield easily when pricked with toothpick. Cool.

Serve crumble warm or at room temperature, with crème fraîche or unsweetened whipped cream.

Yield: about 6 servings

Note: To reheat leftovers, it’s best to do it slowly, in an oven set to 300 degrees.

Born again//Roasted Chicken bones rise from the ashes

 

Stock it to me
Stock it to me

What happens to that lovely roasted chicken carcass after you have raped and pillaged it for meat like the Stormin’ Norman? What’s that you say? You discard it like that mini backpack you had in the 7th grade? Psh! What insanity. With a little but of time (oh, say 6 hours) you can turn what was going to be food for the vultures into hearty chicken stock. 

Stock. The joie de vivre of the the cooking world. Without it we wouldn’t be able to prepare our favorite soups and sauces as it lays down a flavorful base for chicken veloute, risotto and, of course, chicken soup. 

What you will need

4-6 hours

one large stock pot

plenty of cold water

chicken carcass from a (formerly) four pounder, cut into  smaller pieces. we want the flavor to seep out the chicken bones from as many angles as possible. you can even freeze the leftovers and make stock at another time. 

about 3 cups of chopped onions, celery, carrots (also known as mirepoix for you Francophiles)

1 chopped leek and/or turnip (optional)

a bunch of herbs (I like to experiment with mild herbs only: sage, thyme, parsley, a bay leaf and 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and pepper corns– do not use rosemary, it’s far too strong)

You do not need salt. Please remember this. The natural salt of the veggies and chicken will be extracted during the long cooking time and due to the condensed nature of stock, you will certainly need no additional saltage. 

The Method:

After compiling all ingredients, put them into the stock pot and cover with very cold water. Give it a quick stir and bring the contents to a slow boil then lower the heat to maintain a dull simmer. If you leave the contents to boil then you will have a cloudy stock and we want a clear stock, yes? Oui. Let simmer for hours (I usually like to make sure I’ve squeezed the life out of my leftovers so I simmer for a full 6 hours or until I “feel” it’s ready). Make sure to skim off the scum that rises to the top every 20 minutes or so for the first 2 hours then check on it every 40 minutes.

Once the chicken has given all of its love up – you will notice the condensed, velvety flavor of the liquid- strain the stock with a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids (all flavor has been simmered out of them fer pete’s sake). Pour the stock into small 2 cup storage containers and cool quickly. I like to stick the containers right into the freezer for use at a later date. If you do not cool the stock to under 40 degrees within 4 hours, it will likely go bad. 

You can also use the liquid as a…ahem…stocking stuffer. No. Really. I just said that. 

 

Frozen stock babies
Frozen stock babies

 

 

iLove

You leetle Bahn Mi sandwich…I want to kidnap you and and take you away with me forever.

Chez JJP and I were so obsessed with Bahn Mi this week, we cultivated our own gastronomically correct recipe and served it to the willing souls in the box known as: work.

Our editorial intern came up with the most killer marinade for the pork butt we bought. I loved it so much, I wanted to kidnap her but instead I’ll just give you the recipe:

Chez JJP/GastroGirl Bahn Mi Mash-Up

1 crusty French Baguette, cut into four

1/2 lb pork butt

4 thick slices of Mortadella or similar lunch meat

handful of julienned pickes, carrots, cucumbers

bunch of cilantro sprigs

mayo or Aioli for spread

1. Cut the pork butt into small pieces, about 1/4 inch x 1/2 inch

2. Marinate the small pieces following super-interns directions:

The flavor of the marinade should be very sweet-forward balanced by a strong soy/fish flavor so don’t be shy with the sugar/honey

Honey
Sugar
Asian Fish Sauce
Soy Sauce
Salt
Sweet Cooking Rice Vinegar
Sake Seasoning
Chili flakes (or chili garlic sauce)

Combine about a tablespoon or so of each ingredient but taste as you go to achieve a potent fishy/sweet marinade. Once achieved, proceed with marinading and let stand for about 10 – 15 minutes.

3. Salt the meat before it goes into the broiler and taste for seasinging as it cooks. You can sprinkle it with additional sugar for caramelization and add salt if needed. Broil for about 15 to 20 minutes or until meat is well done and caramelized

4. While the pork-luv is broiling, prepare your mis-en-place: separate ingredients listed above into bowls and put in the order that you want to stuff the bread, here is the order I used (from bottom of sandwich to top): mayo spread, mortadella, pork, pickles, carrots, cucumbers, cilantro

Do me a favor and please make this Bahn Mi. It wants to be eaten, and loved.

iHeart.

Peppers, from the Desk of: Erini

I would like to introduce to you a rather new contributer and all around super cute and funny gal, Erini. Erini (which means “peace” in Greek) hails from NYC, lives in San Fran, has a huge crush on Nicolas Ghesquiere, owns a Mini Cooper and a fierce collection of Le Creuset cookware.

Pimientos de Padron

Per GastroGirl’s eager suggestion and my lack of obtaining Shishito peppers. I went to the San Fran green market and settled for the similar Pimientos de Padron which I deem a Spanish version of the Japanese Shishito. I sauteed for just one minute in a bit of evoo (ew did I just say that?) until white blisters appeared and finished with coarse sea salt. Some of these guys were VERY hot! must be eaten while warm and washed down with very cold beer. Though it would have been appropriate to wash it down with a Spanish beer such as San Miguel, Sapporo Reserve malt beverage did the trick 😉

Other pepps in this photo included 3 sweet peppers: ivory tasted mildly like red sweet pepps, and with a waxy skin; chocolate brown was VERY sweet – the most tasty, and purple had a tougher skin and was white on the inside…meh.

i’m going to make a sauce next time to accompany my pepps using a simple recipe a friend suggested: yogurt, minced garlic and cinnamon. That’s it.

The curly red one the farmer gave me – i forget what the name is, but she suggested using it in an eggs dish. She also had like 6 teeth. Hawt.

Toodles!

Seasonal obsessions: End of Summer

Heirloom Tomatoes

+

Shishito Peppers

=

a healthy obsession

It’s my favorite time of year for tomoatoes! Heirlooms are running rampant through the green markets and into my tummy. I’ve been eating them for days and I can’t won’t stop. They are in their peak and I love to buy a healthy pound of all sorts of Heirlooms, cut them up into one inch pieces for easy mouth access and then douse them in the best olive oil and sea salt. Simple. It’s a taste of God’s love. My faves are the Green Zebra, The Black Krim and Mr. Stripey. I’m itching for some right now.

My other, total and utter obssesion is Shisito peppers. My mouth is watering just thinking about these scorched beauties. Shishito’s are a Japanese green pepper (not a chili pepper) than are about $6 a pound and worth every. Single. Penny. Did you hear me? EVERY SINGLE PENNY. All you need to do is heat up a wok (or similar pan contraption), let it get hot, pour in some olive oil, let it get hot (but don’t burn it), then saute the peppers on high heat for about 5 – 10 mins until they blister and burn. MWAHAHAHA. Then put the pepper into a bowl and toss with coarse sea salt. Eat with your fingers. Seriously. Just pop them. I’m getting all fuzzy and funny just thinking about it. MWAH.

A lobster roll in Brooklyn

totally unappetizing.

In light of rising foods prices across the nation, it is with great delight that I present to you a thread on Chow of “budget” options for that summer bit of succulence, the lobster roll.

Though this thread is specific to Brooklyn, I must make mention of my absolute most favorite lobster roll: that of Pearl Oyster Bar fame. Now, let’s deconstruct this for a hot sec…the lobster roll is the most delicate of sandwiches (if one can call it that) as the lobster stuffing, the roll and the sides are of equal value to the dish. The reason why Pearl’s is so excellent is because the roll has a wonderful hot dog bun meets brioche quality and the lobster stuffing is always sweet and creamy. The kicker? The lovely and salty shoestring fries that cut the creaminess of the roll perfectly.

Here’s a round-up of the best lobster rolls in the city.

Here’s a FABULOUS recipe (courtesy of John Mitzewich)

Makes 4 rolls

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped (you can use scallions too)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups cold lobster meat from freshly steamed lobsters (approx. 2 large lobsters, 1 3/4 lb each), cut into large chunks
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 4 large hot dog buns
  1. Combine mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, tarragon, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Add the lobster meat and carefully fold in with a spatula. Do not mash the lobster. You want nice, defined chunks.
  2. Butter the inside of the hot dog buns, and toast under a broiler, or in a skillet, until golden. Fill with the lobster salad and serve immediately.

Have fun and don’t go too wild.

Article Wrap Down

Some tempting and delicious reads:

– Last week the NYT researched and unearthed the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Tollhouse it isn’t.

– Serious Eats uncovers the worlds smallest espresso maker…I can finally go camping without fearing caffeine withdrawal.

– CITY magazine runs a long piece on family meals (the kind of family meal where the staff gets fed prior to service). No doubt CITY Mag publisher and Lever House/MercBar/Lure/Chinatown Brasserie owner John McDonald came up with this story.

– James Beard Award winning chef Fabio Trabocchi of Fiamma gets grilled by Gothamist.

– Grub Street gets in on the restaurant family action and draws us up a little family tree (note: there was an article done years ago about the family trees that came out of Gotham Bar & Grill)

– I found an oldie but a goodie by Anthony Bourdain in the NYT about pigtail soup in one of his favorite vacay spots, St. Maarten.

– Chowhounders ask what the 50 best dishes in New York City are. Read this thread please and note how some people are so snooty about their picks. Let’s keep it real kids: I vote for: pork tacos at La Esquina, hot dogs anywhere, pizza at Una Pizza Napoletana, Haribo gummi bears at the deli, gelato at Grom, bone marrow at Blue Hill and sweetbreads at Elettaria. In fact, I am going to compose my own top fiddy list as you wait with bated breath.