Ten Things I Ate This Week

1. Fresh Market Tomatoes, Corn, and Bacon with Boiled Dressing from “The Gift of Southern Cooking” by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock

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Recipe: Boiled Dressing “…a staple of the Southern table: a versatile, long-keeping condiment that serves as a sauce for hot vegetables, as a spread and as a salad dressing.”

Ingredients:

1 cup cider vinegar

3 egg yolks

2 Tbs. granulated sugar

1 tsp. dry mustard

2 tsps all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbs unsalted butter

1/3 cup heavy cream

Pour the vinegar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Put the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and stir in the sugar, mustard, flour, cayenne, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. SLowly stir the boiling vinegar into the egg-yolk mixture. Pour the dressing back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until it thickens and begins to bubble. Remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring until it is melted and absorbed into the dressing. Stir in the cream, and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate. Will keep two weeks.

2. Fish Tacos from Mark Bittman’s “The Best Recipes in the World”

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[These came out great. Only problem: the fish I bought from Whole Foods (a red snapper) wasn’t scaled properly, so I had to try to scale it myself. Didn’t work very well so then I had to try to cut off the skin. Good thing I had a sharp knife.] [If you’d like the recipe for this, I can type it in the comments.]

3. House Special Chicken at Congee Village (shared with Patty)

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4. Sauteed Crab with Ginger and Scallion, Also At Congee Village (also shared with Patty)

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Crab story: Patty and I had trouble eating this. We tore and bent and even cracked with our teeth but couldn’t get the meat out. We’d basically given up and then we saw a table of Chinese men eating the same thing except they were using crackers. They didn’t give us crackers so we didn’t know any better. We immediately asked for them and then extracted some meat. Not a lot, mind you, but just enough so we didn’t feel cheated. (The chicken was the winner, though. I wouldn’t order the crab again.)

[Oh, we went there by the way because it’s one of New York Magazines Best Cheap Eats 2006. We enjoyed it. I liked the decor.]

5. Zuni Meets Contessa Chicken

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For Craig’s return from the Pacific Northwest, I made his favorite dish of mine: roast chicken. This time I combined the zesty flavorings of the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe (stuffing with garlic, lemon and thyme) and the technique of Judy Rogers, placing in a hot 10-inch metal saute pan, placing in a 500 degree oven, and flipping twice. To be honest all that work and flipping didn’t really do much more for me than just roasting it in a roasting rack. But it sure looks pretty, doesn’t it?

I served it with:

6. Amanda Hesser’s Arborio Rice Salad

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And for dessert,

7. Ricotta Fritters from Marcella Hazan’s Cookbook

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These were also slightly disappointing. I’ve been meaning to make these for a long, long time. You combine ricotta, egg, flour and butter and let it sit for two hours. You fry in 2 inches of oil, drain, and then top with honey. I liked the fried aspect of it (everything tastes good fried) but I wished the batter we sweeter (there was no sugar in it.) And the ricotta I bought at the farmer’s market started out a little dry, so I think a wetter ricotta might’ve made a better end product.

8. A Nibble of Lucy’s Cheese Stick

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Today I met, for the first time ever, this website’s little sister: Lucy. You see, Josh and Katy are my Atlanta friends who suggested I start this website in the first place. So they’re like this website’s godparents. And since I moved away, they had a baby. Lucy. And I never met lucy. So I met Lucy today! And she’s so adorable, you can’t even believe it. We toured around the Village and of course people wanted to give her free stuff. At Murray’s cheese, they gave her a free cheese stick. And Lucy gave me a nibble: it was cheeseriffic.

9. We also shared a cupcake at Magnolia

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When there’s no line, those cupcakes sure taste great.

10. Finally, a lobster with my mom.

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She’s here with my dad, my brother and his girlfriend for her birthday and we went to the Palm tonight and ate their lobster special. I found The Palm (in the theater district) to be as depressing as the worst hotel restaurant. The bread was flavorless and tough, the chips were unsalted, and the coffee at the end was Starbucks. But the lobster was good. A four-pounder, this meal for two comes with salad, two sides, and that famous Starbucks coffee. My mom loves eating lobster and it was fun to watch her rip it apart. Happy birthday, mom!

20 comments

  1. Looks like you are back to your old web page format, having everything load on the main page. This is rather painful. Could you go back to the click-for-the-rest format you were following earlier? Good to see you having fun, cant wait for your book!!!

  2. Happy Birthday Adam’s mom! And congrats Josh and Katy on the baby…I remember when Josh and Katy were guest-blogging and they were hilarious.

  3. Hurray for crab crackers! Pity you didn’t get to enjoy the crabs with ginger and scallions. The dish (sometimes it’s lobster, instead) is one of my favorites.

  4. hey declan- i believe the same recipe was featured in the ny times dining section last month. bittman does a regular recipe section for them.

  5. Unfortunately the most recent Bittman taco bit in the times has recipes for beef/chicken/pork, no fish.

    Bring it on Adam!

  6. Ok, here it is: Mark Bittman’s Fish Tacos.

    Ingredients:

    Eight 5-inch corn tortillas

    1 to 1 1/2 lbs fillets of firm white fish, like red snapper, sea bass, grouper, or halibut, skinned and boned

    3 garlic cloves, minced

    Salt and black pepper to taste

    2 Tbs. fresh lime juice

    1/2 cup cornmeal

    2 Tbs pure chile powder, like ancho or New Mexico

    Corn, grapeseed, or other neutral oil for frying

    1/2 cup shredded cabbage (I bought the coleslaw mix at Whole Foods–the one where you add the mayo yourself later–and it worked well)

    Lime wedges for serving

    Salsa Fresca or other salsa for serving

    1. Put at least 1 inch of water in the bottom of a steamer. When the water simmers, wrap the tortillas in a kitchen towel and set in the steamer. Steam for 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and keep the cover on the steamer while you prepare the fish.

    2. Cut the fish into 8 equal pieces. Mix the garlic, salt, pepper and lime juice together and rub into the fish.

    3. Mix the cornmeal and chile powder together. Remove the fish from the marinade and dredge lightly in the cornmeal mixture. Pour 1/8 inch of oil into a large skillet and place over medium-high heat. After a couple of minutes–when a pinch of cornmeal sizzles in the oil–gently lay the fish pieces in the skillet. Fry, turning once, until golden brown and tender (a thin-bladed knife will meet little resistance.) Do not overcrowd; work in batches if necessary. Drain on paper towels.

    4. Remove the tortillas from the steamer and place a piece of fish in the center of each. Top with shredded cabbage and serve with lime wedges and salsa.

  7. Did you shave your head or is that not you in the hat shoving the cupcake in your mouth and very obviously NOT sharing with the baby as stated in the post?

    Babies are great for scamming free stuff. Just make sure you take your bite first, otherwise you get nothing but baby drool and remnents of their previous meal/snack.

  8. I second Marcy. I thought Josh and Katy were the best ever guest bloggers. I think they should start their own blog and then you can be the godfather.

  9. I was shocked to see that two of my most favorite fish taco ingredients were missing from the “best recipes in the world” take. Granted I dont fry my fish so a bit more flavor is important. If you want to make the tacos extra special you got to add fresh cilanto and avocado! I would add the cilantro to the marinade and also sprinkle some on each taco. The avocado is a must for me in my taco but you have to at least have it as a serving side!! Keep up the great work. I cant wait to read your site every day. Thank you!!

  10. As always, your parents are so cute! Happy Birthday, Adam’s Mom!

    And congrats to Josh and Katy — hope they’ll find time to guest blog again soon, perhaps about the joys of trying to juggle a baby with amateur gourmeting?

  11. You aren’t alone in your problems with Whole Foods. That “Save the Lobsters” thing was really cost cutting. I don’t get fish at Whole Foods anymore.

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