1. Fresh Market Tomatoes, Corn, and Bacon with Boiled Dressing from “The Gift of Southern Cooking” by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock
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.”
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”
[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)
4. Sauteed Crab with Ginger and Scallion, Also At Congee Village (also shared with Patty)
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
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
And for dessert,
7. Ricotta Fritters from Marcella Hazan’s Cookbook
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
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
When there’s no line, those cupcakes sure taste great.
10. Finally, a lobster with my mom.
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!