vegetable Maultauschen, chevon broth, micro purple radish

I had been keeping a package of German filled vegetable pasta, ‘Maultauschen‘, in the freezer for just this opportunity.

I had purchased it from Schaller & Weber, the last German food store in old Yorkville, weeks before; it was on the day after the opening of the Second Avenue Subway (conveniently, at least now that the construction is complete, there’s an entrance just outside the store). Last night, looking around for ideas for a meal of pasta, for a break between meat and fish entrées, I remembered that I had both the Maultauschen and the perfect Brühe to serve it in: some rich broth that remained from the braised chevon (goat) shoulder which we had enjoyed on Sunday.

It was a match made in Manhattan, and in fact it might have been possible only in Manhattan. It seems the filled pasta can be found here, but Goat is not a big item in Schwabenor in Berlin for that matter.

They were absolutely delicious.

  • one 10.6-ounce (300 grams) package of frozen Melle’s Best ‘Mini Maultauschen’ – vegetarisch, from Schaller & Weber, boiled in a large amount of water for a very few minutes, drained, slipped into a high-sided tin-line heavy copper pan in which some clear rich goat broth, or Brühe, had already been warmed, the Teigwaren first allowed to get a little friendly with the liquid, both then removed to wide bowls and sprinkled with a little freshly-ground Tellicherery pepper and a little micro purple radish from Two Guys from Windfall Farms scattered over the top
  • the wine was a German (Mosel) white, Urban Riesling 2011 from das Weingut St. Urbans-Hof, from Philippe Wine and Spirits on West 23rd Street
  • the music was the album, ‘Orfeo Chaman‘, an opera composed and arranged by Christina Pluhar, “a retelling of the Orpheus myth drawing on Baroque music and folksongs from South America to Sicily”, with Nahuel Pennisi in the title role

[still of an ‘Orfeo Chaman’ scene, Pennisi on the left, from Warner Classics]

paprika-rubbed braised goat; sweet/sour parsnips; mizuna

It was a Sunday dinner, but only remotely related to the kind Mom served in our midwestern dining room in the middle of the last century.

I’ve liked preparing and have enjoyed eating goat in the past, although it hadn’t shown up on our table in a year. Then, a couple weeks ago, on a visit to the Union Square Greenmarket I saw that Consider Bardwell Farm was advertising meat. I’ve bought veal and goat from them before, and the quality of both the meat and the butchery has been excellent. They’re really focused on the production of some very fine cheese, so the goat [chevon] and the veal is something of a special event (I once heard a farmer who only made ewe’s cheese tell a puzzled customer, explaining the appearance of goat meat at her stall, “have to do something with all the boys”).

I asked Paul, of Consider Bardwell, about goat chops, maybe a partial rack, or perhaps some ribs, but he was out of all those cuts by that time of the afternoon, so I picked up with a small roast, a boneless shoulder, to be precise; it weighed but one pound. I had never cooked a goat shoulder, but I knew it would require a long, slow braise to tenderize the meat. I hit the files, came up with this recipe, and it was more or less the process I used.

It was an interesting operation, and the chevon tasted very good, but neither of us thinks the time and the effort it required would be worth repeating.

Unfortunately (or not) there was too much liquid remaining in the pot to be quickly reduced for a sauce, so I improvised and produced something more like an au jus, enriched with a little rich Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter. It was actually very good (see the mention of veal tongue stock below, in the list of ingredients).

The next time I’ll hold out for those chops, maybe a partial rack, or perhaps some ribs, and yet I know I’d still be a sucker for something different.

  • the ingredients for the tiny braise included a one-pound boneless rolled goat shoulder from Consider Bardwell Farm, which I daintily bound in butcher’s twine (I should have taken a picture of the neat pattern); Pimentón de la Vera dulce, in which the roast was rubbed, along with salt and pepper, and left for an hour before the cooking began); garlic and onion from Lucky Dog Organic Farm; celery from Foragers; carrot from Norwich Meadows Farm; chicken broth made with Better Than Bullion chicken base; and, instead of veal stock, veal tongue stock remaining after this March meal and frozen at the time; and parsley from Eataly
  • about a pound of parsnips from Tamarack Hollow Farm, cooked along the lines of this recipe, using local Linden blossom honey from Tremblay Apiaries; Aceto Cesare Bianco white wine vinegar from Buon Italia; and chives from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • mizuna from Norwich Meadows Farm, wilted in a little olive oil, seasoned with Maldon salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) red, Karen Birmingham Zinfandel Lodi 2014, from Naked wines
  • the music was Paul Dessau’s 1974 opera, ‘Einstein’, a 1976 recording from its premier production in East Berlin, Otmar Suitner conducting the Berlin State Opera ChorusBerlin Staatskapelle members; it’s a very interesting artifact, with some “bleakly expressive” [Gramophone] music; the text and the music are discussed in these three contrasting reviews: Complete Review, Gramophone, and Suppressed Music

Paul Dessau, Los Angeles 1948, photographed by Curt Bois


[image of Dessau from]

this time it was late enough to be called lunch


We were later in rising than usual today, so we couldn’t disguise the event this time: breakfast-cum-lunch had simply become lunch by the time we sat down.

ricotta and honey ravioli, brown butter, habanada, mizuna


I had decided to take a break between two strongly-flavored meals, so my thoughts went to a simple pasta, and one of Luca’s fresh pastas in particular, my idea being that many of his specials could be best enjoyed with the very lightest of additions.

When I arrived at the counter I saw a honey and ricotta ravioli, something I hadn’t come across before. The pasta assistant suggested a brown butter sauce would be enough. But enough is sometimes not enough, so my mind strayed to the beautiful young mizuna I had at home, and once I had begun assembling the dish, to thoughts of including some freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper and a dash of my magic dried golden Habanada as well.

It was delicious, but very rich, and, yes, it was a little sweet, so the next time I’ll prepare a smaller amount, and serve it as a primo, following it with a small grilled steak, or agnello alla scottadito.

roasted monkfish with potatoes, olives, bay leaves; cress


It must be early apparent by now that we love this recipe, regardless of what fish I’ve decided to include in it. It’s made many appearances on this blog, and last night it was the turn of monkfish, the species designated in the New York Times clipping which originally introduced me to it.

It’s a great formula, and, more wonderful still because of its versatility: Its author, Mark Bittman, who authored the recipe, says, “The recipe can be finished with almost any firm fish fillet.”. I’ve made it with several myself.


carola _potatoes

The night before I had run out of my usual (modest) stock of potatoes, for almost the first time ever, but earlier on Friday I had picked up some more, 3 varieties, one one of which was the excellent creamy, yellow-fleshed Carola used in this meal.

The recipe is on the site I linked to above. Last night I used the ingredients described below.

  • two monkfish tails (about one pound) from Pura Vida Seafood, rinsed, halved, seasoned, roasted with three fourths of a cup of black oil-cured olives from Buon Italia, pits removed, on top of a bed of one pound of scrubbed, unpeeled, thinly-sliced and seasoned Carola potatoes from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm which had just been roasted (in a very generous amount of olive oil) with about a dozen dry Italian bay leaves, also from Buon Italia
  • a spray of upland cress from Two Guys from Woodbridge, drizzled with a little olive oil
  • the wine was a really excellent Spanish (Galician) white, Bodegas La Val Albariño Rias Baixas 2015, from Chelsea Wine Vault
  • the music was a single magnificent piece, Sylvano Bussotti, ‘The Rara Requiem’, Gianpiero Taverna
    conducting the Saar Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Saarbrücken Conservatory Chorus