Month: October 2014

lamb chops, roasted turnips, red chard stems


Damn if it isn’t a match made in heaven: Lamb and turnips (remembering Julia Child’s pairing, but here each prepared in a very simple form), along with the sweet-sour accompaniment of red-stem card stems, simply sautéed or braised.

  • loin lamb chops from 3-Corner Field Farm, pan-grilled, then topped with a lovage salsa verde (capers, garlic, mustard, sherry vinegar, lovage, parsley, arugula, salt, pepper, and oil – the recipe from Skye Gyngell)
  • young purple-top turnips from Norwich Meadows Farm, cut into half-inch pieces, tossed with oil, rosemary from Norwich Meadows Farm, salt, and pepper
  • the stems of red-stem chard from Norwich Meadows Farm (the ‘green’ leaves having been enjoyed in an earlier meal), sautéed in oil, with a bit of garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm, briefly covered so that the water clinging to the stems providing a braising liquid which was then boiled off when the pot was uncovered, finished with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil for additional seasoning
  • the wine was a Spanish red, Barahonda Barrrica Monastrell Syrah 2011

speck, rucola; lumacone, cauliflower, tomato, chiles


There were four people around the table tonight in the gallery two steps above the living room.  The light available was a little dimmer even than that of the already somewhat underlit breakfast room where we normally sit.  These two pictures are therefore even less crisp than most of those that appear here, but I think that they still give some indication of how delicious these rather minimal courses actually were, even if I did forget to include the 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream in the pasta mix (moral: never rush even the simplest of recipes).

  • thinly-sliced Alto Adige/Südtirol Speck from Eataly, drizzled with Lamparelli olive oil from Buon Italia
  • arugula from from Migliorelli Farm, dressed with the same oil, drops of lemon juice, salt, and pepper
  • slices of ‘Rustico Classico” from Eataly
  • the wine was an Italian white from the Marche, Falerio dei Colli Ascolan 2013, from Saladini Pilastri


  • pasta shells, Grano Armando Lumache from Compania, via Eataly, boiled for a few minutes with chunks of cauliflower from Sycamore Farms, drained, then tossed in a large bowl with San Marzano canned tomatoes, roughly-grated pecorino and fontina, a bit of ricotta, a little more than half of a chopped jalapeño pepper from Paffenroth Gardens, a teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes, the mix arranged in an enameled cast iron pan with the top dotted with butter, and finally put into a hot oven for 25 minutes or so (the recipe is from “Cucina Simpatica“, here minus the 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream I forgot to add to the bowl)
  • the wine was a Sicilian white, Tenuta Rapitalà Terre Siciliane Piano Maltese 2012


The desert was Ciao Bello Dark Chocolate Gelato, topped with shavings of candied ginger (sorry, I forgot to take a picture).

steak; yellow pear tomato; red chard; spring onion


Since I had forgotten ahead of time to provide for a fish or meat entrée on a day when there was no Union Square Greenmarket and when I really wanted to serve some of the vegetables I had on hand, early this evening I headed down to Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in Chelsea Market and went home with two small (5-6 ounce) Tri-tip steaks.   They were surprisingly, and very enticingly well-marbled, which I thought was especially unusual for this cut.  Before I learned on line that Tri-tips actually were somewhat similar to Culotte steaks, I had already decided to treat them more or less as I had prepared those tasty cuts in the past, searing the steaks on both sides, then finishing the beef in a quick oven for only a few minutes.  The result was superb: The meat was cooked exactly as it should have been (partly from experience, partly from luck), and the taste was phenomenal, and we were treated to both at a very reasonable price per pound.

  • Tri-tip steaks from Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, dried well, seared in a low-rimmed enameled cast iron pan, placed in a 425º oven for about seven minutes, removed, allowed to sit for a few minutes in the pan while being dressed with chopped shallots from Phillips Farm, a bit of lemon juice and olive oil, and a sprinkling of chopped parsley, also from Phillips Farm
  • very small yellow pear tomatoes from Central Valley Farm, halved, tossed briefly into the pan in which the steal had been cooked, finished with chopped thyme from Stokes Farm
  • spring onions [yep] from Berried Treasures, halved, rolled in olive oil, salt, and pepper, pan-grilled, finished with white balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkling of chopped  lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • red chard leaves from Norwich Meadows Farm, sautéed in olive oil, covered for a few minutes, uncovered while the liquid was boiled down most of the way,  seasoned with part of a crushed dried chile pepper, salt and black pepper, lemon juice, and a drizzle of oil
  • the wine was an Argentinian red, Altos Las Hormigas Mendoza Malbec-Clasico 2013

linguine with littleneck clams, garlic, chiles, parsley


The combination of Pasta and clams is so familiar, and there are so many ways to assemble the dish, that it’d be presumptuous of me to try to describe my own recipe – even if I had one.  The truth is, I seem to go about it a little differently each time, and I don’t think I could outline the procedure I followed this time, even if I thought is might be useful to me or to anyone reading this. In any event, it’s almost impossible to mess up this dish.

  • I can only say that what I did tonight seemed to involve heating things in three different pots, at least one of them covered throughout; that is to say, there was one pot for preparing a sauce composed of olive oil, dried chiles, finely-chopped garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm, and chopped parsley from Phillips Farm, then one large pot for boiling the Setaro linguine, and a third, this one with a cover, for sure, for cooking the clams in their own moisture ten minutes or so, being careful to time the cooking in the last two pots so that the pasta would be finished at the same time as the bivalves; additional chopped parsley was sprinkled on the dish once everything was placed in serving bowls
  • the wine was an Italian white, a Soave Classico Castelcerino Filippi 2011


meatballs and sage; beans and tomatoes; fennel


This meal used the second half of our freezer stash of some wonderful rose veal meatballs from Gaia’s Breath Farm.   I picked them up from Summers End Orchard at New Amsterdam Market this summer.   Because of the corrupt marriage of corporate money and politics, the New Amsterdam Market is no more, at least for now, and since I don’t expect to be making my own balls, I’m going to have to find another, presumably even more local source.

  • eight perfect sage leaves from Phillips Farm, cooked in butter in an enameled cast iron pan over moderately high heat until crisp, before transferred to a plate, then six rose veal meatballs from Gaia’s Breath Farm, purchased at the New Amsterdam Market this summer with the good graces of their friend Summers End Orchard in Unadilla, New York, lightly floured, cooked in the same butter over moderate heat until lightly browned, transferred to another plate and kept warm, white wine added to the pan and simmered until almost evaporated while scraping the brown bits from the bottom, a few tablespoons of good vegetable stock added and simmered two minutes, the meatballs transferred to the serving plates, their juices and the sauce poured over them, the sage leaves added as garnish
  • fresh canary beans from Berried Treasures, rinsed and placed in a saucepan under two inches of water along with sage from Phillips Farm and a fresh bay leaf from West Side Market, slowly heated for about 25 minutes, then added to a mixture of sautéed shallots from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm and halved cherry tomatoes (yellow and red) from Berried Treasures, finished with lemon juice, and parsley from Phillips Farm
  • a small collection of fennel stems, from the fennel bulb in the meal of the night before, from Norwich Meadow Farms, sautéed over medium high heat with garlic, chiles, and fennel seeds in a large iron pan until the fennel began to color, then, with the heat lowered and the pan covered, cooked for ten minutes, a very generous amount of chopped fennel fronds added at the end
  • the wine was a light red from the Südtirol (northern Italy), Egger-Ramer Schiava Gentile – Edelvernatsch, Trentino-Alto Adige 2013  (I think this is actually what I should have used as the link for that wine;  if you go to the video, you’ll understand why I write that)