In the Weeds

At Gramercy Tavern, the kitchen must be always “in the weeds,” or overwhelmed in restaurant speak. And the many patrons enter through wild arrangements of branches and berries and flowers and leaves…
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Gramercy Tavern

“Fresh” is the first word that comes to mind at this New York bedrock. From carrot juice with orange foam to corn custard to in-house smoked trout and sides of peas with striped bass and baby fennel with lamb and a dessert with blueberries and peaches and lemon verbena ice cream, you taste earth and … Continue reading

“Fait Maison”

“House made” has different meanings as the new French law takes effect. Restaurants are required to indicate on menus whether their food was prepared from raw ingredients, which is an effort to thwart the use of industrially manufactured mixes and modified produce. People in France are perplexed about what “fresh” means:
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2014/jul/15/france-fait-maison-homemade-law-save-reputation

La Fete Nationale

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Bastille Day, on July 14, when the French celebrate the storming of the Parisian prison that led to the French Revolution, is a day of parades and fireworks–much like our Independence Day… Picnicking is in order, and a pissaladiere, or nicoise onion, olive, and anchovy pizza, is perfect to take anywhere. See this easy recipe:
http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pissaladiere

“Rice is an explanation of everything.”

Read this thoughtful interview with Anthony Bourdain about the American “foodie” culture, travel around the world, and what he would like for his last meal to be…
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/anthony-bourdains-theory-foodie-revolution-180951848/?all

Shrimp on the Barbie

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Americans’ favorite seafood is shrimp–so much so that the wild ones are disappearing. Thankfully, tank farming and transparency are growing:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/07/03/business/with-wild-shrimp-stocks-dwindling-farmers-step-up-to-the-plate.html?_r=0&referrer=

Whether you are communing with nature on your own back porch or in a park or camping picnic area, grilling is the way to go in the summer. For finger-licking-great shrimp, ask your fishmonger to devein (but not peel) jumbo shrimp or prawns. Marinate in lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, and salt for 30 minutes or so. If the shrimp are small enough to fall through the grates, use oiled metal or soaked bamboo skewers. Remove solids from marinade and grill for a few minutes on each side or until opaque. Serve with lemon slices or aïoli (see my post “Mayonnaise”) and plenty of napkins (see my post “Setting the Mood”).

Truc (Tip): If you have rosemary in your garden, strip the leaves (and chop to add to the marinade) from some sturdy stems and use as skewers.

Gosh, Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate ganache can be a sauce, glaze, filling, candy, or frosting. The stunning dessert below, made by mon petit ami, was inspired by a meringue and parfait one at Rech in Paris. See the ridiculously simple recipe for the ganache sauce here:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/07/02/dining/chocolate-ganache-an-easygoing-french-treat.html?referrer=

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Summertime, and the Livin’ Is Caprese

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The simplest repast these days is some variation of a tomato salad. The reasons for this are verdant plants producing sufficient fruit, little to no cooking (which heats up your kitchen), and an infinite variety of umami (see my post “Yumami”) combinations.

Consider a dish of differing heirlooms with a dressing (see my post “A Simple Vinaigrette”) and herbs, such as basil, parsley, and/or tarragon; a plate of Caprese, including fresh mozzarella and tomato slices with basil, extra-virgin olive oil, and special salt; or a spread of sunny eggs, crimson tomatoes, anchovies, and microgreens with a dazzling drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Truc (Tip): Wait until the last second to salt or dress tomato salad to avoid the loss of water.

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