I haven’t been posting lately because there hasn’t been much to post about. Sorry. A piece of broiled fish, a bowl of steamed rice and a plate of salad is so not blogworthy. In fact, it’s quite boring. Anyone (except for the perennially kitchen-challenged) can prepare that in a heartbeat.
But to show you that I’m alive, here are a few recent meals:
Potato and leek gratiné — Essentially a gratiné made in the style of Alsace-Lorraine: sliced leeks and potatoes, layered with butter and chopped garlic, topped off with cream and some cheese, then baked for 45 minutes at 350 F. Serve with a small salad and a glass of white wine. It’s a perfect dinner, especially for a cold winter’s night.
Pasta with oven-roasted leeks, Greenmarket carrots, herbs and lemon — So much of what’s featured on this blog are carb-based meals: pasta, rice, potatoes. That’s because I’ve never met a carbohydrate I didn’t like. In this case, I had a bunch of root vegetables in my crisper that needed to be used before they went bad. Roasting leeks turns them supple; roasted carrots highlights their natural sweetness and transforms them into candy. The addition of thyme lends a bit of earthiness while lemon brightens flavors and contributes balance.
Linguine with scallops, radicchio and olives — Radicchio is also known as Italian chicory. It has a spicy, bitter taste that eventually mellows out when cooked. Here, radicchio leaves are shredded, then briefly sautéed in butter and olive oil, then combined with seared scallops and chopped olives. A tangle of chopped parsley lends a burst of color to the sauce.
Ox tongue and tripe — If you live in New York, you’re probably familiar with certain Sichuan-style restaurants such as Spicy and Tasty, Wu Liang Ye and Grand Szechuan International. A new Sichuan restaurant recently opened in the Upper East Side section of Manhattan and garnered a review by the New York Times. Szechuan Chalet, located on Second Avenue (East 73rd Street) features stalwart renditions of various dishes from the now-closed UES branch of Wu Liang Ye. This cold appetizer, redolent of Sichuan peppercorn, featured a pleasantly soothing and herbal aftertaste, probably from the addition of chopped celery or cilantro leaves. At it’s best, Sichuan cuisine is a tightly wound symphony of salty, sharp, spicy and faintly sweet flavors. I look forward to eating my way through SC’s menu.
Recipes for the first three dishes appear on Queer New York.
Later this week: a twist on raclette.