Sunday, March 7, 2010

5-minute meal

Around 12:30 I came home from the library with my stomach complaining and began excavating my fridge for a quick and satisfying late brunch.  Imagine my delight when I came up with this little number... mindless, delicious, and elegant.  I apologize for having consumed it too quickly to take a photo.

Brie-Salmon-Onion Sourdough Bruschetta

Coat the bottom of a pan in a thin layer of olive oil and, on stove, gently brown both sides of a large piece of thick sourdough bread.
Heat a large pad of brie cheese in the microwave about 20 seconds or until soft.
When the toast is browned, spread the brie evenly over its surface.
Add diced onions.
Top with cold, flavorful, chunky smoked salmon.
Be the envy of your roommates.

The end!

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Different View!

A Blog... something I actually maintained in college, but not since. I am starting up a new one for New York! If you are interested:

Love you all.

Words to live by

NEWS: Lately... I've gotten into sherry.

I've found slow-sippers, like port and sherry, are a fine complement to large amounts of reading because they do not dull your faculties (like wine might do on a late late night). So, the literary nerd in me compels you to take a look at this fine dissertation. As the gentleman suggests, I've come to believe that Fino is the most versatile sherry... excellent with a variety of foods or alone. The only detractor is that it is astonishingly dry. Next time I think I'll go for an Oloroso - for some variety - but one thing is for certain: a good sherry never disappoints.

Happy tasting.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hola Supper Clubbers!

Thought I'd share a recent restaurant visit that Shannon, Dan, and I had in New York.

Dan Demartini came to town for a few days to visit us. His family owns Columbus Sausage outside of San Fransisco which purveys salami and artisan meats to companies all over the country. When his family found out he was going to be in New York visiting us they made sure to set up a dinner at Salumeria Rosi, a True Italian restaurant who hand crafts their own meats on site. So we went in together and were special guests to the Head Chef, Cesare, a large and lively Italian man.

We walked in the door to be greeted by the hostess who promptly brought us aperitifs compliments of the chef which were Prosecco and Amaretto with a hint of orange. Dan introduced us to all of the meats in the display case such as the Speck, Mortadella, Salami Cotto, Prosciutto, and many more...

We were quickly sat at our table and presented with prosciutto and parmigiana reggiano biscuits from Cesare. Things from this point on were a complete blur, Cesare came out to the table to greet us and then cooked us up a storm of authentic, light, delicious Italian food. He didn't let us order anything but rather brought us everything on the menu from appetizers to main courses. He selected every course to follow the next in a perfect order, and took time to explain the dish and where its influences came from. He actually sampled us on 18 different meals which included:

A Plate of Artisans Cured Meats
Warm Radiccio, soft scrambled egg, pancetta salad
1/2 Beef 1/2 Pork Meatballs with a light marinara, over a bed of mashed potatoes
7 Heirloom Bean Salad
Italian Panini, spicy stuffed guanciale pork, over a bed of arugula
Escarole e Alicette - Escarole with a spicy anchovies
Traditional Lasagna with a light bechamel sauce
Pork Belly! Cooked in its own fats with white beans
Risotto, farro with butternut squash and cinnamon pumpkin seeds
Prime Skirt Steak with cannellini beans and basil
Polenta with a braised oxtail ragu
Fusilli Pasta with traditional tomato sauce
Leek, Pancetta, Parmigiana Tart

We enjoyed a bottle of Barbaresco 2005.

Then every dessert they had to offer. Mousse, Apple Cakes, Bread Pudding, Cheese Cake

Then we were again presented with a bottle of Asti, sparkling wine.

We saw more food then I have ever seen come out of a kitchen, but the best part about it was they made sure we were just tasting everything and not gorging. It was just a tour through their dishes. The service was amazing, and the chef was such a gracious host! At the end of the night all we received in our ticket folder was a note left from Dan's older sister that said I hope you enjoyed...

Now all of you have to come out here so we can take you to meet our new friend Cesare, and have an amazing authentic Italian meal (which low and behold is nothing like Olive Garden)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fusilli with Roasted Eggplant and Goat Cheese

This meal was DELICIOUS!

Warm, filling, and loaded with wonderful vegies.  Definitely a good meal for after a long, cold day.  Granted, it was t-shirt weather in Albuquerque yesterday.  Sorry Hoot, you are probably freezing your butt off. xxo.


1 medium eggplant sliced lengthwise 1/2-inch thick and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch sticks

1 large onion sliced ½ inch thick and quartered.

1 red bell pepper cored and sliced ½ thick.

2 zucchini sliced crosswise ½ thick.

2 large tomatoes sliced into wedges or 1 can tomato wedges

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3/4 pound(s) fusilli (I actually use Hodgson Mill Veggie Rotini)

Pinch of crushed red pepper

3 tablespoon(s) coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 ounce(s) fresh goat cheese, crumbled


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the all vegetables (except tomatoes) with ½ cup olive oil season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and roast for about 30 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the vegetables, scraping it off the baking sheet (it might break up slightly) add the tomatoes and roast for about 30 minutes longer, until very tender.

2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the fusilli until al dente. Drain and rinse pasta when cooked to desired firmness.

3. Put the fusilli and roasted vegetables in pot or skillet large enough to hold all and toss over moderate heat until the pasta is evenly coated, about 1 minute. Season the pasta with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat. Add the parsley and toss. Add the goat cheese and toss gently until the cheese is slightly melted. Spoon the fusilli into bowls and serve with crusty bread.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wine Library TV

A few weeks ago on CBS Sunday Morning I was introduced to Wine Library TV, which is fun and illuminating, and updated daily.  Have a look!


Gastronomy in the Windy City

Hello supper-clubbers,

I've decided to expand the blog to include all things eating, not exclusive to things we cook ourselves.  Example A, some of the eateries frequented this week during my trip to the College Art Association conference in Chicago (hey-o!).

Owing to the truncated nature of our economic fortunes as collegiate co-eds, we did not have the opportunity to eat anywhere truly revolutionary - but, on the advice of various locals, we had some pleasant surprises in the under-$15 range.

The first of these was Pizano's, one of many similar dives that self-identifies as Chicago's greatest and original deep-dish pizza.

The difference is that Pizano's actually is.  The stuff was like ambrosia.  We were beside ourselves.  At the insistence of our cantankerous server, Uncle Chach (who spoke to us for half an hour and looks forward to receiving his Chapman University sweatshirt in the mail), I have to explain to you that deep, stuffed, doughy and cheesy pizza is not the real Chicago legacy.  Pizano's serves the real stuff: deep-dish thin crust, with 100% homemade ingredients and crust like you wouldn't believe.  The crust!  Where to begin... it was crumbly, buttery, even sweet - you'd think it was pie crust.  Amazing.

The drink selection was substandard, but Fat Tire complemented the pizza pretty well and Chach offered us a free cookie-pizza and teas from his personal stash (Pizano's does not serve tea) to round out the evening.

The dark restaurant did not allow for photographs that would do Pizano's justice, but make a note of it nonetheless, because if you ever eat there, it will become the standard against which you measure pizza for the rest of your life.

Just down the street, on Randolph, is the Argo Tea CafĂ©, where we went for lunch the next day.  We believe it's a chain, so keep your eyes peeled!  The ambiance is frankly lovely, with a huge tea brewing room in back.

Great tea, amazing food, and a huge variety.  Here are some samples:

My red pepper and goat cheese quiche.  As you can see, I didn't like it at all.  It was lighter than air - I never knew a quiche could be like that.  The filling was so whipped, so light - indescribable.

Earl Grey, naturally, although it was hard to settle on it when there were so many varieties to choose from.  I made the right choice - it was spicy, smooth, and extremely flavorful.

The above is - wait for it - the signature Argo teeny panini!!  It's worth ordering it just to say the name.  They're about 1 inch wide and 8 inches long, and served on tiny, thin baguettes.  A perfect tea snack.  I believe the above had red pepper and eggplant, and to the left is the spinach and pine nut quiche.

The only other restaurant worth mention is where we went to dinner our last night - Andy's, a jazz and blues club downtown.  It was incredibly fun, and the music was great, but the food was deeply mediocre.  However, it did occur to me how important atmosphere is to the entire eating experience.  I will always remember Andy's, even if their Chicken Saltimbuca was wholly uninspiring.