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Blood, Bones & Butter

bloodbonesbutterHappy Halloween!

Fitting for today is a book recommendation from Ashley: Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.

Blood, Bones & Butter is a memoir of New York chef Gabrielle Hamilton, recounting her journey from childhood, through kitchens in France, Turkey, and Greece, to chef of the acclaimed restaurant, Prune.

Gabrielle grew up just down the road from Blue Moon Acres, in New Hope, PA. Her lyrical prose recalls the dinner parties her parents threw in the yard, guitar lessons in Lambertville, snapping peas in the kitchen.

Her kitchen, over thirty years ago, long before it was common, had a two-bin stainless steel restaurant sink and a six-burner Garland stove. Her burnt orange Le Creuset pots and casseroles, scuffed and blackened, were constantly at work on the back three burners cooking things with tails, claws, and marrow-filled bones—whatever was budgeted from our dad’s sporadic and mercurial artist’s income—that she was stewing and braising and simmering to feed our family of seven. Our kitchen table was a big round piece of butcher block where we both ate and prepared casual meals.

My mother knew how to get everything comestible from a shin or neck of some animal; how to use a knife, how to cure a cast iron pan. She taught us to articulate the “s” in Salade Nicoise and the soup Vichyssoise, so that we wouldn’t sound like other Americans who didn’t know that the vowel “e” after the consonant “s” in French means that you say the “s” out loud.

By | October 31st, 2014|News|0 Comments

The Best Potato Recipe (Ever)

I still remember the way this dish tasted the first time I tried it. It was just so *good*. Nutty, flavorful larette fingerling potatoes, roasted garlic, lemons, herbs… a wonderful combination that really highlighted the main element of the dish, the potatoes.

I went home after trying this dish and thought about it all evening. I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth! (Which was a very good thing.) The next day I got the recipe and made three consecutive batches of these potatoes myself. It was a very good week.



Lemon-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
adapted from recipe by Michael Symon, Bon Appétit, April 2011

The original recipe calls for dill instead of thyme; but I’m not a dill girl. Most herbs will work well here; I like the earthiness of thyme myself.

4 pounds unpeeled fingerling potatoes, rinsed, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
few sprigs of thyme or other herbs
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
24 garlic cloves, sliced

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°. Toss potatoes with 1/2 cup olive oil in large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread potatoes in single layer on baking sheets, dividing equally. Roast 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk cup of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, herb, and lemon peel in small bowl to blend for dressing. Toss garlic and 2 tablespoons dressing in another small bowl. Divide garlic mixture between baking sheets with potatoes and toss; reverse baking sheets and continue to roast until potatoes are tender and brown around edges, about 15 minutes longer.
Toss roasted potatoes in large bowl with enough of remaining dressing to coat and serve.

By | October 17th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Soup Weather

October has arrived, and in my book, that means we are securely into soup weather.

I like to make a big pot of soup on the weekends and then bring it to work for lunch during the week. If I’m really ahead of the game, I’ll first make a huge batch of Dr. Andrew Weil’s vegetable stock, freezing a few quarts and setting some aside for the soup I’m about to make. Zippered freezer bags work well to store it, but just beware that the corners may spring leaks when the stock is defrosting.

The lentil barley soup featured below is one of my all-time favorite soups. It’s incredibly flavorful, and takes well to extra handfuls of vegetables being added (I’ve added turnips and beets with great success). Make sure you pull out a large pot to make this one in.



Lentil Barley Soup
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, 1/4 inch dice
3 cloves fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes (peeled+chopped fresh also works)
10 oz fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup dried red lentils
1/2 cup dried green lentils
1/4 cup dried pearl barley
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock, more for thinning
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

– heat oil in large pot on medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 3-4 minutes, until shiny and translucent.
– Add carrots, celery, oregano, basil, thyme. Stir + cook 3 minutes.
– Add tomatoes and spinach; stir.
– Add red lentils, green lentils, and barley. Add stock.
– Cover pot and simmer over low heat 45 minutes. Thin with extra stock as needed.
(I like to let it sit overnight so that it really gets a great flavor)

Enjoy! Great as is, or topped with a shredded cheese. For a great finish garnish with a few sprigs of micro thyme or micro celery.



By | October 3rd, 2014|News|0 Comments

To Dream of Fall

Is it really true? The Autumnal Equinox is this Tuesday, which means this weekend is the last weekend of the summer. What to do, what to do? This quote rings true for me right now:

Autumn has caught us in our summer wear. – Philip Larkin

I’m not quite ready to let go of summer yet, but I can taste fall, and that little taste grows a yearning in me for cool nights, sweaters, spiced teas, and again, the cycle of life.

fields and the autumn morning light

fields and the autumn morning light

By | September 19th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Wendell Berry’s The Peace of Wild Things

Deep breaths, deep breaths, deep breaths.

the peace of wild things

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things” from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998. Published and reprinted by arrangement with Counterpoint Press.

Source: Collected Poems 1957-1982 (Counterpoint Press, 1985)

By | September 5th, 2014|News|0 Comments

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