Friday, May 27, 2016

Chicken breast

Eastside Road, May 27, 2016—
CHICKEN BREASTS from Cook's inexhaustible freezer, first cousin to Fortunatus's purse. She simply sautéed it in the faithful black iron skillet, the asparagus alongside, then deglazed with cheap Pinot grigio. Green salad after, and
Gelato al limon'…

Carrots and leeks; pasta with anchovies and garlic

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Eastside Road, May 26, 2016—
LEEKS AND CARROTS, far as I'm concerned, are a marriage made in heaven: elective affinities. Chopping them up and cooking them in a little butter doesn't hurt.

Afterward, conchiglie pasta with garlic and anchovies, another happy couple. Chopped parsley on top.

Green salad. Olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and garlic — why shouldn't a foursome be just as elective?

Cheap Pinot grigio

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Sausalito, California, May 25, 2016—
ON THE SPUR of the moment, because we were driving home from San Francisco, we thought we'd have supper in Sausalito. The first place we saw after parking was a place we've been meaning to try but had forgotten about, a Mexican restaurant opened a couple of years ago by an acquaintance of ours, Joanne Weir, who worked at Chez Panisse years ago.

We had a light meal but a very satisfying one. We began with tasty sticks of jicama moistened with lime juice and dusted with chile-pepper-salt, very refreshing; and continued with amazingly delicious tortilla chips and a suave guacamole.

I ordered the "6 hour braised beef shank", served as rillettes, off the bone, in a little Le Creuset casserole: it was beautifully cooked, fat and tender, and accompanied by a mole-like salsa pasilla, sparkling pickled onion, and minced cilantro leaves, with three small flour tortillas. This was an absolutely delicious dish; I want to return soon.

Firestone Pivo pilsener

•Copita, 739 Bridgeway, Sausalito, California; (415) 331-7400

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The other shoe

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Eastside Road, May 23, 2016—
THE OTHER DAY I told you about a half chicken I cooked: here's the other half. I cooked it in almost exactly the same way: flattened it a bit by smacking it with a good-sized cast iron frying pan, then browning it in the same pan in a little olive oil, then adding pieces of a potato, a couple of carrots, a half-dozen cipollini, a couple of cloves of garlic, and a couple of sprigs of rosemary. I just cooked the whole thing until it was done, as you see here. Then I deglazed the pan with some cheap white. Next time I do this I think I'll throw in some diced bacon, too. Why not?

Yesterday, Sunday, we returned to AT&T Park for another Cubs loss to the Giants. The day's eating was minimal: the usual soft-boiled egg, toast, and cappuccinos for Sunday breakfast; a couple of salame and arugula sandwiches; some Red Hawk cheese on bread.

Multum in parvo

Cheap pinot grigio

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dog at the park

Eastside Road, May 21, 2016—
WENT TO THE CITY for a ball game today. (Our team lost, 5-3. But seeing a ball game turn out badly is better than seeing no ball game at all.)

"Dinner", then, was just an Italian "hot" sausage on a bun, mustard, pickle relish, sauerkraut, red bell pepper à la grecque.

Beer: Lagunitas IPA on tap

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Roast chicken

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Eastside Road, May 20, 2016—
HERE YOU SEE the beginning of it: a half chicken, which I salted and wrapped loosely yesterday when I got it home from the market. (In fact I got two halves, though not of the same chicken for some reason: both were from the left side. This makes me a little nervous.)

I heated a little olive oil in the black iron skillet and browned the chicken on both sides over fairly high heat; then threw in a half dozen spring onions, split lengthwise, and a couple of potatoes chopped into dice, a few unpeeled cloves of garlic, and a couple of good-sized sprigs of rosemary.

Then the pan went into the oven for half an hour or so, until everything was done. I deglazed the pan with some cheap Pinot grigio (what else: oh: some cheap dry Vermouth; we're running low on both) and poured the result over the plated servings.

A little romanesco and a green salad; applesauce for dessert.

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Carignan, Preston of Dry Creek, 2013

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Salade lyonnaise

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Eastside Road, May 19, 2016—
ANOTHER OF THE Hundred Plates, which is to say, indispensable.

A new supermarket opened in our town today, with a very big section of organic produce, and what should I find there but a head of frisée. Naturally one of my favorite salads suggested itself.

I bought some local bacon, and cut a few slices into smallish squares and browned them fairly slowly in a bit of olive oil. With them, an unpeeled but slightly smashed clove of garlic.

That done, I removed the bacon and browned a good handful of cubes of bread in the bacon fat. I made a mustard vinaigrette, using red wine vinegar, adding a finely minced shallot to it, and tossed the frisée in it with the bacon and the croutons.

I poached two eggs to set on the individual plates of salad, and set stalks of steamed asparagus on the side. A very nice hot-day supper!

Carignane, Preston of Dry Creek, 2013: it's hard to find a good wine to go with this salad, let alone with asparagus; this was a perfect companion.

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