Thursday, July 12, 2007

heat wave denial food

Yes it has been hot. I'm not sure if I have any readers, but if I do they are probably in the Northeast, so they know we are having a heatwave. Although I don't have air conditioning, or even much in the way of air circulation; and despite my tendency for developing heat and dehydration-related migraines; I seemed to ignore the heat as far as cooking was concerned. Some would call it stupid. I call it stupid. But the food was pretty good.
After breaking a toe last week I kept it simple for a few days, only eating things with some pesto I had made on the first day, ATB(Anno Toe Breaking). It was good pesto, a real trooper, especially in the potato and wax bean salad I dressed with it.
But then I realized I was out of ingredients so I limped up to the greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza on Saturday, which led to these things:

Saturday Dinner: P'ajon Party

Squid and Garlic Scape P'ajon with Cucumber Salad and Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce.
As you know, I love pancakes, and probably eat too many of them. But you may not know that I love pretty much every international pancake variation(and not just Rooty-Tooty Fresh and Fruity) especially savory Asian pancakes. I had been wanting p'ajon, the vegetable and sometimes seafood rice flour pancakes of Korean cuisine. I have never attempted to make them, but they seemed easy enough, and Bittman's take on them in The Best Recipes in the World is a good jumping off point. Plus I had some squid, and I thought that the garlic scapes I had might be a good thing to throw in too(I also added a few minced broccoli leaves).
They were good, but because I didn't have any glutinous rice flour, I used Browned(not brown) Rice Flour, a Vietnamese product which is exactly what it says it is. It was a little too strongly browned, and made the pancakes slightly burnt tasting. I should have used more all-purpose flour-to-BRF. Next time. I ate it with a lightly-dressed vinegar and cucumber salad and sweetened soy sauce.

Sunday Breakfast: BEC, ATB

Bacon, Egg and Cheese with Fried Tomato.
Wicklow bacon, Tello's eggs, Cato Corner Dutch Farmstead cheese, and somebody's tomato on the last two July 4th hamburger rolls. Yum.

Sunday Dinner: Surprisingly Un-Mucilaginous Salad

Warm Okra Salad with Tomatoes, Shallots, Marjoram
Okra cooked in an almost dry cast-iron pan until browned in places, golden cherry tomatoes and sauteed shallots; with fresh marjoram and apple cider vinegar. Local okra is really good. This came from Maxwell's at the GAP Greenmarket.

Monday Dinner: First-time Artichokes

Cut Egg Pasta with Artichokes and Basil
This is the best pasta I have made yet. Perfect texture. Cut into large-ish diamonds. With a sauce of chopped baby artichokes, shallots, butter and olive oil; plus some pecorino romano and African Blue Basil on top. I had never cooked an artichoke before, much less eaten a locally grown one. If you have the opportunity, please take it.

Tuesday Breakfast: Pancake Heaven

Yellow Cornmeal Pancakes with Fresh Peaches and the Last of the Homemade Butter
Just good. I will put up a recipe once I figure out the proportions I used. Cornmeal, Unbleached Pastry Flour, Evaporated Cane Juice, Salt, Egg, Baking Soda. With a peach sliced and sprinkled with a little sugar then left to sit for 15 minutes or so. Great peach.

Tuesday Process: Dumbest Idea Yet.

Duck Confit

Tuesday was the high point of the heat wave. Heat Index around 105. Watermelon? Pasta Salad? No. Duck Confit. Late Monday night I trimmed the two ducklegs I had in the freezer and rubbed them with a mix of salt, long pepper, bay leaves, and marjoram. I rendered down the trimmed fat and threw it into the fridge.
Tuesday around 3 I preheated the oven and put the ducklegs(cleaned of most of the salt mixture) and some shallots in a ceramic baking dish, and poured the duck fat and a little lard over the duck, making up the difference to cover with grapeseed oil. Four hours later I had duck confit, easily one of the most delicious things in all existence. I removed the legs and wrapped them up in tin foil, and poured the fat/oil in to a jar to save for the next confiting(or for some intense sauteing). Yow.

Then I made...

Tuesday Dinner: No Idea Whatsoever

Broccoli with Lardons, Shallots, Shishito Pepper, Agrodolce and a Poached Egg
I don't know where this came from. Sauteed broccoli, shallots, crisp bacon chunks, with an agrodolce(Italian style vinegar-based sweet and sour sauce) made in the pan. With a poached egg and some pink salt on top.

Wednesday Breakfast: Patience is Rewarded

Crepes with Duck Confit, Dutch Farmstead Cheese and Yellow Tomato Sauce
Excellent. Traditional crepe batter, shredded duck confit, cheese. Threw some yellow cherry tomatoes into boiling water for a few minutes, then zipped them, plus a shallot and marjoram, with the immersion blender. Recipe to come soon.


lindsay said...

i commend your crippled cooking energy. i split my toe open on tuesday and could barely manage opening a salad container, limping around combined with the heat and all.
what is your egg poaching method? they always look so pretty.

12:45 PM  
masticator said...

Soory to hear about the toe injury - they really suck when al;l you wanna do is walk around in the sunshine.
I bring water to a boil(1.5"-2" deep), add a healthy amount of vinegar and turn the heat down to a simmer. I crack the egg into a ramekin and then slowly pour it into the water to keep it from spreading too quickly. The lowered heat gives a little more control of the doneness of the egg, as I like set whites and very runny yolks. If you have a nonstick pot or deep pan that can work well for poaching eggs as the water does not bubble due to the texture of the surface of the pan.

4:01 PM  
Jeff said...

where art thou? Keep on postin'! You have a devoted readership!

1:41 PM  

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