Feb 062017

I came across a picture of Pappa al Pomodoro on instagram about a month ago and it’s been branded in my mind since.

Only a few ingredients were noted in the brief instagram post that went into the dish 1. unsalted Tuscan bread 2. a particular tomato paste da/from Italy, some basil, fantastic green olive oil & oh strips of Parmesan that appeared semi melted one deduces from the heat of the zuppa/soup. This lead me to scroll over no less than 6 different recipes, a google translation for Pappa al Ppmodoro since I just wasn’t having it being called Tuscan bread Soup when not one of these three words, Tuscan, bread or soup is in the title of dish & recipe. Oh Pappa translates as baby food, al – to the, and Pomodor – is tomato of course

Between Ina Garten, Bon Appetite and a few other’s I felt there was just too much going on in their recipes for Pappa al Pomodoro  for what I wanted to do to make this so I went at it – making it MY OWN! It is sO GREAT. EASY & fun to make in no time, plus, 4 basic, staple ingredients. A perfect recipe4survival.

First I went at, half a stale, Balthazar baguette, with a serrated knife cutting on a cutting board, cutting it into irregular cubes – paying no mind to removing the crust.

Then I brought at least 4 cs of water to a boil in my kettle to pour onto a veg bullion cube in a mixing bowl.

I diced up 1/2 a lg onion, a bit of carrot and sliced up a good sized garlic dent. I got these vegis cooking in a heavy bottomed pot with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot & a good pinch of Salt of D Earth over a medium flame. I put a top on the pot to help the vegis sweat. Once they were at the desired tenderness I tossed the stale bread cubes into the pot and tossed to coat everything uniformly.

With the bread nicely coated with the oil & vegis I added 3 cups of the vegetable broth to the pot, covered it, stirred it frequently and turned the heat way down.  At this stage you’ll wanna stay around the pot to stir it occasionally.

Once all the broth is absorbed and the bread has softened I poured a 25 oz bottle of Union Market’s tomato basil ‘sauce’  into the ‘mix’/the pot. I stirred a pinch of dried red chili flakes in, some oregano and a bit more Salt of D Earth and I let this simmer over a low eat for a good 10 minutes.

This is when I also put a 4 minute egg. I ate one bowl plane, straight away with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan, Pappalpomodoro1the second bowl I had with the soft boiled egg. pappalpomodoro2Then I got down to writing this piece.

Killer meal on a cold night with a cold crisp Sauvignon Blanc.


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Nov 272016

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Imagine, if you wish, how many food -blogs, chef & restaurant newsletters, foodie magazines and the sorts that I get on any given day – suffice to say,  “A LOT” and I peruse pretty much all of them, but then when something catches my eye, say in the subject line or when I scroll down through the pictures, then I zero in and clap on. Such was the case when I read the Lucky Peach subject line: What You Need to Know About the Trendiest Beer, Squash, and Opening a Restaurant. All I saw was: What You Need to Know About Squash then I scrolled down through the email until I stopped at this picture & recipe:  img_0252Fettuccine with Butternut Squash and Red Poblano Crema. So I clapped onto this glorious looking dish, pictured in a pot just like my favorite pot. My initial impetus to go to the farmers market was because I was going make a soup, I now call my November #1 soup and red pablanos which I learned can only be had about two weeks a year so I was out the door and off to the Union Square Farmers Market like a shot. 

I picked up a batch of the Falls bounty to make my November #1 soup. This consisted of everything pictured here sans the top of the butternut squash.   img_1470  To make the November #1 soup I tossed the whole delicata squash and the bulb/bottom half of the butternut squash, (because it’s the neck part that is used to make the fettuccine and red Pablano dish) in the oven after pricking the skin randomly w/a fork and rubbing it w/a drizzle of olive oil. After about a half hour of cooking time in a 375 degree oven slice it in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and return to the oven cut side down on a parchment or aluminum foil lined tray.img_1496 While this is baking prepare the other vegetables, peel & dice the carrot & an onion, peel and core the apple. Cut the sunchokes in half lengthwise then across into medium chunks.img_1479   img_1489

Get a heavy bottom pot hot . Coat the bottom w/oil and a pinch of salt. I added the carrots and onions to braise. img_1485I put water up to boil in my kettle – about 5 cups. Once you feel the veg are braised enough, say 5-7 mins or so, stirring pretty consistently, toss in a bullion cube, the apple, sunchokes and 4-5 cups of hot water. When I was digging around in my ‘spice cabinet’ for the bullion cube I came across a piece of a dried ancho chili, so this made it into ‘the soup’. Stir and bring the flame/heat down to a simmer.  Remove the squash from the oven and scrape the pulp into the soup. Mix occasionally and cook off for about 40 mins until the sunchokes are tender. Blend – you’ve got soup.

It was nightmare Wednesday the 9th that I made my first batch of my all time favorite dish, SpecialD now – Rick Bayless’ Fettuccine with Butternut Squash and Red Poblano Crema 


First things first- roast the peppers and 3 or 4 garlic cloves in their skin. You’ll have to shake the pan under the flame or turn them over to thoroughly char the pepper’s skins. While this is cooking prepare the neck of the butternut squash into1/8″ planks img_1571

img_1573 img_1575

Then into ribbons.

By the time you’re done with this the peppers and garlic should be ready to be removed from the oven. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove the skin and seeds. img_1581 Cut the best looking pepper into ribbons, these will be used as a garnish. Coursely chop the two other peppers and toss them into a food processor with the roasted garlic dents.  Season to taste with S&P.  Then you add about a cup of Mexican crema which can easily be substituted w/sour cream or creme fraiche. img_1585

Cook the butternut squash ribbons off in well salted water for about 4 minutes. Pour the red poblano creme sauce into a pan over a medium flame/temperature. With a slotted spoon or tongs add the cooked off squash to the crime sauce and add 8 oz of fettuccine to the boiling salted water. I used fresh pasta which cooked off in about 5 – 8 minutes. Always reserve at least a cup of cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the creme sauce & mix in the roasted pepper ribbons and about a 1/4 cup of Parmesan.

img_1586 Top with finely chopped cilantro- if you have it. Dish out, eat up!. Who ever doesn’t think this is the most Dlicious meal, dish, food, sustenance, cibo,  they’ve eaten in a long time, ya gotta let me know.

After making the Butternut Fettuccine for a second time I roughly chopped up the leftover bottom, cleaned out the seeds and steamed that off.  While this steamed off I tossed a can of Trader Joe’s smoked trout and a dollop of olive oil mayo w/a grated apple which I slathered onto a toasted baguette wedge and ate w/the steamed butternut squash chunks.

Last but certainly not least I whipped up probably the best Butternut squash (& leek) risotto I’ve ever made.  Back at ya with that very simple recipe.  

Sep 092016
Sweet potato and haricot vert/green bean salad

Sweet potato and haricot vert/green bean saladIMG_2552

The first time I made this sweet potato salad was for a college reunion, pot-luck dinner party, cook-out for a group of about 15 friends, former roommates, their spouses, significant others, all of whom short of 1 or 2 of the wives are mad ass foodies. The dish is so colorful, with varied textures, wonderfully bright & earthy flavors as well, it’s sweet & savory, smooth & crunchy, easy to prepare & it travels well so it’s my go to dish when the invite to go to pot luck party comes my way and I’m going the Storytellers Pot Luck Picnic this Sunday in Brooklyn Bridge Park. This is also a staple dish when I’m on charter.

The recipe I first stumbled upon dresses the warm sweet potato salad with a bit of thinned out whole milk Greek yogurt. Typically I served the salad both ways, one bowl with just the vinaigrette, the other dressed with the plain yogurt.


3 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1” chunks

½ pound haricot vert cut to 1″ pieces, then quickly blanched
Salt – for the boiling water
1 T raw or coconut sugar
1 shallot, minced
½ cup golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of spicy mustard
¼ cup olive oil
a handful of chiffonade basil leaves
Black pepper, to taste (I like a lot)
¾ cup of Greek yogurt


While you bringing water to a boil to blanch the haricot vert prepare the shallot vinaigrette in to which the blanched haricot vert will marinate.  In a bowl, mix the finely minced shallots, vinegar, spicy mustard into which you’ll slowly drizzle in the olive oil & whisk until the dressing is well emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in the basil leaves.

Blanch the haricot vert – very quickly which helps to enhance their color as well as bringing a bit of subtlety to their bite.  Add the haricot vert to the dressing and let it marinate in a bowl w/a tea towel on top.

Prepping hericot vert & shallots for the vinaigrette marinade

Prepping hericot vert & shallots for the vinaigrette marinade

Put the cubed sweet potatoes in a large pot of cold water.  Bring the water to a boil. As the water heats up add enough salt to make the water taste almost salty then the Tablespoon of sugar. Once the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook the potatoes cook until tender, about 8 minutes. This technique for cooking potatoes that keep there shape is fail proof.

drained boiled sweet potatoes

drained boiled sweet potatoes

When the potatoes are tender, drain them from the water and put in a large bowl. While still hot, fold in the green beans vinaigrette. The longer the potatoes marinate in the dressing – the better.


warm potatoes with haricot vert vinaigrette

Before serving, fold in the yogurt and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper & paprika. IMG_2552

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Jul 132016


I have a can of Iggy’s chopped clams with the cutest label of a smiling clam staring at me from a shelf in my pantry cabinet now for way to long so I was hell bent on making a clam & kale skillet pizza. I was on a rampage to use up ingredients to ‘Free up Space’.   I picked up a fresh, all organic pizza dough for a whopping $3 from Two Boot Pizza – hands down one of my favorite pizzas in our serious pizza town.

Such a perfect Recipe 4 Survival



1 prepared organic pizza dough

1/4 bunch of (red leaf) Kale (or swiss chard) – center stem removed and roughly chop the leaves. Wash well in cold water.

1 can of Iggy’s chopped clams – drained

Shallots – 1 good sized & 2 dents of garlic – thinly sliced

Corn meal, olive oil – for the pan

S&P or Salt of D Earth – to taste

That’s it! From prep to plating, it’s less than 30 minutes

Here’s’ what TO DO:

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Since I was working with a fresh ball of pizza dough – enough for a good 10 inch pizza I began by prepping the kale.  I prepped 4 good sized stems, slicing the leaves off the center stem then a rough chop through that, scoop that up and wash well in a bowl of cold water.

Then I thinly sliced a good sized shallot & 2 dents of garlic.

Coat the pan or skillet with a thin layer of oil & season that with S&P or Salt of D Earth and saute the shallots & garlic – this may take two minutes. shallotsgarlicsautePop 2 hand fulls of the well washed kale on top of the sauteed shallots & garlic. SautedingredientsShake the pan well to saute the contents. Beware of flames – water & oil. Let this wilt & toss well w/tongs – if you have them. That’s it. In the time it took to read this you could have cooked this.

Add the drained chopped clams to the sauteed kale, shallots & onions. Mix around to heat thoroughly and turn the cooked contents of the pan out into a bowl which you can cover with a pot top or a plate while you roll out the pizza dough. (Sorry I forgot to snap a pic of this step)

Wipe the pan clean. The pan must be perfectly dry w/no oil residue. Put this back on the heat and sprinkle the bottom of the pan with corn meal. Lay the rolled out pizza dough right into pan. With the heat medium to high let the dough settle in for a minute to form a crust then begin to shake the pan & lift the dough working with a wooden spatula so as to avoid hot spots/burning. Brush or coat the dough with olive oil – however you like.  Another reason I’m so into skillet pizza is because its SO hands on.

Top your skillet pizza with the ingredients (of your choice.) The Bon Appetite recipe calls for rendered bacon as a topping & Parmesan. I can not bring myself to include cheese with seafood! Almost as appalling to me as having a cappuccino after dinner.

Put the pizza skillet into the 500 degree oven and let it cook another 6-8 minutes

The pan & the pizza are screaming hot.
Let them cool.
The pizza will come right out of the pan, cut & serve.

Red, white, Rose’, beer, juice for kids whatever…
Skillet pizza is definitely a specialD.

I think it would be nice to serve this pizza with a side of slow baked fish and a fresh salad. I slow baked a blue fish filet with a light layer of  mayo & a corn & radish salad with a light lime & olive oil dressing. NICE meal & making this meal was the perfect example of ‘Build it and they will come’. Two friends called out of the blue & joined me for the pizza & the corn and radish salad.

Share some toppings w/me that you use.



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Apr 212016


In preparation for Passover I went through my refrigerator & cupboards to search & Dstroy all neglected, forgotten, leftover ingredients taking up space only to realize they would all be perfect to make a nutloaf with.

Here’s what I scavenged: 1 Portabello mushroom which a friend gave me since she signed up for one of those meal delivery plans & can’t stand mushrooms. A red onion that needed to go to good use & I had 1/2 a plastic bag of faro & some cooked off oatmeal that would have gone right down the toilet had I not used it in this dish. I can see this being a stretch for some folk but it really worked. The nut loaf cooked beautifully and was very moist. This goes to show how forgiving this ‘recipe’ is.  I had 1/2 a dozen eggs so using three rather than the called for 5 was a no brainer and I had a heel of smoked gouda that had seen better days.  The only thing(s) I purchased was a 2nd Portabello mushroom & some gorgeous farmers cheese which had I remembered I had the cooked oatmeal I would have forgone this ingredient.

If you have cooked rice, or any grain for that matter, putting a nut loaf together takes almost no time at all. Let’s say 20-30 mins prep & 40 – 50 mins baking time.

Here’s what I did to make this nut loaf.

Preheat the oven to 350°

2 – 3 Cs of a cooked grain –  faro, short grain brown rice, quinoa, cous-cous, oatmeal, …

1/2 large Onion – diced

2 dents of Garlic – minced or diced

2 Portabello Mushroom tops & 1 stem – chopped or pulsed.

sherry – splash – 1/4 cup.

1 C slivered Almonds – toasted

3 eggs – beaten

1 C – farmer’s cheese

1 C or more of cheese – Smoke Gouda, Gruyere, or cheddar – grated

1/2 apple –  grated

I used nuts that are staple ingredients for me and I believe everyone should too. I have 1/2 a bag of  walnuts but I’m going to use them in the beet, apple & orange salad I bring to my cousin’s Sedar.

I cooked off about a cup of the faro which is completely painless. It cooks in boiling water in under 30 minutes.

Then I quickly diced 1/2 of the red onion, pulsed each of the Portabello mushroom tops & stem in my small food processor then cooked them off in a heavy bottomed pan with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, 2 good sized dents of garlic roughly chopped  & 1/2 an onion diced.  I added various pinches of dry herbs, primarily thyme & sage which probably equal about a teaspoon each.  When the mushroom liquid evaporated I splashed in some sherry – a staple for me and let that cook off. Turn off the heat & let the mushroom mixture cool in a bowl. The recipe calls for lots of herbs to be added to the sautéd mushrooms.

Next I toasted the nuts, 1 C of  almonds. This takes no time at all, just until you smell the aroma of the nuts by wafting the air over the pan. I tossed those into small food processor and pulsed.

In a large bowl combine the nuts & whatever cooked grain you’re using  IMG_8874

In another bowl beat 3 eggs to which the farmer’s cheese,cottage or pot cheese will be mixed into. If I hadn’t been able to get the freshest most beautiful farmer’s cheese I would have left it out. Season with Salt of D Earth or S & P.

Add sauteed mushrooms to the nut & rice mixture and stir to incorporate well, then the egg & cottage cheese.  This is when I added the smoked Gouda & the grated apple. Mix well. Only because I have flat leaf parsley around from having made anchovy butter toast for my cheese souffle I roughly chopped about 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley and mixed that in at the very end then poured the mixture into a greased 9″ Pyrex loaf dish IMG_8877 I slid this into the preheated 350° oven and let it cook for 40 minutes, turned the heat off & left the loaf in the oven another good 10 minutes.

Nut loaf is so great on so many levels. It travels well. It’s a great pot luck dish for a party, it’s filling and again, oh so NUTritious. I blanched a handful of string beans and ate 2 almost piping hot slices in a bowl never taking the time to plate the dish and take a snap for a blog entry – GREAT – NOT…

So the following day I cut out of work & came home and served myself the beautiful dish you see uptop, the nut loaf with steamed corn & Ceres pear juice. Now here’s a funny one for ya; I am not a ketchup person but I remembered I picked up a bottle of Rhode Island’s own Cowboy sauce which is more a BBQ sauce than a ketchup and poured that on. Oh My God – again, I ate this so fast I could have choked.

I can’t speak more highly of this dish. A true new specialD!


There’s sO much one can do to make this dish their own it’s NUTS.



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Apr 112016

Cheese souffle’

I offered up my humble abode to a visiting luminary/dear friend who would be hard at work in NY on the Spring Affordable Art Fair so she insisted on a few meals out to celebrate my return from Cuba, (where yes, I did go to see The Rolling Stones) and the joys that had come into her life.

Friday night we walked into Cherche Midi after 10:30PM and got 2 seats right in the middle of the bar. The tables were bustling and everyone, patrons & servers had a smile on the. The bar seats were perfectly inviting. I ordered the pot de fromage, one of my absolute favorite things, a Parmesan custard w. anchovy butter toast and the kale salad which was better than most. Filling, bright, tangy and perfect with the pot de fromage.

My friend up & at it Saturday morning while I was home to work on my Altered Book project which was expected to be delivered via FedX on Monday.  I also planned to make me my 1st cheese souffle. Short of a recipe in a friend’s very old French cookbook for pot de fromage  I settled on a recipe for individual cheese souffles which I doubled. The ingredients are all basic staplessouffleingredients

Within 5 minutes of finding the recipe I would work from I was at it. I removed the pots & pans from the oven & preheated that to 375 degrees. Next I quickly prepared the souffle dish which I was given just the day before by lightly buttering the sides and a dusting of grated Parmesan. Believe me, I was at the point that I would have made the souffle in a sawed off soup can or the 1940’s oven proof casserole I picked up at a yard sale last summer. Then I got to grating a chunk of smoke gouda and lobbing off a chunk of blue cheese which both melted beautifully into the bechamel sauce I started with an oversized pad of goatmilk butter and 4 ts=1T + 1t of unbleached all purpose flour then slowly whisked about a cup of milk into – once the flour & butter had a bit of a nutty aroma to it .

Next separate 4 eggs, add the yolks to the cheese sauce, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks tho not dry peaks. Begin by gently folding 1/4 of the whipped egg whites to the cheese sauce, then the whole lot. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake in a water bath or not in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Frisee salad w/a lemon vinegrette way worked. Green olives if I’d had em. Oh and a Sauvignon Blanc.


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Oct 062015


It was in the dark of night at the end of a cul de sac way off the Polpis road that cash was exchanged and a bushel of 5th bend oysters were handed over out of an ice filled commercial cooler from the back of a pick-up truck.

I was hired to help with the food for my friend’s twin sisters 50th birthday party & in celebration of a successful summer run of Air B&B rentals at their home in ‘Sconset on Nantucket.

My friend is into performance & casting. I was cast as oyster shucker & food prep person. The menu was easy, various lobster salads, oysters, Sayle’s clam chowder, various typical party beverages & two bakery supplied birthday cakes, 1 carrot cake the other a vanilla layer cake.

While deep into the process of cleaning the oyster shells of the thin layer of silt still on them it became known to me that my friend’s mom’s 92 year old newly wed husband, not being a New Englander may be willing to try cooked oysters. He had no intention of trying them, never mind enjoying them raw.  This got my wheels turning. In no time at all I prepared a compound butter of finely minced garlic & chives, oregano & parsley and from the huge bag of beautiful fresh sage leaves I plucked a few dozen from the stems and prepared them as a fizzled leaf as garnish for the top – once the oysters were roasted off.

New Street Oysters


1 stick of butter – room temperature

2-3 Ts of garlic – chives, oregano & parsley – minced

2 dozen or more shucked oysters

Kosher salt

24 sage leaves

2 Ts butter

What to do

I had a stick of butter sitting out to warm since I got up in the morning. I minced the garlic & herbs.

Blend the butter, garlic and herbs in a Cuisinart or similar style blender or by hand with a wooden spoon.  Transfer blended butter to a bowl to get the butter back to a firm state.

Washed & shucked 2 dozen oysters – refrigerate

Melt 2 Ts of butter in a pan and heat til it bubbles. Add a few good sized sage leaves at a time until they frizzle on both sides. Remove w/tongs or a fork. Dry on paper towel

20 minutes before service preheat the oven to 500.

Remove the shucked oysters from the -frige. Add about a teaspoon of the chilled compound butter to each oyster.

Arrange the oysters on a salt covered baking tray.

Get the tray in the oven. It should be no more than 5 minutes before the edges of the oysters curl. Remove them from the oven. If you have a Pernod, a drop of that would be great on each oyster. I did not do that for this service but will for any new New Street oysters I make in the future.


I had 4 plates of the roasted oysters placed on tables around the yard. New Street Oysters

We set up a table where I did shuck oysters and a had a good flow of interest. I also prepared a traditional mignonette sauce & lemon wedges. Fifth Bend oysters I must say are Dlectable. The oyster holds its shape beautifully. They maintain the cold and salty liquor not too salty, very clear, you also get a quick mineral shot on the back end.

I prepared lobster salad 3 ways and thinned out clam chowder base from Sayle’s with their clam broth. Killer. The crock pot of this was refilled a number of times before running out. We cooked off 14 lobsters for the party & had 6 the following night which we grilled for immediate friends and family who were lucky enough to enjoy the island a few more days. Grilled lobster is by far the most sublime way to enjoy lobster. I’ll share the lobster salad recipes under separate cover

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Jan 272015

 DSCF5435  DSCF5429

I knew I had half a bag of split peas at home but thought if I’d be cooking during the blizzard with it’s threat of electricity loss I’d better make a large pot of soup and I’d roast off a butternut squash I had at home in my favorite way.  I treated myself to shopping at Union Market on E. Houston St. rather than my typical trudge through Key Foods further up the block for organic split peas. Let it be known that this was the day that Union Market looked like Trader Joes as the line to the cashier wound its way like a serpent through the market.

Unlike everyone else in the market I didn’t even really need to be there. The few things I did buy in addition to a new bag of organic split peas was a nice Tuscan boulle, a banana because I had yogurt at home, a knob of fresh ginger – alway a great ingredient to have around for it’s health supportive properties and distinctive flavor & aroma, and a box of lychee juice – as a treat.

I prepped the soup quickly; washing the split green peas at least 2 – cups, 1/2 an onion – medium diced, 2 small carrots in a medium roll cut. I had a cup of already cooked 5 Italian grains, I added that, two roughly chopped pepper dews & 1/2 a peeled russet potato.

I added 4 Cs of cold water to the split peas then added the prepped veg, grains, a shake of red pepper flakes, 4 bay leaves and a good swirl of Tamari and let that cook over a medium/low flame stirring frequently.

With the soup up on the back burner in my copper pot I preheated the oven to 375 ° and began prepping the butternut squash by peeling it and chopping it into medium sized chunks. I put these into a heavy casserole with a few golden raisins & about 4 apricots cut into small pieces. Then I sprinkled the whole lot with my RhODy blend of Salt of D Earth & about a cup of ancho chili infused maple syrup I keep around for this dish in particular.  Because I had it, I added a swig of tangerine juice. In the oven with the top on. DSCF5430

I stirred the soup often. Both the soup & the butternut squash cooked off for a good hour or so. I turned the oven heat off but kept the casserole in there but took the top off.  With the heat off the soup I blended it after it cooled for about a half hour.

I didn’t photograph the bowl of  blended split pea soup since I didn’t do much to make it photographic before simply digging into it. I did however get a pic off of the beautiful roasted butternut squash. DSCF5440

Needless to say, it’s days like this that go to prove how steadfast the message of Recipes 4 Survival is. Maintain basic staples, be mindful, cook at home & you’ll feel better.

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Jan 192015


It was a whipping freezing cold, grey and rainy day at the beginning of the New Year when I took my first EVER sick day from work citing a nagging dry cough, stuffed and sneezing nose, otherwise I really felt fine, I didn’t have a fever or a sore throat.

Let me tell ya, this sick day quickly turned into a very healthy day. It started with the fabulous lunch I made.  I had a friend visiting who was around to take measurements for the shelves he’s going to make & install in my kitchen. As you can well imagine, this project had been in the works for quite some time now.

I’m mad for Trader Joe’s .99 cent Focaccia which I cut into 4 equal squares, each of which makes for a perfect sandwich.

I grated 1/2 a chuck of English Huntsman Cheese I got at East Village Cheese into two small piles, one for each sandwich. Then I lightly spread a layer of mayo on each of the four surfaces of the bread, then piled a small handful of the grated cheese on a bottom slice, a pinch of Salt of D Earth, RhODy blendDSCF5415 &  topped the grated cheese pile w/a Tspoon of Rose Jam. (Sorry that’s not pictured. It was an after thought.)

I’m going to go off here for a minute about Rose Jam…The brand I linked to is the best brand I’ve used. I’ve tried many brands but this is the one I savor. I picked up the first bottle at a Turkish Market in Paterson, NJ when I was location scouting in the neighborhood quite some time ago.

I melted a knob of butter, maybe the equivalent of 2 pads, in a heavy cast iron pan.

Laid the sandwiches in the warming pan and pressed them down with my  kettle which I had filled at least more than half way,  I turned the heat down a bit & flipped & pressed the sandwiches again. DSCF5416They were done in just about the amount of time it took me to write this or you read the sentance. Maybe a minute & a half on each side, maybe less?

In another pan I warmed up 1/2 a can of organic (vegetarian) baked beans which I added an extra streak of molasses to.

Served with a steaming cup of good coffee. The flavors were off the hook! We had nothing to say but YUMMMMmmmm.


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Oct 292014


Half a baguette fell out of the fridge onto the floor cracking into various pieces when I went in for my routine Sunday morning refrigerator ‘clean’.  For a minute I thought, I’ll just make it into breadcrumbs so I opened the freezer to get the container I keep breadcrumbs in when I was stared down by a bag of pre-washed, chopped lacinato/dinosaur kale
I had left over from a private home Dlivery meal I did a few weeks back & a ziplock bag of my good karma baked beans – I’d say at least 2 cups worth.

In the flash of a minute I changed gears and my stale baguette was now destined to be a bread soup. A soup I’ve never made before so I looked up a couple of recipes  and I was off. No way was I going to waste a good can of tomato paste or fresh herbs on this. I pumped up what I had with basic staples & used only ingredients that needed finishing off.

Here’s what I did:

The frozen baked beans went into a pot over a medium flame,DSCF5400

4 handfuls of the frozen kale, DSCF5402finished the bag off. Then I added 1/2 a medium diced onion I had left over from the Spanish Tortilla I made yesterday morning, rough chopped a dents of garlic then I added about 2 cups of salted water I had in a pot I soft boiled my morning’s egg in.  I stirred this all about then broke bits of the stale baguette into these ingredients.

Once the ingredients in the pot started to look like soup I then began to make it into something sweeping through various savored conDiments that were in need of being finished off. First I began w/ a sprinkle of Fall Equinox, Salt of D Earth, 2 or 3 Tablespoons of Susie’s Pineapple Pleasure Hot Sauce – The Caribbean Taste – I finished the  bottle off and then the last 1/2″ of  De Nigris Balsamic Ketchup, the bottle I’ve savored this since getting it last year in Toronto during the film festival & a shake of Worcestershire Sauce.

Then a good through mix again, turned the heat down lower and let it all simmer over a low heat for a good half hour before turning the heat off and making my way with my pup into the depths of China Town for vegetable soup dumplings.

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