Perfect Fall Soup

October 31, 2017

Easy, vegan, beautiful: who could ask for anything more?

Butternut Squash Soup

1 onion, coarsely chopped

1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound peeled butternut squash, cut into 3/4 inch dice

1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch chunks

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 1/2 cups boiling water

garnishes: diced Granny Smith or other crisp apple, olive oil, balsamic vinegar.

  1. Put onion, carrots, celery and olive oil into a large casserole and cook for about ten minutes, until they become soft.
  2. Add squash, potatoes, and salt. Stir in boiling water, bring to a simmer, and allow to cook for about half an hour, until the squash and potatoes are very soft.
  3. Puree, in batches, in a blender.  Be cautious; hot soup can be dangerous.
  4. Taste for seasoning. Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil and/or balsamic, and the diced apple.

Serves 4.

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Pumpkin? Two Very Surprising Recipes

October 30, 2017

Pickle pumpkin balls?  Thanks to Gourmet Magazine, November 1978, here’s the recipe:

And from the same issue, an intriguing (and not uncomplicated) way to stuff a pumpkin:

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Two Meals for Great Causes

October 29, 2017

Been traveling a lot lately….

Last week I was in Los Angeles, to give Nancy Silverton an award for all the work she does for children.  The party, at the rather astonishing Greenacres, former home of Harold Lloyd, was a dazzling evening of great food and wonderful people, a fund raiser for No Kid Hungry  that raised a serious lot of money. Here’s the menu:

This week it was off to DC, to honor Danny Meyer at the Julia Child Awards at The Smithsonian. Another fantastic evening of great people and delicious food. –

The Smithsonian followed the Gala with a weekend of programming, and I have to say that the roundtables were both illuminating and utterly fascinating.  Here’s the schedule.  I was so impressed by the people on the panels that I’m buying virtually ALL of their books.

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Sky High

October 20, 2017

When you want to feel that you own the world, it’s hard to think of a better place to be than perched in a window seat at The Aviary. If this vantage point – high above Columbus Circle –  doesn’t make you feel lucky then nothing ever will.

The food certainly helps.

It’s hard not to laugh when this great white sheet of crackling deliciousness is plunked onto your table, teetering perilously on its perch.  It must be the skin of a half a pig, zinged with vinager and so crisply crunchy that it shatters as you break bits off to dunk into that dizzy smudge of corn and chiles. Your mouth is on fire, your fingers shiny – and you are incredibly happy.

Then there’s this shrimp, one giant creature, gently fried, showered with a citrus splash and paired with the most astonishingly delicious Asian pears. Little half moons of fruit have been pickled until the experience is like biting into a crunchy lime.

The truth is that you’ve come to drink. The cocktalians at the bar are mixing and smoking and icing all manner of alcohol, making them seem like strange wizards indulging in an arcane alchemy.  I have to admit that my cocktail tastes are conservative: no one, in my opinion, has ever invented a better drink than an ice cold gin martini. Still, I was extremely intrigued by Aviary’s version of gin and tonic, which changes both temperature and taste as the minutes tick by.

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And while I wouldn’t recommend this coffee martini as a preprandial quaff, at the end of the night it is one sweet drink.

But I digress….

You won’t want to miss these little caramelized foie gras tidbits – all the satin smooth sweetness you’d ever want – sandwiched between two kinds of crackle

These adorable octopus croquettes are more creme fraiche than seafood, but they’re utterly irresistible with their little tousled seaweed tops.

And the kanpachi ceviche (hiding beneath hearts of palm), may look like jewelry, but I found the slurry of green curry so delicious that I upended the bowl and drank it, loath to miss a single drop.

And for those who prefer to buy their steak by the bite instead of the pound, this is one powerful hit of wagyu:

Are the prices high? Of course they are; you’re renting some of the world’s most expensive real estate. But it’s heady up here in the sky, and as you head back down to earth, I bet you’ll be wearing a smile.

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Hello Pumpkin!

October 18, 2017

Seems like the perfect image for this bright Fall day.  And a beloved old recipe.

And since pretzel rolls seem to be all the rage in restaurants these days, I was amused to find this recipe in a forty year old issue of Gourmet.

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