As Requested

January 20, 2019

Somebody reached out to me on Instagram to ask where he might find a copy of the wonderful article David Halberstam wrote for us at Gourmet in 2006.

So I thought I would post it here.

 

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A Delicious Little Morsel

January 7, 2019

It’s an R month.  Which to me, at least, means lots of oysters.

Ordered a hundred over Christmas (they live a good ten days in the refrigerator, covered with a damp towel).  At the end, when we’d had our fill of oysters on the half shell, I fried the last of them.

So good!

Fried Oysters

Shopping list: 1 pint oysters, 1 pint buttermilk, 2 cups cornmeal

Staples: flour, salt, oil.

Carefully drain the oysters, and put them in 2 cups of buttermilk for about 10 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or a silpat pad. Mix 2 cups of cornmeal with 2 cups of flour and a teaspoon of salt.  Pick up each oyster, shake it a bit, allowing the buttermilk to drip off before plunking it into the cornmeal mixture; toss it about so it’s coated on all sides and place it on the lined baking sheet. Do it with the next oyster, and the next….

In a deep pot heat at least 2 inches of oil until it registers 375 on a thermometer. Pick up an oyster, shake it to remove excess breading and plunk it into the oil. Fry for about a minute and a half until just golden, then remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. You should be able to fry 6 to 8 oysters at a time.  Bring oil back to 375 before adding a new batch. 

Sprinkle with salt and serve with plenty of fresh lemons.  Some people like tartar sauce or remoulade with their oysters, but I think that masks the delicate flavor. 

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Christmas is Over, But….

January 5, 2019

You still have things to celebrate.  People you love. Presents to buy.  And I just came upon this remarkable offering from the wonderful Celia Sack at Omnivore books.

She’s bought a treasure-trove of old Chez Panisse menus from Fritz Streiff, who has been a part of the restaurant pretty much since the beginning. Among the many things Fritz has been at Chez Panisse, is the voice of Alice Waters; he’s collaborated on many of her books.

And Alice has never done anything by half measures.  She’s had great artists – David Goines, Patty Curtan, Wesley Tanner, among many others – design her menus. And I imagine there’s something here that would make just about anyone happy. The prices are definitely right; these vintage menus are both food history and gorgeous art.

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