Two at the Table_Menu_Week of July 6 2014
This is a bit of quiet week, with only a couple of nights out planned, so, with the understanding that our work schedules have been getting a little crazy lately, we’re going to try to make a few things.
When we started filling out or Fresh Direct order, we saw that blue fish was both highly rated (five stars, which is rare) and on sale. Tony had wanted to make another bluefish recipe a while back, but just didn’t get the chance, so we found a new one for Sunday night: Mario Batali’s Bluefish as the Fisherman’s Flag: Bandiera alla Marinara. We thought this would pair well with an Italian white, so we chose a Vermentino di Sardegna.
We’ve been in a real seafood mood lately, so Monday night we’re going to make something new and different: Grilled Shrimp with Black-Eyed Peas and Chimichurri. We’re going to pair this with a rosé we had in the fridge.
We’re having dinner out Tuesday night, thanks to an invitation from our friends Eric and Alexandra to join them for drinks at the Honorable William Wall, the floating clubhouse of Manhattan Sailing Club. We did this last year and everyone brought some snacks to go with drinks. This year, Kim, having recently purchased a bread pan and enjoying a Statue-of-Liberty-induced bout of Francophilia, decided to do something adventurous and make Rachel Khoo’s Cheese, Pistachio and Prune Cake, which is featured with a slight variation in Rachel’s Little Paris Kitchen cookbook.
On Wednesday night we decided to have another old favorite: Barbecued Chicken with Short-Cut Collard Greens and corn bread, the latter purchased from Fresh Direct. The chicken is our own invention and basically involves seasoning two-bone in chicken breasts very liberally with Salt Lick’s awesome spice rub, roasting them i the oven, and slathering them just as liberally with Stubb’s barbecue sauce for the last 10 minutes or so of cooking. (Salt Lick and Stubb’s are two institutions in the world of Austin barbecue.) This approach would probably be considered cheating by any self-respecting barbecue chef, but short of Tony getting approval from the co-op board to build a balcony, this is how we make do in a small New York City kitchen. The collard greens, from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave cookbook, also have a bit of cheat in them (a microwave is involved), but none of the guests we’ve served them to have ever complained. Beer will be the order of the day, as nothing pairs better with barbecue (at least in Tony’s opinion) than an ice-cold beer, so we’ll pop open a few Stone India Pale Ales.
Thursday will be dinner out with friends at the Cosmopolitan Club. As Kim and the other two ladies in our party are members of the New York Junior League, they enjoy reciprocal privileges at the Cosmopolitan Club over the summer. This means that the three gentlemen in attendance are guests and are not allowed to pay for drinks, snacks, dinner – anything really. In a twist on an old-fashioned tradition, the guys will be the ones getting the menus without prices at dinner.
This brings us to Friday night and to another old favorite: Cowboy Steak with Coffee and Chili Rub (with Sautéed Spinach). The steak recipe also happens to be from Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave” cookbook. The steak features an incredibly flavorful rub made with ancho chili powder and ground espresso. We always have leftovers so we usually make this on a Friday so we can have steak sandwiches over the weekend. We have a “BBQ Red” from Salt Lick cellars (yup, the same folks who make the awesome barbecue!) that we’re going to pair up with the steak.
Last but not least is Saturday night. With no plans to go out we decided to make something new and a bit more involved: Grilled Eggplant Parmesan. We picked eggplant parmesan because it’s vegetarian, but picked this recipe because it uses ingredients not normally used in eggplant parm: green olives and Fontina cheese, not to mention Calabrian chiles. Tony’s Very Italian Father (VIF) is from Calabria, Italy and has talked wistfully about how good these are and how hard they are to find in the States. We had to order the peppers on-line (none of our local markets carry them) and we did, of course, order an extra jar for Tony’s VIF. We’re going to pair the eggplant parmesan with a Barbera d’Alba we found on Fresh Direct.