Wednesday, October 25, 2006

All Manner of Dead Things
What I Had For Dinner

More Please!!
Pink Peppercorn and Wattleseed Crusted Ostrich Leg Roast with Diablo Hollandaise
Barolo Braised Veal Cheek with Shropshire" Orange" Blue
“Bacon and Eggs": House Cured Berkshire Pork Belly with Fried Quails Egg
Llama Slider with Bleu Cheese and Rosemary Red Onion Jam
Crostata di Formaggi. Erborinato di Pecora Cheese Tartlet: cave aged raw sheep's milk cheese with natural bluing. Robiola La Rossa Cheese Tartlet: Cow and sheep mixed milk cheese wrapped in cherry leaves that are macerated in grappa

Surprisingly Good.
Veal Kidney with a Dijon Mustard Sauce
Hindbeh Bil Zayt (sautéed Dandelion Leaves in olive oil with garlic, parsley, and caramelized onions
Nut Crusted Sweetbreads with Pomegranate Syrup
Stuffed Squash Blossoms, Braised Pigs Feet, Xerez Gastrique
Grilled Cayman Tail (crocodile) with Smoked Tomato and Basil Butter
Polipo: Olive Oil Braised Octopus with Cici (garbanzos) and Lemony Vinaigrette

Rattlesnake Gumbo with Sassafras Scented Rice
Buckwheat Blini with American Caviar and Crème Fraiche
Jerk Frog Legs with Jamaican Spices
Smoked Duck and Fried Squash Blossom Salad with Port Reduction and Pumpkinseed Oil
Beef Bone Marrow and Liver Parfait
Terrine de Tête de Veau

Never Again!
Tripe Stew with Grilled Bananas
Boudin Rouge, Black Mission Fig and Goat Cheese Strudel

Any Questions?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Why One Should Not Stop In Balduccis After Working a Twelve Hour Day And Having Not Eaten Since 9AM:

1. John WM Macy’s Cheddar and Asiago Cheese Crisps (for the ride home)

2. French Bread, Half loaf (bread)

3. Chopped Chicken Livers (to go on the bread)

4. Burrata Di Bufala (note to self: don’t buy really delicate cheese from a grocery store. Ugh.)

5. Barcelona Exotic Candy Bar (Hickory smoked almonds + fleur de sel gray sea salt + dark milk chocolate)

Random?? Nah…

(I went into Balduccis looking for Pomegranate Molasses and Truffle Juice for my dinner party. I had a purpose. I did.)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Still Eating…

So. Last weekend was the DonRockwell foodie picnic. There was a chili tasting. And a pig roast off (2 pigs!) And side dishes, and cornbread (with foie gras in it!!) and cheese and dessert and and and and . Food Coma.

I had dinner with BM at W. Domku. B, who knows about these things, says that Domku means something like “homey.” And it was. Very comfortable, tables and couches and whatnot scattered about. The menu is an interesting combination of Scandinavian and Slavic. He had the Pickled herring 3 ways (white wine vinegar, matjes, mustard) – I tried the mustard. It was really good, the fish was firm with a nice creamy sauce. I had the House Cured Gravlax which was also excellent. (The knackebrod (dry cracker bread) nearly killed me though. A small piece got stuck in the back of my throat and I nearly died. Literally. Right there at the table. Embarrassing.) We tried the pierogi for our mains. Now, anyone who knows me knows what a significant roll pierogi have played in my life. No one makes them as well as my grandmother did, and now I carry on the tradition. Pierogi are serious business. I had the Potato, farmer cheese, & bacon and he had the Saurkraut & mushroom. And I have to admit, both were done very well. Dessert was problematic, I’d avoid it in the future, and the service was a little off, but all told, I suspect we will be going back here…

I met NJ for a midweek dinner (what the hell was happening on Connecticut Ave on Thursday late afternoon?! Jeeze..) We went to Lex Cajun Grill, which isn’t exactly fine dining, and isn’t exactly Cajun, but its cheap, and filling, and they make “Cajun Chicken Curry” which is pieces of fried chicken, covered in a creamy curry sauce and, while I know it will kill me fast, I could eat gallons of it. It was the perfect place to sit and contemplate what the hell is wrong with everyone (except NJ and I, of course.)

Next week AD and I will be going to the Washington's First Unique and Unusual Food and Wine Festival.
I, no doubt, will have MUCH to report from this event…

Saturday Foodie Fun:
German Pancakes - Dutch Babies
(Lazy Man’s Pancakes)

With inspiration from LM:
German Pancakes - Dutch Babies

Quick. Easy. Delicious.

Now. If only there was someone to share with (and pawn the dishes off on…)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My adoring public

So. You start a blog about food. And you write about things you’ve cooked and places you’ve eaten. And then it starts happening. It goes like this:

“Hey! I read your blog! And, hey! I had dinner with you. And, well? You didn’t write about OUR dinner!! Why didn’t you write about OUR DINNER?? HRM??”

So. In order to satisfy some people who I like, I present:

Places Rachel Has Eaten Recently with People Whom She Likes

I had dinner with JI here a few weeks ago. First off this place is hip. And they want you to know it. The place screams HIP HIP HIP HIP (thanks RL) when you walk in the door.

Now. I am not hip. JI can pull of hip in that metrosexualish-I-live-in-the-city kinda way. But me? Not so much. They let us eat anyway. Also, I don’t think I have ever used the word “doofus” before. But our waiter was a doofus. Seemed totally baffled that we wanted to order food.

I had the brandade "beignets" (salt cod croquets) to start, which were really really salty. (And unfortunately really really hot.) But perhaps you get what you ask for. JI…there were figs (help me here..) and there was some bruschetta. Mains included his roasted chicken with wine sauce and potatoes, which was actually really good. And my pasta. Er. “Pasta.” I got the “small portion” of Pea Agnolotti with Chorizo and Lobster which was a long, rectangular plate with (literally) four pieces of pasta, a small handful of each lobster and chorizo, and a creamy/slightly spicy sauce. It was delicious. I would have been happy with an actual serving of it rather than this oddly plated tease. Dessert was fine, but unremarkable. And that would be my overall review. This place is fine. The food was fine. (The company was excellent however.) I have no major complaints, but am not itching to go back.

Montsouris with MK (I am still shocked every time we get together at how much we have in common.) French Bistro in the former Johnny's Half Shell space on Dupont Circle. I was never there when it was Johnny’s Half Shell, but I’m told it looks nearly the same.

She had the soup and I had house cured salmon to start. Both good. She had steak and mashed potatoes, also deemed good. And me. I had the steak tartar. And hot damn. As someone who doesn’t eat meat, I really couldn’t have enjoyed this more. It was fabulous.

The big bowl of fries that came with it though, not so much. They started out limp and only got worse as they got cold. Dessert was the oddly intriguing chestnut puree. Which was rich and creamy and chestnutty and vaguely citrusy. We were both stuffed at that point so sadly most of it went back to the kitchen.

Acadiana with SK. This is how it went:

“Oh look, a basket of biscuits. Oh. My. God. Faint. Yes, please, could you bring us more biscuits? Swoon. Yes. More Please. In fact, here, you can have this menu back just keep bringing biscuits. Oh wait, you want to bring me a half pound slab of foie gras? Oh, well. If you insist. Eyes Roll Back Into Head.”

It all goes black after that...

In the oven as I type

I wanted to make this for dinner tonight:
Oven-Braised Cornish Hens with Cider Vinegar and Warm Vegetable Sauce

And I did make it. Sorta:

I (of course) cut the recipe in half. I didn’t have leeks, but I had onions. I didn’t have creminis, but I had portabellas. I didn’t have cider vinegar but I had red wine vinegar. I didn’t have a granny smith apple but I had a red apple. I didn’t have small red potatoes but I had a baking potato. And I didn’t have any tomatoes so I used a squirt of the tomato paste in a tube I keep in the fridge.

Here is the recipe I came up with:

1 (1 1/4-pound) Cornish hen
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoons butter
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup onion
4 oz portabella
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 apple, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 oz potato
1 tbs tomato paste

I’ll let you know if its any good…


The next time you clean out your freezer and find a forgotten Cornish game hen (like I did) I strongly encourage you to make this!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Angst and Woe

The management apologizes for the post that used to be here
but no longer is.

Occasionally, usually between 2-5am, a rant just needs to get some air.
That one did.
I like men, I really really do.
In fact, if you know of any single intelligent men who don’t mind women who ramble on about food ad nauseum please send them my way.

I am still working on the “Banes of My Existence” book though.

In other news. I was in New York City this weekend.
New York City is fabulous. I suggest, when you are in New York City, you stop here: Pommes Frites.

I am currently collecting donations to be used to open a shop like this in the DC area.