Friday, March 10, 2006

Laissez Les Bon Temp Roulez Part 1: Breakfast at Brennan's

I was lucky enough to have visited New Orleans one year before Hurricane Katrina hit. Here are some nice (as my friend Frank likes to say, "gastro porn") photos of one of the many fabulous meals we had.

Breakfast at Brennan's started off with a nice "eye opener", a brandy milk punch.

This is the "appetizer" to breakfast at Brennan's, a baked apple with cream. They expect us to eat two more courses after this!?

This is my main course, artichoke bottoms with fried shrimp, creamed spinach and hollandaise.

Finally, dessert, Crepes Fitzgerald. I can't eat it, but it sure looks good!


Here is a Spanish dish called Fideo. It is just like paella, made with vermecelli rather then rice. I cooked down some onions, tomatoes, rosemary and saffron until it was jam-like, then browned some chicken I had marinated in saffron and thyme ( from the Lucques cookbook), added some orange bell pepper, chile de arbol, chorizo, and chicken stock, and cooked the chicken until it was falling of the bone. Then I added some toasted broken vermecelli, cooked it until tender, and voila. Fideo. Just like we had in Madrid.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Grilled pizza

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Grilled pizza is the way to go when making pizza at home, especially for a crowd. Just roll out the dough thinly, and lay it on a hot grill/grill pan dry - no oil needed. Flip it over once you get the grill marks. This par cooks the dough, so you may then top the pizzas and keep them aside until ready to bake and serve. They bake up in about 10 minutes, almost half the time of baking them raw. You may put them directly on the oven rack, with your oven set around 450-500. This one here is topped with stewed leeks, pancetta, fontina and goat cheese.

Slice some leeks and stew them in butter over low heat until they are nice and soft. Add some salt, pepper and a pinch of fresh time. Raise the heat and pour in a good splash of white wine, and let this reduce by 3/4. In a separate pan, cook the diced pancetta until it has rendered out most of its fat, and stop before it gets crispy. Top the pizza with a layer of the leeks, a thin layer of fontina, some pancetta, then dot with the goat cheese

Friday, March 03, 2006

Let's Hear it for Cured Meat!

I (heart) NY Part 2, Top of the Rock

Here is the spetacular view from the observation deck at Rockefeller Plaza. The "Top of the Rock" experience begins with a ride in the elevator, with a plexi glass ceiling so you can look up the elvatior shaft as we climbed the 69 stories to the top. On the glass they projected inmages from NBC's history. Very cool. Slightly clausterphobic, though, seeing just how narrow that elevator shaft really is.