On the job last night:
First I walked the dogs. They are beautiful dogs and I walk them along the glinting East River. It’s a job perk. Then I cooked.
Starters of an oval stone platter of a heap of marinated white peaches (honey, lemon, sea salt, fresh thyme) and a heap of peeled, cubed and seeded cucumber tossed w/olive oil, lemon, salt and mint. Bowl of pistachios in their shell and a plate of tiny circles of buttered toasts topped w/a truffled duck/pork pate.
For the first:
corn chowder made from corn off the cob
stock: the cleaned cobs from 6-7 ears of corn, onion, carrot, celery, bit of fennel frond, clove of garlic, a piece of tomato, pinch of salt and spill of olive oil.
Saute 2 onions, 3 stalks cel, 1 small carrot, pepperoncino and 1 whole garlic clove until they collapse. Add one peeled, finely chopped potato and saute til it sticks to the pan. Remove the pepperoncino. Add stock to cover, along w/corn kernels. Simmer til tender. Puree a bit of the finished soup and stir back in. Taste for salt and black pepper. Reserve about 3/4 cup of the corn kernels. Saute them in a pan w/bit of salt and butter. In a clean sauce pan, add about 1/4 cup of heavy cream and reduce a little w/the reserved corn kernels. Spoon soup into bowls and garnish w/creamed corn and a piece of chive.
Pan fried chicken cutlets w/tomato vinaigrette served w/sides of coleslaw and herbed potato salad
Buy chicken breast off the bone. Slice each into two thin pieces with the blade of your knife, flat to the counter, reserving the tenders for another use. Season all sides w/sea salt. Dip each piece in flour, then beaten egg, then panko crumbs. Let rest 5 minutes. Fry in about and 1/8 inch of olive oil. Remove to paper lined plates. Seed, dice ripe tomatoes. Saute finely chopped shallot w/thyme sprigs, pepperoncino and parsley leaf. Add tomato w/spill of high quality red wine vinegar, teeny squeeze of lemon and tab of butter. Heat through. Taste for salt. Remove pepperoncino.
For slaw: balance w/spill of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, dollop of mayo, splash of vinegar and sea salt.
For potatoes: boil in the their skins. I use combo of red skin and yukon. Peel the yukon when cool. Chop. Add shallot or white onion, fresh mint, parsley, chive, lemon and olive oil. Be sure to cool potatoes on a flat sheet pan.
pickled pearl onions, string beans, carrots and beets. I individually pickled each one in its own brine of water, bay leaf, thyme sprig, fennel seed, coriander seed, parsley sprig, spill of vinegar, generous pinch of sugar and spill of olive oil.
Served w/platters of bunched black grapes and sliced fennel and selection of American Cheese. Meadowbrook Glendale, Cypress Grove, and Point Reyes
Purple plums and black grape tart w/red wine reduction and vanilla ice cream
Somebody fresh out of culinary school wrote me yesterday to ask what I would advise a new chef.
What I didn’t say: you will never work harder and if you’re not working hard, work harder. Have fun. Laugh. Make out in the walk in.
Cook with your whole heart. Look for the still and throbbing beauty in the fruit and vegetables.
Love who you cook for.