On Sunday, for the first time in my life, I went to the food show at the Jacob Javitts Center. The best thing I did was to decide before going in that I wasn’t going to mix; I was going to eat sugar, and sugar only. I ate chocolate truffles from Anna Shea, which were out of this world and coffeecake from Tom Cat, also very good, considering most coffeecakes could be used as paperweights or squeezed out for oiling your engine. A lot of people offererd gelato, but the one I liked the best was from a Sicilian making gelato the way he had always made it. All of the others were stuck to the wrong philosophy of “it doesn’t matter how you taste, it matter’s how you look, and you-look ma-velous”. I was ready to sing Italian love ballads when I finally found the good stuff, and sit down in front of the stall to keep eating until the lights went out, but my friend was there on business.
As a novice, this is what you have to try and avoid. After a cheesecake pop, satiny chocolate pennies, and four kinds of wedding cake samples, you would think I would have been have been able to pass up more cheesecake from Junior’s. Are you kidding me? That’s like going on a pilgrimage to the holy land, and not saying your prayers when you get there.
I would be lying if I told you that I don’t eat dessert for dinner fairly regularly. If there is family involved, how about a nice chopped salad instead from this month’s “Saveur” magazine (which I bought three years of at the food show). It’s from Birmingham, Alabama, another place I have never been and have to get to.
It is your perfect salad to make in the winter, and you can serve it on it’s own, with roast pork sandwiches, or black bean soup. This is the Jim ‘N Nick salad with a few adjustments: Take the crust off of half a loaf of French bread, and pull or cut it into bits. Sprinkle it with a little olive oil and some salt. Grate on a little parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees. Spread a box of frozen corn on another sheet pan, toss with a little olive oil, and one chopped shallot, or a little onion, and some salt. Throw this in the oven with the bread and roast for fifteen minutes.
In a heavy saute pan, cook off a couple of slices of bacon or pancetta, wipe out the pan, and add a few chicken cutlets. Sprinkle them with salt, and cook on both sides, just until the chicken is cooked through. Chop it up, and toss together with one head of chopped lettuce, the bread, the corn, some chopped cucumbers, some cherry tomatoes, a good grating of parmesan (the original is cheddar). Add a little of your best olive oil and a squeeze of lemon, and throw in a littel chopped fresh herb if you have any, parsely, thyme, rosemary or marjoram. Taste for salt and pepper.
Otherwise, fly yourself over to the food show. It’s the last day