hook, line and sinker

My last little valentine of what to eat in NYC. In my week as a tourist in my own town, I stumbled across a chocolatier that I might have never seen if I weren’t the type to look to the side and behind and above, as much as I look in front of me when I walk. It isn’t always good for staying up on two feet, but the payoff can be huge. On Thompson street, tucked into the old neighborhood bit of Soho, is Kee’s chocolates. You know how you feel when you have just fallen absolutely and completely in love, your heart beats with the vigor of waves after a hurricane and everything has a deeper color and a purer note and life is only lovely? You can smell and taste and touch in a way that was unknown. I innocently bit into a chocolate made by Ms. Kee on Tuesday, and I have been able to think of nothing else since. My goal in every minute, if I’m honest with myself is to get back to Kee’s and have more.
Each chocolate is handmade by the owner in a shop no bigger than two large elevators. The flavors change with the seasons and ingredients that are available. They last no longer than a week, and have to be kept in the refrigerator. You are best to eat them in the minute; some things just can’t be kept. They are creme brule or thai chile pepper or honey saffron, almond ganache covered with slivered and toasted almonds, or balsamic in a dark chocolate truffle. They are a gift in every sense of the word.
Meanwhile, for dinner, my car broke down on the BQE, I have not a grocery item in the house, and the city is sinking into a deep freeze.
Make a veal shin and that way you can knaw on it for a few days and you don’t have to leave the house. Season the shin with plenty of kosher salt. Sear it in butter that has a drop of olive oil in it to keep the butter from burning. Make sure the meat is well browned on all sides. Remove the meat fromt he pan. Wipe out the butter with a spatula. Put the meat back in. Add a whole head of whole garlic cloves, some sprigs of fresh thyme, and a cup of good dry white wine. Set the meat in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, covered with the lid askew, or with heavy foil that has been slit in a few places, pouring over the pan juices about every five minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees, and keep cooking for another 2 hours, basting about every 15 minutes. Add wine as you ned it. At the end of the 2 hours, take off the cover, and allow the meat to brown.
Serve with celery root mashed into potato, a salad of bitter greens, and oven roasted carrots. For your salad make black olives and 2 inch bread crumbs that you toast in the pan or oven with a little olive oil and garlic.

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