Ferdinand still has a fever, and I feel like somebody’s old and bloated Barbie that had a bad time of it under a car seat for a few years, and then got stuck under the wheel. Onwards. There is NYC to be seen and food to be eaten when you have a guest in from out of the country. Today my goal is to find the best burger and the best pizza. The truth is my friend loves Italian food in Italy and anywhere else. Grimaldi’s pizza has a pretty good reputation, and puts you right under the Brooklyn Bridge with a lot of chocolate from Jacques Torres and an excellent ice cream place in a light house. Otherwise for pizza you can go to John’s on Bleeker or Fornino on Bedford in Williamsburg (another groovy part of Brooklyn that you can get to by taking the L train from Union Square. The bagel place next to Fornino is one of the best I know and the cafe across the street called Verb is full of a friendly tatooed staff and serves things like double decker peanut butter and jelly with banana on a raisin pumpernickel).
For the best burger, I checked chow.com yesterday, and I’m trying to decide between the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien and Molly’s. B.J. might win, just because of the contrast of an old burger joint in a swank hotel (if NY is famous for nothing else, it should be the contrasts), and the location is close to Bloomingdales, the Metropolitan Museum of all shops for a shopper.
For dinner I am making fat little pork chops brined for a few hours in 1 part KOSHER salt to 6 parts water, then patted dry completely and seared without reseasoning in a heavy saute pan until chestnut colored on both sides. Throw them in the oven right in the pan and cook until 150 degrees, still with a little give when you press on them with your finger. Let them rest a minute. In quick situations, I use the five minute polenta. Add enough hot water to make it the consistency of sour cream. I do this after I have boiled the water and I have added one part polenta to three parts water. Sometimes the water boils away too quickly and you need to readjust it. Be sure to taste for salt. When it is done and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, turn off the heat and add butter and freshly grated parmesan to taste. Serve with swiss chard and garlic, making sure that you get beautiful color on the garlic in olive oil before adding the greens.
For a sauce for the chops, I just added butter to the sauce in the pork chop pan once the chops were out. There was plenty of heat in there, so no need to get it back on the flame. Then a squeeze of lemon juice to adjust the flavor. Roasted tomatoes are great with this plate.
Don’t forget that I have spaces open for the week of April 21st to the 28th and April 28th to May 5th!