Saturday, May 31, 2008

My friends hate Grom

A bunch of college friends were in town for Josh and Eve's wedding last weekend. I took some of them to the new Grom in Greenwich Village on Memorial Day.

They couldn't understand the hype. Daniel thought the pistacchio was too sweet, although Ben complimented its nuttiness. Azusa got the ice cream of the day which tasted like fruit cake, and not in a good way. And Ben got some double chocolate flavor that he didn't think was worth the $5 that Daniel paid for it.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Potato chips cooked in pure shortening

I saw this bag of potato chips in a supermarket near my parents' place a few weeks ago.

I was a sucker for the old fashioned and authentic-looking design of it. But what amazed me was the ingredient list.

Cooked in pure vegetable shortening! That sounds so unhealthy. It's sounds so unhealthy that it must taste amazing.

But they taste disgusting. The texture is gross. The flavor is pretty good, but the texture is like it is covered in shortening.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gray's Papaya

I had a hot dog dinner at the Gray's Papaya in our neighborhood last Thursday.

It was the first time I'd ever gotten it with sauteed onions with tomato sauce. Usually I just get mustard. The onions are good.

Gray's Papaya
539 8th Ave (at 37th St)
New York, NY 10018

Friday, May 16, 2008


I made mackerel last Wednesday.

I got two fish at Whole Foods. They seemed super fresh and were cleaned to order. I was inspired to start eating less expensive, lower-on-the-food-chain fish by an article in The New Yorker reviewing some recent books about the world food system.

I also got a bottle of Hitachino White Ale.

The only other place I've seen this beer is at Momofuku Ssam Bar, so I was totally psyched that I could buy it on my own.

This was my first shot at making mackerel. I decided to broil it. It only took 8 minutes under the broiler.

It was good, though I didn't salt it quite enough. Mackerel needs a lot of salt. The taste wasn't all that strong. I'm not sure how mackerel got that reputation. Maybe people conflate the taste of preserved mackerel with the taste of fresh mackerel. That must be it. It's the same way that people think that fresh anchovies are as strong as canned ones.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Local eggs

I got to do some fly fishing last weekend while I was at home. There are a couple of decent trout creeks within a 15 minute drive of my parents' place.

It had been raining the day before and I didn't catch any trout, but I did find a small family farm (about 50 acres) that sold their own chicken eggs.

My dad and I actually saw the farmer as he was walking down the driveway to put up the sign. He gave us directions to the fishing access point, and we came back later for the eggs.

He gave us a little tour of the two coops.

The hens seemed to be mixed in with the roosters. I'm not sure if that would make for happier chickens or not. But they're definitely cage-free and the feed is from the farm itself.

And only $2 for a dozen eggs!

One of the two sons, Cory, is in charge of the chickens and the eggs. He labels recycled egg cartons with a Post-It carrying his stamp.

The other son, Kristian, just started fattening pigs last year. Last year he had 3, and it sounded like it worked out well enough. So he's going to be fattening 6 this year. He sells them by the half or the whole. I'm totally going to buy half a pig from him. My parents have already donated a portion of their large freezer for me to use.

Their main business is hay for horse farms, and they gave me the number of a horse-raiser who also does ducks and geese on the side. I think we might be having duck this weekend.

Trauger's Farm
424 Dark Hollow Rd
Pipersville, PA 18947

Asparagus update 1

I went home last weekend and checked on the asparagus.

They are doing really well. Some have already reached the top of the trough.

After I left last time, my mom decided to plant a couple extra crowns that we were going to throw away.

Those are doing better than some of the ones I planted.

One of the asparagus shoots already started branching. It's strange to see asparagus that way.

Anyway, it looks as though the asparagus is doing pretty well. Some of the crowns haven't sprouted shoots that have made it through the first few inches yet, and I'm a bit nervous about it, but I'm sure they'll be fine.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lamb loin chops

Last Sunday I cooked up the lamb loin chops I got at Florence the day before. It was the last day of Mabel's general surgery rotation. Only one more month of internship. So it was a special occasion!

I marinaded the lamb in olive oil, sliced garlic, thyme, and mint for about 8 hours in a shallow dish in the refrigerator. About an hour before cooking, I let it sit at room temperature.

I never quite realized that lamb chops are the equivalent of Porterhouse or T-bone steaks, but I guess they are by the look of them.

I salted and peppered them and grilled them on our grill pan for 3-4 minutes per side. Let them sit for about 5 minutes. Then I topped with a faux-persillade of chopped shallots, parsley, mint, and olive oil (I ran out of garlic and I couldn't resist adding mint).

I made risotto as a side (I think I'm finally getting the hang of it) and Mabel made a nice arugula salad. The lamb was delicious. I want to eat lamb more often. And we've decided that we're going to try mutton chops as soon as we can.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Po and Grom

I was out on an aborted painting mission today and thought to stop by the Village to cheer myself up.

I was really surprised to see a new Grom at the corner of Bleecker and 6th Ave. It just appeared since the last time I was in the area. Awesome.

I really wanted to get myself a lobster roll at Pearl Oyster Bar, but they were closed for lunch. So I stopped by Po. It looked deserted, it was around 12:30, so I wasn't sure it was open, but it was. Awesome.

Po doesn't really need me to say anything about it. It's a great Italian place with good prices. They have a tasting menu for dinner that is a great value. The restaurant overall is my ideal of a solid, enjoyable, well-priced Italian restaurant.

I got an order of Spaghetti alla Amatriciana and a glass of white wine. They also brought complementary white bean bruschetta. I had a very nice conversation with the person at the table next to me, Patrick, who was visiting from northern California.

I stopped by Florence Prime Meats to stock up on marrow bones and get lamb chops for Sunday dinner. And then to Grom for some gelato to go.

31 Cornelia St (near Bleecker)
New York, NY 10014

233 Bleecker (at 6th Ave)
New York, NY 10014