Monday, November 29, 2010

Bird head flasks

I saw these eagle head and swan head liquor flasks at the Met earlier this month.

I wish they produced replicas of these.

Too much pork belly dinner

We've had a slab of pork belly in the freezer for a long time. It even came with us when we moved. So I decided to cook all of it last night.

I divided it between two dishes. The pot going on top is Mao's Red-Braised Pork, an old favorite.

It came out okay, but I gave ourselves too many fatty pieces. Actually, now that I think of it (and re-read that old post), that wasn't the problem. We needed to cook it for 2-3 hrs instead of the 1 hour Fuchsia Dunlop calls for. Hmm, well, I'll make up the extra time with the leftovers.

The dish in the oven is a batch of Rillons. I got the recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Cookbook. These things are basically pork belly confit.

You cook them in their own fat, flavored with garlic, thyme, and wine. It was delicious right from the oven. Fearnley-Whittingstall says that he likes them better cold. They're not bad cold. I'm eating some cold rillons right now. But the fat is pretty intense when it's cold. You're basically eating lard. Some bread would be useful.

I retrieved the garlic from the rillons recipe before it had a chance to burn.

I gave the pieces to Mabel. Roasted garlic cloves puts a smile on her face.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November dinner

This post originally took place on 11/11/2010.

Henry was in town doing a project with Josh, so we all (including me, Eve, and Mabel) had dinner together.

Our guests brought over the wine. Included a magnum of barolo and a valpolicella (Henry can't resist the raisonated grapes) which we tied with a bow.

I picked up a last minute beef roast from Citarella which was tasty but not nearly as nice as the ones from our beloved Florence. We also had a dried mozzarella ball from Alleva. Josh and Eve handed off our country ham (which I have yet to write about, but there are some pictures here).

I've decided that there is absolutely no problem with buying prepared sides for dinner. Takes the stress out of having people over for dinner. Citarella has some decent options.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bahn Mi and Jury Duty

I had jury duty earlier in the week. I would have liked to sit on one of the cases if I had nothing else to do, but alas.

I got Bahn Mi on my lunch breaks.

The closest place I could find through Yelp was Sau Voi.

Very authentic-looking. Most of the store is taken up with DVDs.

The sandwich was respectable. The crispy bread is key. The crumbs splintering off the sandwich attracted a crowd of sparrows which are always nice. An aggressive albino pigeon, however, put an early end to my meal.

I didn't get picked on my second day of jury duty, and they let us out for good. I decided to celebrate by going to Bahn Mi Saigon Bakery, our favorite Bahn Mi place.

They moved and totally upgraded their establishment. They kept the jewelry counter, and I think even the jewelry is nicer. The sandwich is still awesome, though I think I will not order it spicy again.

Sau Voi
101 Lafayette St (at Walker St)
New York, NY 10013-4165
(212) 226-8184

Bahn Mi Saigon Bakery
198 Grand St (btn Mott and Mulberry)
New York, NY 10013
(212) 941-1541

Friday, November 12, 2010

ASA 2010-San Diego

The American Society of Anesthesiologists annual conference was held in San Diego this year. I was sharing a room with Caroline and Marny at the snazzy Andaz Hotel, a boutique hotel in the Gaslamp District. We were shocked when we saw our room:

There is nowwhere to hide when your shower has only clear glass! A quick trip to CVS got us the materials to provide some privacy.

Even so, we had to sit facing certain walls when someone was showering because there were mirrors everywhere. But we made it work.

The ASA annual conference sounds nerdy and is nerdy. Here I am modeling a pulse oximeter that goes on your forehead rather than on your finger.

I ran in place and held my breath to see how it would change the reading on the monitor.

The weather in San Diego was very bad. It was cloudy, rainy, and cold. But we got some good eating in. The Tin Fish was right by the convention center. We were sad about the rain.

But Tin Fish's amazing fried oysters cheered us up.

They were the best fried oysters I have ever tried, although they were not quite as good on our second visit. The first time we had them, they were hot, crispy, and extremely juicy when you bit into them. Very delicious.

On another day, Chris, Caroline, Fahad and I had dinner with Dr. Blanck and Sue at Aqua Al 2. Everything was tasty, but the most memorable part of the dinner was trying white sambuca for the first time. I wish I had taken a picture - it is a clear digestif that comes in little glasses with coffeebeans floating within. It is basically pure essence of licorice - not as caustic as Fernet Branca, but potent enough to necessitate slow sipping. The whole ordering of white sambuca came about when we learned that Chris and his brothers drink down a good amount of the stuff during the holidays with this chant, "'buca! 'buca! 'buca!" Seeing Dr. Blanck do the chant was pretty awesome.

On the other days, we ate at Cowboy Star, Stingaree, and Searsucker, all fun to eat at. And on our way home, we paid homage to the ultimate Californian destination - In 'n Out.