HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Friday, February 8, 2013

What to serve for Chinese New Year? David Chang’s Bo Ssam, slow-roasted Pork with Ginger-Scallion Sauce, Ssam Sauce, Kimchi and Rice


Center this dish on your dining table and stand back.
        Chinese New Year is upon us.  This Sunday, February 10th is the start of the Year of the Snake. Despite all the negative connotations of snakes and snake-like behavior,  according to Chinese Horoscopes the year 2013 symbolizes action, energy, leadership and vitality. This year, the snake is obligated to do its best for the good of others.  All in all 2013 is seen as a good year.  So there's something to celebrate.  And I can't think of a better way than to serve this phenomenal dish. Not only will it bring Asia to your table for a New Year's celebration, the leftovers can be turned into a decidedly American dish--pulled pork and an Italian one--pasta sauce.  I'll save those recipes for a future post.  Today belongs to Bo Ssam, the brain child of David Chang, everyone’s favorite renegade chef.  
         Chef Chang's tiny Momofuku Ssam Bar, on a decidedly unfashionable strip of lower Second Avenue (207 2nd avenue new york, NY 10003), is perpetually packed.  David is a particular favorite of ours and not only because he loves one of our absolute favorite Montreal restaurants --Joe Beef-- so much (http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2011/10/next-stop-in-montreal-homage-to-joe.html), that he wrote the introduction to its cookbook.  David Chang is inventive, highly skilled and most of all, magnanimous.  If you need proof of that last characteristic, consider his sharing this particular recipe: He has included it in his Momofuku cookbook (Clarkson Potter 2009) even though it is such a hit at his eponymous restaurant that, even at $200, a 6 to 10 person Bo SSam has to be ordered well in advance.  But here’s the incredible thing:  You can make this amazing dish at home for well under $40.00!  Now if that sounds like some kind carnival barker talking, it’s because I was astonished at how good it is and, quite frankly, while I am not a complete skinflint, nothing makes me happier than a great food bargain.  Particularly one that tastes this good.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Flank Steak Diane and how I fell in love with New York


Flank Steak Diane, Photo by Fine Cooking Magazine 

         Beef prices have escalated this year to the point where a perfectly ordinary New York Strip is 15.99 a lb.  Filet Mignon? 29.99. Last week, I even noted that our favorite neighborhood bistro's Steak Frites has diminished in size and risen $4.00 in price.  So when Fine Cooking’s February/ March issue arrived, I was excited to see a recipe for Steak Diane that used the humble flank steak. It just so happens that flank steak is on special this week at Fresh Direct for 5.99 a lb.  Now I have a special connection to Steak Diane.  It goes way back to my first visit to New York.  Bear with me and I’ll get to that story in its entirety. First, Fine Cooking’s budget friendly recipe. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pappardelle with Creamy Leeks and Bacon



Sara Jenkins as photographed by
New York Magazine 

         There’s almost no end to what people are putting on pasta these days. The most recent issue of Bon Appetit has 7 entirely new takes on pasta sauces and a couple of pastas that are new to me:  Ditalini, a tubular pasta that translates to “little fingers” and Fiorentini, named for Florence, a spiral shaped paste as elegant as the city itself.  All the recipes are from Sara Jenkins, best known for her tiny East Village hole in the wall “Porchetta” (110 E. 7th Street NYC Tel: 212 777 2151).  There the star of the show is Chef Jenkins melt-in-your-mouth slow roasted pork on artisanal bread. It’s a stand-up kind of place, great for a midday pig-out. ( I generally go there on the sly, shamed that anyone might witness my fondness for pork fat.) 

 In between pig roasts, the Chef managed to write a cookbook called “Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyond “by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox (Houghton Mifflin 2008).   But it was at her next venture, a restaurant called Porsena, down the street from Porchetta at 21 East 7th St. (Tel: 212 228 4913), that Ms. Jenkins devoted herself to pasta.  And it you can’t get there yourself, this month’s copy of Bon Appetit will take you there.