Thursday, May 1, 2014

Smoked Trout Chowder adapted from April Bloomfield's "A Girl and Her Pig"

A Girl and Her Pig...literally
I am a huge fan of April Bloomfield and I’ll follow her anywhere—to The Breslin in the Ace Hotel, next door at the John Dory or down in the Village where she practically invented the Gastropub at “The Spotted Pig”. ( For a list of posts about Chef Bloomfield, go to the bottom of this post.)  I was cruising through her cookbook “A Girl and Her Pig” (Ecco /Harper Collins 2012) when I came to her recipe for Smoked Haddock Chowder.  It’s been on the menu at the Spotted Pig ever since it opened. I’d never succumbed to its charms at the restaurant or its price tag : $16.00 a bowl.  And quite frankly, Smoked Haddock is a fish I remember vividly from childhood.  Back then it was in something called “Finnan Haddie” and if I never saw another plate of it, I would die happy.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mushroom "BLT"s with Basil Mayonnaise from Chef Rich Landau of Vedge Restaurant, Philadelphia

      Richard Landau is a chef in Philadelphia at a vegetarian restaurant called “Vedge”.  He and his wife, Katie Jacoby, are also authors of a cookbook by the same name (The Experiment 2013).  In the run up to the book’s publication, Rich contributed this recipe to Food and Wine magazine.  It's an incarnation of one of my favorite sandwiches, the BLT.  But instead of the B, he pressed Oyster Mushrooms into service.  The result is a stunning take on the original.  Meaty and full of flavor.  Pick the right bread and you'll be in heaven.  
      The firm, meaty texture of the mushroom takes the place of the Bacon.  Now anyone who has ever had
Really Good Bread makes
a really great sandwich.
the misfortune to taste what the vegan stand-in for bacon is, will give this substitution a standing O.   I made these for a light supper.  Andrew and I couldn’t get over how good they were.   I used the “tomatoes on the vine” and they passed muster. But I couldn’t help think how glorious this will taste once we are in tomato season.  I also opted for a really great loaf of seeded rye bread which I toasted and spread with the easy-to-make basil mayonnaise.  A couple of romaine lettuce leaves, the tomato slice and the sautéed mushrooms, lots of salt and pepper and voila, a meatless meal in no time. I made this for the two of us.  It could easily be doubled but beware, you will want to eat every one you can get your hands on.