Thursday, January 21, 2016

Poached Pork Roast with Garlic Parmesan Cream


My Inspiration as it appeared in Food and Wine
Last Fall, Food and Wine did a major article about roasts.  The one that immediately caught my eye was a picture of a Dutch oven in which, semi-submerged, was a pork shoulder roast swimming in cream surrounded by halved heads of garlic, a parmesan cheese rind, a couple of sage leaves and pats of butter.  I had never imagined poaching pork in the first place.  I took one look at it and thought thank god I’m not kosher.  This breaks every dietary law imaginable.  With apologies to my Jewish readers, I just had to try it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Thomas Keller's Fall from Grace...Is this recipe his redemption?

Chef Thomas Keller 

Last week the unthinkable happened. Thomas Keller is surely one of the most famous of all American chefs. His  “The French Laundry” in Yountville, CA was called "the best restaurant in the world, period" by Anthony Bourdain. Chef Keller’s other offerings sealed his place in the culinary firmament.  His Per Se, down the street from us at Columbus Circle, is considered one of the city’s top restaurants and has been since the day it opened in 2004.   Per Se also has the distinction of being at the very top of the city’s restaurant price lists.  Its nine course prix fixe is offered at $325.00.  Without wine.  Lunch is a virtual bargain: $215.00 prix fixe but that’s for only 5 courses.   You'll have to ante up to $255.00 if you want seven courses.  Well last week, The New York Times dropped a bomb.  The newspaper's Restaurant critic, Pete Wells, dropped Per Se from 4 stars to 2. And, as a friend said yesterday after reading its review, "it's amazing it got that many".
Per Se overlooks Central Park
         Phrases calling the restaurants offerings "ranging from respectably dull at best to disappointingly flat-footed at worst" were bolstered by food descriptions like "bouillon as murky and appealing as bong water", "purée that tasted like peanut butter to which something terrible had been done," and "a dismal green pulp of cooked romaine lettuce, crunchy and mushy at once".  My, my.  Surely the service made up for the kitchen. But no. "Servers sometimes give you the feeling that you work for them, and your job is to feel lucky to receive whatever you get".  At this point, I had to feel a certain twinge for Thomas Keller.  After all, the man has contributed mightily to this blog.  His 5 recipes here have garnered 23, 733 views and counting. So today, I am going to republish the most popular of all. It's for Santa Maria Tri-Tip, a roast of beef which, mercifully, sells for 6.49 a lb. But what exactly is a Tri-Tip? Read on...