lens and larder collaboration in the wilds of connemara ireland.

We just returned from Ireland where we put on a visual storytelling and classic european still life workshop at the beautiful Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara Ireland. We focused on the terroir of Connemara and shot everything from  foraged seaweed to locally caught game birds to the honey man. Our final day we set a banquet of roast lamb and oysters and local cheeses. Thank you to our gorgeous and organized hosts Imen McDonnell from Farmette and Cliodhna Prendergast from Breaking Eggs and to Susan Spungen our food stylist and partner in crime and to all our students who traveled near and far to attend. It was a whirlwind of information and activity. Special thanks to Claire Davey from America Village Galway for sharing with us her incredible tinctures and teas and her beautiful meditation in the woods and for plying our spirits with her wild cocktails. Thank you to Gerard Coyne of Connemara Bee Keepers and to John Malone of Malone's Butchers in Clifden and to Shane Bisgood , Chief instructor of the Connemara Shooting School, for letting the students "shoot" him! Trish Deseine I was blown away by by your new book Home on Irish Home cooking and Helen James it was  so great  to catch up after all this time!  Thank you to Aran Sweaters and 31Chapel Lane for the lovely gifts four our students! We left with more than we came with. Not the least the good friends we made along the way. We feel our adventures with out Irish friends have just begun. A huge thank you to Patrick O'Flaherty of Ballynahinch Castle. We know we trashed the place and you  and your amazing staff were ever so gracious about it! You kept us entertained and feeling at home. xx

 

 

We wanted to share a few photos from the two day workshop. 

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MEXICO CITY WANDERINGS.A BRIEF RESPITE IN MEXICO CITY. THINGS NOT TO MISS.

 

My thoughts on Mexico City were terribly outdated.  I thought of it only as a gritty, polluted and dangerous city. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Though it was virtually impossible to ignore the buzz these past few years, especially living and working in New York,  I had remained a skeptic.

What changed? I spent a lot of time in Mexico last year working on various projects and it seemed all roads led to Mexico City.  Everywhere I went, people were talking about the food, the culture, the art galleries, the hotels and the architecture. This city of 19 million actually has more in common with New York and Paris and Istanbul than any place it may have been formerly compared to and there is no doubt that it is having a moment. 

 

Last month I headed down there with my friend chef Camille Becerra to see what it was all about.

 

We left New York on the red eye out of JFK at 1am on one of the hottest nights of this New York summer on Aeromexico. We arrived in the D.F just four short hours later ready to take the city by storm.  We were pretty much up for anything and wanted to taste and see everything. Armed with a massive list culled from friends we set to task. Our first stop was the super cute Stella Bed and Breakfast where we were met by Sylvia who graciously fed us a beautiful breakfast of fried eggs and tortillas while the light slowly came up in the Roma neighborhood where we were staying. Needless to say, in the days that followed, we ate our way all around town, meeting up with some local food writers, stylists and bloggers.

The way I normally travel is to first do a bit of preliminary research myself, then I speak with friends and friends of friends and begin to cull a list.

 

I use Foursquare when I travel to keep track of the places I have been, to make and edit lists and to share them with others easily. I find it is a great starting point to my general list. I follow a few of my well traveled friends and we are always sharing and updating through Foursquare. If you are not onto it yet for travel, I highly recommend it.

 

Below is list of a few of our favorite spots. This makes for one long beautiful eating day! Do not miss these! 

 

Breakfast at La Fonda Marguerita

 

 

For Breakfast, La Fonda Marguerita. It is important to remember that breakfast and lunch are traditionally the main meals of the day in Mexico. So f you are thinking of saving some amazing little taco spot you read about for late afternoon or an evening meal, check first that it is open! We missed a few places before we got hip to this idea.

La Fonda Margarita was recommended by a friend who lives in Mexico City. It is a tiny local spot where they cook most of the night. They open the doors really early, maybe even as early as 5am. though I would call to check on that because time is a bit slow in Mexico. They cook  solely over charcoal, giant giant pots of bubbling goodness, many hands taking turns to stir. We went at 8am and just missed the line and the rush that followed. What did we eat?   We ate Copious bowls full of stewed pork,  simmered for hours over the fire.  We were drawn right away to the pork in  salsa verde and   to another dish of chicharron stewed with tomatoes and chilies, after which came the  most perfectly fried eggs, atop delicious homemade tortillas. Coffee is served hot and sweet and black.

If I could have, I would have eaten every breakfast here. It is great place to go before heading out to the morning markets.

 

 Adolfo Prieto 1364, Benito Juárez, Tlacoquemecatl del Valle, 03100 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

+52 55 5559 6358

 

 

Mid morning coffee at Rosetta Panaderia

Delicious coffee and absolute best Guava pastry. I am kind of a Guava freak. I had them at many places including Ideal but Rosetta Panaderia was the best.

Same owners as the Rosetta restaurant nearby.

 

Calle Havre #73, Cuauhtemoc, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico
+52 55 5207 7065

 

Lunch at Contramar

A long luxurious lunch at Contramar that turns into late afternoon day drinking, is often recommended by highly trustworthy people. .You will find this place on 99 percent of the must do's of Mexico City. We had a short lunch only because we weren't feeling it. We didn't love it, it felt really "New York" and that isn't what I look for when I travel. It is like going to Paris and only searching for "Tres Brooklyn" Many people are looking for familiarity and comfort when they travel, so if that is you, then why not? It is a fabulous spot for people watching and the tuna tostadas are highly recommended and they are said the copied around Mexico City. Personally, I felt they lacked any depth. Judge for yourself and report back.

 

Delegación Cuauhtémoc C.P. 06700. México D.F.. RESERVACIONES 55 5514 9217 · 55 5514 3169

 

Sunset drink on the rooftop of Hotel Condesa D.F

Take a late afternoon stroll around the Condesa Neighborhood, one of the D F.'s hippest area's. Stop into the Hotel Condesa and head straight to the rooftop for a sunset cocktail. I highly recommend the Hibiscus Margarita with Hibiscus salt. Found around on the plush cushions and watch the lights come on over this low flat city.

 

Dinner at  Quntoni

 

Quintonil is all about beautifully presented, thoughtful, modern Mexican food.  The flavor combinations are new and exciting. They are well known for their cactus ceviche. It was perfect and swimming in the most delicious herby green broth. The portions are not big. We mostly ordered seafood and it was super fresh.  Order a few things to share. The service was excellent. Oh, and the house cocktail... Mescal and worm salt. YES! THANK YOU.

reservations are a must.

 

 Newton 55, Polanco, 11560 Federal District, Mexico

+52 55 5280 1660

 

 

Late night post mescal bar tacos at Los Parados.

This is an absolute.

First a few words about the Mescal bars. You must experienceat least one. Mescal is an essential part of the experience.

 

Bosforo Mezcaleria

 

Bosforo, located in the historic city center is a tiny hole in the wall place. Try many different wild sourced mescals.

Tiny bites available. The night we were at Bosforo there was a small gathering of Mescal makers there to talk about their work. I learned a lot even though the lecture was in Spanish! Thank god I am visual person, have studied Italian, between this and photos, I got the gist. I honestly had no idea that some  Mescals are aged with rotten fruit and even raw chicken and sometimes turkey, rabbit or deer meat.This type of Mescal is called Pechuga. Some Wild  hunted agaves take as much as 25 years to grow. Who knew? I have much to learn here and I need to investigate this subject further. I tried Pechuga and it did have a distinctly different taste from the other Mescals, more funky for sure.

 

 Luis Moya, Cuauhtémoc, Centro, Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

 

La Clandestina in Roma Nord.

 

Small, great location over fifty different Mescals. All locally sourced from Oaxaca.

Av. Alvaro Obregón 298 (Sonora), 06100 Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico

 

 

Once you have sufficiently imbibed head to the late night taco stand called Los Parados.

Los Parados actually translates to "standing", there are no seats here at this swift shop where they move hundreds of tacos an hour. We were three people and we probably had at least 15! Tacos from Mexico City are not like their overstuffed American cousin. They are small and discreet but pack major flavor.

There are many kinds to choose from. There is a taco master at each station and they move swiftly. My suggestion is to go for one of each.

 

Los Parados

Monterrey 333 Col. Roma

06760 México, D.F.

+52 55 5264 7138

leave there sated and happy and grab a taxi or an uber, both easy to find and roll into bed.

 

Tomorrow will be another day and there is Casa Azul to see and the Frida and Diego Studios, there is a cocktail to be had at the Sant'Angel Inn and the Markets... so many Markets! Museums, Galleries and The Barrigan House. You will barely scratch the surface of this amazing city in a week.

 

Historic city center

 

 

 

Flower Market

Fruit along the exterior of the Flower Market

Rosetta Panaderia

Churros from The Roma Nord  specialty food Market

Flea Market finds

Shrine at Casa Azul

Luis Barragan House

Breakfast at Fonda Marguerita

Breakfast at Fonda Marguerita

Herbs and flowers at Mercado Sonora

Street Food stall at Mercado Sonora

Fruit at Mercado Coyoacan

Casa Luis Barragan

Overgrown garden at Casa Barragan

Ideal Panaderia

where the wild things are. dandelion butter. frittata of the things winter left behind.

By the time we got upstate this year summer was nearly around the corner. Though I have mentioned before that spring comes late to our side of the mountain, this winter was especially brutal. By memorial day, most but not all of the ramps were beginning to wither back. The dry spring had mostly eradicated the wild watercress along our various springs which are running feebly at best this year. I picked what I could that winter had been kind enough to leave behind, big piles of dandelion blossom, dandelion leaves, wild mustard greens, wild mustard flower, chives, spring garlic,  wild mint, sorrel and ramp leaves. I set the dandelion blossom aside for butter and washed the rest of the greens. I chopped the bulbs of spring garlic and mixed them into the greens. I put  a generous dose of olive oil on the bottom of a heavy large cast iron frying pan and then I  piled the greens on top. I whisked up a dozen eggs, their yolks a bright yellow, added about a half a cup of grated pecorino, a dash of celtic sea salt and a few turns of the pepper mill.

 

I poured the egg mixture over the greens and set on Julian’s mid heat Aga burner covered for ten minutes or so. I watched it carefully so the bottom would not burn. I am not super used to cooking with an Aga so it took a little extra watching and patience. When the eggs started to puff up around the greens it was time to remove the lid and transfer the frittata  to the oven. I hit the top with a dash of olive oil and some more freshly grated pecorino before placing it in the oven. I cooked it in the mid range temp oven until it was just golden abot ten more minutes. We served it room temperature. The key to a good frittata is a dozen eggs and copious amounts of olive oil. The frittata’s from Puglia, where my grandmother was from are made this way. What's not to love about olive oil?

 

 

Frittata Of The Things Winter Left Behind

 

12 organic eggs

Copious pile of wild greens such as dandelion, mint, mustard, sorrel,and spring garlic.

1/2 cup plus a bit more of a nice olive oil

1/2 cup plus more for grating of pecorino romano

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Large cast iron fry pan

 

 

 

 

 


 

Dandelion Butter

 

Start by collecting a bunch of dandelion blossoms.

Gently pull the petals away from the tiny bulb at the base of the neck.


 

1 cup of dandelion petals

1 qt. of organic heavy cream

1 cup of bright yellow dandelion petals.

teaspoon kosher salt

 

Combine the heavy cream and the dandelion petals to a small blender.( I find it hard to scrape the butter from a deep blender)

Pulse on high speed for two minutes or so until the solids start to slap the sides of the blender and clearly separate from the liquids.

Holding the butter in place tip the blender to drain off the excess liquids.

Pulse a few more times.

Remove the solids into a wooden bowl and the run ice cold water over the butter until it firms up a bit more.

With the back side of a wooden spoon work the butter back and forth against the side of the wooden bowl to remove any leftover liquids.

When done transfer to a container and serve.

The butter will keep it an airtight container in your fridge for a week or so.

I topped my butter with a sprinkle of pine tip salt.

Serve with homemade crackers or on a fresh pasta or your favorite bread.

I had it on she wolf bakery bread. heaven. sigh.

 

 

 

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buvette and chef jody williams profiled on dara artisans.

Below is recent profile of  Chef Jody Williams of Buvette and the soon to be open Via Carota.

I love this layout and interview pulled from Dara Artisans Journal using our photos from the Buvette book.

Thank you Dara

Tastemaker : Jody Williams

“I never wanted a restaurant,” declares Jody Williams, chef and owner of Buvette.

She’s turned her attention to our surroundings, to the dining experience she’s coined a gastrothèque. The charmingly snug space—wooden tables are squeezed convivially together, while aproned waiters breeze by with small plates—glows in the late afternoon sun. “With restaurants—particularly in New York–you have these formalities. I hate it—it’s not good for food, and it’s not good for creativity.”

Williams’s neologism feels justified. Both in New York City’s West Village and in Paris, where she opened her second Buvette one year ago, her gastrothèques remains distinctive. A place abundant in good food and creativity, Buvette is a “collage” of Williams’ experiences living abroad, which buck expectations of what a restaurant should be.

The desire to forge connections through hand-worked, artisanal touches is everywhere, like in Buvette’s drink menu, which is filled with charming illustrations and engaging descriptions, such as how to make the perfect martini. (Created with designer Max Poglia’s help, it’s inspired by Williams’ collection of vintage chapbooks and a desire to create a dialogue with her customer). That attitude persists at the bar, where a barman pours aperitifs just under our noses—Buvette’s bar is intentionally six inches narrower than most, quite literally breaking down the distance between wait staff and patron. It’s particularly palpable at brunch, where the tight seating and mutual delight in the food forges an unheard-of camaraderie among neighbors.

“Do you want a piece of our walnut-cranberry bread?” I ask. They beamed as I passed the basket.

It’s during experiences like this that I remember one of Williams’s comments: “I’m not sure I could point you to another place that feels just like this.”

Buvette is a deeply personal place—a uniquely Jody Williams creation. Physically, there are signs of her everywhere. To scan the room is to see her assemblages of curios and bric-a-brac artfully arranged throughout the room: The wall of presidential paraphernalia is a tribute to her sister, who was born on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Williams a self-admitted collector of antiques, counting Limoges porcelain plates, latte bowls, silver teapots, glass fruit presses, vintage toys, and old bee jars among her assemblies. “I’m a character that yearns for nostalgia all the time,” she says. “I think that’s why I try and create it in my places.”



The space also channels Williams’s experiences of eating and drinking throughout Europe. Whether squeezing in shoulder-to-shoulder for cicchetti (“small bites”) in Venice or wiling an afternoon away at a vineria in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori, these experiences shaped Buvette’s philosophy of providing an outstanding gastronomic experience within a casual setting. “At Buvette, I look to do high and low, all in a comfortable, non-judgmental environment,” Williams says. “I want you to be able to get a great bottle of Champagne on one night, and croque and a beer the next.”

Her welcoming attitude—which, in Williams’ words, “offers the guest a sense of freedom to come in”—permeates the space. There’s a tangible sense of being “at home” here, which, unsurprisingly, Williams has an expression for: “It’s what I call the ‘kitchen table effect,’” she says. “When you sit here, you’re almost at your kitchen table. You see the products around, and that’s the point. So if you didn’t have a menu, you’d know there’s coffee, wine, prosciutto. We orient our guests; you feel that invitation to grab a plate, pour your water, share in the mise en place. Part of the success of something is stepping back and letting it be.”

Williams’s appreciation for an experience that feels blissfully off-hand does not mean her approach to her work is similarly casual: Williams works with tremendous intention and a shrewd attention to detail. Everything at Buvette has a place and a way: During our conversation she shares the proper method to install a toilet paper roll, opines on how to arrange glassware behind the bar, and points out why her collection of straw baskets is hung right there. When we arrived, she was up on a ladder, fussing with a light bulb. “I love to get into the minutiae of everything, from the fabric of the aprons to the menu’s paper,” she says. “I know what I want, so I tend to be very involved.”

Williams has found a formula that not only works, but one she brought to France, a concept that’s confounded many fellow chefs. With the success of the New York Buvette, plus some formative experiences and friendships along the way, Williams decided to expand to Paris’s Pigalle neighborhood. Given Buvette is a French restaurant in New York, the decision seemed both logical and risky—would the discerning French appreciate the idea? Moreover, would hergastrothèque feel as a distinct in this setting—in some ways, its native one?


The response has been a resounding yes. In Paris, Buvette feels standalone, yet for different reasons. “What Parisians love is that we’ve dropped some of the formality,” Williams says. “Where restaurants there are like, you don’t eat after three o’clock, or ten o’clock, we say, come in to Buvette anytime you’d like and eat whatever you want.”

Williams now attempts to spend several weeks in Paris every couple of months. Below, she shares her favorite spots in the city, with a focus on her newest place to call home: Pigalle.

________

Jody William’s guide to Pigalle

Shop

Causses ( 55 rue Notre-Dame de Lorett) is just fantastic. They have everything: foie gras, cheese, smoked slat, green almonds and hazelnuts, fresh-squeezed orange juice, wonderful butters . . . I love it there.

I also love L’Objet Qui Parle (86 rue des Martyrs), which is nearby. It’s an old vintage flea market store. In Buvette Paris, we have a collection of vintage latte bowls in blue, all mixed and matched.

Le BHV Marais (52 rue de Rivoli) is a big department store in the Marais, and I enjoy visiting the basement there, which is a hardware store. There you will find all the materials to fix your own shoes—leather, soles, hammers—[plus] beautiful blue enamel, tons of gorgeous stuff.

Stay

I actually cannot tell you my very favorite hotel because then everyone will know about it and it’s my little secret! But the Hotel Armour (8 rue Navarini), I really enjoy, too—and it’s just around the block from us. It’s got great outdoor patio for aperitifs, and inside it’s very modern and cool.

Eat & Drink

Oh, so many. In the neighborhood, we love going to Le Pantruche (3 rue Victor Massé) or Rose Bakery (46 rue des Martyrs) for lunch. La Fontaine de Mars (29 rue Saint-Dominique) is another spot, near the Eiffel tower—the owners also visit us at Buvette. For something more “old school,” I like going to Chez Georges (11 rue des Canettes). Picture a big pot of terrine on the table with your pickle. I’ll eat some Dover sole there.

If it’s later at night, we’ll go up to Montmarte to La Mascotte ( 52 rue des Abbesses). They do these great fruits de mer, so we’ll get couple of bottles of Sancerre and some oysters and hang out. For drinks, we might head up the block toGlass (7 rue Frochot) or Dirty Dick (10 rue Frochot)—there are so many bars in Pigalle.


the extended lp. the pines. table on ten. duck duck goose. or rabbit in this case. part one.

Well, I am a little late to the party as usual. This dinner happened weeks ago and everyone involved has done their own edit of the dinner on individual blogs and sites. I am afraid mine pales in comparison. I am partial to the edit Julian did for Table on Ten. I may have to steal his edit for part two of this post.

 

We were featured on The NOWNESS this past weekend. Below is the article by writer Tarajia Morrell. and a few words she wrote about us on her blog the lovage.

American Arcadian

On a recent Saturday, a coterie of food-loving friends spearheaded a feast at Table On Ten, the Bloomville, New York, restaurant that has become their nexus. The excuse—not that they needed one—was a celebration of the late summer season, the rich local soil and the bounty that springs forth from it, coaxed by organic farmers and foraged from nearby shrubs and streams by enthusiastic cohorts.

Everything for the feast—from chicory to flowering chocolate mint, bee balm and duck breast, even that pesky “immature sunflower”—was procured from within 25 miles of the restaurant. “We got dried mushrooms from a shoeless man who lived in a hut in Big Indian,” says chef John Poiarkoff of The Pines in Brooklyn, who conceived the nine-course menu. He was aided in the kitchen on dishes such as trout with dill crème fraîche, charred leeks, dill flowers and black mustard greens, by The Pines’ owner and Catskill native, Carver Farrell, and chef Camille Becerra of Navy. Brooklyn’s Four & Twenty Blackbirds bakery made the corn custard pie with pickled blueberries and poor man’s pepper.

In fact, the story of this meal—and of the motley crew who manifested it—is as layered as an onion, as potentially delicious and as versatile. Table On Ten owners, Justus and Inez Valk-Kempthorne, built a sanctuary where old pals and new come to languor and eat, chat and chuckle over Campari-laced cocktails and pizza from their wood-burning oven. It’s a place to rejuvenate after a day in the fields, whether those fields are literal or metaphoric. Theirs is a camaraderie of soil and harvest, life’s ineluctable cycles, the passage of time and the meals that connect it all. Tianna Kennedy, farmer and proprietor of nearby organic Star Route Farm, sums up the fellowship simply: “It’s the right time to be here amongst the best group I’ve known.”an Arcadian

 


Text by Tarajia Morrell, founder of food blog The Lovage and contributor to to Huffington Post, The Aesthete and various other publications.

Menu
Tomatoes, corn, whipped ricotta, garlic croutons, flowering chocolate mint and anise hyssop

Beet-stuffed napa cabbage, potato and yogurt puree, potato broth, wood sorrel
White pine roasted carrots, immature sunflower and white pine pistou, chicory, pine oil

Roasted and pickled cauliflower, Miranda cheese and roasted onion béchamel, jalapeño, flowering thyme

Trout, dill creme fraiche, charred leeks, dill flowers, black mustard greens

Shitake ciriole, braised rabbit, roasted garlic, bee balm

Duck breast and leg, cranberry beans, pepper and rosehip chutney, nasturtium

Ouleout ice cream, peach and beer compote, granola, honeycomb, beer caramel

Corn custard pie, pickled blueberries, poor man's pepper

 

 

you can see other versions of this dinner on the individual blogs of Table On Ten and Camille and The Lovage

 

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jim franco ceramics for dara artisans.

We have known Jim Franco for many years. First as a photo editor and then as a photographer and now as an amazing ceramicist. If you live in New York long enough you tend to see creatives move through different fields. As artists, we can never seem to sit still long enough to stay in one sandbox. We are surrounded by so much creativity that it is hard to stick to just one thing. I myself have worn many hats over the years as we tend to do in New York. I admire my peers who have branched out to explore other disciplines. Jim is no exception, though he has only been making ceramics for a short time what he has mastered is quite amazing. He is making mostly bowls at this point, in all sizes, but my favorites are those that fit snuggly into a cupped hand.  His glazes are really special, they remind me of muted stormy beach days, the kind of day that is both shimmery and dark at once. The kind of day when the light is soft and a little translucent. Perhaps it is his photographer self and his appreciation for light  and the way it hits objects that makes him such a good ceramicist.

We had a super fun day collaborating with Jim on this project.

You can see his work at the newly launched daraartisans.com

xx

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honey honey. food for the bees. westwind orchard.

Last weekend on our way upstate with our friend chef Camille Beccera we made a stop to visit friends Laura Ferrara and Fabio Chizzola who own and operate Westwind Orchards. I remember when they bought the farm in 2002. At the time it was a bit of a defunct apple farm and Fabio brought the trees back to life one by one.  When we heard Fabio was going to be spinning honey that weekend we decided to head up.

I have known Laura and Fabio for quite some time. He is a fashion photographer and she a fashion editor and stylist. How they manage to run this amazing farm and a busy commercial work load is a  mystery! I know they both have farming and food culture in their roots so I easily see that for the most part they do it for the love of it and to share it with family. They are both Italian and that strong food culture runs deep. They are the kind of people who put a meal in front of you effortlessly and without you quite knowing what happened when your intention was to just stop by and pick up some eggs! The farm continues to grow in so many different ways. A wood fired pizza oven is in  process and a beautifully curated farm store is in the works and somehow they always seem so composed. Laura wears farm wear like no one else! total chic. Anyway, I really can't say enough about these two, they are simply inspiring in every way!

 

On they way upstate we talked about food because it seems we are always hungry and it always comes around to food in one way or another. Camille brought out a little bag with an octopus in it and we decided then  to make a lunch using the new honey. It was a great impromptu afternoon.

Below you can find the recipes. They were super simple and you can adapt them easily to use the honey and the citronette on other things. You can also easily make the heirloom tomato salad without the octopus. Now is the moment for tomatoes. We used fresh coriander seed that we found in the garden for the tomato salad and it was amazing.

We also made a coriander salt for the squash blossoms.

This is one of those easy summer days we hope will inspire you!

Grazie Mille Laura and Fabio!

xx

 

Notes from Camille:

 

 

Tomato and Octopus Salad

 

Start with a flavorful court bouillon and cook octopus till tender, depending on its size and type this can take 1/2 hour and up to 1 1/2  hours.  Once tender, remove from the pot and when it becomes cool enough to handle cut the tentacles from the body.  Cut an array of tomatoes and line them on a platter along with some fresh herbs.  We came across some coriander in the garden that had just gone to seed, they were green and the flavor subtle and used them as our fresh herb element.  Drizzle the tomatoes with half of the dressing.  To finish the salad get a pan, preferably a cast iron gripping hot and sear the tentacles, season with a little coarse sea salt.  Slice the tentacles and arrange them on the platter.  Drizzle with the remaining honey-chili citronette.

 

Honey Chili Citronette

 

This is not a recipe but a blueprint that's easy to remember and whip up.  Start with lime or lemon juice, add thinly sliced fresh or dried chilies then slowly add the honey, stopping every so often to incorporate well and taste.  Once it tastes like sweet lemonade start whisking in a neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed.  Whisk in a fairly rapid motion and add the oil in a slow steady steam until the dressing has body, pay close attention to it's gradually progression.  Adjust and balance at the end, you'll need to season with salt, maybe some more chili or a little extra honey or citrus juice depending on personal preference.  

 

 

 

 

Frito Misto Of Squash and Herb Blossoms 

 

Collect some herbs that are blossoming, we used basil and fennel.  

 

Carefully stuff the squash blossoms, we used goat cheese for its tart flavor and tight consistency.  

 

Gradually heat some canola oil in a sturdy pot, an enamel cast iron works great.  While your oil is coming up to temperature get your batter ready, in a large bowl add some rice flour and slowly incorporate sparkling water till you have the desired consistency.  A loose batter will give you a delicate coating were as a thicker batter will give you a hearty crunchy one.  Somewhere in the middle is perfect we feel.  Play around by adding more rice flour or sparkling water.  Carefully dip the stuffed blossoms and herb blossoms and fry till golden brown.  As soon as they are removed from the oil, sprinkle with salt, arrange them on a platter and drizzle liberally with chili honey.  Best eaten warm.

 

Chili Honey

 

Slice some fresh or dried chills as thinly as possible, mix with honey and allow to sit for at least 1/2 hour so that the flavors develop.  Usually one medium size chili like a jalepeno or 5 small ones like chili de arbol to 2 cups honey.

 

 

You can visit Westwind Orchard in Accord New York. They have a u-pick it season. You can find the times and produce available through the website. They are in the midst of building a wood fired pizza oven for those who get hungry while visiting the farm.The pizza oven will run on weekend through October. 

summer waned.

Summer seems like so long ago as we come quickly upon the darkest days of the year, but I know it won't be long before we see her again.  I never posted these photos from a week out at the beach on Long Island this past summer. For me, they are a light on this dark nor'easter morning.

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