Yes, it’s been more than two weeks since I checked in. There’s no real reason for it, just a lack of motivation and a general feeling of “blah.” I have about 10 different things I should get posted, which is of course a little overwhelming (I’m trying to get to the photos for this post and I’m already on page 8 of my Flickr without getting close. Agh).
Happy belated Thanksgiving! Ben and I were on our own this year, so we took a drive up to York Beach, ME and ate at Lydia Shire’s Blue Sky, which was fantastic. Between the dinner I ate and my mom’s continued proselytizing, I am convinced of the wisdom of cooking the turkey legs and breast separately: I had lovely slices of the white meat, accompanied by a ridiculously delicious “ragout” of shredded dark meat warmed up in gravy. Yup, that is the way to go.
I never actually posted any of the cooking experiments from my visit home in late October, and I think one of them might come in handy if you’re looking for a satisfying but light dinner for these post-Turkey days. We ate at The Butcher Shop in the South End with new friends before my trip, and I shamelessly hogged a shared salad appetizer, a frisee salad with bacon dressing, shaved egg and fingerling potatoes. A few days later in Oregon, I decided to recreate it for the family, and we got it mostly right, though not quite perfect. It’s a nice riff on the traditional french bistro salad (frisee and lardons with a poached egg). This is easier to share, since there aren’t whole eggs, and would also be great without the potatoes, or as a simple lunch.
First things first, we baked a few strips of good, thick bacon, then cut it up into small little bits and saved a bit of the fat to make the dressing (like a warm spinach salad).
(I cut the bacon fat with a bit of grapeseed oil, which is nice and neutral. I never did get the dressing quite right; I forgot to add mustard and it never came together the way I wanted.)
Next up: Potatoes. Mom got gorgeous fingerlings, which I halved, boiled until nearly cooked, then tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted until they colored but didn’t crisp up.
Finally, the egg. In retrospect, I’m an ass. I could have passed it through a food mill or pushed it through a sieve. But I was jetlagged, sick and stupid, and didn’t get there. Mom thought her egg slicer could produce a very fine dice, so we gave it a try:
Um, fail. Even if I rotated it 90 degrees for a second slice….no. My solution? The box grater!
It was hard to get through more than half of the egg before it fell apart in my hand, but the results were perfect:
Nice and fluffy.
Assembly time. I dressed the frisee, tossed it with the bacon, and then topped it with the egg.
Tossed the potatoes with the rest of the dressing, and layered those on top:
We also had steak, beets, beans, and peppers:
And wine and candles.
Still to come: A four-hour pasta recipe from the lovely Suzanne Goin, lots of non-food pictures, thrifting adventures with Tom, fun with purple vegetables, etc.