Hello! I'd like to tell you about some things I've eaten over the last month-ish.
Several Saturdays ago I went out to Long Island City with Karrie and her mom...
Because Henry from my high school swim team has opened up a stand selling Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches on the weekend.
Maybe I was just starving, maybe I missed Johnnie's real bad, but this Italian beef knocked my socks off. Very impressed! His place is called Hank's Juicy Beef, go check it out!
And then a Sunday or two later I undertook a simple but ambitious task, to pan roast a chicken like my Sean Brock cookbook says to. First I woke up early and cut the backbone out of my chicken,
And used it to make my own stock...here's the boring part of stock making, where everything is in the pot before it has even started to simmer.
Then that night, when it was dinner time, I made this little boat to roast garlic with salt and sugar in, just like the book told me to.
And then I cut the chicken in half and salt and peppered it.
The recipe called for cast iron pans, so I ran all over the city looking for a 12" pan, it proved a very difficult mission. So Victoria just ordered two on Amazon Prime and they showed up in time to make dinner. Here the chickens sit in the pans, pressed down by other pans, to get started in their cooking on the stove before moving to the oven for roasting.
Here's the chicken, crisped but not yet complete.
Andrea and Victoria came over for the chicken cooking. Here Andrea takes a break from whisking the pan sauce while Victoria roasts some Brussels sprouts.
And here we are: chicken all roasted, with parsley and garlic on top and pan sauce beneath. The recipe was simple, sort of, and the results spectacular. I will make this chicken again and I will do an even better job next time.
Dinner guests that are nuts about doing dishes and are good whiskers. What more could you ask for?
Well, I don't know, maybe $1 tacos? Mission Cantina began serving $1 tacos between 4 and 6pm, so I could not resist taking a super-long, super-late lunch one Thursday with Trish. I ate tacos and guacamole until I could not bear any more happiness and it cost me maybe $7. Incredible.
Then one Tuesday night I checked out the Happiest Burger at West Village bar the Happiest Hour with Chelsea. It's a real serious burger, just look at it! I bet it looks even better by daylight.
And then there was this Saturday where I met with Jessica at Underwest Donuts. It's a donut shop inside a car wash.
I mean it's literally inside the car wash, you can watch the cars go through while you order your donuts. What a perfect thing to watch and eat a donut to.
Unless, of course, it's a beautiful day out. Then it would be better to eat the donuts on a nearby pier.
While I was eating those donuts started getting friendly texts from a mysterious number...turns out Rebecca and Derek were in town! First I ate pizza with them on Claire's roof Saturday night, then Sunday I was lucky enough to grab burgers with them at the Burger Joint because they were staying at the Parker Meridian.
Then the next Tuesday I tried out Street Bird, this new Harlem hot spot, with Ashley. The place was jumping with long waits for tables but no waits for counters. People! Just sit at the counter!
The food was quite good, really liked the macaroni and cheese a lot.
Their main dish is their rotisserie chicken. But tell me, does this really look like half a chicken to you?
African fish tacos. They were just ok.
Cornbread. The spread it came with, made of, I don't remember, but it had a fish taste to it, anyway, that spread was killer.
One day at work we had ice cream.
And another day we had pizza.
And then on Saturday I ate what I'm going to call a Lebanese quesadilla from this place Manousheh on Bleecker. Really great. Middle Eastern food is having a moment, isn't it?
Then on Sunday I made cheeseburgers on my cast iron pan. This is a thing I'm going to keep working at, making cheeseburgers. And then I'm going to start having people over every Sunday night for burgers. I typed it and I posted it so you've got to hold me to it!
I tried out small, thin patties this week. I think I made them too small.
Next time: one fewer pickle per bun. And less mayo.
Instead of tater tots I had broccoli. That will be the thing: cheeseburgers with a roasted vegetable at Brigham's.